Mr. Sean Fitzpatrick, of thosecatholicmen.com, has written an excellent article about the need for excitement, risk, adventure, and, yes, danger in the education and formation of young boys. As someone who has taught children from Kindergarten through high school, I fully agree with this.
In an effort to educate as many children as possible, as fast as possible, we’ve turned schools into factories. Children spend up to 5 hours a day in a single classroom, not moving, not talking, and expected to repeat tasks over and over to prove they are learning. Education has become as efficient as manufacturing plant’s conveyor belt – and just as exciting. Worse still, children who fail to do well in this particular system, either by learning slower or learning in a different way, are considered poorer students. Children were not made for the educational system, it (should be) the opposite.
Boys and girls need more than just rote memorization of facts. They desire to encounter the living world. In the article, Mr. Fitzpatrick focuses in on how young boys have a thirst for adventure.
Danger in education manifests itself in the art of drawing boys beyond their comfort zones to raw and rough experience. By embracing the perils of emotional exposure, intellectual doubt, spiritual exercise, social honesty, and competitive athletics boys assume the risks of the unknown, and gain a real knowledge of themselves and the world based on accomplishments and failures alike. This is the education that boys thrive on; and it is dangerous; but they should be permitted to face it on their own.