Thursday, June 30, 2011

teacher evals

I'm quite convinced I've posted this before but can't find it.
For evaluating teacher it seems we only subscribe to two methods
1. View the teacher in action in one lesson for about 15 minutes, a snapshot of the entire year instead of a true picture. The lesson is methodically planned out, often with the observer, so it is contrived.
2. Base it all on biased memorize-or-else standardized tests that are again just a snapshot.

Throw in LIFO, last in first out (which I recount in my post titled something along the lines of pink slips) to the first method and, well, it doesn't matter too much if at all when you're tenured. But you're thrown to the wolves before that. The second method would not allow LIFO to prosper but could encourage corporate run factory schools where teachers and students are merely robotic cogs in a machine.

So how can we evaluate teachers? Here's some ideas and I'd like to see them all used.
1. Performance based metrics
2. Goals and objectives, measurable, that can change if situations arise
3. A partnership between teacher, other staff, parents, students where everyone knows the goals and objectives
4. A rubric created by all stakeholders with heavy teacher input, to evaluate the meeting of teacher professional standards. This rubric will be filled out by the teacher (self eval), administrator, fellow staff, and chosen by lottery, parents and students. Give it a few times a year so that a "bad day" doesn't spoil the batch.
5. Test scores, yeah the elephant in the room. I don't like standardized tests AT ALL but until they up and disappear, use them. (I'm for rubrics, projects, end of chapter tests, benchmarks by the way.) But don't say all students must be this good at this test by this date, that is ludicrous. Instead, pre and post-assess students to chart growth. Don't penalize the struggling 10th grader who is at a 5th grade level, praise him for starting the year out at a 2nd grade level and showing that much growth in such a short time. Praise the teacher and parents too.
6. Student performance, not standardized test explained in # 5

My educational experiences: College

I didn't want to go to college, I think it was a mix of being disenfranchised with education and a fear of growing up, even though I couldn't wait to grow up....d oes that make sense?

Anyways, I ignored all these brochures in the mail for colleges; I was star material being in the top 5% of my class, and with an undeclared major to boot. I instead applied to the two colleges closest to home, one a state university and the other private. They were of course very different in price, but with scholarships and loans, ended up equivalent in price. I did the little shindig where you tour the campus and do prospective student activities, and that helped seal the deal for my choice. The state university had nice facilities but focused on sports, and they finished up the tour with a free lunch of soda pop, tin-foil wrapped hot dogs, and chips out on the grass next to the parking lot. Okay, good enough. Then the private university had an equivalent but less sporty tour and ended with lunch as well, tortellini and salad in a conference room with cloth covered tables. I thought to myself, if a college gives their prospective students pre-made-in-a-factory-somewhere hot dogs, is this reflective of the education they serve? Manufactured, one size fits all, get the job done cheaply and easily? So I decided to investigate further with the private college and spend a night there.

It was finals time which is the worst time to tour a college, and I recall my hosting "room mate" was gone all night studying. I was having some....umm...digestive issues which tainted my visit, but I did get to socialize, eat the cafeteria food (sub par but all you can eat!) and the like. I remember meeting a group of students that attended the alternative style school on campus; they were the drama geeks with pink hair, piercings, etc. I kind of liked that crowd, being a fellow (but tamer) drama geek. Their alternative-school-inside-the-school allowed you to create your own major and you didn't get grades but rather evaluations. It seemed to be my kind of place education wise, where freedom ran wild (and later to find nudity did too...eww...) and you could take control of your education.

Anyways, I chose the private university but not the alternative school inside it. See, I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do with my life, so how could I create my own major? And my transcripts being a short novel full of evaluations would not make an employer happy, nor my pocketbook for making copies of it. So I chose the "regular" part of the school, but did find out I could enroll in the alternative school for a few courses if there was room and they decided to let me in. I took dream interpretation, non traditional music and culture, scene painting, book arts, and yoga. Yeah... liberal hippy classes, lol. But the alternative classes appealed to me more and still kind of do; I'd rather take book arts- a multi media art course for 4 months than say, charcoal portraiture. I am a "global thinker" some have said, where I can't just do one thing one way, I think outside the box and bring in many methods, ideas, and answers to the party. Wilderness medicines just sounds cooler than chemistry. But alas, I never became a 100% alternative school student. I was considered an "honorary" student by some, but not all. See, you think "wow, a school where people are truly different, themselves, with spiked hair or wearing clogs or whatever...." but no, they were different just like everyone else. I once was invited to a party there by a good friend from high school, an invite only party. Well, he had me on the list but supposedly had to be at the gate to let me in and he'd just gone to get some food. The gate keeper, an "alternative lifestyle" female, refused to let me in. I told her "what, because I don't have manic panic magenta hair, the color of the week, you won't let me in". Yeah...that kind of tainted my status for a while. But I had a good point...

