Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Style Over Substance

Spent part of last night helping my daughter cut out pieces of foam board for a “book report mobile”. “Mobile”, as in what hangs over a baby's crib.

When I was in junior high school, a book report consisted of :

a) choosing a book, or having it assigned to you by the teacher
b) reading book
c) writing several pages about the book, by hand or by typewriter.

Book reports are no longer a composition, in the usual 1000-words-or-less style, but arts and crafts projects in the form of collages, hanging mobiles, and papier mache models.

I'm all for inspiring creativity and keeping the kids interested, but this really doesn't prepare them for the real world. What happens when our little darlings have to do college entry essays? I'm pretty sure they don't accept them in papier mache form.

Then again, we stopped preparing our kids for the future when we stopped having winners and losers. Everyone's a winner, right? Try telling that to their future employers when yearly performance reviews come around. Or better yet, when little Johnny is trying to compete with 50 other people for his first job.