Saturday, June 11, 2011

MyNotes - Memorization IS Science and Why US Is Destroying Education

Check out this video about being "born scientists" and the danger years...I enjoyed watching this gentleman on Good Morning, America, sharing what was happening in Japan after the tsunami and earthquake.
(couldn't see how to embed it, so my apologies to folks who lack access to Facebook!)

  • Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System
    • By Chris Hedges
      • A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.
        • Teachers
          • We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential
            • are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King.
              • These instructors obey. They teach children to obey.
                • They reward those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.
                  • The demonizing of teachers is another public relations feint, a way for corporations to deflect attention from the theft of some $17 billion in wages, savings and earnings among American workers and a landscape where one in six workers is without employment.
                    • The truly educated become conscious. They become self-aware. They do not lie to themselves. They do not pretend that fraud is moral or that corporate greed is good. They do not claim that the demands of the marketplace can morally justify the hunger of children or denial of medical care to the sick. They do not throw 6 million families from their homes as the cost of doing business. Thought is a dialogue with one’s inner self. Those who think ask questions, questions those in authority do not want asked.
                      • Those who can ask the right questions are armed with the capacity to make a moral choice, to defend the good in the face of outside pressure.
                        • The truly educated make their own wills serve the higher call of justice, empathy and reason. Socrates made the same argument when he said it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong.
                          • We must fear, Arendt warned, those whose moral system is built around the flimsy structure of blind obedience. We must fear those who cannot think. Unconscious civilizations become totalitarian wastelands.

                            View the annotated version on Diigo

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                            Doug said...

                            This is a pretty grim outlook. Do you think it is really that bad?

                            Miguel Guhlin said...

                            @Doug This article is a call to arms, a reminder that freedoms seldom fought for die all too easily in the face of facism.

                            On a more serious note, I really liked the rhetoric. And, unless rednecks wake up to Republican Tea Party shenanigans--gotta feel bad for moderates--it may take all of us yelling for them to wake up. At best, we'll get a bleary eyed smile of ignorance.

                            Not much of a response but it's late.

                            The Courage to Lead