Tag Archives | Education

Elite Boarding School’s Exam Asks Boys To Justify The Army Killing Protesters

eton collegeEton College in England has groomed teenage boys for elite positions in society for nearly 600 years. (Recent alumni include Prime Minister David Cameron and the royal princes.) The Huffington Post UK reports that the school’s scholarship exam, presumably given to our leaders of tomorrow, has raised eyebrows:

Eton College asked 13-year-old boys competing for a scholarship to pretend to be Prime Minister and justify the army shooting dead 25 protesters as a “necessary and moral” decision, it has emerged.

Tony Little, headmaster of Eton College, said the school does not favour “any particular political viewpoint”.

The question was part of an exam to win one of 14 King’s Scholarships. The school, which Prince Harry and Prince William attended, charges more than £30,000 a year in fees.

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5 Ways We Are Isolated From Each Other And Cut Off From Our Roots

dd395-gamePredators must have knowledge about their prey if they are going to be successful hunters.  It is clear that we have been studied and our weaknesses have been exploited in an effort to exhaust us economically, physically and spiritually.  Renowned researcher, Alan Watt goes so far as to state that the perpetrators responsible for this ultimately want to destroy any sense of individuality in us whatsoever.

Regardless of who’s doing the aggression, we can see that there is a war on the individual as we are assaulted on many fronts and are losing our individuality to such an alarming degree, with such intensity and in such a rapid time, that it drastically reduces the likelihood that this is happening by accident.  It seems there are predators who are coercing us and creating an atmosphere ripe for the rotting of minds.  The identity of the predators, while crucial, is controversialhowever their actions leave scars that are less debatable and if we can agree on what those are, we can perhaps have an easier time building a consensus about what is happening in general and what we can do about it.  That said, it’s not very difficult to agree on what those scars are.  They’re in front of our faces all the time.… Read the rest

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Paradigm Shift in Education: Krishnamurti on the Educator, RAW on Ignorance, Gato on the System, and Hamming on Learning

via chycho

education-significance-life-j-krishnamurti-paperback-cover-art

The root cause of society’s ills is how we deal with education. Deep down we all know this, but for decades we have barely lifted a finger to address it. The main reason for this inaction is because most of us are ourselves products of this defective system. We have been programed for obedience, turned into self-absorbed apathetic beings that submit to authority and fear dissent.

We are bombarded with propaganda that wants us to believe in the economy. That if everyone had a job and the economy was growing at whatever rate our centralized governments had set, then all would be well. There are two problems with this mindset. First, our crony cannibalistic economic system will never reach this zenith. Second, it’s a lie; a better economy is not the solution to our woes. What is, is educating our children to become integrated beings, free of envy and materialism.

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Massive Protests Planned Against Chicago Public School Closings

Pic: Shanna Riley (CC)

Pic: Shanna Riley (CC)

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

While Chicago’s Mayor and other administration officials seem to believe the closing of more than 54 public schools in Chicago is a done deal, resistance to the closures is about to peak just before the school board votes on the closures. This weekend, thousands plan to march to say no to the closures for three days beginning Saturday.

Resistance to the closures however, began months ago, with several protests and hundreds of hearings where parents, students, teachers and their supporters aired their grievances and demanded their schools stay open. Mayor Rahm Emanuel touts the closures will help close the $1 billion deficit. Officials within CPS said they could save as much as $560 million by shutting the doors to neighborhood schools, shuffling students to other supposedly better performing locations. However, WBEZ reported the calculation was off by $122 million. CPS admitted its mistake in arithmetic, calling it an “honest mistake.”

Mistakes in math however, are only the tip of the iceberg.… Read the rest

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What If European History Was Told Like Native American History?

european historyAn Indigenous History of North America inverts the norm by imagining a U.S. school textbook devoted to the intricacies of indigenous societies in the Americas, with a few paragraphs covering the history of Europe:

The first immigrants to Europe arrived thousands of years ago from central Asia. Most pre-contact Europeans lived together in small villages. Because the continent was very crowded, their lives were ruled by strict hierarchies within the family and outside it to control resources. Europe was highly multi-ethnic, and most tribes were ruled by hereditary leaders who commanded the majority “commoners.” These groups were engaged in near constant warfare.