Anyways.... I recall being excited to meet people that enjoyed intelligent discourse but weren't always the snobby clicquish folks from high school. I loved staying up all night discussing forms of government, foreign cultures, author's theories... and yet I also felt like the stupid one of the group. See, some students felt they had to pepper their discussions with unnecessary verbosity, with terms like "banal", "meritorious", neo-this and neo-that, relativism, etc. Only later did I discover you don't have to sound like an elitist turd to be respected.

I do recall being the "poor kid". I was in a class where we were discussing income inequalities- we were a veeeeeery liberal college, after all. It was decided a family of four could not be "cultural" (i.e. go to museums, travel, send their child to college) on a 60,000 (US$) a year income. I was shocked, Growing up, I was the "wealthy" one, my parents weren't on public assistance and we owned a home. And oh my gosh, our income was hovering around, you guessed it, $60k. Well we were a family of three, but we had some medical bills and something like 2 dozen pets which added up. I was almost speechless, realizing in their eyes, I was poor. I recall even saying, "wait a minute, I'm in that income bracket and I went to colleges, traveled, and I'm here, aren't I?"

My freshman year was hard. I was shy and didn't make a singe friend. I was battling depression (yay genes, both sides of the family have it) and I couldn't decide my major and felt pressured. I explored some ideas and thought, I like kids, I like therapist! I found a college in another state that offered that major and thought heck, I've nothing to lose, maybe a new place will mean no depression, new friends, etc. Well I was accepted and everything, chickened out, and stayed.

I found a few friends (none of which I've kept) and found a major- sociology. Although I never wanted to be a social worker and majored in sociology because I loved (and still love) exploring culture, art, languages, religion, history. Admittedly, I should have taken anthropology instead but that major was offered every other year and I was the wrong year. One thing I kind of noticed but not - something akin to "tip of the tongue" but rather "tip of thought" was.... social justice, class and race warfare. It was always poverty, minorities, blah blah blah. I'm all for equality, don't get me wrong. But not until about now did the "tip of thought" make sense of things. My school was all for "social justice" but NOT empowerment. It was more for liberal control. A utopian world that cannot be, and one where psychologists and social workers "fix" the problems of they knew better. Yep....everything I'm now against, I was in the midst of in college. And at the time, I was all for it even though I felt that "tip of though", "something's fishy" feeling. Well, who isn't for helping others? I read Marx- he was a popular dude in college, I read about multiculturalism and all this stuff...and what is my point now? I seem to have lost it

So one thing I "got" from college that I've kept, was empowerment of myself. I was shy most of my college days, in fact I'd say I didn't "come out of my shell" much the entire time. But when I graduated, all my knowledge kid of backed up as if damned in, and neurons began firing and I started to not keep my opinions in. No, I was no loudmouth but sometimes I just had to challenge ideas. I enrolled in a credential program and actually spoke up in class sometimes. I completed my credential and then a few years later went for another but I was still a rather compliant student.
A little over two years ago I decided to get my Masters in Administration. I had to do a project with a partner (I hate group work) and got put in the reject group. Ok not exactly but everyone got to pick a partner and we were the two leftovers. We met to do our project and my partner was like minded, sensed something was wrong with our educational system and emailed me a book my John Taylor Gatto. I ignored it for a few months and then decided I needed something to read so I opened the attachment. Let's just say I read it all in one sitting. The Underground History of American Education is not a small book. 414 pages which I read without a single break. I think I didn't even sleep that night, after reading it, I was so excited. After that book, I became a loud mouth and an outsider, not fitting in with the system. But that's another topic, as I'm done with college for now.

