Notas biográficas de Noam Chomsky sobre su desarrollo docente
From “Work, Learning and Freedom”, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Michael Kasenbacher, New Left Project, December 24, 2012
Children for example are naturally curious — they want to know about everything, they want to explore everything but that generally gets knocked out of their heads. They’re put into disciplined structures, things are organised for them to act in certain ways so it tends to get beaten out of you. That’s why school’s boring. School can be exciting. It happens that I went to a Deweyite school[^1] until I was about 12. It was an exciting experience, you wanted to be there, you wanted to go. There was no ranking, there were no grades. Things were guided so it wasn’t just do anything you feel like. There was a structure but you were basically encouraged to pursue your own interests and concerns and to work together with others. I basically didn’t know I was a good student until I got to high school. I went to an academic high school in which everybody was ranked and you had to get to college so you had to pass tests. In elementary school I had actually skipped a year but nobody paid much attention to it. The only thing I saw was that I was the smallest kid in the class. But it wasn’t a big thing that anybody paid attention to. High school was totally different — you’ve gotta be first in the class, not second. And that’s a very destructive environment — it drives people into the situation where you really don’t know what you want to do. It happened to me in fact — in high school I kinda lost all interest. When I looked at the college catalogue it was really exciting — lots of courses, great things. But it turned out that the college was like an overgrown high school. After about a year I was going to just drop out and it was just by accident that I stayed in. I happened to meet up with a faculty member who suggested to me I start taking his graduate courses and then I started taking other graduate courses. But I have no professional training. That’s why I’m teaching at MIT — I don’t have the credentials to teach at an academic university.
[^1] “A Deweyite school” es una escuela basada en las ideas de John Dewey.