Saturday, 3 June 2023

Banning red ink in school

In my opinion, there has been a decline in the educational system in recent years. And instead of concentrating on making education better, new ideas on how to teach seem to further undermine the basic teaching principles. We have now turned school into a playground rather than a learning institution. Some may see this as a good thing. The PC view is that we should make it fun to learn and adapt teaching methods to make it less intimidating to the student. While I wholeheartedly agree that children are more inclined to want to learn if they have fun doing it, we should not stoop to the level of making a joke out of serious education.

Those who subscribe to the PC view that we must end behaviors that tend to cause stress to children, thereby making it difficult for them to adjust to school, must believe that the previous generations of adults who graduated from a more vigorous school system are completely maladjusted. Otherwise, why such a push for changing the way subjects are taught in school? I refer to the changes in which subjects are now taught in conglomerates, while a particular era in history is the focal point. I will reserve my full opinion on this for another time. But I also refer to some specific changes being instituted that are downright and utterly ridiculous. This is the banning of red ink used by teachers. This ban is in effect in some, but not all, schools.

This may only be a first step in a series of minor improvements to the school system. We will have to hold our breaths and wait for the other ridiculous ideas to pour forth. Whoever came up with the notion that red ink was confrontational and undermined students’ efforts must have had quite a complex when (s)he received their papers back as a student. If they associated red ink with failure, or inadequate work, then it must have been a learned response to an habitual ritual. However, for most people, red ink can indicate good work as well as bad. Teachers have always used red ink because it is highly visible, and students were not allowed to use red ink in school so that teachers’ grading can be seen in contrast to the student work. Therefore, if a student turned in good work, sometimes the markings on the papers are used to highlight excellent points. There is no rhyme or reason to the belief that red ink is degrading. If this argument was valid, then it would be important to point out that if teachers’ ink changed colour, that new colour would soon come to replace red as the confrontational colour, as it will be the colour one sees on receiving work back from the teacher.

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