Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [bytesforall_readers] The 1st meeting of National ICT Policy Review Committee

Expand Messages
  • Dr. Steve Eskow
    Vickram, ... Innate ? Or learned, with much difficulty. ... Fed? Is this the same as taught ?
    Message 1 of 32 , May 31, 2008
      Vickram,

      > The 'tabula rasa' does not refer to a particular system, or even a set of systems. It was a reference to our own innate ability to accept that something we have learned may be wrong or founded on false principles, and therefore, to start again.>>
      >
      >
      "Innate"? Or learned, with much difficulty.

      > Much of what we know today (each of us, individually) is the sum of what we have been fed in school.>>

      Fed? Is this the same as "taught"?

      <<Some of this is about as valid as anything possibly can be, and some of it not.
      > >>
      And who can help us distinguish one from the other?

      > Our educational system (I am not even beginning to discuss the US system, because I have no personal experience of it) is currently designed to place an enormous amount of responsibility on the teaching institutions. Structurally, they have a huge amount of latency in curriculum dynamics. The end result (obviously, this analysis is exceedingly summary) is products who tend to not only believe everything they have learned (and are thus unable to revert to a 'rasa' state, even though a lot of science - for instance - is updated or even totally corrected by the time they graduate), but refuse to accept change, to the extent that they not only suffer huge life-long angst, but replicate similar rigid belief systems into other aspects of work and life.>>

      Where do those who embrace change come from? Are they unschooled? Or are the innovators those who can read and write and calculate, and perhaps have degrees from the universities?
      >
      > As far as starting anew goes, clearly 'insides' will always find it difficult (impossible, you think? but who taught Buddha, Christ, Socrates, Russell...?) to abandon their early schooling and plan out utopian new ways of doing things, but still, I think it is worth ensuring that societal approaches to learning do not prevent or denigrate change.>>

      I don't know about Buddha, but the others don't seem to have abandoned their early schooling, but used it to move in new directions. Embracing the New Testament, for example, doesn't require a forgetting of the Old Testament, but builds on it.
      >
      > The question for us today is how best to deal with entirely new ways of learning things than we ever had available for us. Not only are the tools different (and many of them leveraged by what we call ICT), capable of transforming the learning experience itself, but they are also potentially egalitarian beyond belief. >>

      Perhaps one way to begin is to think about why film,radio, and television have had so little impact on schooling, and see what we can learn from that history.

      And perhaps we need to insist that the new media require the old skills, e.g, reading and writing: the old literacies of language and number.
      >
      > That may be the biggest challenge to the concept of an educational 'system'.>

      Perhaps we might think about whether challenge and hostility is the best way to be effective in bringing the advantages of the new technologies into the educational process.

