It’s time for the criticism to stop. Whatever you think about the changes to higher education that have been made in recent years, in particular the decision in the autumn of 2010 largely to replace public funding of teaching with student fees, this is now the system we’ve got. Carping about the principle or sniping at the process is simply unhelpful: it antagonises ministers and officials, thereby jeopardising future negotiations, and it wins little sympathy from the media and wider public. This country is in desperate need of jobs and of economic growth, and in higher education as in every other sphere we are now competing in a global market. So pipe down, and let’s all focus on making this system work as effectively as possible. Συνέχεια
There is no monolithic definition of democratic education or democratic schools. But what we mean here is “education in which young people have the freedom to organize their daily activities, and in which there is equality and democratic decision-making among young people and adults,” as quoted from AERO’s Directory of Democratic Education.
These schools and programs take many forms and include public and private alternatives and homeschool resource centers. Please send us any suggestions for additions to this list. Συνέχεια
«The University is a critical institution or it is nothing.» – Stuart Hall
I want to begin with the words of the late African-American poet, Audre Lourde, who was in her time a formidable writer, educator, feminist, gay rights activist and public intellectual who displayed a relentless courage in addressing the injustices she witnessed all around her. She writes:
Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.1 Συνέχεια
The English education system is being dismembered. Gradually but purposefully first New Labour and now the coalition government have been unpicking and disarticulating the national system of state schooling. With free schools and academies of various kinds, faith schools, studio schools and university technical colleges, the school system is beginning to resemble the patchwork of uneven and unequal provision that existed prior to the 1870 Education Act.
At the same time, we are moving back to an incoherent and haphazard jigsaw of providers – charities, foundations, social enterprises and faith and community groups – monitored at arm’s length by the central state. Furthermore, private providers are waiting in the wings for the opportunity to profit from running schools. Συνέχεια
After our initial gawking at the extravagance of this year’s list of 1,426, we looked closer. This list reveals the major power shift in the world today: the decline of the West and the rise of the rest. Gone are the days when U.S. billionaires accounted for over 40 percent of the list, with Western Europe and Japan making up most of the rest. Today, the Asia-Pacific region hosts 386 billionaires, 20 more than all of Europe and Russia combined. Συνέχεια
στις Δευτέρα, 28 Οκτωβρίου 2013 – 11:23 μ.μ.
Όταν το 1990, για δεύτερη συνεχόμενη χρονιά, απονεμήθηκε στον John Taylor Gatto ο τίτλος του «Δασκάλου της Χρονιάς της Νέας Υόρκης» στην ομιλία αποδοχής του τίτλου που εκφώνησε, δεν αρκέστηκε σε απλές ευχαριστίες, αλλά εξαπέλυσε ένα δριμύ κατηγορώ στην συμβατική λογική που διέπει την εκπαίδευση. Μίλησε για το ρόλο που πρέπει να διαδραματίζει η εκπαίδευση για το άτομο, την οικογένεια και την κοινωνία στην σύγχρονη εποχή. Δεν απευθύνθηκε μόνο στη Νέα Υόρκη και τους μαθητές του.
Τα λόγια του εκφράζουν και τις ανησυχίες των εκπαιδευτικών και των γονιών όπου και αν βρίσκονται. Τα προβλήματα που αντιμετωπίζουμε στη μόρφωση και την δημιουργική απασχόληση των παιδιών μας είναι σοβαρά και πολύπλοκα και δεν αποτελούν αποκλειστική ευθύνη των σχολείων. Κι όμως τα σχολεία μπορούν να δημιουργήσουν τις κατάλληλες συνθήκες για την διαμόρφωση της κοινωνίας και του κόσμου που ονειρευόμαστε. Έτσι έχουμε την ευχαρίστηση να δημοσιεύσουμε αυτή την φλογερή ομιλία ενός από τους πιο ένθερμους οπαδούς της εκπαιδευτικής μεταρρύθμισης. Συνέχεια
|Photo by Poster Boy NYC (CC-BY)|
Editor’s note: Chris Hedges will be giving a talk titled “The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies” on Oct. 13 in the Los Angeles area. Click here for more information.
I am reading and rereading the debates among some of the great radical thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries about the mechanisms of social change. These debates were not academic. They were frantic searches for the triggers of revolt.
Vladimir Lenin placed his faith in a violent uprising, a professional, disciplined revolutionary vanguard freed from moral constraints and, like Karl Marx, in the inevitable emergence of the worker’s state. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon insisted that gradual change would be accomplished as enlightened workers took over production and educated and converted the rest of the proletariat. Mikhail Bakunin predicted the catastrophic breakdown of the capitalist order, something we are likely to witness in our lifetimes, and new autonomous worker federations rising up out of the chaos. Pyotr Kropotkin, like Proudhon, believed in an evolutionary process that would hammer out the new society. Emma Goldman, along with Kropotkin, came to be very wary of both the efficacy of violence and the revolutionary potential of the masses. “The mass,” Goldman wrote bitterly toward the end of her life in echoing Marx, “clings to its masters, loves the whip, and is the first to cry Crucify!” Συνέχεια