Friday, June 24, 2011


"Training for competence involves experiences

for the teacher which will clarify his beliefs and values

and if necessary change them. Merely imparting

information and skills to him is not enough."

From Human Relations and Curriculum Change, 1951, this quote unveils the "indoctrination", "brainwashing" or "liberal agenda" being talked about amongst right-wing media. I once thought, ha, indoctrination? Now I have learned that while some claims are overblown, there is some sine-tingling creepy truth to it all. Education should be to open the minds of children, give them free reign at all that is knowledge. Teachers (should) encourage this as should all involved in education. In my opinion, education is not to change people's values and beliefs, as in America we have the freedom to think what we want to. How dare someone, these "experts" change the minds of people. Even worse, how dare they brainwash our teachers who in turn indoctrinate students to follow the beliefs they were trained to promote. This creates generational change, an institutionalization of a set bunch of principles and values, and even if they're the best values there are (that being subjective anyways...) no one has the right to force anyone to believe something they don't want to. Instead of doing mind-change in a blatant forceful manner, psychologists and other "experts" mentioned in this book used trickery to get buy-in from stakeholders,..pulling the wool over their eyes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My schooling grade 5 and beyond

my art although this is from last year and not high school.

My 5th grade teacher was pretty "neat" although all I remember of 5th grade was using a magnifying glass to burn designs in wood, and reading a lot. My teacher did encourage my reading and writing hobbies which really made me happy. I run into her every few years and she still asks if I am reading and writing. See this is the teacher I want to be, one who not only remembers her students 20 yrs later but remembers things about them and still encourages them!

But 6th grade crushed any joy I had. I had Mrs. A and she was pregnant- again- I think she was on her 5th child so she was out for a month or so. But when she was there, we did not get along. I corrected her pronunciation of austrolopithecus (however you spell it), and told her to just give me the test on Harriet the Spy as I'd read the book ten times and didn't see a need to take a month to read it in class, for my 11th reading. Also, when we had an activity to read a 200 page book of our choice for a month, I chose the Clan of the Cave Bear series which I had to not just get her approval of, but parents an the entire school board. It had sexual content, and was too many pages for a 6th grader to ever read... well, I read the series. Mrs. A also accused me of cheating off of my friend who was actually trying to cheat off me. My friend was a struggling C student and I am A student (except in math) and she ended up passing grade 6 with all As and me with all C-. I bet I'd have failed but Mrs. A likely wanted to rid of me and pass me on to the middle school. And yes I was a C student in math, I still wonder if I have discalculia. I had to go to rsp/special ed for math intervention. That teacher was really nice though and also remembers me 20 yrs later.

Which reminds me about 4th which I forgot to include...GATE, poetry, mean teachers. So I signed up for GATE but they wouldn't let me in, my IQ was 137 and they think it may be higher but being legally blind in one eye and damned near close in the other, my motor skills always have lagged behind my years. Well my mom had to fight for me to get in GATE because of my missing so many days of school the previous year. It's sad that you must fight to get in to GATE. Then..I won a district wide, number-1 spot award for some poetry I wrote. My 6th gr teacher Mrs. A refused to enter my poems in 6th grade because she felt I had to have cheated and had my mom write them, no child could compose poetry like that. Talk about crushing, I didn't write poetry again until high school. Then my 4th grade teacher was as you know, not so nice. When I was about 25 I went to substitute teach at my old school and she was next door so after school I thought, let bygones be bygones, I'll say hi. She had the audacity to say "yeah I remember you. I remember your sloppy writing. You know, I could have held you back, some people wanted to but you had such good test scores. I hope you write more legibly today".

Anyways, I barely scraped by 6th to get into middle school. I remember little of it as I was a scrawny weakling who has eons away from puberty, and had coke bottle glasses so... I was teased and had no self esteem, and in a place all about popularity and not learning! I remember being ill a lot. And running....slowly... and hating P.E. as I always had as I hate group sports, since, well, you try and be blind with horrible depth perception and be told to play ball with hormonally crazed kids twice your size. I dare ya. I liked my 7th grade English teacher but humiliated myself when a witchy girl claimed I'd cheated on my test and went to tell the teacher. I was so scared that I stayed in during lunch to talk to the teacher, crying that I had not cheated and she had lied because she liked to tease me. My teacher said, "she didn't tell me that, she asked when class was ending".