      Steve
      >
      > Vickram
      > http://communicall.wordpress.com
      > http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Dr. Steve Eskow <drseskow@...>
      > To: bytesforall_readers@yahoogroups.com
      > Cc: Vickram Crishna <v1clist@...>
      > Sent: Saturday, 31 May, 2008 11:30:44 AM
      > Subject: Re: [bytesforall_readers] The 1st meeting of National ICT Policy Review Committee
      >
      > Vickram, the idea of starting with a "tabula rasa" may be of a piece with the idea of rejecting a nation's educational system because it was originally imposed by a colonial regime.
      >
      > The US, my country, was a British colony, and the educational system now in place is a patient evolution of that system. Surely there is much that needs improving in our current educational practice, but nothing of value will happen by trying to replace it with a pre-colonial practice.
      >
      > The notion that we can begin again--by an exercise of will wipe the slate clean and on that clean slate design a better system--ignores that the chalk with which we will write on that slate and the new systems we will design are all determined by the culture we think we have erased: we have to think in the old language and the categories we have been taught. . .which means that we can not really rasa the tabula.
      >
      > Which probably means that it is idle to start from the beginning and try to imagine a new education which ignores the realities in place of language, tradition, culture, politics, economy, religion.
      >
      > It may be more useful to think of ways to move the present system in new directions than to design educational utopias.
      >
      >
      > Steve Eskow
      > ---- Vickram Crishna <v1clist@...> wrote:
      > > While Steve has a point about 'outsiders' with strong opinions, the educational system is one of those learned (nurturing) influences, whose validification is almost impossible for many people (insiders). In fact, it is only by rejection (very fortunately, a process many young people undergo) and starting with a, as it were, tabula rasa (unfortunately, not an option for most people), that one can begin to appreciate educational systems for what they are.
      > >
      > > Ziaur makes the same point when he says that ICT initiatives and policy should not be the sole province of ICT specialists, by which I take it he actually means IT specialists. The two terms ICT and IT are used so interchangeably, that not many realise anymore that ICT 'specialists' tend, in fact, to be holism evangelists.
      > >
      > > I argue that while it is critical to take inputs from all stakeholders, and this does not limit itself to discussions on ICT, some are better at defining 'needs', while others at outlining solutions to those needs. Government servants tend to be good at defining paths by which systems can be deployed with the help of government machinery (ie state infrastructure), and also in assessing the fallout of previous failed initiatives, if any.
      > >
      > > Vickram
      > > http://communicall.wordpress.com
      > > http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message ----
      > > From: Dr. Steve Eskow <drseskow@...>
      > > To: bytesforall_readers@yahoogroups.com
      > > Cc: info@...; bcc@...; Edward Cherlin <echerlin@...>
      > > Sent: Friday, 30 May, 2008 8:57:46 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [bytesforall_readers] The 1st meeting of National ICT Policy Review Committee
      > >
      > >
      > > Edward Cherlin believes this is true:
      > >
      > > <<The British Empire (among others) imposed an education system on the colonies intended to create a compliant and manageable workforce,
      > > military, bureaucracy, and so on that wouldn't interfere with the
      > > pillaging of the colonies by the rulers, who attended quite different
      > > schools. Much of this oppressive system, which is in no way suitable
      > > to free peoples, is still in place in many countries. What should
      > > replace it?>>
      > >
      > > The question of whether the present educational system is oppressive or freeing, whether it is suitable for free peoples or damaging to their growth, and whether it should be replaced or cherished and maintained is best decided by the people involved and not by outsiders with strong opinions and nothing at stake in the outcome.
      > >
      > > Steve Eskow
      > > --
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > __________________________________________________________
      > > Sent from Yahoo! Mail.
      > > A Smarter Email http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html
      >
      >
      > __________________________________________________________
      > Sent from Yahoo! Mail.
      > A Smarter Email http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html
    • john lawrence
      Hi Steve, yes, it has been a long road...and as you know, we are by no means there yet....but I m not sure the failure of the medium even as a western `tool
      Message 32 of 32 , Jun 3 6:13 PM
         Hi Steve, yes, it has been a long road...and as you know, we are by no means there yet....but I'm not sure the failure of the medium even as a western `tool' is the issue, if I'm interpreting correctly what you mean  ... any more than the first early trading symbols in Mesopotamian stone culturally constrained the spread of written language, or Caxton's press the printed page, or for that matter the first musical instrument the glorious spread of sounds that touch our souls today.....it is probably a matter of adaptation...for example, the explosion of mobile communications technology doesn't seem to have missed many areas (with some conspicuous exceptions as always), and if as many now suggest, handheld devices hold (forgivethepun) the key, the knowledge revolution will continue to outstrip educational institutions.....challenging parents, teachers, local communities, and educational administrators and policmakers, as never before...

        I am currently facilitating my first virtual course for UNDP.. Im not a traditional teacher or instructor, because I'm likely to learn as much if not more than the participants...admittedly, this falls perhaps into the traditional box of `continuing education' for currently full-time working professionals in every region (including UNDP/HQ)... but the fact that we have not really `a teacher' or `students', but just sort of fellow pilgrims striding along the learning road (if we can forget the fraught baggage surrounding those terms)... this to my mind is a signpost for all education at some point in the future...and we explicitly use the concept `self-paced instruction'....accommodating as best we can to workload schedules as well as to individual differences in time needed on-task to achieve specified criteria.....

        thanks for mentioning Alfred... we truly miss such penetrating vision, passion and commitment...a  pioneer... he was on the cusp of  (for me) an essential paradox, the search for a practical model with respect for a socratic, privileged, oxcam-style,  tutorial approach on the one hand, and  EFA priorities of outreach, broad equity of access, and generalized high quality on the other...something hypothetically only achievable in our lifetime (if at all) through some form of brilliantly designed virtual, self-paced and closely monitored (and continually adjustable) learning platform....and this is happening... but tentatively, and applications seem spotty yet at best...
        regards,

        John Lawrence
        UNDP Consultant,and Adjunct Professor, International Affairs,
        Columbia University, New York



        Dr. Steve Eskow wrote:
        Dr. Lawrence,
        
        It is good to know that you are still fighting the good fight after all these post-Jomtien years.
        
