Monday, June 02, 2008

A Metaphor

Teacher: And that students, is how you successfully tie a square knot when you go rappelling.

Student raises hand.

Teacher: Yes Timmy?

Timmy: I've also heard my friends talking about using the double fisherman's knot or the European death knot. Are those good knots?

Teacher: I'm sorry Timmy. I'm not allowed to discuss that.

Timmy: But if other knots are better, shouldn't we know about them too? I mean, we're probably going to go climbing anyway so isn't having more knowledge beneficial?

Teacher: Too much knowledge is dangerous Timmy. Your parents are worried that you might use all this practical knot tying knowledge to tie up complete strangers and hold them hostage! Besides, those knots aren't part of the curriculum.

Timmy: But I'm asking the question.

Teacher: It doesn't matter. Your parents don't want you knowing it, so even if it could save your life, I'm not going to teach it to you. Otherwise I could lose my job.

Timmy: But isn't your job to teach us?

Teacher: I'm only supposed to teach you what your parents want you to know on this subject. They're very touchy about it.

Timmy: But my parents can't even tie their shoes...
Hahahaha! Silly story isn't it? Evil parents wanting to keep their kids ignorant about knots that could save their life if they're going to engage in the risky sport of rappelling. It's completely impossible that a bunch of freedom loving people that are all about academic freedom would ever censor information and try to pass bills ensuring that any teacher that (God forbid) answered questions on a topic be subject to severe penalties...

Right?

6 comments:

Frans said...

Of course, not being allowed to teach knots that are actually safe for rapelling is one thing. But to (have to) teach a square knot in relation to rapelling is putting the kids in serious danger already.

Thomas said...

I get the analogy but I'm not sure it quite fits the situation. It's more like,

"Children, we're not going to teach you about rappelling at all."

"But teacher, we live in cliff caves a thousand feet above the ground, how are we going to function if we can't rappel?"

"It doesn't matter. Never, ever rappelling is the only way to keep yourself safe while rappelling."

Lawrence Krysak said...

Doesn't allowing teachers to deviate from the curriculum to answer students' questions leave the window open for nutty Christian educators to inject Creationism and all sorts of religious nonsense into the classroom?

It would only take one student asking a question on 'Intelligent Design' for them to start on some tirade about 6 days this and The Great Flood that.

Nicole said...

Academic freedom isn't ubiquitous of course. It's only okay if the Bible (or some interpretation of it) says it's okay. Duh.

Yikes, that's scary.

Lawrence Krysak said...

Doesn't allowing teachers to deviate from the curriculum to answer students' questions leave the window open for nutty Christian educators to inject Creationism and all sorts of religious nonsense into the classroom?

It would only take one student asking a question on 'Intelligent Design' for them to start on some tirade about 6 days this and The Great Flood that.

Frans said...

Of course, not being allowed to teach knots that are actually safe for rapelling is one thing. But to (have to) teach a square knot in relation to rapelling is putting the kids in serious danger already.