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Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or as the soft-hearted among us might say, less than caring. Let us, residents of our towns where our children go to school, take them over and force the issue. The State has no interest in […]

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A Commons Or A Prison

I prepared the following for the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice. From Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.” Before I built a wall I’d ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That wants […]

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Break It Up But Don’t Sell It Off

It’s quite simple to say there was, at one point in England’s history, shared or common land upon which groups of people subsisted and the method by which they managed these lands allowed for a common subsistence that protected the future “health” of that land. That is, it was a kind of holistic practice that […]

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Psychic Distress in Education

The sheer JOY of talking about something you love described by Donald Hall (and called “teaching”) in the essay “Coffee with Robert Graves.” (And I’ll admit that this is what has drawn me to the radio and interviewing authors and experts.) Everyone who loves teaching has the same experience: Someone asks a question; it’s something […]

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A Sane Impulse and a Clear Lesson: Charter Schools

Let’s dare to be honest about charter schools. There is no “testable” benefit. Which is to say that testing tells us the same thing about any school environment. Kids, as humans, grow and develop variably, that poverty deadens living and this includes “intelligence” as part of overall health. What is a charter for? To create […]

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The Privilege of the Engaged

In a recent “rant” about Indiana’s “testing regime” and its instrument of student “achievement” measurement, the I-STEP, posted on the blog page of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, the Chair of the Monroe County and Southern Indiana chapter, Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer , wrote something that struck me as extremely instructive and worth discussing. First though, […]

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UPDATE: About a Boy? Richard Linklater’s Critique of Woman

UPDATE, 1/5/2014: Patricia Arquette as quoted on IMDB concerning her character submitting to drunken abuse by men: “Now, I wouldn’t be like that. I would climb across the table and stab him in the head with a fork.”   My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky: So was it when […]

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Clare’s Advice: Sink the Pequod!

Okay, so this might be a tad petty, but well, so what? On August 17th, Clare Spark of the blog YDS: The Clare Spark Blog, posted her incisive thoughts on “race relations” with the Ferguson, Missouri police murder of an unarmed Black man and the ensuing riots and militarized response by a swift and brutal […]

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Invaluable Understrappers

[UPDATED due to Clare Spark saying more about teachers unions in a post at 4:22 pm today.] One thing is for certain: Eva Moskowitz’s charter schools in Harlem have established that black and brown children can “succeed” beyond our wildest dreams if there is strong cooperation between school staff and parents, and a challenging curriculum. […]

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Neither Men Nor Toadstools

AUDIO: Neither Men Nor Toadstools I’m inclined to think “teaching” and “instruction” in institutional contexts are only misguided industrial practice. The best that can be done (and one might admit it’s not nothing though suspect) is to learn a way to speak about the mechanics of language conventions. The only way to “master” these conventions is […]

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Building the Insanity In: Ex Machina

This is not a movie review. This is me thinking about empathy. Last night, lonely little ol’ me sat in […]

Dislodged Giant: Can We Use Stevens to Interpret Dickinson?

You tell me. “I thought that nature was enough” by Emily Dickinson I thought that nature was enough Till Human […]

By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the […]

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter […]

Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or […]

A Rule of Storytelling and Unhappiness

As my friend began reading William Morris’s News From Nowhere, or, An Epic of Rest, I thought I might take […]