        As you know, the Jomtien manifesto included these words:
        
        <<Primary education must be universal, ensure that the basic learning needs of all children are satisfied, and take into account the culture, needs and opportunities of the community. >> 
        
        Is it possible that the failure of the computer to take hold in the poorer nations. the non-Western nations, is that advocates of the computer as the universal educator have failed to take into account "the culture, needs and opportunities of the community."
        
        You mention "self-paced instruction," a term that seems to have disappeared from current discussion of "21st Century" technological instruction. A few veterans of those early wars--Alfred Bork comes to mind--continue to use this rhetoric, but post-PLATO the self-placed movement seems to be history. Am I wrong about this? Is CAI and the like a living movement? Where?
        
        There has to be some explanation of what isn't happening that digs deeper than such old bromides as "resistance to change." In your veteran's view, what is happening, or what accounts for what isn't happening?
        
        Steve Eskow
        ---- John Lawrence <john.lawrence@...> wrote: 
          
        This is one of the most penetrating discussions I have seen lately on 
        practical issues raised initially in Jomtien (1990 World Conference)  on 
        education for all, instead of education for `some'. Even thinking about 
        reaching the (unreachable) 2015 MDGs on educational `completion' 
        requires a whole new approach not only to dealing with dropouts 
        worldwide  in early years of schooling, but more particularly, 
        addressing the range of `learning disabilities' inhibiting at some point 
        many (if not all) of us ... the 2006 Convention on Rights of Persons 
        with Disabilities has opened up a whole new avenue for research and 
        practice that in my view can and should  be tied closely to the role IT 
        can play in individualizing learning, and promoting free and continuous 
        access to new knowledge, thus helping self-paced instruction finally 
        replace the lectern (or pulpit?)... I am also intrigued by the principle 
        of cursor-mapping, and would like to ask if anyone knows of studies in 
        this field which relate cursor movement to objective learning criteria 
        (e.g. time on task, understanding, correct answers, and quality of 
        presentation materials)?
        best regards, John Lawrence
        UNDP Consultant,
        and Adjunct Professor, International Affairs
        Columbia University, New York
        
        Edward Cherlin wrote:
        
            
        On Sat, May 31, 2008 at 9:40 PM, Vickram Crishna <v1clist@... 
        <mailto:v1clist%40yahoo.co.uk>> wrote:
              
        It is entirely true that earlier media innovations have pretty soundly
        belied expectations of societal transformation, as far as their 
                
        education
              
        potential is concerned.
                
        By no means. They have largely failed within the school system, but
        they have radically transformed societies wherever they have become
        available. There is nothing that the North Korean and Burmese regimes
        fear more than international communications, particularly the
        Internet.
        
              
        In order to use this brave new technology we have to know how to 
                
        read and
              
        write--we have to learn the old media first. Reading and writing, 
                
        and the
              
        styles of thought developed by stringing words and sentences and 
                
        paragraphs
              
        out
        on a page. Or a computer screen.
                
        I don't think it matters, but this is not literally true. The computer
        could do all of our reading for us, using text-to-speech technology.
        Certainly it is important that computers are usable by the illiterate
        and preliterate to learn, and to accomplish many tasks of value to the
        user.
        
              
        Working with persons who have been touched by the neurological 
                
        conditions
              
        clubbed under the umbrella term 'autistic spectrum', it is increasingly
        clear that many of the things one takes for granted (bad phrase: 
                
        actually,
              
        what I took for granted), such as reading and writing, are merely 
                
        abilities
              
        that a majority - not all - of people, display. It is not far off 
                
        the point
              
        to draw an analogy between such skills and say, archery. While many 
                
        people
              
        can use a bow and arrow, very few can do it superlatively well, and 
                
        a few
              
        can't do it at all.
                
        At the same time, people with various neurological conditions defined
        by society as deficits sometimes have other abilities of great
        importance. ADHD and dyslexia are both known to be correlated with
        intelligence, creativity, impulsivity, and compassion, in addition to
        their obvious cognitive issues. (Disclosure: Nicholas Negroponte is
        dyslexic. I have ADHD.)
        
              
        A education system that holds archery paramount fails all those who 
                
        cannot
              
        do it at all, and condemns to mediocrity those that don't do it
        superlatively well.
                
        As in late medieval England, in the period when all sports other than
        archery were forbidden.
        