I recall 9th grade in high school because all my friends had moved or more likely, gone to juvi or gotten pregnant as for some reason those kind of kids gravitated to me in middle school- it wasn't the punks and druggies making my life miserable, but the preppies and jocks. Anyways I came home every day crying. I felt like a number in school and had no interest in school spirit and sports and all that crap. My mom taught at a continuation school and I was counting down the days to age 16 where I could apply to her school to get out of mine as anything had to be better! I also threatened and considered dropping out but couldn't bring myself to do it because education was everything in my family. Then I somehow found drama. These people seemed as unique as I was! While I never had a single role in a play, I still enjoyed my time helping out for months before a performance. I'd often be an extra, a face in a crowd on stage but I loved the exhilaration of being on stage. I also took as many art classes as I could, often repeating classes for no credit because art kept me stable and let me be me. Some of my art was even displayed in the district office and the teacher's home! I never won the district art show but was a runner up.

I took an AP course, just once. I took and completed AP English and passed the test. I dunno if I enjoyed it or not but most of the students were snobbish and clique-y and spending so much time and effort not on learning but on prepping for a test seemed pointless. I enrolled in AP French IV and Art but refused to take the test which confused everyone but allowed me to, well, not take the test! I should have challenged myself more in high school. Granted I was in the top 5% of my class but most were easy classes. I think ,why didn't I challenge myself, I had the capability! I think I was so disenfranchised by the schooling complex by then, without really knowing it. I hated easy work but even the hard word subscribed to the same old routine of testing, textbooks, lectures, set ideas and set lessons.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Knowledge Bank Account

"the knowledge bank account"...

Knowledge is not something akin to a bank account or budget, to be doled out in specific ways at specific times. It is not always to be spent or spent wisely. Knowledge is to each individual, their right to own, right to collect at will, and right to do with as they wish.

Progressives of their heyday said that teaching the masses to be doctors etc was a waste and that, without actually saying it overtly, we needed to dumb down education. A.H. Lauchner, a principal in 1951, said, "not every child has to read, figure, write and spell...that many of them cannot or will not master these chores."
The US Office of Education declared, "most boys and girls are headed for jobs that require little training"; the high schools should not encourage such false illusions of "white collar superiority" as there are so few doctors and lawyers- to promote a rigorous education would be a democratic disservice which "inspires glamorous hopes that may not be justified". I could go on and on with quotes but you get the idea.

Since when was knowledge seen as something to be spent, and used for gain? Meaning, why is it a disservice to teach the "dummies" (implied) chemistry, Shakespeare, and World history?

Okay I agree not every can become doctors. Not everyone will because not everyone wants to. A proliferation of learned peoples would not mean we'd have 100,000,000 doctors and only one garbage man. I've met many a learned man in a "blue collar" job and many "idiots" in white collar careers. But can't we just be wise, or at least trained to be so? Maybe everyone will know something about anatomy but a doctor would have studied even more than the general public and have a keen interest in ability in his practice, thus he'd qualify for the job and perhaps engage in intellectual discourse with his patients and be a better doctor for that. An enlightened, learned mass would know the world around them, and I guess that scares the elite in power. But that is a whole different soap box. Why is it that people assume/assumed that if, say, everyone studied anatomy in high school, they'd all "expect" or have "glamorous hopes" of becoming a doctor? I studied algebra II and there is no way in heck I'd ever be a mathematician. What I learn does not get me anywhere, it is what I do with what I learn. I, along with the rest of the United States, could know, if taught, quite a lot about law and politics for example, but that does not make us lawyers or politicians.

