Henry A. Giroux | The Spectacle of Illiteracy and the Crisis of Democracy

Monday, 09 December 2013 09:48 By Henry A Giroux, Moyers & Company | Op-Ed


(Photo: Peter Lang Publishing Group)(Photo: Peter Lang Publishing Group)C. Wright Mills argued 50 years ago that one important measure of the demise of vibrant democracy and the corresponding impoverishment of political life can be found in the increasing inability of a society to translate private troubles to broader public issues. [1] This is an issue that both characterizes and threatens any viable notion of democracy in the United States in the current historical moment. In an alleged post-racist democracy, the image of the public sphere with its appeal to dialogue and shared responsibility has given way to the spectacle of unbridled intolerance, ignorance, seething private fears, unchecked anger and the decoupling of reason from freedom. Increasingly, as witnessed in the utter disrespect and not-so-latent racism expressed by Joe Wilson, the Republican congressman from South Carolina, who shouted “you lie!” during President Obama’s address on health care, the obligation to listen, respect the views of others and engage in a literate exchange is increasingly reduced to the highly spectacular wed embrace of an infantile emotionalism. This is an emotionalism that is made for television. It is perfectly suited for emptying the language of public life of all substantive content, reduced in the end to a playground for hawking commodities, promoting celebrity culture and enacting the spectacle of right-wing fantasies fueled by the fear that the public sphere as an exclusive club for white male Christians is in danger of collapsing. For some critics, those who carry guns to rallies or claim Obama is a Muslim and not a bona fide citizen of the United States are simply representative of an extremist fringe, that gets far more publicity from the mainstream media than they deserve. Of course this is understandable, given that the media’s desire for balance and objective news is not just disingenuous but relinquishes any sense of ethical responsibility by failing to make a distinction between an informed argument and an unsubstantiated opinion. Witness the racist hysteria unleashed by so many Americans and the media over the building of an Islamic cultural center near ground zero. Συνέχεια

Σχολείο για την απελευθέρωση ή την καταστολή;

Οι σκέψεις αυτές μου τριβελίζουν χρόνια το μυαλό, αλλά αποφάσισα να τις καταγράψω αφού διάβασα το παρακάτω άρθρο στη γνωστή ιστοσελίδα alfavita.


Ως εκπαιδευτικός, προβληματίζομαι συχνά για το τι σχολείο θα ήθελα για μένα και τους μαθητές μου. Συχνά-πυκνά τους ρωτάω τι είναι το σχολείο γι’ αυτούς, αν ξέρουν για ποιο λόγο υπάρχει, για ποιο λόγο αυτοί έρχονται εκεί, και διάφορα άλλα ακατανόητα για τους περισσότερους ερωτήματα, αφού δεν μπορούν να διανοηθούν καν πώς μπορεί κάποιος να αναρωτιέται γι’ αυτά τα πράγματα. Γι’ αυτούς το σχολείο είναι καθεστώς, ό,τι για τους ενήλικες οι δουλειές τους, ό,τι για τον υδραυλικό ο κάβουρας, για τον ηλεκτρολόγο το κατσαβίδι, για το φούρναρη το αλεύρι, για το ζωγράφο το πινέλο και πάει λέγοντας…. Συνέχεια

