One sentence that sums up American education?

“Classrooms are where people learn to think like machines.”

This can be a very productive, very useful thing.  A machine is an amazing creation.  They make ideal employees.  They are always obedient and extremely efficient when programmed well.   Classrooms are a good thing.  All schools should have classrooms.

But education should be more than machine-like learning.  The human side–creativity, artistry, thinking outside the box–is important also.  This type of learning is most likely in a stimulating, rich, and most importantly, free environment.  The rigid structure of a classroom does nothing towards the discovery of new approaches or new questions.

Schools should contain both.  They should have classrooms where practical, useful skills are learned.  But education should equally take place outside of these classrooms.  Education should take place in courtyards, around tables, in leisurely discussion rooms, in libraries where students are free to come and go as they please.

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