A new primary school (oops) has opened in Sheffield, England.
The reason I put "oops" in that sentence is that they are not going to use the term "school," because it is too negative. Parents, for instance, have negative associations with the word "school." Instead it will be called "a place of learning."
The Plain English Campaign has called this "ridiculous." THEY, at least, don't mince words.
Among other things the head teacher expressed, ""There are no whistles or bells or locked doors. We wanted to de-institutionalise the place and bring the school closer to real life."
Well, I'm glad there are no locked doors, but the rest sounds frighteningly like some things that were tried in the US in the 1970's such as open classrooms where students got to choose whether to go to lecture or to a section of the course that was taking a test or to sit in on a different section of the class that was having a movie that day and so on. The goal, of course, should be to make people feel happy and empowered, right? After all, won't students be more motivated to learn if they have more choice and more control - makes sense, right?
Um . . . no . . . it was an unprecedented disaster.
(Side-note: A local high school recently seemed like the Winchester Mystery House when they discovered a classroom that no one knew about and that had no doors and windows. You see, this school had started as one of these open school with no walls between classrooms. Once it was realized the open plan was a fiasco, walls were put in, thus creating closed classrooms - one of which obviously became a little TOO closed - and a return to normal "school"ing. I'm guessing those who did the remodel were graduates of the open plan . . . but . . . I digress . . .)
It seems the paramount concern in society these days in so many areas of life is that we don't want anyone traumatized by "negative associations." I just hope our world survives these days of political correctness, warm-fuzzies, and false self-esteem (if my children come home with one more trophy, medal or certificate I'll scream!), and I hope that IF we do survive there will remain at least a modicum of intelligence and knowledge in the human race.
A school by any other name had better still be a school.