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Ugh, I have to say, as much as I love college, half of me almost hates it at the same time! bang

Everybody always assumes that colleges educate and teach students to think for themselves. People assume that college is a place where independent thoughts, original ideas and free thought are encouraged as well as free exchange. THAT'S BULLSHIT. From my experience this year at college, with International Studies, I can say that a lot of my so-called "education" is little more than indoctrination. I took World History and INST last semester, and I'm taking Human Geography, Compartive World Politics and Macroeconomics this semester. And A LOT OF IT IS BS.


In class, a lot of what we are taught is that Capitalism = "free market", individual decision making and Consumer Sovereignty. Then they teach that Socialism = collective decision making, "centralized planning" and state control of market. When I brought up the fact that many forms of Capitalism (including what we have) is acutally more like State Capitalism, and that not all forms of Socialism are statist (I myself am a Socialist and an anti-Statist), I just get uncomfortable stares, and a hestitant and tortured-logic backpeddle/subject change from the professors. We are also taught that democracy is synonymous with capitalism (that's a load of shit), and we are taught to embrace Globalism as unquestionably good. Whwn we DO learn the negative sides and the consequences of such things, they are generally glaced over. We never discuss how Globalism screws over Asian, African and Latin American countries, we don't discuss ho the so-called "free market" in Globalism is really CONTROLLED by Western nations.



And Neocons complain that colleges are "breeding grounds" for "radical liberalism". Yeah, this is "radical liberalism" only if you are a Neocon. Most of what we are taught is Neoliberal rhetoric (from my experience). I have many friends (some of them Alumni) that agree. Colleges, contrary to the myth that they educate, really serve to indoctrinate largely. They indoctrinate students to become future Neoliberal traders and corporatists. I'd say the only thing really "radicall libreral" about college education is that it tends to be socially liberal (not economically or politically liberal). That's about it.


Has anyone else had this experience with college? sck
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To misquote Morpheus:

"Welcome to the intellectual desert of the real." lol


I didn't take the soft science stuff particularly seriously. I assumed it was bullsh!t from the get go. I concentrated on math, science and engineering. I didn't get a course about electricity until 2nd semester sophomore year, Circuit Analysis I. They started talking about Kirchof's current law. When they explained what it was I thought, "I knew that when I was in grammar school." I had payed them $4400 up to that point. I was pi$$ed.

Kirchof came up with his laws in 1845. They didn't know the structure of the atom back then. This book:

Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics by Stan Gibilisco
http://www.contractor-books.com/MG/Teach_Yself_Elec.htm

has that information. It costs $40.

I think our educational system is a scam. Children's time is wasted in grammar school and high school when their mind's are most ready to assimilate information, then people need to go to college because they still know so little. It's about making money wasting people's time. But in this society not having that piece of paper is a form of economic suicide.

So you need to find the right books to truly educate yourself and put up with the BS in school for the paper. If you don't believe the illusion you won't be disillusioned.

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
And Neocons complain that colleges are "breeding grounds" for "radical liberalism". Yeah, this is "radical liberalism" only if you are a Neocon. Most of what we are taught is Neoliberal rhetoric (from my experience). I have many friends (some of them Alumni) that agree. Colleges, contrary to the myth that they educate, really serve to indoctrinate largely. They indoctrinate students to become future Neoliberal traders and corporatists. I'd say the only thing really "radicall libreral" about college education is that it tends to be socially liberal (not economically or politically liberal). That's about it.


Has anyone else had this experience with college? sck


EP, I'm sorry for your disillusionment. As a college teacher myself, I feel duty bound to explain a few things:

(1) College professors are not paid to be deep penetrating thinkers that question the status quo.

(2) College professors ARE paid to be (I) competent teachers in their area of expertise and (II) competent researchers in a specialization who publish academic papers that are up to the standards of most of their peers (people who tend to be a lot like them).

Having said this, some college professors are INDEED deep penetrating original thinkers. But most are merely well trained competent thinkers whose primary concern is keeping their careers on track.

Some professional academics are great intellects but not every great intellect is a professional academic.

