Monday, March 12, 2007

Spartans

Earlier today DJ enjoyed finding out more about The Total War Story. He really enjoys the games and has learned lots from them!

In the afternoon we've been exploring the Spartans with Ancient Warriors: The Spartans, which you can watch here. The film 'follows the training and education of a typical Spartan male.' We learned how, in the 5th century BC, the entire Spartan nation lived like an army and soldiers were prepared for war since birth. Infants were examined by elders and if they weren't healthy they were abandoned and left to die. At seven children went to state school, where they would be trained to obey commands well.

Plato wrote, in The Republic: "In Sparta, an ancient model for modern totalitarianism, the state was organized as one vast military camp, and the children were seized by the state and educated in barracks to the ideal of state obedience. Sparta early realized the logical, inevitable end result of a compulsory education system."

So it seems that from the very beginning state education was really about conformity, which took me back to John Gatto: "Society in Sparta was organized around the concept of cradle-to-grave formal training. (...) Spartan ideas of management came to American consciousness...through interest in the German military state of Prussia, which consciously modelled itself after Sparta. As the 19th century entered its final decades American university training came to follow the Prussian/Spartan model. Service to business and the political state became the most important reason for college and university existence after 1910. No longer was college primarily about developing mind and character in the young. Instead, it was about moulding those things as instruments for use by others."

Did you know it's Veggie Month?
Here's what you need to know about meat!

On the News Pupil restraint policy challenged

Today's Links
Toward the Destruction of Schooling
Perspectives on Sudbury Education
Shut Up, Kids!

6 comments:

Carlotta said...

Great links...thanks and great potted history. Thanks for that.

Tibetan Star said...

I'm glad you've enjoyed them!
Cheers

Pequete said...

Pois é, a história repete-se e nós temos a memória curta...

Gill said...

LOL, my 4th attempt on babelfish! (after French, Spanish and Italian.. *rolls eyes at self*)

"Therefore he is, history is happened again and we have the short memory... "

Well said, Pequete :-)

Anonymous said...

Not bad!

"There you are, history repeats itself and we have a short memory span..."

Gill said...

We certainly do :-(