I am tired of the notion that schooling equates intelligence and arrogance. Okay so yes I have a BA, MA, three teaching credentials but I have learned a heck of a lot more outside the classroom, being the autodidact that I am. I know people that use their education as either a bragging right, weapon, or right to things. By that I mean, many claim their opinion is correct, they must be looked up to, because " I went to such and such school and have so many years of education compared to ____". The schooled elite have made a system, a bureaucracy (on purpose) which dictates that years of school = rights. Such rights can be used as a weapon, a me vs them cadre of "intellect" promoting the belief that the schooled are omniscient, fit for ruling over others' decisions in life. Lastly, it is assumed that the more years of school you've attended, and thus the more you supposedly know, the higher pay you deserve. This must mean that if everyone, even the "commoners" learned about classical theory, Aristotle, Calculus, etc that they would likely pursue further schooling and thus, since not everyone can be a doctor, expect to make $100,000 as a manual laborer because they have suck knowledge that they deserve the money, they earned it.

Perhaps if school weren't such prescribed drudgery, and did actually educate and not merely school, people would not feel their education was a right to money, nepotism, and arrogance. The enlightened "masses" would rule our nation as was once intended, with the knowledge needed to self-guide a society towards betterment. But how dare I dream of such a reality, I best go back to my socially ordained place in society and not challenge those in power. They have PhD's after all.

my time in school

Photo: Me age 9 or 10. I think it sums up things pretty well.
School. What was it, for me as a child? What do I remember? I attended both public and home school.

Kindergarten- I remember many children crying on the first day. I recall each child got a week where they were the star and got their body traced on butcher paper to hang in the classroom. I recall having to draw a picture of our hero and I never had a hero as a child but I thought the weather man was cool so I drew him. But then I guess that wasn't the assignment, so I had heard, so I sadly drew a big X across my drawing, to find out no, I was right in the first place. So I decided it was the weatherman building a fence. I also remember having to choose a hand as I was ambidextrous. I chose to write with my left and cut with my right so neither hand would feel left out. I remember a father's day craft where we made toolbelts from paper and had to write what we'd give our daddy. I wrote asparagus. dad loved the stuff. I remember being a tomboy.

First- Purple haired teacher. Would say "oh baloney" if I said I couldn't do something. I blew through over a dozen paper journals instead of our allotted one. I got in trouble for talking to my friend and got my own secluded seat at the back of the room. (I talked because I was bored.) I got to go to the upper-grade library for my reading choices. I made a candle and a plate and learned that I didn't like the game "mercy". I got scared when the science movie said the world would blow up, from the sun exploding, in a billion years, as I thought it was much sooner. I sat in the hallway, alone, in trouble, a lot.

Second- I liked my 2nd gr teacher, she was my kinder teacher but she went back to kinder so we got a new teacher. I helped two children- one from Germany- to learn to read. There was a girl I hated who claimed my dad had been to jail and was a bad person. I hated her and the teacher made us sit together and work together for the whole year. She purposely splashed green pain on my brand new shoes. I was the queen of the boggle game. I got teased for wearing glasses.

Third- One of my favorite teachers because she was hard on the "bad" kids and sweet if you were good. I forged an absence note and she caught me. I loved to read Serendipity, and Little House on the Prairie. I sucked at handwriting and multiplication. I recall making solar systems out of styrofoam and looking at snowflakes with a magnifying class, as well as grass and hair. I was absent for over 60 days of the year because although I loved my teacher, I was bored with school. I found staying at home more rewarding and intellectually stimulating. I composed poetry.

Fourth- my teacher taught for two weeks and her husband died atop Mt. Whitney so she quit. We had a new sub every day until we got a permanent teacher who denied bathroom use, would scream at you for missing assignments, and was a general meanie. I had a crush on a boy and was humiliated in front of the class for giving him a "date me" heart candy. I was home-schooled for half the year because I came home from school crying every day. I LOVED home school and finally could do work at my level. I attended public school again for the last few weeks of school to "acclimate". All we did was color in those color-by-number math problem things...loots of "division dinosaurs". My work group made fart jokes and copied off my division dino. Our teacher gave us cubbie post boxes and provided post cards to exchange. This fostered my still going postcard collection of cards from every country and I still have one of my first cards from 4th grade! be continued...

Flag Day

Today is Flag Day but does anyone celebrate it anymore, or care?

I am going to ramble here but bear with me.