So it is not at all surprising thay many of them do not overly much question the status quo. Especially to the extent that they personally benefit from the status quo (along lines of race, gender, and class for example). That's just the way it is.

Lastly, many schools are heavily indebted to corporate money and it is not in their best interest to question the status quo. * This is ESPECIALLY true in the Bush era when state budgets are being cut mercilesssly. * I'm not kidding about this. Some departments are now rationing paper out to faculty.

BUT DO NOT DESPAIR. It is not all a scam. Most professors really do believe what they tell you and really do believe in the value of the information they try to impart. So keep this in mind. And keep an open mind. BUT ALSO there might VERY WELL be professors who are more to your liking. Seek out the like minds among the faculty. Don't be afraid to explore and openly question. Smile
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quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
I took World History and INST last semester, and I'm taking Human Geography, Compartive World Politics and Macroeconomics this semester. And A LOT OF IT IS BS. Most of what we are taught is Neoliberal rhetoric (from my experience). I have many friends (some of them Alumni) that agree.



Brother EP, what exactly were your expectations prior to aligning yourself with this department? You even admitted to consulting with friends about the interests governing the professors teaching the courses, so why did you apply this college?

quote:
I'd say the only thing really "radicall libreral" about college education is that it tends to be socially liberal (not economically or politically liberal). That's about it. Has anyone else had this experience with college?


During my search for graduate programs in Education, I discovered that the best way to find a college home is to do a little research. I first narrowed my choices down to three colleges that I knew were capable of helping me to reach my goals. Then, I would sit in on lectures, study the research interests of professors, and I even interviewed a couple of professors prior to enrolling into the college that ultimately became my final choice. The point is, you cannot assume that simply because you're majoring in "Comparative World Politics" that everyone in the program will have the same interests in this subject that you have. Even within your chosen discipline, there are multiple perspectives on a myriad of topics. Therefore, you must select a college home, and more importantly, a department, with a team of professors who share your interests. Ideally, if you are seeking a Masters degree, and especially a doctorate, you should select at least two professors with whom you would like to work closely in preparation for your thesis and dissertation. Interview these professors and read published books and articles written by them in order to get a better understanding of their interests and scholarship. I don't need to tell you that attending college is very serious business; for most people, it is one of most expensive investments that they'll make in a lifetime. Therefore, it should not be approached haphazardly.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
EP, I'm sorry for your disillusionment. College professors ARE paid to be competent teachers in their area of expertise. Having said this, some college professors are INDEED deep penetrating original thinkers. But most are merely well trained competent thinkers whose primary concern is keeping their careers on track.


Welcome To Reality

Point well taken. When I was an undergraduate, I too entered college expecting to be surrounded by power intellectuals. After watching episodes of Bill Cosby's TV show series, It's A Different World as a kid, I imagined college consisted of people just sitting around having "deep" discussions that were always meaningful and relevant to the lives of Black people. After my first year as a freshman, however, I soon realized that these discussions were to be taken place OUTSIDE the classroom. Inside the classoom, the professor's purpose for being there was to equip students with basic skills that will hopefully make them qualified for an entry-level job. An Economics professor's job, for example, was to teach her students the concept of supply and demand. Therefore, most people, unless they are planning to be scholars, attend college with the expectation that a college degree will make them more attractive to prospective employers OR to attain higher salaries in the positions with which they already hold.
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Wow! What made you so upset Empty?? I'll say this about that. Education, any grade or level is what you make it. There are many opprotunities to learn inside and outside of the classroom. Some great examples of this are people like J.A. Rogers, Malcolm X and George Washington Carver. Don't limit yourself. There are lots of great books and people out there who can help you gain an education.
More about College Profs and the Status Quo: I didn't intend to imply that deep thinkers will necessarily always question the status quo. But at the same time, college teachers as a class tend to greatly benefit from the status quo. If you're tenured, the job security is outta this world. The benefits are fantastic. Lots of vacation time. Plenty o' perks.

So a lot of these people don't question it because it's not in their interest to do so. And oddly enough, outside of Business Schools, you're most likely to find the hardcore Libertarian-NeoCon types in Math, sciences, and Engineering. The faculty in these departments tend to be smart individualistic white guys.

