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> Will Wikipedia Replace Your Kid's Teacher?, The “Blue Screen Of Death” For Education
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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 10th March 2011, 1:20pm
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The German model of what a research university should be was highly influential on graduate education in the United States, to which we may add the Land Grant model that acted as a moderating, application-oriented influence on both graduate and undergraduate education. But the model that U.S. primary and secondary education progressively followed throughout the last century would have to be the canon of Progressive Education that derived from the experimental school and the educational reforms of John Dewey.

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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 10th March 2011, 1:48pm
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If you want a notion of what John Dewey was teaching teachers to teach their students about thinking from the earliest years of the last century, get yourself a copy of his How We Think and read that through a few times.

Like that wasn't enough work for one man, Dewey was also a pioneering activist in teaching teachers to think of themselves as professionals, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails. Look into the history of the AAUP if you want to see how the very idea of academic freedom fought for its place in American educational philosophy during the last century.

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Herschelkrustofsky
post Thu 10th March 2011, 3:03pm
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Dewey was more or less the polar opposite of Humboldt, and engineered the overthrow of classical education in the US. Instead of public education being the students' gateway to the world of ideas, Dewey offered "pragmatism."
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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 10th March 2011, 3:10pm
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QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Thu 10th March 2011, 10:03am) *

Dewey was more or less the polar opposite of Humboldt, and engineered the overthrow of classical education in the US. Instead of public education being the students' gateway to the world of ideas, Dewey offered “pragmatism”.


No, No, No —

Seriously, you need to do a whole lot more reading on this.

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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 10th March 2011, 3:26pm
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Those few pointers to the past are the barest hints of a prologue that will have to be prolonged as we go. They frame the canvass of a work in progress that we imported into the 3rd Millennium to do our best brushwork and our grossest graffiti on. No matter how dim the picture looks in many spots, especially the corners that we find ourselves forced to focus on here, it is still the background of all we do and all we care about for the future of education.

So what the hell has been happening lately ???

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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 10th March 2011, 3:54pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Thu 10th March 2011, 10:26am) *

So what the hell has been happening lately ???


It's hard to know where to start, but one “New and Improved” item on our education and research superstore shelves today has been described as “Academic Capitalism”.

There's a very good introduction to the issues surrounding Academic Capitalism in this paper.

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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 11th March 2011, 4:09am
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A good place to learn about the philosophy of education that formed the main influence on educational practice in the United States for almost a century now would be John Dewey's Democracy and Education. Here are inks to an online copy at Columbia and one of the several entries at Amazon:The Amazon blurb says it well —

QUOTE

In this landmark work on public education, Dewey discusses methods of providing quality public education in a democratic society. First published close to 90 years ago, it sounded the call for a revolution in education, stressing growth, experience, and activity as factors that promote a democratic character in students.


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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 11th March 2011, 5:56am
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In not unrelated nonsense, er, news …
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 12th March 2011, 9:48pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Tue 8th March 2011, 12:52am) *

QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Tue 8th March 2011, 12:35am) *

Obama has been hanging out with Bill and Melinda Gates cthulhu.gif , and other persons who really care about education. Their consensus seems to be that all those people who said that a high student-to-teacher ratio was harmful were wrong, and that we can really think about getting rid of a lot of those teachers and replacing them with on-line instruction. With increasing emphasis on drill-and-grill and other regressive educational techniques, does this not put Wikipedia in more significant role as an educational [ahem] resource?


I think that this is just one more component of the Corporate Totalitarian Agenda, replacing absolutely everything that we have been accustomed to regard as the Public Sector with the Non-Representative Government of Privateerism.

I think a lot of people are being suckered into it out of sheer naivete, but the corporate con artists know perfectly well what they want and how they plan to get it.

Jon Awbrey


While you were sleeping …

Here's a couple of educational videos on the advance of Corporate Dictatorship for those of you who have been dozing all snug in your cribs the last 40 years or so.

That was then …



This is now …



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Herschelkrustofsky
post Sat 12th March 2011, 10:24pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 12th March 2011, 1:48pm) *

This is now …


Holy guacamole, Batman -- so much for opposition to "Big Government."
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 13th March 2011, 2:45am
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QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Sat 12th March 2011, 5:24pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 12th March 2011, 1:48pm) *

This is now …


Holy guacamole, Batman — so much for opposition to “Big Government”.


Everyone believes in “Limited Government”, of course — they all just draw the lines in different places — but what Republicans have always meant by that was, “We don't want the People-Owned Pieces Of Government (POPOG) to put any checks on the Corporate-Owned Fraction Of Government (COFOG)”. But once the COFOG becomes big enough, well, then it's perfectly okay to make it as big as big can be.

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lilburne
post Mon 14th March 2011, 2:38pm
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Schools, education, and teaching don't just happen. The kids don't arrive at the school gates, get plonked into an isolation tank, and become hooked up the learning drip feed thing. Rather they drag from lesson to lesson all the social baggage from outside of the learning institution.

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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 14th March 2011, 2:52pm
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QUOTE(lilburne @ Mon 14th March 2011, 10:38am) *

Schools, education, and teaching don't just happen. The kids don't arrive at the school gates, get plonked into an isolation tank, and become hooked up the learning drip feed thing. …


Give 'em time … they're workin' on it …

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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 14th March 2011, 6:45pm
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Seriously, folks, I no longer recognize the country or the parallel universe that Milton is broadcasting from, but here in the United States of Alterica we are currently experiencing a Concerted Corporate Coup of unparalleled dementions — and by this “Concerted” I do not say the music is pretty — all of which has been keeping me way too busy with local polidicks to do my duty moderating this thread in accord with my usual standards of revelance.

