Tuesday, July 18, 2006

On Our Students

A website, RaisingSmallSouls.com, has a presentation based on a text by Artscroll/Mesorah entitled Animal School. The presentation shows how different animals might perform in an "animal school."

In it, they decry how we don't live up to the concept of Chanoch LaNa'ar Al Pi Darcko (teach a child according to his nature) by using the example of the duck. They also decry that original thinking is devalued and looked upon as improper (the eagle and the kangaroo).

Of course, I find this very ironic considering that the main audience for Artscroll supports schools where the spirit of this message is roundly ignored. Children are taught with a "one size fits all" mentality in many yeshivos and original thinking is not rewarded -- indeed, it is often roundly criticized and can cause one to be labeled an apikorus (heretic).


The Wolf


Larry Lennhoff said...

I had exactly the same thought. I'm pleased someone commented on it.

Neil Harris said...

I believe the site/organization is run by someone frum. The film should be required viewing for everyone in chinuch!!

Ezzie said...

Well, in a way, it's nice that Artscroll is putting it up in that case: This way, their buyers can see another side.

You'd probably love this video: Ned Robinson. It's from the TED convention in Cali.

Anonymous said...

Funny... I think I'm a typical right-wing "ArtScroll" type... I generally don't even use their gemaras unless I have to -- not becuase of arrogance, but becuase I believe that everyone should learn at their maximum level. [My son uses it when he's learning independently, and I use it when I need to.]

I live in Brooklyn. I'm active in all sorts of religously right-wing organizations and institutions. And I'm in no way wealthy or of means.

That having been said, my five children [boys and girls, in elementary school through post-seminary] each have very different strengths and weaknesses. And, with a very few exceptions, their Rabbeim, teachers, and principals worked with each one's abilities, limitations, talents, and challenges.

Is every school that way? I don't know. But it's our job, as parents, to find the school that's right for each of our children. And to work with our children, the educators, and the schools.

It's much easier, of course, to curse the system. But if you want nachas, instead of raising kids as codgery as you are, invest the effort. It's well worth it!

BrooklynWolf said...

Codgery?? I'm not sure that I understand the term. Please elaborate.

Of course, you're correct that there are schools that work with students. But there are also those that don't. My experience (and hopefully it was an abberation) is that in yeshiva high school, if you don't "fit the mold," you're written off.

Am I wrong about this? Was my high-school experience an abberation? Hopefully - but from what I see around me, it may not be much of one.