While in Humanities departments and many social science departments (like Sociology, Anthropology, and Linguistics) it's almost a part of the intellectual culture to lean towards being anti-status-quo.
If we as blacks supported our Black colleges more and pushed to change the dynamics and cirriculum of these institutions so that they designed to improve the conditions of the masses of black peopl we wouldnt be having this problem. Europeans are not gonna teach you have to beat them, or to challenge the status quo, so if you go to school expecting thats are really crazy. Basically they designed colleges to support the system not challenge it Imagine if black colleges taught about true african american history, imagine if we as a people financed programs and research that studies topics important to us , how strong could the impact be. What if our best and brightest taught at these schools, what if we developed strong international programs so that black schools in america can hook up with black schools all over the globe especially in africa , how big could this be,
Our system of education was created before the invention of radio, television, computers, VCRs, CDs and DVDs. When I was in 8th grade I was teaching myself trigonometry without a teacher using my older sister's high school textbook. Now with all this technology we can't come up with something more efficient than this traditional crap.

The schools adopt computers as something else to be taught to produce an income stream.

It is interesting that we don't have a national recommended reading list after all of these decades. What technology would be required for that?

umbra
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quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
To misquote Morpheus:

"Welcome to the intellectual desert of the real." lol

I think our educational system is a scam. Children's time is wasted in grammar school and high school when their mind's are most ready to assimilate information, then people need to go to college because they still know so little. It's about making money wasting people's time. But in this society not having that piece of paper is a form of economic suicide.

So you need to find the right books to truly educate yourself and put up with the BS in school for the paper. If you don't believe the illusion you won't be disillusioned.

umbra


appl appl appl

Question: Are you an Anarchist? I love Anarchists...
quote:
applapplappl

Question: Are you an Anarchist? I love Anarchists...


I decided I'm a Machiavellian Libertatian.

Not to be confused with the Randy Andy Libertarians. The self professed followers of Ayn Rand. How can people who claim to practice scientific objectivism not talk about planned obsolescence of automobiles 36 years after the moon landing? Not very scientific. lol

umbrarchist
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
To misquote Morpheus:

"Welcome to the intellectual desert of the real." lol

I think our educational system is a scam. Children's time is wasted in grammar school and high school when their mind's are most ready to assimilate information, then people need to go to college because they still know so little. It's about making money wasting people's time. But in this society not having that piece of paper is a form of economic suicide.

So you need to find the right books to truly educate yourself and put up with the BS in school for the paper. If you don't believe the illusion you won't be disillusioned.

umbra


appl appl appl

Question: Are you an Anarchist? I love Anarchists...


I was almost an anarcho-syndicalist (anarchist socialist). Now I'm a decentralized sociaist (semi-anarcho socialist).
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
Imagine if black colleges taught about true african american history, imagine if we as a people financed programs and research that studies topics important to us , how strong could the impact be. What if our best and brightest taught at these schools, what if we developed strong international programs so that black schools in america can hook up with black schools all over the globe especially in africa, how big could this be,


My argument is that there are indeed colleges, departments, and professors who possess these very same goals that you are advocating. Na'im Akbar, a renowed Black psychologist, activist, and Afrocentric scholar has been a professor at Floria State University since 1979. Molefi Kete Asante, a controversial African-American scholar whose book Afrocentricity generated the term "Afrocentrism" is currently a Professor of African-American Studies at Temple University, where he created the world's first doctoral program in African American Studies in 1987. Marimba Ani, author of Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior was a professor at Hunter College, New York for 30 years! Therefore, the professors and departments are out there. We just cannot expect for these people to come to us. You have to make the contacts, the phone calls, and the visits. Be persistent, hungry, and eager for whatever it is you are aiming to achieve. Stop waiting around for it just to happen.

"A person who does the very best that he can to reach his goals is rarely disappointed."
-Rowe
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
To misquote Morpheus:

I think our educational system is a scam. Children's time is wasted in grammar school and high school when their mind's are most ready to assimilate information.