I remember flag day as a child, in elementary school. It was a big deal. As a child for some reason I wasn't as patriotic as I am now, perhaps my mother's negative teacher-union perspective of Reagan tainted my patriotism? Who knows. Anyways, I still remember flag day though. I recall everyone school wide had to write an essay about "what the flag means to me" which meant kindergartners might have the teacher write "I love the flag" next to their drawing, but you get the idea. The principal would pick a winner for each grade and a school-wide winner. I don't recall if there was a prize but I know winners were announced on the loudspeaker and got to read their essay to the whole school. You got your 15 minutes of fame! Also, the school would file out onto the front lawn before school ended- to hear the winning essays, as well as sing patriotic songs and pledge to the huge flag on the pole. Even though I recall hating writing the essay for 7 years, I wanted to win. I also fondly recall singing the patriotic songs as many children wore red, white, and blue, hundreds of happy children on the lawn on a warm summer's day, singing under the large flag wiggling in the gentle breeze.

Does anyone celebrate anymore? Most schools are out by flag day but I have worked at a school that wasn't and no one even knew it was flag day. How sad.

What does the flag mean to you? I know our country isn't perfect. Many anti-American Americans mention all the atrocities Americans have committed. I know about these, I am not blind. Men, Americans, are not perfect. A country can't be perfect because it is comprised of people. Patriotism shouldn't be blind to history. But it should recognize what we have, and do, that others cannot. We have a Bill of Rights, a Declaration of Independence, a Constitution. We were groundbreakers in creating a country free from despotism, where men could become enlightened citizens, chasing their dreams, hopes, aspirations, where liberty and justice were and are, for all. Oppression was to be shut out, but yes we've oppressed people on our shores. Once again, America is comprised of imperfect human beings so we've had our mistakes. But many people under oppressive regimes, surviving victims of genocide, dream of nothing more than the American dream where, despite human failings which are natural, one can at least dream of possibilities and have a chance at them. A place where people don't need to be afraid of their every thought and action. A place where your voice is heard.

Some argue our country is headed away from this idea, some say it's never been. (All I say is, read our founding documents, follow your heart, and let both guide the nation.) Some say our country was ordained by a higher power to be, well, existent and others call that idea phooey. (Regardless, if God is omnipresent, he was there upon our nation's creation.) I cannot stress it enough, while our country is not perfect and never can be, it is a place to be recognized and honored. Yes there is room for improvement (so get to it!) but I dare any naysayer to talk to someone from a place "scarier" than here. Talk to an immigrant from, say, Cuba or Romania, Vietnam, El Salvador, or Eritrea. I dare you. Many Americans have become complacent to, well, America and its' ways so they know no different, so there is room for criticism. To that I say,gain a fresh perspective, and use your criticism for positive. And on this day, honor our flag for the positive it represents.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

History Repeats Itself

Ever read something and either felt deja vu or that history repeats itself? Well tonight I'm short on commentary for once, blame lethargy, but I was just finishing my nightly reading when I came across something regarding the 1950s and almost got the chills as yes history has just now repeated itself. What I will quote from Diane Ravitch's Left Back was hauntingly familiar and really spoke to me of the problems of education today. Enjoy!

"The NEA described the critics (of progressive and life adjustment education) as subversives who wanted to destroy public education, disgruntled teachers who were not abreast of the latest methods, unreasonable parents who blamed the schools for their children's shortcomings, and racketeers who were out to make money by assailing the schools"

It goes on to say, in regards to Harvard President and author of Education For All American youth, that he said, while addressing the American Assoc of School Administration; " anyone who criticized the public schools should be asked to questions, Would you like to include the number and scope of private schools", and "Do I look forward to the day when tax money will directly or indirectly assist these schools?"

You could fool me and have said these men were not from 1950 but rather today No matter your stance on education today, you must agree that these men's comments are still rather timely.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Social Engineering and Indoctrination: Eureka, I've found the proof

Indoctrination to a new agenda of social control sounds very 1984 meet Brave New World or perhaps reminiscent of Mao’s Cultural Revolution – either way, it is something that would not occur in an enlightened democratic republic such as our own nation. Indeed, such changes can come about through force via despotism, the most recognized of societal change. However, through a slow but deliberate change of people, slow enough to internalize change without participants’ knowledge is yet another form of social control and social engineering. This sort of clandestine social engineering has taken place in our society, yet it did not take place in the dark but rather took place surreptitiously, disguised as curriculum change, teacher in-services, and a drive to create a cohesive agreement about education reform. It was done using social psychology and social engineering, such as through group activities and other benign, feel-good methods which teachers willingly but unwittingly took in whole heartedly.

