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Re: [CCDS Members] Fw: a dream of a teacher

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  • Norma J F Harrison
    Well, if you re satisfied that the segregated - by age, mainly - indoctrination structure that is school is education, then I guess you can draw the abortive
    Message 1 of 2 , May 20, 2010
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      Well, if you're satisfied that the segregated - by age, mainly - indoctrination structure that is school is education, then I guess you can draw the abortive conclusions about what I've said, that you have.
      Just because people have been driven this far by our Owners doesn't mean it's a 'working class' movement, that it's not elitist, centered as the work is on people with jobs and largely with more advanced educations.  You can call it that, but that doesn't make it so. 
      People you're talking to have been so driven from first sources, first thoughts, radical views, that even this effort - the effort by teachers and others to keep their jobs, colored with the usual insubstantial phrases suggesting improvements to - reform of - 'education', ...this effort backs off of looking at the smash-the-state work that needs to be viewed in order to begin to work toward what's necessary, what we like, what can work to further the work for that 'new world'. 
      People have been permitted, because of our Owners' incessant and super successful attacks on any efforts we might make to find ways to live together pleasantly, securely, ...people have been permitted only to try to remediate the worst of the ills.  School identifies us all as needing remediation. We are unsatisfactory - from pre-school on.  School is not about seeing us perfect - which we really are - or at least, we're all fine.  Except for people who've been seriously broken by the system we live in.  They too need a wholly different care from what we've been allowed to offer.
      Many people have attained respected status by putting forward the tired ideas rephrased.  People put forward ideas purportedly describing the learning process, the behavior of people at certain ages, so on.  Consider that all of these need the round file.  We don't have a clue , except that people do learn a bunch of stuff... no formula of what works.  It just does.  That's what needs to be recognized as the basis for us to deal with education.
      Educe - that's what we want to do, educe and amplify because we like the knowledge/skill/interchange; not because it's 'compulsory education'.  We want to hang around with people we care to be with to do stuff we want and need to do, including go for a walk or sit around or play ball or the piano or make a table leg or clean a floor in the health care facility or do brain surgery or find the end of pi.
      Striving, succeeding, excelling - these are all BAD, in the present capitalist environment.  Nevertheless, we are all students and teachers all our lives.  Commodifying teaching, enforcing student-ship wrongly... these are school.
      Norma



      ----- Original Message ----From: "jcrawfor@..." jcrawfor@...  To: Norma J F Harrison <normaha@...>; CCDS <members@...-ds.org>; March 4th Action <march4thaction@...>; "WCCWestContraCosta "education"" wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tue, April 20, 2010 5:35:12 PM  Subject: Re: [CCDS Members] Fw: a dream of a teacher

      Pardon me for saying so, but this diatribe of yours is both elitist in itself and poorly substantiated by your lack of experience in the field. Do you even know who Giroux is? Don't you think he understands how desperate things are?

      I'm a member of the Radical Caucus of MLA, and we're pushing meetings of post-secondary teachers at all levels for the January 2011 convention in Los Angeles. There are real opportunities for teachers in higher education coming together at this point--from adjuncts to tenured--to mount a serious program to reverse what's been happening for the last decade in particular, and it's already reflected in campus protests by both students and teachers around the country. Fueled by protests from the two-year campuses and four-year state colleges, it's much more of a working class movement than we ever had in the Sixties.

      Your ultra-leftist attack on education as a tool of our "Owners" not only isn't exactly news, it's drenched with bitterness and actually ignores current issues with its pessimistic, non-struggle attitude. Get with it, Norma.

      John Crawford

      --On Tuesday, April 20, 2010 4:46 PM -0700 Norma J F Harrison <normaha@...> wrote:

       Is this what you've thought of your experience with teachers - many? any?  in your past?  I certainly didn't.  ...even if any of them was what is described here. 
      That's why I've come to see it's the school situation that subverts learning and teaching.  Even in the rare instance when a teacher is as able as this says, of having this kind of exchange in the classroom or in the school at all, it is a rarity, if it happens at all. This no way contradicts my agreement that teachers, teaching, etc are under increased attack; they always have been, moreso now, as all our victories winning public care are being retrieved by our Owners, as our socialist communist comrades have long told us they need to be in capitalism.
       They've actually been under attack solely because our Owners fear us knowing  - and school, by various methods, almost always beyond the classroom, allows for association that can become influence and organizing for significant change.  Think of the attacks on school being like the prohibition of conversation on the factory line.
      When I studied to teach, and taught elementary - 1st-8th grades, I had to learn how to and follow a curriculum guide.  I foolishly thought I was supposed to enter MY proposals for what to engage in in the classroom into the blank spaces of the daily planner.  I got fired a lot.  
      I went to school - having those dulling experiences - from 1940 - 1953.  I couldn't function when I got to the U.C. - Chicago.  I found someone to marry! much earlier than I'd thought I would when I was 7.
      This writer offers a dream of teaching - having little to nothing to do with teaching in the confined place of school.  There was a time when much of these could be said about a bit of work at the college level, even here and there in the high school.  I haven't been in a long time so I can't adequately describe the general tendency to reduce the analytical experience. However, having read Doonesbury for years, I get the idea that thinking and exchange are limited at the university.   I did have some thoughty schooling at Jr. College - in about 1960.   If I'd been able to understand what was going on when I was at U.C. in 1954-5, that would have been something like the top-notch experiences this writer has called school/teaching.
      The requirement for good teaching - besides being permitted to do it, is to be in the environment with a person/people who work/s at doing what they teach -  writers,  mathematicians,  construction engineers,  civil workers maintaining the city, etc. - these are who should carry their passion to others - who OPT to learn to do it.
      I repeat, we've let remediation take over education.  And in fear of Black and female equality, of equality of people who are poor or come to school without traditional educational background, ...in fear of us mass rising, content has been filtered; reductions of it are constant, until now we have this absurd experience - that students leave - be truant from - as much as they can get away with!  And people graduate with limited knowledge to go on to teach or otherwise share their schooled experience, shallow as it is, with others in society. Not to say all products of advanced study are similarly empty-headed.  Some very bright people are turned out of upper echelon institutions.  This often is the elite, who will serve or run the status quo system.
      Fortunately, it's also often us, the many people who have challenged this mind-emptying experience.  We live among the few and knowledgeable activists in the U.S.   Norma
        
       ----- Forwarded Message ----  From: ........ To: Norma J F Harrison
       normaha@...: Tue, April 20, 2010 2:54:00 AM Subject: a dream of a teacher
       http://www.freireproject.org/blogs/defense-public-school-teachers-time-crisis-henry-giroux%c2%a0%c2%a0
      In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis - Henry Giroux
      up's picture" src="http://www.freireproject.org/files/pictures/picture-2366.jpg" width=46 height=48>  Posted Wed, 04/14/2010 - 14:22 by up-and-up  Wednesday, April 14, 2010
       
      There has been a long, though declining, tradition in the United States in which public school teaching was embraced as an important public service. It was assumed that teachers provided a crucial foundation for educating young people in the values, skills and knowledge that enabled them to be critical citizens capable of shaping and expanding democratic institutions. Since the 1980s, teachers have been under an unprecedented attack by those forces that view schools less as a public good than as a private right. Seldom accorded the status of intellectuals that they deserved, they remain the most important component in the learning process for students, while serving as a moral compass to gauge how seriously a society invests in its youth and in the future. Yet, teachers are being deskilled, unceremoniously removed from the process of school governance, largely reduced to technicians or subordinated to the authority of security guards. Underlying these
      transformations are a number of forces eager to privatize schools, substitute vocational training for education and reduce teaching and learning to reductive modes of testing and evaluation.
       