I get so very tired of people suggesting that we "do away" with the educational system, offering no recommendations as to how we are to get the masses of Black children to perform academically on par with other children. These people are often the least likely to do anything about the problems they observe in our nation's education system. I understand, fully, people's gripe with the "educational system." I work within this sytem on a daily basis, but we need to grow up and accept the reality that this "system" is not going anywhere. Therefore, your issues with the system has to go far beyond mere complaints. Complaint time is over. Everyone has hopefully read Carver's The Mis-Education of The Negro. Now, let's take the ideas that he proposed a step further. Now, we need action-oriented people who are willing to make a reality the changes they feel are desparately needed in our children's education. Are you willing to visit schools, volunteer your time with students, speak with your local public officials, consult administators, principals, and superintendents, or even suggest a different way to approach a history or social studies lesson to your children's teachers?, because these are the ACTIONS that precede resolution.
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quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
To misquote Morpheus:

"Welcome to the intellectual desert of the real." lol

I think our educational system is a scam. Children's time is wasted in grammar school and high school when their mind's are most ready to assimilate information, then people need to go to college because they still know so little. It's about making money wasting people's time. But in this society not having that piece of paper is a form of economic suicide.

So you need to find the right books to truly educate yourself and put up with the BS in school for the paper. If you don't believe the illusion you won't be disillusioned.

umbra


appl appl appl

Question: Are you an Anarchist? I love Anarchists...


I was almost an anarcho-syndicalist (anarchist socialist). Now I'm a decentralized sociaist (semi-anarcho socialist).


hat
Hats off to a fellow socialist. I'm a Nkrumahism - Tureism scientific socialist Pan Africanist. I like the fact that the local anarchists always offer t get arrested for 'us' at protests.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
To misquote Morpheus:

"Welcome to the intellectual desert of the real." lol

I think our educational system is a scam. Children's time is wasted in grammar school and high school when their mind's are most ready to assimilate information, then people need to go to college because they still know so little. It's about making money wasting people's time. But in this society not having that piece of paper is a form of economic suicide.

So you need to find the right books to truly educate yourself and put up with the BS in school for the paper. If you don't believe the illusion you won't be disillusioned.

umbra


appl appl appl

Question: Are you an Anarchist? I love Anarchists...


I was almost an anarcho-syndicalist (anarchist socialist). Now I'm a decentralized sociaist (semi-anarcho socialist).


hat
Hats off to a fellow socialist. I'm a Nkrumahism - Tureism scientific socialist Pan Africanist. I like the fact that the local anarchists always offer t get arrested for 'us' at protests.


Haha, I know what you mean. It always seems that Leftists are the only ones sticking up for non-Whites and the oppressed.

You're a Nkrumist? KEWL! tfro Kwame Nkrumah was one of my favorite people in African history!! Him and Patrice Lumumba (who I have pictured in my new avatar).

Hats off to you too, comrade. hat
quote:
I get so very tired of people suggesting that we "do away" with the educational system, then turn right around and wonder why Black children are not performing academically on par with other children. These very same people are often the least likely to do anything about the problems they observe in our nation's education system.


Where did I say do away with the educational system?

I put together a reading list which you haven't said much about except criticise that some people might object to BLACK MEN: OBSOLETE, SINGLE, DANGEROUS? When I pointed to that website with that model engine you said I should be working with the tech people at your school. It is like you only approve of things that already fit into your vision of education.

My reading list is still there:

http://africanamericansovereignty.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13

Want to suggest any additions?

umbrarchist

http://africanamerica.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/791602...081099853#5081099853
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quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
I put together a reading list which you haven't said much about except criticise that some people might object to BLACK MEN: OBSOLETE, SINGLE, DANGEROUS? When I pointed to that website with that model engine you said I should be working with the tech people at your school. It is like you only approve of things that already fit into your vision of education.

My reading list is still there:

http://africanamericansovereignty.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13

Want to suggest any additions?

umbrarchist


I'm sorry that you received my suggestions as criticism. Perhaps you may have forgotten, but not only did I suggest that you share your enthusiasm for technology with students in schools, I recommended that you purchase the books on your list and submit them to public schools to be placed in school libraries. I also suggested that you read the books, on your list, to students on days when vistors are welcome, such as Career Days. On this day, you could discuss with students your profession and interests and tell them why your interests are so important.

