I’ll tell you something I’ve noticed from visiting a lot of American
schools: the more traditional the teacher, the grimmer the mood. These
classrooms don’t always resemble Dickensian factories, mind you, but if
you watch the kids’ faces (or the teachers’), the phrase ‘joy of
discovery’ probably won’t leap to mind. And here’s the interesting
part: the people who defend the Old School usually don’t deny that this
is true, and they don’t even seem to mind. Sometimes they actually take
a perverse pride in presiding over (or sending their kids to) this
bleak house because for them that constitutes proof that real education
is happening. No pain, no gain.

  – Alfie Kohn, The Schools Our Children Deserve, p. 108