Prison Break Out of the System

July 21st, 2013
Edwin Bartunek
Developer and Educator

Edwin Bartunek

“I’m breaking you out of here.”

A system affords a certain security. Depending on the type of system we are referring, that security comes in many different forms. If we talk about a prison then that security is an assurance each prisoner stays there for the remainder of their sentence. As a society, we want to ensure this system doesn’t fail.

So ponder this. If we look at education as a system, which it most certainly is, then we should surmise its security. At the core it could be put into words as such: students are giving the abilities to thrive in society. Now no system is perfect. Prison has a vicious cycle of repeat offenders and education fails some kids but lets others thrive. So when do you break away from the flawed system?

The TV series “Prison Break” allows me to revisit this debate. When the system seems to be against you. Do you break out? As a teacher I would say yes and no. It’s a complex answer to be honest. When you read a lot of pedagogical theory you start to understand that there are holes in the educational system that need to be addressed. I don’t think they will be anytime soon, so just as the lead character, Michael Scofield, does, we make a plan. Scofield, in my mind, possesses a maxim that all teachers should have. We need to dodge the system and bend the rules at times for the success of our students. It’s a tough call and needs to be thought through fully. Our students will thank us, so let’s keep the prisoners in prison but free our students. We are going to break the students out when it’s time.

This post originally appeared on my previous blog, Moonflower in the Evening of the Semishigure.

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