The game that demoralizes even when we win

Robert Fried says…

The place we call school or college, which should be our society’s most vital promoter of learning, too often instead creates the field on which we learn to play a game that demoralizes us even when we are winners (and can permanently scar us when we lose). In the daily course of attending school, as they do what their teachers ask and strive to earn good grades, our children unknowingly substitute lesser goals for an invaluable goal they were born with: the pursuit of learning for its own sake. [The Game of School, p. 33]

5 Responses to “The game that demoralizes even when we win”

  1. Yes, this quote rings sad but true.

    So what are we to do about it? Does this book offer solutions?

    What are we to take away from such a statement?

  2. Could you say that it drives students to drink?

  3. Exactly right. That’s why I became a librarian. My whole schtick when I give a class is not do this do that but follow your curiosity. Turn that research into something that you love reading about. Look at ALL this stuff the library has that can feed your passion! I’m at a public University with great resources. We are open to all so don’t forget to send your students to your local public U.

  4. The idea that students do not learn to learn but just replace goals is so true. The evolution of our education system has been so affected by our first world status. Back in the “old days” If you did not get a high school diploma or degree there were still jobs that could be achieved at a relatively good salary and work environment. Once the entire world was able to attend college the competition for a job went from vast arrays of talent to only those who could successfully thrust themselves through the “game”. Now when students get their college diplomas they go out into a world that requires them to gain a master degree and so forth. Because of the high cost of our lives and the relative ease of gaining such a degree, we have become game players. Don’t get me wrong, I am currently getting my Bachelors and currently applying for my masters and I know many people who have felt the rigor and pressures of this type of degree but in the grand scheme of difficulty it does not compare. Especially if you go to a school or college that makes the game a navigable and necessary part of gaining that degree like I do.

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