              
        Now, will the new, interactive, media serve a better, more inclusive,
        purpose? Obviously, until we can see it happening, we are going to be
        sceptical.
                
        There are published studies on the use of computers in general, and of
        Smalltalk and Logo in particular. Unfortunately, I know of no
        bibliography of this literature, so I am compiling the materials I am
        aware of. See, for example, Saul Rockman's studies, available from
        http://www.rockman.com/publications/index.php. 
        <http://www.rockman.com/publications/index.php.> Here is an excerpt from
        Rockman, S. (2003, Fall). Learning from laptops. Threshold Magazine,
        1(1), 24-28.
        http://www.rockman.com/publications/articles/LearningFromLaptops.pdf 
        <http://www.rockman.com/publications/articles/LearningFromLaptops.pdf>
        
        The introduction of laptops for all students is a considerable change
        in the average classroom, especially for the teacher. While there may
        be three or four computers in the back of the room, an open laptop on
        each desk is a dramatic shift from what a teacher normally sees. And
        for most, the first time is a little frightening. Just what do you say
        and do when every one of your students has a computer in front of him
        or her? Will they use it inappropriately? How do you change your
        lessons to take advantage of the opportunities that computers and
        Internet access offer?
        
        Very quickly, an observer in a laptop classroom would see that there
        is less lecturing and more individual and group project work. Teachers
        discover that they don't have to provide all the information, that
        students can gather much of what is needed from the Internet. When
        teachers acknowledge that their students have the tools to do a lot of
        the work of school (of both teaching and learning), they adopt a
        strategy that lets students work on their own more, or work in small
        groups to under-
        take projects in line with curriculum standards. Students can do more
        work on their own and at their own pace, and the teachers can act more
        as consultants to them, offering individualized suggestions,
        mid-course corrections, and more frequent assessments of individual
        and group progress. Teachers are making use, or making greater use, of
        authentic assessments to evaluate the content and design of
        technology-rich products developed by their students.
        
        Teachers also begin to see a shift in their role as instructional
        leader and master of all knowledge. First, they certainly learn more
        about technology from their students (who are much more willing to put
        in the seat time to master a piece of software). Many students thrive
        in an environment where they have skills and knowledge to share and to
        trade. Trading with a teacher provides them with a sense of pride and
        empowerment. The shift to students-as-teachers goes beyond trading
        information. As students make presentations about their projects, both
        the other students and the teacher are the audience for information
        and ideas that may be new to the entire group, since the range of
        information sources is dramatically widened through the Internet.
        Teachers also need to be wary consumers, since students no longer copy
        from the encyclopedia, they cut and paste from a variety of Web sites.
        Laptop programs also influence teachers by increasing
        their collaboration with other teachers in their building.
        
              
        But being sceptical, and proactively drawing lines to
        circumscribe the realisation of this potential, are two different 
                
        things.
              
        Some elements among the perpetuators of current educational systems use
        these methods to defend the status quo.
        
        Firstly, we need to appreciate how limiting our 'concepts' of 
                
        education are.
              
        Yes, I did equate 'fed' and 'taught', and that must be galling when the
        major chunk of a lifetime has been spent selflessly pursuing assisting
        children to grow, and that within a particular system. I doubt those
        hallmarks of success can be naysayed, and I do not want my remarks to be
        taken as personal attacks, which they aren't - how can they be, when 
                
        we both
              
        want the same things? But success within a pool of circumstance does not
        signify the universality of the pool itself.
        
        Within 'education', constantly harping on gradations of success is
        definitely one of the more appalling characteristics of this 
                
        methodology.
              
        What gives me heart is that imparting even something as fine-grained,
        knowledge-wise, as software code writing, is beginning to be 
                
        recognised as
              
        better done with a holistic, collaborative and inclusive knowledge 
                
        approach,
              
        than measuring the ability to, say, churn out a hundred lines of 
                
        code that
              
        does the job, within the 1.75 hours set for the final examination.
        
        Naturally, detailed arguments pro- and con- modern education cannot be
        conducted effectively on a mailing list. I don't even think it is really
        necessary for us to debate it here, if the purpose is clearing our own
        thoughts. But the conversation will help others to think about the 
                
        issues.
        