      Indications of the poisonous transformation of both the role of the public school and the nature of teacher work abound. The passage of laws promoting high-stakes testing for students and the use of test scores to measure teacher quality have both limited the autonomy of teacher authority and devalued the possibility of critical teaching and visionary goals for student learning. Teachers are no longer asked to think critically and be creative in the classroom. On the contrary, they are now forced to simply implement predetermined instructional procedures and standardized content, at best; and, at worst, put their imaginative powers on hold while using precious classroom time to teach students how to master the skill of test taking. Subject to what might be labeled as a form of bare or stripped-down pedagogy, teachers are removed from the processes of deliberation and reflection, reduced to implementing lock-step, time-on-task pedagogies that do great
      violence to students, while promoting a division of labor between conception and execution hatched by bureaucrats and "experts" from mainly conservative foundations. Questions regarding how teachers motivate students, make knowledge meaningful in order to make it critical and transformative, work with parents and the larger community or exercise the authority needed to become a constructive pedagogical force in the classroom and community are now sacrificed to the dictates of an instrumental rationality largely defined through the optic of measurable utility. Little is said in this discourse about allocating more federal dollars for public schooling, replacing the aging infrastructures of schooling or increasing salaries so as to expand the pool of qualified teachers. Nor are teachers praised for their public service, the trust we in part to them in educating our children or the firewall they provide between a culture saturated in violence and idiocy
      and the civilizing and radical imaginative possibilities of an educated mind capable of transforming the economic, political and racial injustices that surround and bear down so heavily on public schools. Instead, teachers are stripped of their worth and dignity by being forced to adopt an educational vision and philosophy that has little respect for the empowering possibilities of either knowledge or critical classroom practices. Put bluntly, knowledge that can't be measured is viewed as irrelevant, and teachers who refuse to implement a standardized curriculum and evaluate young people through objective measures of assessments are judged as incompetent or disrespectful. Any educator who believes that students should learn more than how to obey the rules, take tests, learn a work skill or adopt without question the cruel and harsh market values that dominate society "will meet," as James Baldwin insists in his "Talk to Teachers," "the most fantastic,
      the most brutal and the most determined resistance."[1]And while the mythic character of education has always been at odds with its reality, as Baldwin noted in talking about the toxic education imposed on poor black children, the assault on public schooling in its current form truly suggests that "we are living through a very dangerous time."[2]
       
      As the space of public schooling ...(see the site)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Anton Jungherr
      Sent from my iPhones Anton Jumgherr On May 20, 2010, at 1:06 PM, Norma J F Harrison ... [Non-text portions of this message have been
      Message 2 of 2 , May 21, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        Sent from my iPhones
        Anton Jumgherr

        On May 20, 2010, at 1:06 PM, Norma J F Harrison <normaha@...>
        wrote:

