Reader comment on Steve Bhaerman's passage ...

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    On Oct 1, 2011 Conrad wrote:

    You have my gratitude for the opportunity to respond.. What first came to mind was Dale Carnegie's suggestion that each of us give ourselves permission to be foolish for 2 minutes a day. When we are foolish, we are usually foolish for 5 seconds here, or 15 seconds there. That gives us much time to be foolish. When one gives oneself permission to be foolish, one need not wonder whether others think one is foolish. One knows they think one is foolish because one is foolish and that is okay. Beyond 2 min. a day  can be a problem. By foolish I don't mean hurting oneself or others. By foolish, I mean doing something that we other wise might feel embarrassed to do when some often  abused norm like school  "obedience to authority" is often excessively demanded by  authorities.It is not foolish to avoid complying when complying would not provide the greatest good for the greatest number. as many school rules do not promote powerful student learnings and  self-direction.

    It is posited here that the "educated" question authority more often and more intensely than the "trained." Carlo Ricci writing about unschooling and the willed curriculum, reports: “Norm Diamond, an Oregon educator and labor activist, was trying to capture when he invented a syndrome called Compliance Acquiescent Disorder (CAD). He intended it as a spoof of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), for which countless children are referred for treatment. A local newspaper ran an advertisement that itemized symptoms of ODD (‘argues with adults,’ ‘actively defies rules’) and invited parents who thought they had such a children to allow them to be given an experimental medication. In response, Diamond placed a counter-ad about CAD in the paper. An individual with this disorder, it explained, ‘defers to authority,’ ‘actively obeys rules,’ ‘fails to argue back,’ ‘knuckles under instead of mobilizing others in support,’ ‘stays restrained when outrage is warranted,’ and so on.”  When students are our most oppressed group, we need to encourage them to amicably argue with adults and actively defy authorities promoting  unfair rules. Being open and avoiding Compliance Acquieiscent Disorder is being resilient as when that when one gives oneself permission to be foolish for 2 min. a day, and when one notices what will secure or endanger his or her freedom. Sorry for the length.

    Warm and kind regards to everyone.



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