Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Now this is one that really does make me cross. Particularly when it's used in relation to bullying.
Let's define what the real world is.
Now this is interesting! I typed "real world definition" into google, and the first definition that came up was this one:
"the practical world as opposed to the academic world"
The practical world. That would be the one in which we all live our daily lives, go about our business. The one where the shops, banks, doctors, dentists, hospitals, libraries, hair dressers, butchers, post offices, market stalls, opticians, fire, police and ambulance stations etc etc are.
The academic world. That would be school, college, university.
So home educators, by being out in the practical world every day aren't enabling their children to cope *in the real world*.... Can you see my point?
Bullying apparently teaches children how to cope in the real world. Now tell me, if you were going into the office every day and one of your work colleagues was thumping you, what would you do? If you had a lecherous colleague with wandering palm disease, what would you do? If a colleague discriminated against you on the grounds of your colour, religion, gender, size, age, what would you do? I'm hoping that you wouldn't put up with it, that you would take steps to stop it happening, and if it didn't that you would walk away and seek help.
Why shouldn't children have the same options in similar circumstances? How does being beaten, abused, threatened, made to feel worthless help anyone? If you can, please do explain the logic of that one to me, because I've yet to find a single adult who was bullied as a child who wasn't damaged by it, who doesn't still hear the words ringing in their ears from time to time. It's well documented that those who have been bullied often go on to bully. If we all want to live in a world where bullying is seen as an acceptable thing to do, then this kind of attitude must be allowed to persist, but most people find bullying abhorrent, so how does it make any kind of sense to say that children need to experience it to cope with it *in the real world*?
It's another of those crazy cultural memes, and we need to make a concerted effort to stop them spreading.