Thursday, 2 August 2007

Simpsons 01/08/07: A Good Overview of Public Schooling

Did anyone watch The Simpsons last night at 7pm on Sky 1? If so, you just saw the future of public education.

I didn't watch the first half of the episode, but from the second half I saw that Springfield Elementary School (Bart and Lisa's school, obviously) had been split into two parts, a boys' school and a girls' school. Lisa is pleased about attending the girls' school at first as, in the episode, it was very clean and creative. But when she gets into maths, as opposed to doing actual maths, the class indulges in a whole lot of mysticist crap, like the teacher asking a student "how does a plus sign make you feel?"

Lisa asks the teacher whether they can do some actual maths problems, at which point the teacher tells her that girls' school is only about feeling good and raising the self esteem of the class. She also tells Lisa that only boys' school does any proper maths. Sure enough, Lisa escapes to boys' school, where they are doing maths problems.

However, boys' school is a violent and desolate world, with the bullies reigning supreme. Need I say more?

But Lisa, despite the fact that she gets beaten up by Nelson on her first day of pretending to be a boy, keeps on going there and eventually fits in.

The end of the year comes, and (boy) Lisa wins the prize for the best maths student in the school. To everyone's surprise (the school, segregated and sexist as it is, thinks that only boys would be able to win the prize) she reveals herself as a girl.

Needless to say, this is the way public schooling is going. Although, to be rational, it certainly isn't that extreme today, it is that type of school in that particular episode of The Simpsons seems to be the ideal for schools in real life.

As I've said, Lisa leaves girls' school based on the fact that it isn't based on learning, only elevating students to false heights. Once again, although public education isn't as extreme as that example, it is based on the same underlying philosophy-romanticism-that schools are based on here in Helengrad, and indeed in most of the western world.

At the other extreme, there is the "dog eats dog" world of the boys. Here, though, the writers have got it pretty close to what schools are actually like. Like on the episode, very few people actually have the idea of mutual respect and kindness to others. These important traits in humans simply don't exist through the teenage years, for the majority of people.

Public school for you in the near future though, people.

1 comment:

riki said...

why is it that the US is the only country that suffers from school shootings. It's a huge reflection on a society that is so intolerant, narrow minded and built on lies, murder, slavery and genocide.The massacre at Mai Lai showed showed the US has not changed since it's terroism of the native American. Iraq !(1991 gulf war included) shows US treatment of civilians as documented by US troops are as abysmally ignorant as their 19th c counterparts under Custer. How the white house yearns for the 'good ole days.'