Pam Sorooshian's notes for her presentation at the 2011 ALL Unschooling Symposium:
To study for the test.
That learning is hard
That most stuff doesn't make sense and doesn't connect in any way to anything they actually care about.
To expect life to be mostly boring and/or hard (john holt quote about good times preparing for the bad as opposed to bad times preparing for the bad)
That what they love doesn't matter.
To distrust and sublimate their own interests.
To rely on someone else to tell them (judge) how they are doing.
To “game” learning (to play the game of school)
To think they are better than others because they do certain school subjects well.
To think they are worse than others because they don't do certain school subjects well.
To hide their intelligences.
That physically showing up is enough. Engagement isn't important and is often considered annoying.
To play a role, fit into a certain group, to have friends and feel like they belong.
To look down on lower grade kids and envy/fear the upper graders.
To think of the arts as extras, to fit in only if there was time left over after the really important stuff was done.
That the only way to learn is the way they teach in school.
To write a snow job, BS-ing their way through an assignment.To pretend to be sick to get out of PE or another class or the entire school day.
To tease the quirky kids or to ignore the teasing of the quirky kids or to put up with being the quirky kid getting teased.
What you wear matters more than pretty much anything else besides how you do your hair.
Grades equal learning. In fact, grades matter more than learning. The IDEAL is to study just exactly the minimum amount needed to get the lowest A or to pass the class.
Obedience matters more than thinking for yourself.
Psyching out the teacher is the most important skill a human can have.
Democracy doesn't work, consensus decision-making doesn't even exist, top-down hierarchial power structures are the best.
Collaborating and helping are cheating.
Physical needs should be ignored.
That something was wrong with them for wanting more “alone” time or more “social” time.