        Much of the conversation has to be about things that each of us can do
        offline to clarify, first, what the questions are, and second, how to
        find our own answers. That is one of the reasons why I want to compile
        a list of source materials, not only including education theory and
        results of studies, but particularly those explaining how to do your
        own experiments on yourself and with others. The starting point for a
        theory of education is twofold: How do children learn?, and what do we
        want them to learn? The Prussian system systematically ignores and
        devalues the ways in which children learn naturally, such as the
        ability to become fluent in a subset of any language in two months or
        so. It focuses all of its energy on ways of teaching that make
        children dependent on the teacher, because it originates from the
        political purpose of making the population entirely dependent for
        their opinions on an alliance of rulers and clergy.
        
        The scientific study of how children actually learn, apart from the
        plan to further some specific ideological purpose, is rather recent.
        The study of how we can teach effectively has been marginalized by
        those with a stake in maintaining the conventional system until now,
        when we can afford to subvert it in a way that the system cannot
        resist: the computer is cheaper than textbooks, and will eventually
        win out in most schools regardless of ideologies.
        
        The Evangelical home-schooling movement, the spiritual heirs of the
        Prussian Calvinists, is already aghast at secular education in the
        schools. Computers will make everything far worse, from their point of
        view. (Personal conversation with one of them.)
        
              
        Finally, about 'egalitarian': those of us who work within the broad area
        known as ICT (yes, Ziaur, an ICT approach is far more wide-ranging 
                
        than an
              
        IT approach, and it is unfair to other stakeholders to equate the 
                
        two at a
              
        simplistic level)
                
        Quibbling about terminology is no help. It should be eschewed in the
        same manner as spelling flames. IT includes Internet and VoIP, so
        effectively all of communication.
        
              
        cannot help but see that very little more than
        'conventional wisdom' stands between the transformation of IT tools as
        instruments of delivery from the exotic to the ubiquitous.
                
        Not even conventional wisdom, unless in that you include the inertia
        of the school purchasing process. Computers are cheaper than
        textbooks, and computerized textbooks are better than paper textbooks.
        All other arguments about how it will work are side issues.
        
              
        Of course, that conventional wisdom also controls the markets, and they
        determine which manufacturers and vendors will survive to lead that
        transformation. However, markets do not care about societal 
                
        transformation,
              
        they tend to favour the reduction of entropy. Which is unnatural, 
                
        hence the
              
        need to evangelise and welcome the counsel of 'outsiders'.
                
        Markets tend to promote efficient outcomes, when not interfered with
        by governments, corporations with undue political and economic power,
        ideological forces, and other factors. Computers are cheaper than
        textbooks, and nobody is in a position to change that fact, which is
        irresistible in itself.
        
              
        Vickram
        http://communicall.wordpress.com <http://communicall.wordpress.com>
        http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com <http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com>
        
        ----- Original Message ----
        From: Dr. Steve Eskow <drseskow@... <mailto:drseskow%40cox.net>>
        To: bytesforall_readers@yahoogroups.com 
                
        <mailto:bytesforall_readers%40yahoogroups.com>
              
        Cc: Vickram Crishna <v1clist@... <mailto:v1clist%40yahoo.co.uk>>
        Sent: Saturday, 31 May, 2008 11:24:55 PM
        Subject: Re: [bytesforall_readers] The 1st meeting of National ICT 
                
        Policy
              
        Review Committee
        
        Vickram,
        
        Perhaps the paradox is best illustrated by your use of the term "tabula
        rasa". Any one who uses that term clearly doesn't start with a blank 
                
        state,
              
        but with a concept--the concept of the blank state--that has a 
                
        history that
              
        goes back to Aristotle and includes John Locke's "Essay on Human
        Understanding."
        
        Or: we can use what we learned of Socrates and his dialectical 
                
        challenging
              
        to challenge received wisdom: but only if we have some memories of how
        Socrates went about the work of challenging the established 
                
        order.(And the
              
        price he paid!)
        
        And those of us who have been captured by the educational potential 
                
        of new
              
        media, remember our excitement at the transformative possibilities 
                
        of film,
              
        radio, television, and how little impact they had after the 
                
        excitement was
              
        over.
        
        You say:
        
        <<The question for us today is how best to deal with entirely new 
                
        ways of
              
        learning things than we ever had available for us. Not only are the 
                
        tools
              
        different (and many of them leveraged by what we call ICT), capable of
        transforming the learning experience itself, but they are also 
                
        potentially
              
        egalitarian beyond belief.>>
        
        In order to use this brave new technology we have to know how to 
                
        read and
              
        write--we have to learn the old media first. Reading and writing, 
                
        and the
              
        styles of thought developed by stringing words and sentences and 
                
        paragraphs
              
        out
        on a page. Or a computer screen.
        
