No escape from the crowd

In a post on a Sydney private school’s ban on iPods, because they’re antisocial, Jeff Jarvis writes that his son’s school doesn’t allow kids to bring books to lunch. He’s not sure why.

Most schools have lots of socialization, not much time for students to think their own thoughts or get away from the crowd.

About Joanne


  1. Andy Freeman says:

    If school and ones “peers” are less interesting than recorded music, is that really a problem with recorded music?

  2. I was banned from bringing “pulp” science fiction novels like Star Trek to school. The English teacher felt they were like junk food for the mind. This despite the fact that I got top grades in her class, though much of what we read were teenybopper novels like “Dicey’s Song” that I don’t think were much better…

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    He’s not sure why.

    Because the kids might learn something that isn’t officially sanctioned?

  4. Matthew Tabor says:

    Books kill! mp3s RULE!

    ha. absurd. Books kill! mp3s RULE!

    ha. absurd.

  5. KimJ721 says that the English teacher called pulp novels “junk food for the mind” and wouldn’t allow them.

    I have run into this type of literacy snobbery many times and I have never understood it.

    Get kids reading. Get them readying anything. When you’ve got them hooked, slip them something you find more acceptable, but get them reading.

    When I was a kid I read a lot of comic books, pulp novels and other things some of my teachers thought of as junk. But they helped make me a better reader and to love reading. My wife had similar experiences.

    Our middle school daughter has the highest reading scores in her school. She loves to read. Sometimes she reads comic books or cartoon collections. Sometimes she reads pulp novels. Sometimes she reads classics. We might point her in certain directions, but we have never told her a certain type of reading is “junk.” Her tastes are eclectic and depend on her mood. She is joyously working her way through Ray Bradbury’s books right now. Last year she read Robinson Crusoe and Little Women. Recently it was Dracula , The Hobbit and ancient Egypt. I don’t think she knows what she will read next–but you know, that’s part of the fun.

    Teachers can make kids readers or they can squash the joy of reading.

  6. C S Lewis wrote a fine essay on the “pulp” vs “high culture” question, under the title “Lillies that fester.”