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RE: schooling and kids.......was Re: T. rex vision

Wooooah. Talk about Deja vu.

Your son's experiences sound exactly like what I went through. I was 
educated in a Private School for the first four years, then switched over 
to the Public system (up here in Canada, eh.). I found that I was at 
least two years ahead of the public system when I entered. I also found 
out later (much later) that some of the teachers were afraid of me 
because I "knew things that I shouldn't have" (whatever THAT means).

I, however, ended up with several _good_ teachers. A Junior High Language 
Arts teacher who encouraged creativity (she was a final year BEd student, 
and not even a _real_ teacher yet), and a High School Chemistry teacher 
who also encouraged independent thinking (although he also stressed the 
importance of knowing [ie. memorizing] the basics [periodic table]).  If 
it weren't for these people, I probably would never have gotten as far as 
I have.

I was also discouraged by the similar teaching methods used at the 
University level (when I finally decided to do the "university thing"). I 
was expecting much more from University, however the rhetoric 
("you learn more by doing than by listening") wasn't supported in reality 
(the oft quoted "labs don't count for much because you can practically 
get the answers just by asking the T.A.'s"). I found University to be as 
"drudgy" as HIgh School. Marks were awarded based on the level of rote 
memorization attained and not on ability to use/do/apply the facts. 

I have also been told that my marks are not good enough to get into grad 
school (in a sense, that my "rote memorization skills" are not up to 
par), even though I scored better in labs than our "consistent 9's" 
student (who's english skills were somewhat lacking; but what's more 
important? The ability to communicate your findings effectively, or the
ability to memorize others work? Incidentally, my marks are at the 
honours level).

Ah well, enough venting from me.