        And the evidence is not clear on the "egalitarian" issue. Computers and
        internet access cost money, and to date the educational benefits of 
                
        ICT have
              
        not been distributed equally.
        
        Vickram, perhaps instead of the tabula rasa we have to remember: 
                
        remember
              
        our history of failed educational technologies, or else we will be 
                
        doomed to
              
        repeat it.
        
        In the last analysis, we are on the same side: we believe that the new
        communication technologies have much to offer education. I can't 
                
        rasa the
              
        tabula, however, and don't want to repeat the mistake of promising 
                
        too much
              
        too soon before the evidence is in.
        
        Steve Eskow
        
        
        A
        ---- Vickram Crishna <v1clist@... 
                
        <mailto:v1clist%40yahoo.co.uk>> wrote:
              
        The 'tabula rasa' does not refer to a particular system, or even a 
                  
        set of
              
        systems. It was a reference to our own innate ability to accept that
        something we have learned may be wrong or founded on false 
                  
        principles, and
              
        therefore, to start again.
        
        
        Much of what we know today (each of us, individually) is the sum of 
                  
        what
              
        we have been fed in school. Some of this is about as valid as anything
        possibly can be, and some of it not.
        
        Our educational system (I am not even beginning to discuss the US 
                  
        system,
              
        because I have no personal experience of it) is currently designed 
                  
        to place
              
        an enormous amount of responsibility on the teaching institutions.
        Structurally, they have a huge amount of latency in curriculum 
                  
        dynamics. The
              
        end result (obviously, this analysis is exceedingly summary) is 
                  
        products who
              
        tend to not only believe everything they have learned (and are thus 
                  
        unable
              
        to revert to a 'rasa' state, even though a lot of science - for 
                  
        instance -
              
        is updated or even totally corrected by the time they graduate), 
                  
        but refuse
              
        to accept change, to the extent that they not only suffer huge 
                  
        life-long
              
        angst, but replicate similar rigid belief systems into other 
                  
        aspects of work
              
        and life.
        
        As far as starting anew goes, clearly 'insiders' will always find it
        difficult (impossible, you think? but who taught Buddha, Christ, 
                  
        Socrates,
              
        Russell...?) to abandon their early schooling and plan out utopian 
                  
        new ways
              
        of doing things, but still, I think it is worth ensuring that societal
        approaches to learning do not prevent or denigrate change.
        
        The question for us today is how best to deal with entirely new ways of
        learning things than we ever had available for us. Not only are the 
                  
        tools
              
        different (and many of them leveraged by what we call ICT), capable of
        transforming the learning experience itself, but they are also 
                  
        potentially
              
        egalitarian beyond belief.
        
        That may be the biggest challenge to the concept of an educational
        'system'.
        
        [OT] As far as the 'colonial' aspect of this discussion goes, it is
        laughable to try and compare the US and African-Asian colonial 
                  
        experiences.
              
        Unless, of course, you would like to ask a Mohawk her opinion of the US
        educational system, as it has evolved from colonial days. Anyway, I 
                  
        would
              
        rather not continue any discussion in this direction, as it is far too
        personal and corrosive, and does not add value.
        
        Vickram
        http://communicall.wordpress.com <http://communicall.wordpress.com>
        http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com <http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com>
        
        
        
        ----- Original Message ----
        From: Dr. Steve Eskow <drseskow@... <mailto:drseskow%40cox.net>>
        To: bytesforall_readers@yahoogroups.com 
                  
        <mailto:bytesforall_readers%40yahoogroups.com>
              
        Cc: Vickram Crishna <v1clist@... 
                  
        <mailto:v1clist%40yahoo.co.uk>>
              
        Sent: Saturday, 31 May, 2008 11:30:44 AM
        Subject: Re: [bytesforall_readers] The 1st meeting of National ICT 
                  
        Policy
              
        Review Committee
        
        Vickram, the idea of starting with a "tabula rasa" may be of a 
                  
        piece with
              
        the idea of rejecting a nation's educational system because it was
        originally imposed by a colonial regime.
        
        The US, my country, was a British colony, and the educational 
                  
        system now
              
        in place is a patient evolution of that system. Surely there is 
                  
        much that
              
        needs improving in our current educational practice, but nothing of 
                  
        value
              
        will happen by trying to replace it with a pre-colonial practice.
        
