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

November 12, 2007

Voices from the New American Schoolhouse (trailer)

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Computer literacy better self-taught or schooled?

October 2, 2007

I heard a vice-president of IBM tell an audience of people assembled to redesign the process of teacher certification that in his opinion this country became computer-literate by self-teaching, not through any action of schools. He said 45 million people were comfortable with computers who had learned through dozens of non-systematic strategies, none of them very formal; if schools had pre-empted the right to teach computer use we would be in a horrible mess right now instead of leading the world in this literacy.

Probably most people working in IT learned most of what they know on their own.  Is it possible that creating fixed lessons could damage this enthusiasm?  I remember I was a huge technology geek, but found the Computer Studies standard grade so dull, I didn’t go on to do the Higher.  It was only later I returned to University to Study Computing and got very bored in the first year where compulsory classes explained what a mouse was.  The rest of the article is also very interesting, do we have the PhD because of a lost war?

The Public School Nightmare:
Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?
by John Taylor Gatto
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Chomsky Quotes on Education

August 21, 2007

Some Chomsky quotes on education (from wikiquote).

  • “Most problems of teaching are not problems of growth but helping cultivate growth. As far as I know, and this is only from personal experience in teaching, I think about ninety percent of the problem in teaching, or maybe ninety-eight percent, is just to help the students get interested. Or what it usually amounts to is to not prevent them from being interested. Typically they come in interested, and the process of education is a way of driving that defect out of their minds. But if children[‘s] […] normal interest is maintained or even aroused, they can do all kinds of things in ways we don’t understand.”
    • Source: Conference titled “Creation & Culture” in Barcelona, Spain, November 25, 1992

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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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John Taylor Gatto – Classrooms of the Heart 1991

April 12, 2007

John Taylor Gatto uses alternative methods to inspire deprived children to enjoy education.  His secret – he hates “schooling” and ignores tests concentrating on preparing pupils for life.


J. T. Gatto interviewed by Lennart Mogren, Sweden, March 2003

April 12, 2007

John Taylor Gatto is a learned eloquent critic of the present school system all over the world. In this interview he exposes the hidden agenda that makes most of us hate school. I have written a book, “Sluta skolan!”, on my own experiences and views and I have come to the same conclusions as Mr Gatto has. He exposes the dark and terrifying machinery behind the scenes. Mr Gatto gíves us hope and tools to start dismantling this hideous institution. In my view parents need to get in charge of their kids’ education in new loving and nurturing ways. Mr Gatto is a great inspiration for those of us who realize this.