blue bits. red rocks.


It seems to me that educated people should know something about the 13-billion-year prehistory of our species and the basic laws governing the physical and living world, including our bodies and brains. They should grasp the timeline of human history from the dawn of agriculture to the present. They should be exposed to the diversity of human cultures, and the major systems of belief and value with which they have made sense of their lives. They should know about the formative events in human history, including the blunders we can hope not to repeat. They should understand the principles behind democratic governance and the rule of law. They should know how to appreciate works of fiction and art as sources of aesthetic pleasure and as impetuses to reflect on the human condition. Harvard, Ivy League Should Judge Students by Standardized Tests

In the broader society, entertainment is the new mode of education with its delivery of instant stimulation, excitement, gratification, and escape from the world of social and political responsibility while broader notions of education harness peoples’ subjectivities to the narrow values of a market-driven society. In school, pedagogies of repression wage war on the critical and imaginative capacities of students. Under such circumstances, the disimagination machine represents a constellation of symbolic and institutional forces that attempts to shut down the possibility of critical thought and social agency. Henry A. Giroux

As all aspects of American life are transformed into a war zone, the state employs the mechanics and practices of a disimagination machine coupled with state terrorism. For instance, public schools are being privatized and militarized while higher education is being turned into a training ground for all but the elite in order to service corporate interests and power. Henry A. Giroux

Fear, privatization and depoliticization are the organizing principles of American society at the current moment and as such the defunding of critical public spheres such as schools is matched by forms of state repression that link education to purely instrumental interests, at least for most young people. The social and political cleansing of history, memory and thought itself is in essence a part of a larger attack on dissent, critical thinking, engaged agency and collective struggles. Purging dissent and public memory not only promotes among young people retreat from the public realm, it also empties out politics. As the public collapses into the private, injustices are viewed as a nuisance that interfere with private interests. Believing in a cause gives way to the quest to get ahead, while matters of social and civic responsibility disappear in a self-absorbed culture of narcissism, narrow individualism and privatization. Henry A. Giroux

Fortunately, there’s one skill that you can use to prepare yourself for the new economy. Self-education. It’s the ability to educate yourself using the Internet. In fact, the ability to learn anything on your own is so important, I believe it is the single most important determinant of future success. The Future of Education is Self-Education

Education doesn’t correct bad thinking if one’s narrative relies on that bad thinking. One also has to offer an alternate coherent and attractive structure whereby people can handle these new ways of thinking without feeling as if their entire faith and life hang in the balance. evangelicalism, evolution, and the facts

Whatever form of education is inflicted on children, they will always find mythical or heroic figures to satisfy their imagination. If they do not have King Arthur and Peredur or Sigurd and Regin, they will content themselves with Donald Duck and Dick Barton. It may even be argued that the latter are healthier because they are more spontaneous and near to contemporary reality than Branwen the daughter of Llyr or Burnt Njal. But are they more real because they are more at home in our impoverished world? I believe the old myths are better not only intrinsically, but because they lead further and open a door into the mind as well as into the past. This was the old road which carries us back not merely for centuries but for thousands of years; the road by which every people has travelled and from which the beginnings of every literature have come. I mean the road of oral tradition. It may be that the changes of our generation, the increased speed of life and the mechanization of popular culture by the cinema and the radio have closed this road forever. But if so, those of us who remember the world before the wars have witnessed a change in human consciousness far greater than we have realized and what we are remembering is not the Victorian age but a whole series of ages — a river of immemorial time which has suddenly dried up and become lost in the seismic cleft that has opened between the present and the past. Christopher Dawson

But using cheap labor—and vulnerable labor—is a business practice that goes as far back as you can trace private enterprise, and unions emerged in response. In the universities, cheap, vulnerable labor means adjuncts and graduate students. Graduate students are even more vulnerable, for obvious reasons. The idea is to transfer instruction to precarious workers, which improves discipline and control but also enables the transfer of funds to other purposes apart from education. The costs, of course, are borne by the students and by the people who are being drawn into these vulnerable occupations. But it’s a standard feature of a business-run society to transfer costs to the people. In fact, economists tacitly cooperate in this. So, for example, suppose you find a mistake in your checking account and you call the bank to try to fix it. Well, you know what happens. You call them up, and you get a recorded message saying “We love you, here’s a menu.” Maybe the menu has what you’re looking for, maybe it doesn’t. If you happen to find the right option, you listen to some music, and every once and a while a voice comes in and says “Please stand by, we really appreciate your business,” and so on. Finally, after some period of time, you may get a human being, who you can ask a short question to. That’s what economists call “efficiency.” By economic measures, that system reduces labor costs to the bank; of course it imposes costs on you, and those costs are multiplied by the number of users, which can be enormous—but that’s not counted as a cost in economic calculation. And if you look over the way the society works, you find this everywhere. So the university imposes costs on students and on faculty who are not only untenured but are maintained on a path that guarantees that they will have no security. All of this is perfectly natural within corporate business models. It’s harmful to education, but education is not their goal. Chomsky: How America’s Great University System Is Getting Destroyed

Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. Paulo Freire

But we also know that to be educated, the goal of it must be human liberation. A liberation enabling each of us to fulfill our capacity so as to be free to create within and around ourselves. To be educated to freedom must be evidenced in action, and here again is where we ask ourselves, as we have asked our parents and our teachers, questions about integrity, trust, and respect. Those three words mean different things to all of us. Some of the things they can mean, for instance: Integrity, the courage to be whole, to try to mold an entire person in this particular context, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. If the only tool we have ultimately to use is our lives, so we use it in the way we can by choosing a way to live that will demonstrate the way we feel and the way we know. Hillary D. Rodham

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