        The notion that we can begin again--by an exercise of will wipe the 
                  
        slate
              
        clean and on that clean slate design a better system--ignores that 
                  
        the chalk
              
        with which we will write on that slate and the new systems we will 
                  
        design
              
        are all determined by the culture we think we have erased: we have 
                  
        to think
              
        in the old language and the categories we have been taught. . 
                  
        .which means
              
        that we can not really rasa the tabula.
        
        Which probably means that it is idle to start from the beginning 
                  
        and try
              
        to imagine a new education which ignores the realities in place of 
                  
        language,
              
        tradition, culture, politics, economy, religion.
        
        It may be more useful to think of ways to move the present system 
                  
        in new
              
        directions than to design educational utopias.
        
        
        Steve Eskow
        ---- Vickram Crishna <v1clist@... 
                  
        <mailto:v1clist%40yahoo.co.uk>> wrote:
              
        While Steve has a point about 'outsiders' with strong opinions, the
        educational system is one of those learned (nurturing) 
                    
        influences, whose
              
        validification is almost impossible for many people (insiders). 
                    
        In fact, it
              
        is only by rejection (very fortunately, a process many young 
                    
        people undergo)
              
        and starting with a, as it were, tabula rasa (unfortunately, not 
                    
        an option
              
        for most people), that one can begin to appreciate educational 
                    
        systems for
              
        what they are.
        
        Ziaur makes the same point when he says that ICT initiatives and 
                    
        policy
              
        should not be the sole province of ICT specialists, by which I 
                    
        take it he
              
        actually means IT specialists. The two terms ICT and IT are used so
        interchangeably, that not many realise anymore that ICT 
                    
        'specialists' tend,
              
        in fact, to be holism evangelists.
        
        I argue that while it is critical to take inputs from all 
                    
        stakeholders,
              
        and this does not limit itself to discussions on ICT, some are 
                    
        better at
              
        defining 'needs', while others at outlining solutions to those needs.
        Government servants tend to be good at defining paths by which 
                    
        systems can
              
        be deployed with the help of government machinery (ie state 
                    
        infrastructure),
              
        and also in assessing the fallout of previous failed initiatives, 
                    
        if any.
              
        Vickram
        http://communicall.wordpress.com <http://communicall.wordpress.com>
        http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com <http://vvcrishna.wordpress.com>
        
        
        
        ----- Original Message ----
        From: Dr. Steve Eskow <drseskow@... <mailto:drseskow%40cox.net>>
        To: bytesforall_readers@yahoogroups.com 
                    
        <mailto:bytesforall_readers%40yahoogroups.com>
              
        Cc: info@... <mailto:info%40bracu.ac.bd>; bcc@... 
                    
        <mailto:bcc%40bcc.net.bd>; Edward Cherlin
              
        <echerlin@... <mailto:echerlin%40gmail.com>>
        Sent: Friday, 30 May, 2008 8:57:46 AM
        Subject: Re: [bytesforall_readers] The 1st meeting of National ICT
        Policy Review Committee
        
        
        Edward Cherlin believes this is true:
        
        <<The British Empire (among others) imposed an education system 
                    
        on the
              
        colonies intended to create a compliant and manageable workforce,
        military, bureaucracy, and so on that wouldn't interfere with the
        pillaging of the colonies by the rulers, who attended quite different
        schools. Much of this oppressive system, which is in no way suitable
        to free peoples, is still in place in many countries. What should
        replace it?>>
        
        The question of whether the present educational system is 
                    
        oppressive or
              
        freeing, whether it is suitable for free peoples or damaging to their
        growth, and whether it should be replaced or cherished and 
                    
        maintained is
              
        best decided by the people involved and not by outsiders with strong
        opinions and nothing at stake in the outcome.
        
        Steve Eskow
        --
        
        
        
        
        __________________________________________________________
        Sent from Yahoo! Mail.
        A Smarter Email http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html 
                    
        <http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html>
              
        __________________________________________________________
        Sent from Yahoo! Mail.
        A Smarter Email http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html 
                  
        <http://uk.docs.yahoo.com/nowyoucan.html>
              
        ________________________________
        Sent from Yahoo! Mail.
        A Smarter Email.
                
        -- 
        Edward Cherlin
        End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
        http://www.EarthTreasury.org/ <http://www.EarthTreasury.org/>
        "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay
        
         
              
          

      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.