Sound familiar? From 'A Montessori Mother' by Dorothy Canfield Fisher:
"Look back over your own school-life and confess to yourself how utterly has vanished from your mind the information forced upon you in courses which did not arouse your interest.
"My own private example of that is a course on 'government.' I was an ordinarily intelligent and conscientious child, and I attended faithfully all the interminable dreary recitations of that subject, even filling a note-book with selections from the teacher's remarks, and, at the end of the course, passing a fairly creditable examination.
"The only proof I have of all this is the record of the examination and the presence of the notebook in my handwriting; for, among all the souvenirs of my school-life, there is not one faintest trace of any knowledge about the way in which people are governed. I cannot even remember that I ever did know anything about it. My mind is a perfect, absolute blank on the subject, although I can remember the look of the schoolroom in which I sat to hear the lectures on it, I can see the face of the teacher, I can recall the pictures on the wall, the very graining of the wood on my desk.
"There is no more recollection of the subject than if the lectures had been delivered in Hindustani. The long hours I spent in that classroom are as wholly wasted and lost out of my all-too-short life as though I had been thrust into a dark closet for those three hours a week. Even the amount of "discipline" I received, namely the capacity to sit still and endure almost intolerable ennui, would have been exactly as great in one case as in the other, and would have cost the State far less."
"THE PRE-REQUISITE OF ALL EDUCATION IS THE INTEREST OF THE STUDENT. He cannot learn at all, anything, if he is not interested. ..the filled note-books, the attended recitations, the passed examinations, ... represent the most hopelessly wasted hours of our youth."
"It is the business of the educator to furnish something which will interest them..."
Tend to the heart before you tend to the mind.
Art credit: Die Dorschule by Albert Anke
The Well-Educated Mother's Heart