The "criticism" that I offered emanates from my experience working as a teacher in the educational system. As I have told you before, teachers are under an enormous amount of pressure to prepare students for standardized assessments, such as MSA and SAT. These assessments are designed to test students cumulative knowlege and competency in mathematics and reading. No where on these tests are students expected to know why Black men are obsolete, single, and dangerous. Generally, that is not the reason why the Black students, White students, Latino, and Asian students that I teach are in school to learn. Therefore, though some teachers may manage to slip in discussions about race and politics during instructional times, perhaps during a Social Studies lesson, because there is so much information to cover in so little time, teachers are mainly focused on building (and strengthening) their students' skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, as they should be. And strengthenting students skills in reading, writing, and mathematics is also what school administrators are constantly pressuring (sometimes demanding) teachers to do.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
I get so very tired of people suggesting that we "do away" with the educational system, offering no recommendations as to how we are to get the masses of Black children to perform academically on par with other children. These people are often the least likely to do anything about the problems they observe in our nation's education system. I understand, fully, people's gripe with the "educational system."


tfro

The system isn't perfect but I shudder to think of the alternatives. Umbra, you and I both were able to teach ourselves trigonometry. But the average student cannot. And Rowe is right. Teachers in primary and secondary education are incredibly overworked as it is.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
In class, a lot of what we are taught is that Capitalism = "free market", individual decision making and Consumer Sovereignty. Then they teach that Socialism = collective decision making, "centralized planning" and state control of market. When I brought up the fact that many forms of Capitalism (including what we have) is acutally more like State Capitalism, and that not all forms of Socialism are statist (I myself am a Socialist and an anti-Statist),


That's actually correct for the most part. We have state capitalism thanks to the regulations that are implemented by politicians under the guise of "protecting [u]name your cause[/u]". People see the problems caused by our state capitlism, and blame the free market, when it is by definition not a free market.

quote:
We never discuss how Globalism screws over Asian, African and Latin American countries, we don't discuss ho the so-called "free market" in Globalism is really CONTROLLED by Western nations.

You mean the US and EU bullying other countries with trade barriers and farm subsidies? You're pretty much correct again. All the "free trade" agreements aren't really free trade. Just look at the hundreds of pages of regulations/exceptions that they consist of.

quote:
Has anyone else had this experience with college? sck

No, actually I was taught by people with a variety of different views. The "education" part of it is still BS. Agreed.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
The system isn't perfect but I shudder to think of the alternatives. Umbra, you and I both were able to teach ourselves trigonometry. But the average student cannot. And Rowe is right. Teachers in primary and secondary education are incredibly overworked as it is.


I have to go, but I just wanted to share one teacher's experience with the demands of raising her students' standardized test scores. My friend, who is also a teacher (Highschool) claimed that her principal threatened to fire her if she did not raise her students' scores in a reasonable amount of time. And at one time, Prince George's County, MD (the county in which I presently teach) considered paying its teachers according to the scores students earned on standardized tests. I was outraged! So I don't think people, working outside of the school system, really know what is happening in our schools. They make these uninfomed suggestions without really thinking things through.

There are certainly ways that a teacher can slip in conscious lessons (Black history, African History, the history of the Sphinx featured in my avatar, etc.), but the bulk of a teacher's curriculum has to be devoted to reading and mathematics instruction, because these are the subjects that students are expected to have mastered in schools in preparation for college (or employment).
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quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
quote:
I get so very tired of people suggesting that we "do away" with the educational system, then turn right around and wonder why Black children are not performing academically on par with other children. These very same people are often the least likely to do anything about the problems they observe in our nation's education system.


Where did I say do away with the educational system?

I put together a reading list which you haven't said much about except criticise that some people might object to BLACK MEN: OBSOLETE, SINGLE, DANGEROUS? When I pointed to that website with that model engine you said I should be working with the tech people at your school. It is like you only approve of things that already fit into your vision of education.

