Tuesday, December 14, 2010

School was bad enough for me, so it's bad enough for my kids

I have two objections when people say "school was good enough for me, so it's good enough for my kids."

Firstly, I fear that what we really mean is "school was bad enough for me, so it's bad enough for my kids." Often it is hard to look back upon the way we were parented or the way we were taught and admit that we were perhaps provided with a learning environment that was less than ideal. We are apt to romanticize the past in an effort to justify what our parents or teachers did to us, so that we can rationalize perpetuating the past through our own teaching or parenting.

Which leads me to my second objection: even if our parents or teachers did an exemplary job educating us, wouldn't we still want to improve on their successes?

Think about it this way: As good of a parent you might be today, wouldn't you want your son or daughter to grow up and do an even better job than you did?

If not, what's the alternative? 


  1. indeed Mr Bower, as a teacher or even as a Student we are in the hard or difficult position to think or refresh our mind in search of the truth over what shown to our eyes.
    it is the case that hard to defined.

    as we are in Asia, Indonesia for example.
    pardon my english is not good enough.
    I was born in 1981. when i was first junior high school, around the age of 13, i failed to go to the next level, second grade. so i must repeat the same subjects once more.
    at that point i saw my friends were happy of their achievement,but on the contrary, i was so sad, thinking about what's just happening to me.
    while at the begining, the reason why they are so seriously studying or thus accomplishment is their parents.
    our parents role is really something that undeniable.
    and of course our effort is the first prospect of our own fail or success.
    but we as a human need someone to push us.

    tell me, if anyone could doing the things to achieve something by himself?
    i dont think so, there's must be something else help us. even the superstar like mike tyson need his coach to make him succes, so we saw Mike T on tv with his fabulous achievement.
    or Arnold S. with his father who educate him so firm.

    our asian method of education may be is very different with american or any europian sytle.
    at school and also our parents.
    our parents was really fierce or stern for especially children's way of studying. they even hit us if we dont hit the book at home.[our teacher at school was also like that.
    we got punishment if we fail on Test. they took a duster or rattan and asking us to open up our hand and hit us as punishment for unsatisfaction grade]
    may be this educational style really not suitable for western [i dont mean western as mexico or middle america society, but it is a country like america, australia, germany]

    they would rebuke children or scold them if they are lazy to study. most children will suffer and hate their parents at first.
    but at several times next, they will get used to with studying and it becomes like a habitual.
    parents just wait and see the grades of examination. if it is still bad grade, there must be some mistakes. may be the children are not seriously studying.
    and the parents will do any interrogation or anything like that ha ha

    well, unfortunately i was not in that situation. but most of my classmate who were the first to 10th ranking in class are.

    now i am 29 years old, i saw again some of my friends who was first ranks to fifth ranks in junior high school with their sadistic parents [ha ha in Indonesia, we sometimes use this word "sadis", pronounced as "SΛdiz" which mean terrible or fiercing]. they are success in life, in career and love. and they have good enough relationship with their parents.

    this week i was join the seminar of family economic.
    in the seminar, the resource person or speaker , Mr. Steve Sudjatmiko [Senior Manager Change Management at Accenture Services, which graduated from University of California],
    his word which has me reflect on my own junior high school and high school experiences.
    "you know, eventually only the hard and discipline parents who lead children to be success in the rest of their children life, and this has its research on parent role to children's success"

    and i'm a bit regret also, havin' my parents are too soft and casual. i always did as i please when i was in junior high school. but ever since i failed once, afterthen, i got more seriously studying, at least i never failed again in school till high school graduation.

    well at last, we are basicly only need someone to encourage us. especially begin from home, and then our teacher and thirdly from our friends and religious guidance.

  2. Okay, but what if a parent is looking back on their education and not romaticising but realizing what a great education they received? As opposed to the one that their child is receiving right now. What if a parent realizes how all those basic skills that they took for granted are missing now? What if they realize how good friendly competition helped them not only to be winners but to be gracious losers? What if they want their kids to be filled full of knowledge and face challenges so that later they can pick their path in life and pursue what they love and figure out how to overcome any obstacles that get in their way? What if?


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