Friday, April 24, 2009


This week's teacher training is giving me a deep understanding of how
flawed education is in zambia and how that contributes to lack of
development and poverty here. Critical thinking is not only not
encouraged but actively discouraged. My students would rather eat
their pencils than speak aloud if there is any chance they could be
wrong. I taught them to play hangman but they refused to guess words.

My fellow teachers are no better. We are ahead of schedule but instead
of moving subjects around they want to stall until we are back on
time. They are terrified of getting in trouble though we are the ones
who created the schedule ourselves.

I have gotten in a lot of trouble in my life for my irreverence. And i
have taught plenty of students who are not shy speaking their minds no
matter how little there may be contained there. Ultimately i think the
happy balance is closer to loud mouth innovation than scared silence.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Oy -- that is dispiriting. I'm sure you wonder how to fight a tendency that is so ingrained. I'm confident that your impish irreverence is bound to rub off on *someone*, though!

P.S. Did you get the Time Traveler's Wife CD? Michelle was going to send it in a letter/package she was assembling. BTW, we have your Google Earth images of Chipata printed out. I'll toss them in an enveope soonish...