But I'll be back …

I promise …

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Jon Awbrey
post Tue 15th March 2011, 12:36am
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I thought it might be good to recall what we were talking about at the top of the topic —

QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Tue 8th March 2011, 1:35am) *

Obama has been hanging out with Bill and Melinda Gates cthulhu.gif , and other persons who really care about education. Their consensus seems to be that all those people who said that a high student-to-teacher ratio was harmful were wrong, and that we can really think about getting rid of a lot of those teachers and replacing them with on-line instruction. With increasing emphasis on drill-and-grill and other regressive educational techniques, does this not put Wikipedia in more significant role as an educational [ahem] resource?


The question is not about the potential of IT to educate, inform, and even inspire, or at least to catalyze, facilitate, and support the same. That ship sailed a long time ago, and those of us who were all aboard when it left the dock know that its potential has been actualized with all the wimper not a bang of previous generations of educational technology, from AV to TV.

The question is whether some Harvard dropout — and his crew of better lawyers than programmers — just because he made a bazillion bucks with his viral spreadsheet program, really knows more about education than all those saps who actually wasted their time going to school to learn what they're teaching about, and who just keep on doing the job, day in day out, year after year, taking all the crap that our Corporate Owned Government and Corporate Owned Media can dump on their heads while they're too busy grading papers to talk back.

That is the question.

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Herschelkrustofsky
post Tue 15th March 2011, 12:49am
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Believe it or not, there is also a question of whether you can fire lots of teachers and compensate by buying more laptops. That is actually what high school students are demonstrating against in Idaho. It was a budget-cutting plan dreamed up by the aptly-named Superintendent of Schools, a certain Mr. Luna.
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Jon Awbrey
post Tue 15th March 2011, 1:03am
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QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Mon 14th March 2011, 8:49pm) *

Believe it or not, there is also a question of whether you can fire lots of teachers and compensate by buying more laptops. That is actually what high school students are demonstrating against in Idaho. It was a budget-cutting plan dreamed up by the aptly-named Superintendent of Schools, a certain Mr. Luna.


Yes, of course, de-professionalizing yet another profession is a constant bugaboo, er, featuraboo that arises from the Corporate Totalitarian Agenda, which is why we are discussing this crusty old theme on the current political scene, but I was getting tired and had to stop somewhere.

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Herschelkrustofsky
post Tue 15th March 2011, 4:48am
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The moment one lends any credence to a "market-based" model of education, then it's feudalism, here we come. There is already a sort of caste system based on which communities can ante up the property taxes to get their schools the necessary supplies, and this will become worse under the "Race to the top" program. One of the smartest things that Louis XI, the "Spider King" did, was to launch programs to bring literacy to the peasantry. This horrified other kingdoms who saw it as an assault on the cherished precept of the feudal system that there should be a helpless and utterly disenfranchised laboring class. Compare the Confederate States of America, where it was a capital crime to teach a slave to read. They were clever enough to know that if you taught a slave to read, he might become Frederick Douglass.
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Kelly Martin
post Wed 16th March 2011, 12:55am
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I recently got into an argument on Facebook over Governor Quinn's proposal to force some of Illinois' 800+ school districts to merge with one another, on the grounds that having so many districts must necessarily be inefficient.

The thing is, I like the small districts. It means that the feedback loop between the school board and the taxpayers is quite short. When your electorate is only a couple thousand voters, you can't afford to ignore even a relatively small group. I grew up in one of the largest school districts in the Midwest (MSD Washington Township, Indianapolis) and the school board might as well have been appointed by God; there was no way Joe Average Parent would have any way at all to get traction with (or even noticed by) them.

Of course there are many many ways in which the school board's hands are tied, but at least we've got the locality of control down right. In school districts, especially elementary districts, smaller is better.
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Jon Awbrey
post Wed 16th March 2011, 1:38am
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Tue 15th March 2011, 8:55pm) *

I recently got into an argument on Facebook over Governor Quinn's proposal to force some of Illinois' 800+ school districts to merge with one another, on the grounds that having so many districts must necessarily be inefficient.

The thing is, I like the small districts. It means that the feedback loop between the school board and the taxpayers is quite short. When your electorate is only a couple thousand voters, you can't afford to ignore even a relatively small group. I grew up in one of the largest school districts in the Midwest (MSD Washington Township, Indianapolis) and the school board might as well have been appointed by God; there was no way Joe Average Parent would have any way at all to get traction with (or even noticed by) them.

Of course there are many many ways in which the school board's hands are tied, but at least we've got the locality of control down right. In school districts, especially elementary districts, smaller is better.


My teaching experience in Illinois was limited to teaching undergraduates as a Graduate TA in math, but I know that a lot of my colleagues and students were always having to take some kind of standardized test on the Illinois Constitution — maybe as a qualification for teaching in the schools? — so I know that the idea of Statewide standards was not a novelty there. Indeed, I commuted from Normal — don't bother, I've heard them all — a town named after its normal school, that is, a school for teaching teachers the norms of how and what to teach.

I'd hardly dispute the importance of local control — Michigan is currently embroiled in hot dispute with a Power Mad Governerd Control Freak over that very issue. Nevertheless, local control is always conducted subject to the controlling influence of higher level aims, concerns, ends, goals, interests, objectives, and purposes, in short, what the Greeks called pragmata.

But the genius of representative people power — “No Taxation Without Red Herrings”, as Milton would have it — is the very idea that the controllers of the controllers are chosen from the station and status of the controllees.

And that's how the cyber circle goes unbroken …

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