On first glance, I would enjoyed the place. After all, you get to learn magic (pretty awesome) in a castle (even more awesome) and maybe even play quidditch (far more awesome). However, as I thought about it, I realized that it's more mixed:
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- The sorting hat: Yeah, we have one of those, too. Ours is named Policy and it divides students according to special education, ELL, honors and gifted. And yet, there is an element of student choice here and the sorting hat at least respects each child's identity.
- The teachers: Ever read the book? We have one teacher with no real content knowledge who tells a child that he's going to die. We have another teacher who, after a child passes out, says, "Let him stay there" and continues her lesson. McGonagall and Snape routinely mock the nerdiest, most socially awkward kid. And yet . . . Professor Sprout mentors Longbottom and Professor Lupin mentors Harry at a key time in his life.
- The headmaster: Again, this feels mixed. He is bold in his protective love of his students. He fights to keep things relevant. However, he is also aloof and often missing at key moments.
- The curriculum: Here, I am often impressed by the hands-on learning and deep discussions they have, only to remember that their history teacher puts the class to sleep and the professors assign insane amounts of homework with the goal being passing a test.
- The castle: Amazing for the ambience and excellent for creating learning environments. Then again, it is drafty, cold and the staircases shift often. In fact, safety is such an issue there that they have to keep a full-time hospital wing.
So, would I want to attend there?
Would I want my own children attending Hogwarts?
I'm not so sure.