MICROSOCIETY: The Society School, a Real World in Miniature by George Richmond

MICROSOCIETY: The Society School, a Real World in Miniature

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Since the business of America is business, why not start kids scrambling for the buck and what it buys when they are in elementary school? They can play the Money Game -- a variation of Monopoly in which students get paid in script, redeemable in goods, for successful learning and assuming various other classroom tasks. Ghetto-teacher Richmond's New York have-nots were enthusiastic (for as long as the institute experiments lasted): ""It made them winners. It made them want to win."" You'll soon find you have ""a real world in miniature,"" complete with little capitalists and banks (and bank robbers), a training ground for democracy if expanded to include simulations of our governmental institutions. (When it was explained to the kids that ""nobody can have private property"" under Communism, all were instantly opposed.) High schools can go one step further and become profit-making small-business conglomerates where teenagers, majoring in work, earn most of the cost of their college educations through what Richmond calls a Children's Income Plan. Enough of learning is fun, romanticism and chimerical idealism -- in redesigning our schools ""We need to forge a map from where we are."" This method might help the poor survive in the alien land of affluence but it puts stop to childhood as a time for dreams and innocence.

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1973
Publisher: Harper & Row