My reading list is still there:

http://africanamericansovereignty.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13

Want to suggest any additions?

umbrarchist

http://africanamerica.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/791602...081099853#5081099853


That is a very interesting list of books especially as framed in the context of relevant knowledge. As you note, the issue is what constitutes relevant. I think that each of us probably has a canon of books that we think are the most relevant, or perhaps contributed the most to who we are and how we understand the world.

With respect to education, I think that it is not necessarily the content that may be the most important, but it is the pedagogy. Students do need a knowledge base, but they also need to learn critical thinking skills. I am not sure that most large university do this well, although I am sure that there are exceptions. I know as a math and physics major at Vanderbilt eons ago, I got none of this.

It is now my opinion that liberal arts colleges tend to do a better job in this respect. For three years I taught a freshman seminar on justice at a college in the midwest. My goal in this course was to not give people answers, but to challenge their assumptions and to present alternatives to which they had never been exposed. Students got mad, angry, broke down in tears on field trips, and on one occasion, a parent contacted the college president because of something we exposed the students. So I knew we were on the right track.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:

Everybody always assumes that colleges educate and teach students to think for themselves. People assume that college is a place where independent thoughts, original ideas and free thought are encouraged as well as free exchange. THAT'S BULLSHIT.

Have to agree with you on this one, EP.

For the most part, colleges and universities are institutions of conformity. I say this with some insight, having worked at UCSF in administration for eleven years. In general, colleges and universities are a mirror of the values of society. And in this society, the reflection is capitalism and power.

For US colleges and universities, government funding, corporate funding, private grants, and alumnae contributions, pretty much spell status quo. Colleges and universities can't afford to deviate too far from the accepted path because the flow of dollars would be interrupted. The more school programs there are with federal or state funding, the more money they continue to get with all the perks of federal and state benefactors.

So, they have created a system that reflects the status quo and turns intellectual ambition and bright minds into apathy and conformity. US colleges and universities turn out worker drones who serve greedy corporations by being good worker bees, by participating in the wars that protect their interests, and by consuming all the useless, poisenous toys produced by these same corporations.

If you plan to join the rank and file, than you recognize that colleges and universities hold all the cards. It's a vicious cycle, again designed to ensure conformity. You can't get one of those high-salaried corporate or government jobs without the certificate or diploma. But you can't get the diploma without attending a corporate college or university. And that's the way it's meant to be.

But it's not true that people need a classroom setting to learn a subject. Almost anyone in this age of the Internet can learn a subject through determination and discipline. And "It is what you make it" is not a unique application exclusive to colleges and universities.

Belief in the classroom setting is usually promoted by the institutions themselves or by someone who is part of the system. This belief is contradicted by the thousands of children who are home-schooled every year and by the thousands of high-school kids who have passed the GED test and leave HS early. And the thousands of people who have led distinguished, creative, successful lives without having the certificate or diploma can speak for themselves.

But don't blame the professors and teachers because they're caught in the same machine you are. Professors are often overstressed, underpaid, burdened by fear, rules, and regulations, and restricted in what they can teach. What they can and can't teach is decided by a group of nodding clones who protect the status quo. In the case of the UC system, it's the Board of Regents, a group of political appointees who haven't a clue as to what the truth is.

There are many very bright people who cannot adjust to the conformity, the regimentation, and the tedium of the university and college system. They know the drill and it goes something like this:

Concentrate on being a good little sheep and getting good grades because that's the only measure of what you're worth in the eyes of those you'll serve.

Deviating from this is dangerous. You may be one of the those few with the potential to smash the mirrors and reveal the truth. Those who own everything won't like that.

Independent thought and creativity are discouraged as you're force-fed a mechanized, junk food education, a curriculum that's designed for those who plan to join the ranks of the serving class, which most college graduates do. They usually go to work for a subsidiary or directly for a large corporation.

Don't worry about changing the world for the better because you won't be doing any of that. You'll be working to maintain the system as the people who own everything see fit. And as long as you're a good worker-bee, they'll clothe you, feed you, and bury you in a good plot of land. On your tombstone they'll enscribe, " He was a good follower".


There are exceptions, but this is what higher education has become in the US.

