Today was the first flag raising ceremony at Mentari. Apparently this is a weekly event at National Schools, but we only do it once every couple of months or so. While the whole affair is in Bhasa, Matt described the general idea; having 9th and 10th grade school leaders act as a color guard, sing the national anthem, read the constitution, salute a lot. In general, he described it as a militaristic brainwashing of the youth of Indonesia. While I would not go that far (Matt is clearly laissez faire lol), it did get me thinking about the purpose of such institutions coupled with the ways in which countries, specifically Indonesia and the United States, inculcate national identity into their youth. Clearly weekly flag raisings are more overt ways to incorporate the youth into the national identity, but subtle things such as the pledge of allegiance, implementation of social studies curricula, or the education system as a whole function to season citizenship. While I'm not passing judgement one way or another, these are nudges that must be examined carefully as they will have an enormous impact on the future of a nation.
Additionally, tomorrow is the first day of a three-day IB training. I'm looking forward to this professional development as I know it will stretch me to continue to examine the ways in which I push my students academically. One of the most exciting aspects for me will be examining pragmatic ways in which IB recommends integrating curricula. The power of integrated curriculum was first ingrained while at MS 88, but it's true potential was never fully realized for a number of reasons, and I've had an urge to see how I can further this concept throughout the year.
"Unfortunately we do not subject our own perceptions to such rigorous alternative testing." Thaler and Sunstein