Η μικρή Σάρα και η αξιολόγηση στην εκπαίδευση

Γιώργος Καλημερίδης
Εδώ και ενάμιση μήνα η ελληνική εκπαίδευση περιστρέφεται γύρω από την έννοια της αξιολόγησης των σχολείων και των εκπαιδευτικών. Σεμινάρια επιμόρφωσης οργανώνονται από το Υπουργείο Παιδείας, προκειμένου να καθοριστούν τα κριτήρια διασφάλισης της ποιότητας του εκπαιδευτικού έργου και οι “αντικειμενικοί δείκτες” κοινωνικής ανταποδοτικότητας των εκπαιδευτικών. Ο στόχος είναι ένα  “σύγχρονο αποτελεσματικό και ποιοτικό σχολείο”. Σε αυτό το θεωρητικό πλαίσιο, ο εκπαιδευτικός φέρει την κύρια ευθύνη για όλα τα εκπαιδευτικά δεινά και γι’ αυτό το λόγο θα πρέπει να αξιολογηθεί, να αποτιμηθεί ποσοτικά το έργο του και ενδεχόμενα, αν πιστοποιηθεί η ανεπάρκειά του, να απολυθεί .Αντίστοιχα, ο ΟΟΣΑ, μέσα στο Δεκέμβρη, δημοσίευσε τα αποτελέσματα του PISA, κατατάσσοντας στις τελευταίες θέσεις διεθνώς το ελληνικό εκπαιδευτικό σύστημα. Σοκ στους αστικούς κύκλους, πρώτο θέμα στην Καθημερινή. Για ακόμη μια φορά πιστοποιείται αντικειμενικά η ελληνική εκπαιδευτική κρίση. Καμιά συζήτηση ασφαλώς για το ποιος είναι ο ΟΟΣΑ, το εκπαιδευτικό του πρόγραμμα και οι πολιτικές του προτεραιότητες για το σχολείο. Ούτε ασφαλώς σκέφτηκε να ρωτήσει κανείς για το αν η Σιγκαπούρη που πρωτεύει συνεχώς στον εν λόγω διαγωνισμό είναι το πρότυπο κοινωνίας και εκπαίδευσης που πρέπει να ακολουθήσουμε. Ή μήπως είναι τελικά; Συνέχεια

Μπουένος Άιρες: Φοιτητές εξεγείρονται ενάντια σ’ αυτά που δεν επέλεξαν ! (+ Video )


Δεκεμβρίου 8, 2013




Φοιτητές συγκρούονται με τους μπάτσους στο Μπουένος Άιρες-5/12/13
από Νίκος 18:31, Σάββατο 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2013
θεματικές: Λατινική Αμερική \ Αργεντινή \ Κοινωνική ανυπακοή / Αντιστάσεις



How to get effective teachers in the most needy schools

(By Charles Rex Arbogast/ AP)

(By Charles Rex Arbogast/ AP)

We just lived through PISA week, complete with newly released scores from the 2012 Program of International Student Assessment and the avalanche of media coverage about the results.  Here’s a post on education beyond PISA by Jeff Bryant, an Associate Fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future and the owner of a marketing and communications consultancy. It serves numerous organizations including Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders, PBS, and International Planned Parenthood Foundation. He writes extensively about public education policy at The Education Opportunity Network, where this post appeared. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffbcdm.

By Jeff Bryant

This week’s media extravaganza over the latest results from the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, were the latest distraction from what really matters for the nation’s education policy. Συνέχεια

Day of Action Unites Students, Teachers in Protest

Educators, parents and youth hold mass demonstrations nationwide to demand quality public schools.

By: Lynette Holloway
Posted: Dec. 8 2013 12:30 AM

But now it’s the city’s turn to give back, Norine Gutekanst, a staff member of the Chicago Teachers Union, told The Root. A union leader for three years, she worked in the system for 26 years as a primary-grade-level bilingual teacher. She said the CTU is expecting hundreds of members to join them on Monday when they plan to present their holiday wish lists to Mayor Emanuel and Gov. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

“The list will request fully funded schools and supported families. We are also asking for fair taxes and minimum wage salaries for the families of our students,” she said. “We also want a moratorium on school closings and charter school expansion,” among other things. Συνέχεια

Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy

New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of disseare121
Occupy Oakland clashes

Police used teargas to drive back protesters following an attempt by the Occupy supporters to shut down the city of Oakland. Photograph: Noah Berger/AP

It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens. Συνέχεια


Του Π. Χατζηστεφάνου


Αναδημοσίευση από koutipandoras.gr


Πως και γιατί η άρχουσα τάξη κατασκευάζει πολιτισμό που εξυπηρετεί τις απολυταρχικές της προτεραιότητες.


Ο εκφασισμός μιας οποιασδήποτε κοινωνίας ακολουθεί πολλά στάδια, τακτικές και στρατηγικές.