One final thought, EP. Don't bother asking any of your professors who Garret Augustus Morgan, John H. Johnson, Maya Angelou, or August Wilson were/are. They probably won't know they were/are all successful Black Americans who either didn't attend college or dropped-out. Instead, ask them about Ray Kroc or Bill Gates (I apologize because here I so easily fall into the American trap of associating success with wealth).

Anyway, ask them about these two men and how they didn't need a college education to be successful. You'll probably be told something like "Oh, yes but they're the exception, not the rule".

That says a lot about you and me because it makes us the rule, not the exception.

And that's the point: you cannot be successful, or a true human being by always doing what everyone else does. If you only do what you're told, you'll be no better than average.

You may be seen as a social failure, but so what? If you measure your success by what others tell you is successful, then you fear deviating from the status quo because that is a sign of failure.

Is attending a foreign university an option? Do you believe in yourself enough to pursue an education independently, or in real world experience? Would dropping out of college altogether make you a failure? In the eyes of some, yes, but independent study, belief in yourself, and inititive can more than make up for it.

You are the exception, not the rule, because you have the power to be.
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quote:
That is a very interesting list of books especially as framed in the context of relevant knowledge. As you note, the issue is what constitutes relevant.


Interesting is a vaguely positive but rather uninformative description. Could you possibly be more detailed. I included links with each book tho many of them don't work directly from that site, you must copy and paste them.

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
quote:
That is a very interesting list of books especially as framed in the context of relevant knowledge. As you note, the issue is what constitutes relevant.


Interesting is a vaguely positive but rather uninformative description. Could you possibly be more detailed. I included links with each book tho many of them don't work directly from that site, you must copy and paste them.

umbra

As I said, I think the issue is really what one deems or can make a case for relevance. For example, why are books on Linux more relevant than say Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois. Why is Dancing Wu Li Masters more relevant than Toni Morrison's Beloved or Michel Foucaults Order of Things.

I would have removed much of the science fiction and the electronic texts and included more historical (African Diasporic as well as European) and sociological, philosophical, and anthropological texts (particularly those whom Paul Ricouer refers to as the masters of suspicion; i.e., Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche.) I would add numerous works in the area of fiction from Morrison, Wright, Ellision, Hughes, Cullen, Toomer, and Walker. Finally, in the area of religion, I would include works of authors who are scholars of Black religion and Black scholars of religion like James Cone, Theophus Smith, Charles H. Long, Emilie Townes, Katie Canon, Delores Williams, Eddie Glaude, William Hart, and Anthony B. Pinn.

In the context of this thread, I believe that such a list would facilitate the kind of critical thinking that is often lacking many institutions of higher education.

I could not possibly list all the books that have impacted me. I have over 500 books in my office at home,
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
Why are books on Linux more relevant than say Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois. Why is Dancing Wu Li Masters more relevant than Toni Morrison's Beloved or Michel Foucaults Order of Things. In the context of this thread, I believe that such a list would facilitate the kind of critical thinking that is often lacking many institutions of higher education. I could not possibly list all the books that have impacted me. I have over 500 books in my office at home.


Arthur B. Powell's Ethnomathematics: Challenging Eurocentrism in Mathematics Education (1997) and Marcia Ascher's Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas (1994) are two books that I would love more math teachers to incorporate into their lessons. However, the difference between me and some others is that I know this will never happen if I only present a list of books to people in a discussion forum. The only way to make this happen is by physically taking these books to schools and suggesting that teachers incorporate the information presented in these books into their lessons.

Teachers are not limited to the sources of information they can use in their classrooms. A language arts teacher, for example, is not prohibited from reading Toni Morrison or Langston Hughes to his students. It really depends on the literature the teacher deems significant and important enough to share with his or her students. Part of the problem is that some teachers are not reading books like these themselves, preferring to just teach whatever scripted curriculum is handed to them by the county. In response to these nonreaders, I know of a principal (African-American man) in Maryland who went so far as to create a mandatory reading list for his teachers! The teachers were expected to have read all of the books on the list before the school year ended. I thought it was a great idea.
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quote:
For example, why are books on Linux more relevant than say Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois. Why is Dancing Wu Li Masters more relevant than Toni Morrison's Beloved or Michel Foucaults Order of Things.

