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TV: Colbert Report Guest “We’re drugging our kids to conform to an oppressive environment”

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Cevin Soling
www.colbertnation.com
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Check out the above clip from the Colbert Report, where host Stephen Colbert interviews documentary film maker Cevin Soling about his film “The War on Kids”.

My Favorite Part

Mr. Soling: We’ve got 8 million kids are on antidepressants, stimulants, etc.

Steven Colbert: What’s wrong with that? It helps the pharmacuetical companies, it helps the teachers….

Mr. Soling: It doesn’t help the kids though

Quick Comments

Personally, I think public schools should be one part Harry Potter and one part Starship Troopers. I’ll explain.

In Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Magic, they focus on learning-by-experience and on encouraging individual talents and interests.  If a student is instructed to a learn a particular spell, she flicks her magic wand and shouts the command until she gets it right and the feather levitates (or whatever), with correction and guidance from the teach where needed. If a student shows an affinity or talent for a particular area (e.g., Nevil Longbottom and his herbology), he is encouraged to pursue it and given expert tutelage until his thirst for that particular knowledge is quenched. We wouldn’t need to drug kids so much if they spent most of their day pursuing their own passions.

In the movie Starship Troopers, citizenship in the global civilization was voluntary. In order to vote and be considered an “official” citizen: you had to serve a stint in the military and pass several tests. Citizens were often revered above most average people because they went the extra mile and did a service to their country before beginning whatever financial/family life they were meant for. As such, much of the education in the schools featured basic lessons on “what it takes to be a citizen”. I think our schools could use a dose of that mentality too.

But mainly the Harry Potter thing.

For more on the above-interviewed Cevin Soling’s documentary, be sure to check out his website (http://thewaronkids.com). He goes into other topics as well besides the drugs (like suspending kids for making finger guns while playing cops & robbers).

Special thanks to my Aunt Debbie for tipping me off to this great video. Hi Debbie!

2 Responses to “TV: Colbert Report Guest “We’re drugging our kids to conform to an oppressive environment””

  1. Vinny says:

    As a person prescribed ritalin in the early 90’s, I know about why I did not want to participate. Why should I sit there and pay attention when I already learned what “little johnny” is trying to say, the first time it was taught to me and no I do not want to sit here and listen to him struggle through it? And plus, I hated english.
    -Now I am not saying I should not be forced to learn it. But why should I be drugged into submission. Has no one heard of positive reinforcement?

  2. Mike says:

    @Vinny

    TOTALLY.

    There’s got to be a way to structure the learning environment so that the smart kids don’t have to space out just to stay sane.

    I remember being in target/magnet classes in elementary school and thinking “This is so awesome….Why don’t they teach normal school this way for everybody?”

    If anybody remembers those target/magnet classes…they were a total blast…a totally different learning experience (not necessarily more advanced, intellectual…just different…more personal…more human). If normal classes were taught that way you’d keep the attention of kids at all intellect levels…IMHO…but maybe I just had some cool target teachers.

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