Οι προσεγγίσεις της εκστρατείας εφαρμογής του μοχθηρού αυτού σχεδίου είναι πολυποίκιλες και προσαρμοσμένες στο κατάλληλο ύφος και την ενδεικνυόμενη μεθοδολογία που αναλογεί στην κάθε κοινωνική τάξη και τις αντίστοιχες νοοτροπίες που θέλει να στρατολογήσει υπέρ της πάσης θυσίας επιβίωσης της η εκάστοτε ετοιμόρροπη άρχουσα τάξη. Συνέχεια

Χιπστερισμός: το ανώτατο στάδιο του μεταμοντερνισμού


”Όχι τυχαία και τα δυο μεγάλα έργα της ωριμότητας του Μαρξ, που επιχειρούν να παρουσιάσουν την καπιταλιστική κοινωνία στο σύνολο της και να δείξουν το βαθύτερο χαρακτήρα της, αρχίζουν με την ανάλυση του εμπορεύματος. Πράγματι, δεν υπάρχει πρόβλημα σ’αυτή τη βαθμίδα ανάπτυξης της ανθρωπότητας που να μην παραπέμπει, σε τελευταία ανάλυση, σ’αυτό το ζήτημα και η λύση του να μην πρέπει να αναζητηθεί στη λύση του αινίγματος της δομής του εμπορεύματος.[…] πράγματι, μπορεί να ανακαλυφθεί στη δομή της εμπορευματικής σχέσης το μοντέλο όλων των μορφών αντικειμενοποίησης και όλων των αντίστοιχων σ’αυτές μορφών της υποκειμενικότητας στην αστική κοινωνία” Συνέχεια

Grawemeyer winner Diane Ravitch says standardized testing hurting education

Dec. 5, 2013   |


The Growing Realization That Our Individual Struggles Are All Connected Makes This “Our Moment”

When we become an inclusive movement that spreads its values widely, we will unite our base and grow to a point that cannot be ignored.


The above photograph from the NYC Light Brigade came at the end of an incredible day of action on December 5 when fast food workers in 100 cities walked off their jobs and joined with supporters in their communities to protest poverty wages. The photo proclaims “ALL OF US” with people holding signs that identify different members of the community; and proclaims “THIS IS OUR MOMENT.”

The solidarity at the fast food worker protests on December 5 echoed the solidarity seen on December 3 when people throughout the United States and around the globe protested toxic trade agreements especially the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). And, that “ALL OF US” solidarity was seen last Friday, November 29 when workers walked out at 1,500 Walmarts with widespread community support at their rallies. Συνέχεια

On Chomsky quotes

Noam Chomsky–linguist, philosopher, political commentator, and activist–turned 85 this weekend! Happy Birthday, Noam! Indeed, while exemplifying Picasso’s famous assertion that «youth has no age,» Chomsky’s unremitting political activism and uncompromisingly oppositional work at more levels than one continue to inspire us in our struggles against oppression and injustice at a time when it’s easy to be depressed and frustrated and even totally hopeless. (Just can’t help adding a relatively ‘personal’ note here in the spirit of sharing and solidarity: While in grad school, we used to bring out–more than a decade back–a modest activist journal called _dis/content_, a journal that Chomsky used to read with interest while he even wrote to us on his own about the journal’s relevance and importance, thus inspiring us at the time).

To quote Chomsky, «The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on — because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.»

More Chomsky: «Unfortunately, you can’t vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place.»

Chomsky again: «For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments.» Συνέχεια

Emails detail a hidden plan for Kansas City Public Schools


The Kansas City Star

Backed by two of the most influential foundations in Kansas City, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro and a state-hired consultant are planning the future of Kansas City Public Schools as a slate wiped clean.

Revelations in emails obtained by The Star and dating to April show a state education department eager to create a new school system, even as the long-beleaguered but stabilized district was preparing to celebrate its best academic improvement in years.

The electronic trail exposes a rushed bidding process, now criticized, that ultimately landed Indianapolis-based CEE-Trust a $385,000 contract to develop a long-range overhaul for the district’s failing schools. Συνέχεια

Untrained staff are fine to teach in schools, says Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw

Headteachers should be allowed to hire untrained staff if they are the right candidates for the school, according to the schools inspector.

Lesson to learn: Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw should know that services staffed by volunteers can be centres of excellence

Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted Photo: Geoff Pugh

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted’s chief schools inspector, he had not met a headteacher who had not hired an unqualified member of staff.

Sir Michael, who used to be headteacher of a comprehensive in East London, told BBC1’s Sunday Politics programme a headteacher’s job was “to make sure they get accredited as soon as possible and come up to scratch in the class room”. Συνέχεια