        > Well, if you're satisfied that the segregated - by age, mainly -
        > indoctrination structure that is school is education, then I guess
        > you can draw the abortive conclusions about what I've said, that you
        > have.
        > Just because people have been driven this far by our Owners doesn't
        > mean it's a 'working class' movement, that it's not elitist,
        > centered as the work is on people with jobs and largely with more
        > advanced educations. You can call it that, but that doesn't make it
        > so.
        > People you're talking to have been so driven from first sources,
        > first thoughts, radical views, that even this effort - the effort by
        > teachers and others to keep their jobs, colored with the usual
        > insubstantial phrases suggesting improvements to - reform of -
        > 'education', ...this effort backs off of looking at the smash-the-
        > state work that needs to be viewed in order to begin to work toward
        > what's necessary, what we like, what can work to further the work
        > for that 'new world'.
        > People have been permitted, because of our Owners' incessant and
        > super successful attacks on any efforts we might make to find ways
        > to live together pleasantly, securely, ...people have been permitted
        > only to try to remediate the worst of the ills. School identifies
        > us all as needing remediation. We are unsatisfactory - from pre-
        > school on. School is not about seeing us perfect - which we really
        > are - or at least, we're all fine. Except for people who've been
        > seriously broken by the system we live in. They too need a wholly
        > different care from what we've been allowed to offer.
        > Many people have attained respected status by putting forward the
        > tired ideas rephrased. People put forward ideas purportedly
        > describing the learning process, the behavior of people at certain
        > ages, so on. Consider that all of these need the round file. We
        > don't have a clue , except that people do learn a bunch of stuff...
        > no formula of what works. It just does. That's what needs to be
        > recognized as the basis for us to deal with education.
        > Educe - that's what we want to do, educe and amplify because we like
        > the knowledge/skill/interchange; not because it's 'compulsory
        > education'. We want to hang around with people we care to be with
        > to do stuff we want and need to do, including go for a walk or sit
        > around or play ball or the piano or make a table leg or clean a
        > floor in the health care facility or do brain surgery or find the
        > end of pi.
        > Striving, succeeding, excelling - these are all BAD, in the present
        > capitalist environment. Nevertheless, we are all students and
        > teachers all our lives. Commodifying teaching, enforcing student-
        > ship wrongly... these are school.
        > Norma
        >
        > ----- Original Message ----From: "jcrawfor@..."
        > jcrawfor@... To: Norma J F Harrison <normaha@...>; CCDS
        > <members@...-ds.org>; March 4th Action <march4thaction@...
        > >; "WCCWestContraCosta "education"" wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com Sent:
        > Tue, April 20, 2010 5:35:12 PM Subject: Re: [CCDS Members] Fw: a
        > dream of a teacher
        >
        > Pardon me for saying so, but this diatribe of yours is both elitist
        > in itself and poorly substantiated by your lack of experience in the
        > field. Do you even know who Giroux is? Don't you think he
        > understands how desperate things are?
        >
        > I'm a member of the Radical Caucus of MLA, and we're pushing
        > meetings of post-secondary teachers at all levels for the January
        > 2011 convention in Los Angeles. There are real opportunities for
        > teachers in higher education coming together at this point--from
        > adjuncts to tenured--to mount a serious program to reverse what's
        > been happening for the last decade in particular, and it's already
        > reflected in campus protests by both students and teachers around
        > the country. Fueled by protests from the two-year campuses and four-
        > year state colleges, it's much more of a working class movement than
        > we ever had in the Sixties.
        >
        > Your ultra-leftist attack on education as a tool of our "Owners" not
        > only isn't exactly news, it's drenched with bitterness and actually
        > ignores current issues with its pessimistic, non-struggle attitude.
        > Get with it, Norma.
        >
        > John Crawford
        >
        > --On Tuesday, April 20, 2010 4:46 PM -0700 Norma J F Harrison <normaha@...
        > > wrote:
        >
        > Is this what you've thought of your experience with teachers -
        > many? any? in your past? I certainly didn't. ...even if any of
        > them was what is described here.
        > That's why I've come to see it's the school situation that subverts
        > learning and teaching. Even in the rare instance when a teacher is
        > as able as this says, of having this kind of exchange in the
        > classroom or in the school at all, it is a rarity, if it happens at
        > all. This no way contradicts my agreement that teachers, teaching,
        > etc are under increased attack; they always have been, moreso now,
        > as all our victories winning public care are being retrieved by our
        > Owners, as our socialist communist comrades have long told us they
        > need to be in capitalism.
        > They've actually been under attack solely because our Owners fear
        > us knowing - and school, by various methods, almost always beyond
        > the classroom, allows for association that can become influence and
        > organizing for significant change. Think of the attacks on school
        > being like the prohibition of conversation on the factory line.
        > When I studied to teach, and taught elementary - 1st-8th grades, I
        > had to learn how to and follow a curriculum guide. I foolishly
        > thought I was supposed to enter MY proposals for what to engage in
        > in the classroom into the blank spaces of the daily planner. I got
        > fired a lot.
        > I went to school - having those dulling experiences - from 1940 -
        > 1953. I couldn't function when I got to the U.C. - Chicago. I
        > found someone to marry! much earlier than I'd thought I would when I
        > was 7.
        > This writer offers a dream of teaching - having little to nothing to
        > do with teaching in the confined place of school. There was a time
        > when much of these could be said about a bit of work at the college
        > level, even here and there in the high school. I haven't been in a
        > long time so I can't adequately describe the general tendency to
        > reduce the analytical experience. However, having read Doonesbury
        > for years, I get the idea that thinking and exchange are limited at
        > the university. I did have some thoughty schooling at Jr. College
        > - in about 1960. If I'd been able to understand what was going on
        > when I was at U.C. in 1954-5, that would have been something like
