A clever man said: "Now consider the nature of American education. The primary goal of high school and colleges is to get students to understand and integrate ideas and facts from a variety of disciplines in order to enrich their lives and prepare them for the real world. Like all teachers, I secretly hope that each of my eager students will assimilate what I tell them and, when I meet them later in life, profusely thank me for changing their world views. Why does this so rarely happen? The answer may lie, in part, in the distinction between confronting and being confronted by events. As a teacher, for example, I lecture, or psychologically confront, a large group of students with a bewildering number of facts, theories and stories. The role of the students is to be passive recipients of information. I confront them with information; they are confronted by it. In a twisted sort of way, a lecture is like a trauma for the audience. People are passively confronted by a bewildering amount of information over which they have very little control."
Yes, I often felt battered and beaten by teachers and lecturers. Leaving class, I just wanted to recuperate from the blows.
Dr. James Pennebaker is right. It's because you're done to. You have no control. You can't jump up in the midst of the lesson and shout "Please, please, be quiet for ten minutes until my brain starts feeling more normal."
Dr. Pennebaker's experiments have demonstrated that we like to be in control, that things will be seem to us to be less traumatic if we can control them. Or, if they are traumatic, we can talk about them and thereby reduce the shocks after the events.
We had a bit of a struggle to get Pennebaker's book called 'Opening Up'. It's full of delights and goodies. It's in demand by the distant library we borrowed it from. I don't wish to let it go.
"The primary goal of high school and colleges is to get students to understand and integrate ideas and facts from a variety of disciplines in order to enrich their lives and prepare them for the real world."
I'm guessing that Dr. Pennebaker has not encountered John Taylor Gatto who would disagree that schools and colleges do any such thing. He might, however, agree with the 'preparing them for real life' bit. It always amuses me that anyone would think that you can be prepared for real life by being locked away from real life.
But, there you are, a quotation from Dr. James Pennebaker, a very clever man indeed.