Children are heroes. At the start of every day, school-aged children depart their homes and go on an uncertain journey. They cross the threshold of the classroom, where we hope the teacher serves as a mentor and not as the adversary. Along the course of their day, the student will make allies, they will encounter ordeals, there will always be tests. When the last bell rings and the day are done, the heroic child returns home a little wiser, only to start the whole journey over again the next day. Perhaps that is why comic books, adventure, and fantasy stories have always captured the hearts of school aged children? What Ironman does in the movies and what Harry Potter does in his books, children do every day going to school.
In that great book Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen (1995) stated that education is indoctrination. I believe that education is indoctrination into the expectations of societal norms. Education prepares students to be part of shared set of values. After all, in the course of a week students spend more waking hours at school then they spend at home with their family. State education takes students from their homes, brings them together in age arranged groups, and tells the students what is and is not important to know to achieve the next level. Education says, “this is what our culture values and you will need to be successful in our culture.”
Loewen, J. W. (1995). Lies my teacher told me: Everything your American history textbook got wrong. New York: New Press.