Religion infused every part of Europeans’ lives. Europeans believed in one supreme deity, a father figure, who they believed was made of three parts, and they particularly worshiped the deity’s son. They claimed that their god had given humans domination over the earth. They built elaborate temples to him and performed ceremonies in which they ate crackers and drank wine and believed it was the body and blood of their god, who would provide them with entrance into a wondrous afterlife called heaven when they died.

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West Virginia Lawmaker Proposes Requiring Science Fiction In High School

solarisThe goal is to spur interest in math and science, and encourage kids to ponder the benefits and drawbacks of emerging technologies in their own lives. Via Blastr, a fantastic antidote to the efforts of politicians to mandate religious content in classrooms:

A Republican legislator in West Virginia is proposing a bill that would require the State Board of Education to integrate science fiction literature into middle-school and high-school reading curricula. Delegate Ray Canterbury hopes that even if the bill doesn’t pass it will pressure the Board of Education to adopt science fiction on its own.

“I’m primarily interested in things where advanced technology is a key component of the storyline, both in terms of the problems that it presents and the solutions that it offers,” Canterbury said. Canterbury cites Isaac Asimov and Jules Verne as early influences in his own youth that lead him to earn a degree in mathematics.

“In Southern West Virginia, there’s a bit of a Calvinistic attitude toward life—this is how things are and they’ll never be any different,” Canterbury says.

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Excerpts from three articles on education: Dorothy Sayers, Richard P. Feynman, John Taylor Gatto

via chycho

To say that our education system is broken and in need of a gargantuan overhaul is an understatement, but it will happen since it is an inevitable side effect of the liberation of data that comes with an open internet.

What form these new systems of education will take are yet to be determined: only time will tell if they will be optimized replicas of the present models, or if they will be based on a new way of teaching and thought. Either way, the overhaul is long overdue and I for one am excited to see the transformation.

Below you will find excerpts from three excellent articles on education that address some of the problems with our current systems. They are well worth the read:

1)The Lost Tools of Learning” by Dorothy Sayers: “Let us amuse ourselves by imagining that such progressive retrogression is possible.… Read the rest

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Gates Foundation And Rupert Murdoch Unveil New Database To Track K-12 Students’ Personal Information

Kids’ grades, behavior, medical issues, and more—with their names and social security numbers attached—will be tracked by their public schools, entered in a database, and sold to private companies, in the name of improving educational services, Reuters reports:

The most influential new product [at the SXSWedu conference this week in Austin] may be a $100 million database built to chart the academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school.

In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school – even homework completion.

Local education officials retain legal control over their students’ information. But federal law allows them to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services.

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Transgender First-Grader Banned From Girls Bathroom

Picture: Kurt Lowenstein Educational Center Outreach Team

Kathryn DeHoyos writes at the Good Men Project:

On Wednesday, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund announced that it had filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division against Eagleside Elementary School and the Fountain-Fort Carson School District on behalf of Coy Mathis, a transgender first-grader who, up until December, was using the girls’ restroom at school. Coy was born with male genitalia, but according to her mother Kathryn Mathis “has identified as female since she could express herself.” Kathryn told CNN that she and her husband were “shocked” when they received a phone call in December to inform them that Coy could, “use the boys’ bathroom, gender-neutral faculty bathrooms or the nurse’s bathroom, but not the girls’ facilities.” She said, “We were very confused because everything was going so well, and they had been so accepting, and all of a sudden it changed and it was very confusing and very upsetting because we knew that, by doing that, [Coy] was going to go back to being unhappy.

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Are Our Schools Prisons?

From Modern Mythology:
Though potentially alarmist, this documentary points to a process that really started with the advent of the american education system as a part of the rise of industry. Our modern school system, though it has been vastly successful compared to many earlier systems as bad as it is, is indeed based on the whistle-blowing, mechanized and behaviorist perspective of humanity that was popular in the 1920s-50s. Instead of changing with the times in terms of making kids into machines, and to produce "good workers," we might consider trying to help create human beings. Because of all the school shootings, in many ways now we are facing a PKD style "thought police" No Tolerance rule toward what someone might do. How does this lack of trust effect the people within the system?
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