Re: The school game

Fred Kemp (
Tue, 13 Aug 1996 10:50:50 -0600

Marcy says,

> Yup, that's the game I was talking about, all right. Has to do
>with authority, and not with learning. And if we reward the students who
>thwart creatively, then we're good teachers; those rewards are a sign (to
>us) that we haven't become those nasty authorities we hate.
> But I want a different game altogether. I want a game based on
>mutual respect and cooperation. I want my authority to come from the
>fact that the people in my classes grant it to me because I know more about
>certain things, not because I have the power to encourage or discourage
>thwarting. My original question was to wonder whether it's possible to
>reconfigure the classroom so a different game ( a non-game, or a New
>Game, for those of you who remember those: the slogan used to be "Play
>hard, play fair, nobody gets hurt," and I'll buy that) can be played

I believe this "different game" is not only possible, it is the last best
chance for those of us who have struggled to avoid the two major pitfalls
of the long-term teacher: (1) the retreat into a shell of harsh formulas
and repetitive procedures (managing fixed knowledge) that protect us from
the vicissitudes and disappointments of trying to control so many people
over a long time, or (2) the collapse into pure touchy-feelie and mystical
ideologies based upon ever increasing disconnect with the real world.

Fred Kemp
Texas Tech