        > the top-notch experiences this writer has called school/teaching.
        > The requirement for good teaching - besides being permitted to do
        > it, is to be in the environment with a person/people who work/s at
        > doing what they teach - writers, mathematicians, construction
        > engineers, civil workers maintaining the city, etc. - these are who
        > should carry their passion to others - who OPT to learn to do it.
        > I repeat, we've let remediation take over education. And in fear of
        > Black and female equality, of equality of people who are poor or
        > come to school without traditional educational background, ...in
        > fear of us mass rising, content has been filtered; reductions of it
        > are constant, until now we have this absurd experience - that
        > students leave - be truant from - as much as they can get away
        > with! And people graduate with limited knowledge to go on to teach
        > or otherwise share their schooled experience, shallow as it is, with
        > others in society. Not to say all products of advanced study are
        > similarly empty-headed. Some very bright people are turned out of
        > upper echelon institutions. This often is the elite, who will serve
        > or run the status quo system.
        > Fortunately, it's also often us, the many people who have challenged
        > this mind-emptying experience. We live among the few and
        > knowledgeable activists in the U.S. Norma
        >
        > ----- Forwarded Message ---- From: ........ To: Norma J F Harrison
        > normaha@...: Tue, April 20, 2010 2:54:00 AM Subject: a
        > dream of a teacher
        > http://www.freireproject.org/blogs/defense-public-school-teachers-time-crisis-henry-giroux
        > In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis - Henry
        > Giroux
        > up's picture" src="http://www.freireproject.org/files/pictures/picture-2366.jpg
        > " width=46 height=48> Posted Wed, 04/14/2010 - 14:22 by up-and-up
        > Wednesday, April 14, 2010
        >
        > There has been a long, though declining, tradition in the United
        > States in which public school teaching was embraced as an important
        > public service. It was assumed that teachers provided a crucial
        > foundation for educating young people in the values, skills and
        > knowledge that enabled them to be critical citizens capable of
        > shaping and expanding democratic institutions. Since the 1980s,
        > teachers have been under an unprecedented attack by those forces
        > that view schools less as a public good than as a private right.
        > Seldom accorded the status of intellectuals that they deserved, they
        > remain the most important component in the learning process for
        > students, while serving as a moral compass to gauge how seriously a
        > society invests in its youth and in the future. Yet, teachers are
        > being deskilled, unceremoniously removed from the process of school
        > governance, largely reduced to technicians or subordinated to the
        > authority of security guards. Underlying these
        > transformations are a number of forces eager to privatize schools,
        > substitute vocational training for education and reduce teaching and
        > learning to reductive modes of testing and evaluation.
        >
        > Indications of the poisonous transformation of both the role of the
        > public school and the nature of teacher work abound. The passage of
        > laws promoting high-stakes testing for students and the use of test
        > scores to measure teacher quality have both limited the autonomy of
        > teacher authority and devalued the possibility of critical teaching
        > and visionary goals for student learning. Teachers are no longer
        > asked to think critically and be creative in the classroom. On the
        > contrary, they are now forced to simply implement predetermined
        > instructional procedures and standardized content, at best; and, at
        > worst, put their imaginative powers on hold while using precious
        > classroom time to teach students how to master the skill of test
        > taking. Subject to what might be labeled as a form of bare or
        > stripped-down pedagogy, teachers are removed from the processes of
        > deliberation and reflection, reduced to implementing lock-step, time-
        > on-task pedagogies that do great
        > violence to students, while promoting a division of labor between
        > conception and execution hatched by bureaucrats and "experts" from
        > mainly conservative foundations. Questions regarding how teachers
        > motivate students, make knowledge meaningful in order to make it
        > critical and transformative, work with parents and the larger
        > community or exercise the authority needed to become a constructive
        > pedagogical force in the classroom and community are now sacrificed
        > to the dictates of an instrumental rationality largely defined
        > through the optic of measurable utility. Little is said in this
        > discourse about allocating more federal dollars for public
        > schooling, replacing the aging infrastructures of schooling or
        > increasing salaries so as to expand the pool of qualified teachers.
        > Nor are teachers praised for their public service, the trust we in
        > part to them in educating our children or the firewall they provide
        > between a culture saturated in violence and idiocy
        > and the civilizing and radical imaginative possibilities of an
        > educated mind capable of transforming the economic, political and
        > racial injustices that surround and bear down so heavily on public
        > schools. Instead, teachers are stripped of their worth and dignity
        > by being forced to adopt an educational vision and philosophy that
        > has little respect for the empowering possibilities of either
        > knowledge or critical classroom practices. Put bluntly, knowledge
        > that can't be measured is viewed as irrelevant, and teachers who
        > refuse to implement a standardized curriculum and evaluate young
        > people through objective measures of assessments are judged as
        > incompetent or disrespectful. Any educator who believes that
        > students should learn more than how to obey the rules, take tests,
        > learn a work skill or adopt without question the cruel and harsh
        > market values that dominate society "will meet," as James Baldwin
        > insists in his "Talk to Teachers," "the most fantastic,
        > the most brutal and the most determined resistance."[1]And while the
        > mythic character of education has always been at odds with its
        > reality, as Baldwin noted in talking about the toxic education
        > imposed on poor black children, the assault on public schooling in
        > its current form truly suggests that "we are living through a very
        > dangerous time."[2]
        >
        > As the space of public schooling ...(see the site)
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        > Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post | Start a New
        > Topic


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