To quote “Human Relations in Curriculum Change’ a 1951 amalgamation of writing by education, psychology, and organizational change agents of that era; “The purpose of this (Introduction to the book) is to develop this contention further and to show generally how the materials of this book of readings contribute to the essential equipment of educational leaders who have come to see changes in the curriculum as changes in the social system of the school and community—to accept curriculum revision as a species of planned social and cultural change.” Curriculum, that is, all that is learned in schools, was to be the method of social engineering and control for the masses then and in the future. Dissidents must be won over however, and the change agents had a method for that as well. As we made clear at the beginning of the chapter, the ideal method of social control is democratic co-operation.” Most Americans would gladly participate in activities which promote democratic cooperation, as part of our God-given rights of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution which promote a unionizing of peoples from all shores, of all creeds and colors to live together in happiness, freedom, and harmony, together as Americans. However, the oxymoron here is blatantly apparent, control of a peoples is never democratic but rather a despotic twist of socialistic control common in places outside our borders, places where refugees flee to come to America in hopes to escape control. To quote Emma Lazarus’s sonnet on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

The authors, as change agents, had no qualms about their agenda; they lay it out in the open if you read their articles or were elite enough to become one of their change agents. They not only interpreted social control as democratic, but saw it as obligatory for social change; may nothing get in the way or else it be obliterated. “We have at the same time

made clear that, in our view, with the exception of exploitation, all other methods of social control, however undesirable, and even self-defeating they may be from a long-range point of view, will in certain specific social situations in school and out be found to be desirable and necessary” This does not mirror the tenets of democracy as our Founders intended, and in fact surpasses the autocratic control of even the kings we fled from en masse. But how did the change agents alter educators so that they would embrace social control, when it is the antithesis of American ideals? Through psychological exercises to change the id, to replace the American notion of individualism with communalism which the individual themselves would be either hoodwinked into doing or pressured to do so through group dynamics. Through re-education (a term popular in times of white-washed dictatorships and mass genocide) the nonconformist would be brought around through either force, or more common in America, sugar coated mind control via creation of an individual’s new super ego.

Friday, June 3, 2011

my articles articles I've written

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 (grr not embedding, here's a funky version) or

why my blog is titled as such

I had a difficult time titling my blog and I'm still not 100% happy with the title but alas, it is what it is.
I chose "3 Rs" because it is a common name for school related things but then I had to find a new version of the three Rs. Reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic have their value and some may argue they've gone out the door but what do I think schools should "be"?

My oh my that question warrants and entire novel. But in short...

Respect- Teachers are society's scapegoat and thus not respected. Students are treated as cogs in a wheel, just a number in the system without passions, fears, or opinions as those seem shushed in schools.

Reality- Schools seem to be based on some reality of some other time and place.

Reason- School policies and reform follow ill logic. Also, we are teaching dumbed down picked apart and whitewashed knowledge that looks rigorous but is anything but. That as well seems to lack reason. And we don't even teach reason in schools much if at all as you try and bubble in an A,B,C,D answer for reason.

Socialization in Schools

One purpose of the Progressive Era's education movement was to create schools that promoted social order as well as "happy" student that learns things like; how to find a perfect mate, how to cook a meal, and how to have high self esteem. Shouldn't these be the responsibility of the parents? But that's another topic.

Ask teachers what is wrong with today's students and they will invariably mention that students don't pay attention to the teacher but rather their friends and cell phone text messages. Ask a struggling student what they like about school and often the only purpose they can summon is that they enjoy lunchtime because they can be with their friends.

I am not invalidating the fact that adolescents are sociable by nature, but that the purpose of an education is to educate, not socialize. You earn an education not a socialization, but with such dumbed down curriculum, perhaps an education nowadays is just socialization via a social control minded curriculum.