EducationMainThe 3 R’s Reading, writing, and arithmetic v The 3L’s. Look, Listen and learn

“When I visited the Maori in what whites call New Zealand, I saw that that is precisely how they teach their children. From pre-school through third grade, they experience total immersion in Maori culture, language and community life. Children are taught the three L’s – look listen, and learn. When they enter the fourth grade of racially integrated government schools, they are at the top of their classes athletically and academically”. Russell Means (North American Indian Activist)

Where Maori children are ” immersion in Maori culture, language and community life” the children of industrial cultures are dragged away for much of their day from their family culture and community life, unless that culture is called school. School is where we learn education is a chore and a competitive chore at that. We are taught things we are not ready to learn, denied any critique in what is taught in an environment designed for conformity and discipline, run by overworked teachers.

The worried parent after school day finishes helps to further brutalise the child with the drudgery of home work. Learning turns into that of the caged ape who learns to press a button to receive a peanut. The more buttons you press the more pea nuts you receive. The child soon gives up the learning of natural curiosity to pleasing the teacher learning.

Most young people leave school over educated in all the wrong things, and ill equipped for anything but the jobs market. When the market fails and the jobs do not transpire they are left to more of the same education. If they are lucky and have been taught the 3L’s they may become the citizens who will be needed to think afresh about what work means and the creation of meaningful work in our post industrial society, where just “jobs” are becoming meaningless.