Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Are you being delphied?


When I first read this article, the public school system many of us have attended (or are currently attending) sprang immediately to mind. The article, who's title is the same as the one I chose to use, can be found at http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NewAge/Delphi_Change_Agents.htm .

As stated in the article, "The goal of the Delphi technique is to lead a targeted group of people to a predetermined outcome, while giving the illusion of taking public input and under the pretext of being accountable to the public." This is similar to the goal of the average public school teacher. They, for the most part, do not wish to see their students form their own opinion, or rather; they do wish their pupils to develop an opinion, but only one that matches their own. Teachers enjoy the thought that they are The Supreme Being in the class where they educate, they enjoy the fact that because they are responsible and intelligent individuals, they have been awarded the task of molding these fine young brains into model citizens that they can be proud of. However, I can guess that every one of the readers out there can remember at least one time when a teacher was questioned by a student. The Ideal Teacher would consider the quarry and give a truthful and considerate answer. However, as we know, many things, including educators, are not ideal. Maybe the teacher became hostile, and tried, with their unconditional control, to belittle the student, thereby making his or her comments unworthy and appear to be poorly thought out. Or perhaps, they continued with The Delphi Technique and pacified the child by explaining to it that now was not the time or the place to discuss this matter and that The Teacher would be happy to discuss the issue after class if the pupil chose. That action would protect the other students impressionable minds from the dangers of questioning authority.

Another way that public school teachers use The Delphi System to retain a strange hold on the knowledge shared in their little bit of Educational Heaven, is to separate the children into groups that they see fit to interact. "Problem Children" who are likely to speak out in class, or even the quiet ones who are likely to have their own ideas about the subject. Hence the assigned seats.

I wonder whether teachers notice what they're doing, or whether they are merely using techniques they learned when they themselves were being "Delphied"?

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