Better Teachers Receive Worse Student Evaluations


Education Readings September 26

The Treehorn Express

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This week’s homework!


William Mathis on «Economics, Education and Sitting Bull»

“Facing the extinction of Sioux culture, Sitting Bull realized that their hope – their only hope – was in the life they made for their children. Confronted by this reality, he saw that education was something far more than the narrow teaching of a set of test-based, academic skills. Education must impart the knowledge of the ways of the society, of fruitful interactions, of sustaining and nurturing cultural beliefs and rituals, of language and of the economic order, if you will, of a group of independent but related nomadic tribes. (And when the Anglo forces won, they established Indian schools to stamp out this culture).”

Fostering Creativity In The Learning Process

As educators, when it…

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Franz Kafka and the Metamorphosis of Teacher Evaluations



One morning, when Mr. K woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his classroom into a horrible insect.


He lay on his segmented brown belly propped against his teachers desk. He had fallen asleep trying to grade English papers again.


His armor-like back ached and wiry thin antennae kept bobbing into view like stray hairs. If he lifted his head a little, he could see his many tiny legs waving about helplessly each holding a pen or pencil.


“What’s happened to me?” he thought.


It wasn’t a dream.


“Oh well.” he shrugged, “I have papers to grade,” and he began to attack the pile of high school essays on literary surrealism.


But before he could even finish the first one, the Commandant sauntered in. At least she liked to call herself that. She was really just a first year principal. Last…

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Behind Capital: A Review of Alex Callinicos’ «Deciphering Capital»


Joe Sabatini assesses an important new work of Marxist theory.

Karl Marx Photo: thierry ehrmann, flickr

Deciphering Capital is a long awaited work, which Alex Callinicos has been developing over a number of years. Although stimulated by the resurgence in Marxist political economy since 2008, the book essentially goes back to his PhD in the 1970s.

Principally, Deciphering Capital could be described as an attempt to go back behind capital. In particular the work is a painstaking explication of the difficulties Marx faced in disentangling the contradictions of Ricardo’s theory of political economy, and his use of Hegel’s Logic as a means to hit upon his own method of exposition.

What this means is that DecipheringCapital is not an introductory guide to Marxist political economy, or even to Capital. In fact any reader who is not familiar with Capital, or even Hegel’s Logic will struggle with this book. Yet it is…

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«Eisenstein/ Vygotsky /Luria’s project: Cinematic Thinking and the Integrative Science of Mind and Brain»: Julia Vassilieva


When Sergei Eisenstein died on the 11th of February 1948, a post-mortem examination was conducted to establish the cause of death. His body was subjected to a dissection and his brain was exposed, measured and photographed. The photographs of Eisenstein’s brain were kept by his friend of thirty years, neuropsychologist Alexander Luria, who would show them to his students to illustrate the asymmetry of the brain’s hemispheres. Eisenstein’s brain featured a dramatically enlarged right hemisphere, which is responsible for visual images and spatial information processing, while his left hemisphere was of a normal size.[1] This striking image provides an apt illustration for one of the most challenging and enduring intellectual projects at the intersection of film theory, psychology and philosophy: that of trying to understand how mind, brain and cinema interact. It was also a postscript to Eisenstein and Luria’s scientific collaboration, which at various stages included the…

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Greece is the only EU country without guaranteed minimum income, report finds

A Gael in Greece

poverty is the parent of revolution and crime ‘Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime’ – Aristotle. Graffiti in the Exarchia district of Athens (Photo: aestheticsofcrisis/Flickr)

Greece is the only EU country not to have implemented a guaranteed minimum income and is among the most sluggish in adopting programmes to address social inequality and aid citizens living in extreme poverty and social exclusion, a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Office (GPK) has found.

This is despite the fact that six in ten citizens are living in or at risk of poverty, the GPK report (pdf), which was published on Thursday, said.

“The demand for social responsibility on the part of citizens is pronounced but what the state offers is characterised by fragmentation and administrative problems. Thus the social safety net is characterised by inefficiency, while at the same time there is are no expectations that income lost due to the economic downturn will be replenished…

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The Republic of the Living: Biopolitics and the Critique of Civil Society (2014)

Foucault News

vatterMiguel Vatter, The Republic of the Living: Biopolitics and the Critique of Civil Society, Fordham University Press,June 2014

ISBN: 9780823256020

Further info

Details of workshop on book below description.

This book takes up Foucault’s hypothesis that liberal “civil society,” far from being a sphere of natural freedoms, designates the social spaces where our biological lives come under new forms of control and are invested with new forms of biopower. In order to test this hypothesis, its chapters examine the critical theory of civil society — from Hegel and Marx through Lukacs, Adorno, Benjamin, and Arendt—from the new horizon opened up by Foucault’s turn to biopolitics and its reception in recent Italian theory.

Negri, Agamben, and Esposito have argued that biopolitics not only denotes new forms of domination over life but harbors within it an affirmative relation between biological life and politics that carries an emancipatory potential. The chapters of…

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