In Defense of Academic Freedom – Conference Audio – 12 October 2007

October 27, 2007

Great conference audio with some of the worlds leading intellectuals including Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Norman Finkelstein & John Mearsheimer.

In Defense of Academic Freedom – Conference Audio – 12 October 2007

“The Oct. 12 conference, titled ‘In Defense of Academic Freedom,’ brought together not only Jews and non-Jews, but professors whose ideological differences are so vast they likely agree on little else than the notion that Jewish groups have degraded the quality and breadth of discussion in the media and in Washington.

 

 

Mearsheimer is a proponent of the realist school of international relations, which resists the intrusion of moral considerations into cold calculations of national interest. Chomsky’s belief that American policy in the Middle East is motivated solely by imperialist aggression is greatly informed by the moral consequences of American behavior.

 

 

Nevertheless, they came together around the view that universities are the final redoubts of robust criticism of Israel. Naturally, they added, these institutions are now coming under assault.”


George Carlin: education and the owners of America

August 8, 2007

“It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

A comedian who believes state education was set up to benefit the state and business as a means of social control and thought control. Teaching discipline and respect for authority. I’ve heard a number of educators talk of this, was a bit skeptical so I got a book on education policy (second hand from Oxfam). It was from the 80’s and I didn’t have to read to far to find that its true “the orientation of policy making is now towards the consumers of education – the parents and industrialists, the producer lobbies [teachers] are almost totally excluded” (1). Notice consumers of education are not children, children are the material to be worked on. For more on this I recommend John Taylor Gatto.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMqJvhmD5Yg]

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Disney, Childhood & Corporate Power

July 20, 2007

An excellent documentary on mainstream culture and its responsibility towards educating children.  The focus is on the Disney Corporation as one of the most powerful and explores the narrative and characterisation in its films, exposing sexist, racist, historically inaccurate and abusive values.  Contains interviews with cultural critics, media scholars, child psychologists, kindergarten teachers, multicultural educators, college students and children.

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Corporations in the Classroom

June 25, 2007

I remember when I was at primary school we had a weetabix alphabet wall chart.  Looks like things have moved on since then and for the worse in North America.  With hyper marketing to children and the New Labour getting business more involved in education, through Blairs city academies, I can’t help but feel we are moving in a bad direction.

The following is a great documentary on corporate involvement in education.

Marketing to school age students is now a 2 billion dollar industry. The way corporate sponsors are stepping up to the plate, offering promotions, sponsorships and even free curriculum there is no stopping the flow of advertising in covert forms. Or is there?The problem is there are few or no regulations in place to protect our children from corporate marketing campaigns that look just like classroom lessons. And schools need playgrounds and gym equipment that taxes do not seem to pay for any longer.

Enter new corporate champions. First come sponsorships, then come naming rights and next come learning materials in the classrooms! Watch as donations become classroom resources and product placement opportunities. The good news is some school districts are fighting back and succeeding in keeping the classrooms a safe haven from the marketing hype.