Appropriately Manipulating Children

by techagogy

Two things struck me yesterday, one at the “National Learning Champions” conference in Manchester UK (for national read – national users of a single product) during a presentation from a school about their VLE; it was mentioned that during the use of a blog one student used the “F word” and was suspended for a day; it later transpired that students would be suspended for a day for using the “F word”. The other was reading the article in the Guardian about a return to a school where the writer taught in the 70s.

From the article

“But it’s all about human relationships … [you need] confident but sensitive teachers, who see part of their job as playing a role and appropriately manipulating children to fit in with what the end product has got to be … The word I would use is drive. This is a driven school.”

“Appropriately manipulating Children” linked in with the “F-Word”, two sides of the same issue, both explicit. I was considering the “F Word”, thinking how this is expressed in policy, thinking about the absurdity of trying to manage the issue. Perhaps there should be a section “Appropriate use of the F-Word” here might be an example..

Is is acceptable to use the “F-word” in occasion such as watching your favourite soccer team (particularly our very successful ones!) , for example when a penalty is given against us. This may happen in school at the end of term, after school or perhaps as celebration issue when England are playing against Germany in the world cup. Also if you are injured you may emit this expletive, but consider the audience and the velocity of this expletive, remember there maybe inspectors in the building. There maybe occasions where this word is used in literature, the English department however has a policy of rejecting such texts, but if you are unfortunatley to come across this when reading out load remember to use the word in an ironic manner or replace the word with Flip or Flop or Fefin (phonetic); your training in PSE should help in these occasions. Remember the F-word is an example of a child that is out of control of their emotions, an example of a child who is on the borders of society, those who are destined to stroll aggressively around shopping centres in hoodies frightening old people and babies. Please ensure that you have discussed this with your parents and perhaps admonish those who adopt this word as common parlay outside the school gates, indeed write in your diary occasions where you have challenged others using this thing, the reward system will support yo with credits for music downloads (except that of Gangster rap). 

Therefore the students become appropriately manipulated to fit in with some output specification. They Cyborg, a simulation away from the real, a virtual game of the production of citizens, an abstraction of some social experiment, we are all in some way appropriately manipulating children in the classroom.