Sunday, March 7, 2010

Clones- No light at the end of this tunnel

I just saw a thought-provoking, stylish movie (think 2001 A Space Odyssey meets Matrix) about the use of human clones, called Moon. In the movie, clones of one man were used for three years at time, one after the other, to oversee a mining operation on the moon. Each clone thought at the end of three years he was heading home to a young wife, who had actually already died of old age. Even though they were clones, each varied in temperament a bit, and finally one clone started to figure the situation out, and due to an error by the computer, another clone was activated before the other had died, and together the two clones work to send one of them back to Earth.

In an odd way this sort of parallels an education issue that has been on my mind. We are so focused on creating an educational system solely based on test scores that we are simply working to create "Stepford" children, later adults, or "clones" to enter the work force. What about creativity and individuality? Wasn't the success of our country based on the efforts of some to "buck" the system? I am substitute teaching at different schools in our city, and right now I am spending a lot of time at a private school that educates students who learn differently. Some students have ADD, ADHD, anxiety disorders, OCD, or some degree of autism. A fellow teacher I used to work with asked me if I thought that such diagnoses were on the rise. Yes, I do agree. The question is: is it because we want to "weed out" those who don't fit our test factory school system, or is it due to environmental/modern life issues, or both?
I believe there will be no light at the end of this educational tunnel, unless we set aside our testing data and graphs!

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