Electricity: Shock therapy to energize students in schools - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Electricity: Shock therapy to energize students in schools

Electricity is a great teacher. Just look at the lessons it taught Ben Franklin and his son.

Yet in this day and age its value as an educational tool has been sadly neglected. This is mainly due to some of the more recent namby-pamby human rights legislation it is true, which has sought to eliminate corporal punishment in our school and which must bear at least part of the blame for the commensurate decline in educational standards.

Back in the days when education was compulsory, pupils were regularly beaten. Standards were higher and we had an empire. You guys in America had one too. The next one will speak Chinese. But I digress.

Education has lost a lot of its “cache” in the latter part of the 20th and first part of the 21st centuries. Just ask high school teachers anywhere how highly they are valued in their community and you won’t find as many Jean Brodie’s as you used to.

Minnesota History Center Benjamin Franklin exhibit entertains children.

There are always touching exceptions to these rules of course, but these stories now enjoy news coverage precisely because of their rarity. In the same way there are always stories of impoverished third world children who will gladly walk several miles barefoot each morning to learn an alphabet and basic mathematical skills.

They tend to attract less headlines though than those of the ever more frequent high school massacres – a phenomenon that used to be confined (to the hilarity of most of us in Europe) to the United States – but which now enjoys global popularity.

At the same time we see any number of stories of experiments carried out by behavioral psychologists in which some unwilling species of animal can be encouraged to adopt certain modes of behavior simply by the giving of rewards and/or the judicious usage of small amounts of electrical stimulation. We’ve all seen the kind of thing, pigeon pecks correct button and receives a few grains of corn. What I am sure we don’t see is the creature being “stimulated” to peck the correct button and thereby earn its reward.

The other type of this experiment usually features a chimp which is able to recognise certain symbols on a screen in front of it. How clever we all think. Without ever daring to go that little step further and imagine how these same techniques might be used for the wider benefit of society. You know, what used to be known as “the greater good.”

I’m not saying we should be using these kinds of techniques at say, Guantanamo Bay for example, that would be inhumane, and probably not cost effective in the long run. No, I am suggesting a full-scale trial run in a high school in say, oh, Alabama for instance (and the first alphabetical state I could think of) where for each lesson the subjects, sorry, students come complete with a handful of legally binding waivers signed by whatever parentage they can muster, to be strapped down into a chair where they will spend a day “learning” the kinds of things and values that the rest of us right thinking liberals deem appropriate.

Advantage 1. With arms nicely strapped in, inappropriate cell phone usage would be reduced to nil almost immediately.

Advantage 2. Back sassing the teacher would be swiftly reduced to the same level. Sure, some students would resist, but a voltage control could easily be adjusted to meet each students’ requirements and the situation rectified at an individual level in good order.

I imagine this would be most useful in the early stages of say, learning the alphabet. Where each student would have a nice incentive to learn a sequence of 26 letters. Dyslexia would soon disappear. Imagine it, “A, B, C, F bzzzzzzt! Now start again Leroy.”

Now I know all this sounds a little like some of the less comfortable sequences of “A Clockwork Orange,” but I am not advocating this be done to the strains of Beethoven, or even the type of heavy metal music favored by security services in siege situations. Just simple electrical shocks administered as “Motivational Incentives.”

Of course, rewards would have to be introduced to balance things out. For these I would suggest, oh, let’s say the absence of electrical shocks. I imagine it would not take long to redress the decline in educational standards using these methods. We could then link achievement to access to social housing say, or perhaps if sufficient credits were obtained, compulsory sterilisation could be avoided and the right to breed retained. You see? By taking responsibility for learning, some basic rights could be awarded. Rights and responsibilities. I forget what the third “R” was.

This may seem a little extreme, but it would all be for the best in the long run. Then our only major dilemma would be whether the electricity used to power our “new” educational system was sustainably generated or not.

State punishment continues
Oh and some states still believe in the paddle to the butt. How are they doing? Eleven of those states are in the top 25 when it comes to SAT scores. Of course a few of  states are on the bottom as well. And some states such as Maryland still have the paddles in some elementary schools but they are used to hold bathroom keys. No intimidation. Right.

State Education Rankings: 2010 SAT Scores (Total) and states where corporal punishment is legal.

1. Iowa: 1813
2. Wisconsin: 1784
3. Minnesota: 1782
4. Missouri: 1779 (Legal)
5. Illinois: 1775
6. Michigan: 1762
7. South Dakota: 1758
8. Nebraska: 1753
9. Kansas: 1734 (Legal)
10. North Dakota: 1725
11. Kentucky: 1707 (Legal)
12. Oklahoma: 1703
13. Tennessee: 1701
14. Arkansas: 1700
15. Colorado: 1698 (Legal)
16. Wyoming: 1685 (Legal)
17. Mississippi: 1680 (Legal)
18. Louisiana: 1676 (Legal)
19. Alabama: 1658  (Legal)
20. Utah: 1657
21. New Mexico: 1633 (Legal)
22. Ohio: 1606 (Legal)
23. Montana: 1602
24. Idaho: 1601 (Legal)
25. Washington: 1562
26. New Hampshire: 1556
27. Massachusetts: 1550
28. Oregon: 1547
29. Vermont: 1542
30. (tie) Arizona: 1534; Connecticut: 1534 (Legal)
32. Alaska: 1528
33. Virginia: 1521
34. (tie) California: 1511; West Virginia: 1511
36. New Jersey: 1505
37. Maryland: 1497
38. Rhode Island: 1488
39. North Carolina: 1486
40. Nevada: 1485
41. Indiana: 1483 (Legal)
42. (tie) Delaware: 1477; Pennsylvania 1477
44. Florida: 1475 (Legal)
45. Texas: 1467
46. New York: 1465
47. Georgia: 1460 (Legal)
48. South Carolina: 1452 (Legal)
49. Hawaii: 1450
50. Maine: 1390



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One Comment

  1. KidsRpeople2 says:

    See Shocking Injuries to US Students from School Corporal Punishment Discipline, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vt4v7KsFi8 school teachers, coaches and administrators who brutally assault students K-12 are Immune from criminal/civil charges leaving no legal remedy, parents would face Felony Child Abuse charges, up to 12 years prison in Shelby Co, TN for similar injuries to children! 2/3 of Tennessee students attend “Paddling Schools”. Florida and Tennessee State Law does Not require parental consent or notification for students to be hit with wooden paddles to inflict Pain as Punishment in school, yet Corporal Punishment is Prohibited in Nashville Schools and Schools in 31 U.S. States! Sign Petition to End School Corporal Punishment at http://www.change.org/petitions/support-h-r-3027-to-end-corporal-punishment-in-us-public-schools

    School Corporal Punishment is discriminatorily applied to boys, minority, disabled and low-income students.


    Schoolchildren in the United States are treated differently based on where they live!

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