JOHN TAYLOR GATTO TO VISIT SCOTLAND

August 21, 2008

I’ve not been this excited since I saw my academic heroes Chomsky and Finkelstein.  I picked up some A.S. Neill books in 2003 that changed my life and led to my looking at other sources on education.  Later I found John’s lectures online and have listened to at least 10-20 of them several times each.  I’m so glad he’s visiting and Scotland is in for a real treat.  He is a great thinker and a great moral actor.  He left the education system as he no longer wanted to hurt children and has since spent his time learning and teaching about the history of schooling in America (which has similar roots in Europe and Scotland).  For more information see his website, wikipedia page, check out previous entries in this blog or listen to the lecture below.

Scotland’s national home education support organisation Schoolhouse has announced it is to host a major conference in Arbroath, Angus, on Friday 12 September to mark International Freedom in Education Day 2008.  More on the Learning Without Limits Conference.

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New Course: From Nand to Tetris in 12 steps

December 22, 2007

I really feel strongly that we should be academically boycotting Israel so perhaps I shouldn’t be posting this? Anyway its a great lecture so I’ll let it slide this once…

I think this is exactly what I was hoping university would be like when I first entered.

Innovative, create, dynamic, useful, involved, challenging.

You learn in a useful way and you learning the whole process inside
and out. Also its entertaining and fun.

I don’t know why University is so stale. Perhaps theres too many money
men and too much bureaucracy?

This course is also worth a mention. By the end of the course the student is able to make there own amazon.com, a bold claim. Whats more the MIT professor has realeased the book/course for free over the internet. Again the kind of thing I believe Universites should be doing.

It was through a talk with the author on IT conversations that I came across it

Software Engineering for Internet Applications


Democratic Education: Summerhill receives glowing report

December 2, 2007

 So, kids, anyone for double physics? (But no worries if you don’t fancy it)

Official approval at last for school where almost anything goes

Jessica Shepherd
Saturday December 1, 2007
The Guardian

It is halfway through mid-morning science class and there is still only one seat occupied – that of the teacher, David Riebold. “It’s my first no-show in a while,” Riebold says wistfully, looking at the test tubes he has laid out. “Ah well, there’s always lesson preparation to do.”Skipping class is no big deal at Summerhill, Britain’s most progressive school, where pupils set the rules and can miss lessons to play or pursue their own interests. Today Riebold’s class of 12- and 13-year-olds may well be out celebrating, if they’ve heard the news. For after a long battle with the government that has included threats to close the Suffolk independent boarding school, Ofsted has delivered its first endorsement in Summerhill’s 86-year history.

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Free online materials could save schools billions

November 23, 2007

Since March, Dixon Deutsch and his students have been quietly experimenting with a little website that could one day rock the foundation of how schools do business.

A K-2 teacher at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., Deutsch, 28, has been using Free-Reading.net, a reading instruction program that allows him to download, copy and share lessons with colleagues.

He can visit the website and comment on what works and what doesn’t. He can modify lessons to suit his students’ needs and post the modifications online: Think of a cross between a first-grade reading workbook and Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia written and edited by users.

More: USA Today

Free-Reading.net


Democratic Schooling: What if everything you think about education is wrong?

November 12, 2007

Voices from the New American Schoolhouse (trailer)


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.”


Banned: Craig Murray inaugural speech – University of Dundee

October 6, 2007

.. see text of his speech below in full – The press office at Dundee University had refused to provide it, place it in the library or put it online.

I’m a big admirer of Craigs work and really enjoyed his views on education and University life.

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