I would have removed much of the science fiction and the electronic texts and included more historical (African Diasporic as well as European) and sociological, philosophical, and anthropological texts (particularly those whom Paul Ricouer refers to as the masters of suspicion; i.e., Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche.)


How many computers were there in the world when W.E.B. Du Bois wrote Souls of Black Folk?

Souls of Black Folk was published in 1903. The vacuum tube had not been invented. It would be another 5 years before Henry Ford introduced the Model T. Do you have any idea how much that changed the American way of life? Du Bois was born in 1868. Marx didn't die until Du Bois was 15 years old. People are constantly talking about children being the future but clutter their heads with trivia from the past. I included Soul On Ice and Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous? but you chose to ignore those. They are much more up to date than Du Bois. Are they too controversial for your educational institutions?

The Dancing Wu Li Masters is about physics. Physics is about reality. Toni Morrison's Beloved is fiction but without science. Slavery is over but economic servitude is not. John Kenneth Galbraith talked about the planned obsolescence of automobiles in 1959. His book The Affluent Society is in my list. Malcolm X and MLK could both have read it, but I am not aware of either of them ever saying anything about planned obsolescence. I can look out my front window and see the supposedly "nice" cars that Black people are driving. The only mention of science and technology by MLK that I know of is about "guided missles and unguided men."

But Martin Luther King did something that was very astute in relation to technology and psychology.

quote:
The Uhura character, though given little real prominence in the show and only given marginal exposure in the Trek movies, is nevertheless recognised as an essential staple of Trek lore. Nicholls was rightly peeved that Uhura was basically a glorified switchboard operator, albeit a switchboard operator with the silkiest voice in the Alpha Quadrant.

The actress once revealed that, considering leaving the show in 1967, no less a figure than Martin Luther King had advised her to stay, because she represented a great role model for black people on a primetime TV show.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/st/original/uhura.shtml

I have done a search of a website that has the scripts from the original Star Trek series. I think there are more lines with the word computer than there are lines by Lt. Uhura in the entire show. I don't know if MLK regarded the technological background of the show as a significant factor but he grew up without television. I find it difficult to imagine childhood without TV and now kids will take computers for granted, but will they have any understanding of how they work?

The people who write history books usually focus on people instead of technology but it is the technology which gave the people THE POWER to do the things they did. Suppose the American Indians had been technologically advanced when Europeans showed up. Imagine Christoper Columbus sailing up to the shores of America and standing on the beach are Geronimo and Sitting Bull with AK-47s. How would that have affected the so called course of history. Of course that raises the question of what kind of culture the Indians would have had if men casually walked around with AK-47s. But my point is that the last 600 years of history is based on who had technology and who didn't, so the future is going to be based on who understands technology and who doesn't.

http://members.tripod.com/~DuBois/syll.html

I have read Souls of Black Folk. I even downloaded it to my computer once because I wanted to search for something without reading the book again. There was a place where Du bois talked about Black men buying buggies when they could have been buying land. He was thinking about wealth and depreciation. I don't think Du Bois was a dummie just because I didn't include him. I included books specifically about economics which you also ignored.

quote:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke


And not so well known:

quote:
90% of everything is crud. - Theodore Sturgeon


quote:
On one level, sure, sci-fi attracts the kids and the chicken-head-eating-geek adults who love to see cool spaceship battles, and B5 does a good job at providing that for them. But behind the makeup and the sets is a series unlike any that's aired on television -- a five-year novel for television that's as mature, adult, and engrossing as NYPD Blue or Homicide or any of the other great dramas on the air today.


http://www.teevee.org/archive/1996/10/21/

The majority of what is called sci-fi is mediocre to grabage, usually thrown together to make some money off the uncritical. The opinions of people that are not "into sci-fi" are usually based on this dreck.

Many of the great SF writers are not just writers but have degrees in sciences and engineering. So real sci-fi usually contains real science. Isaac Asimov had a PhD in chemistry. Robert Heinlein studied naval engineering at Annapolis. And of course there is Arthur C. Clarke. During the Second World War, he served in the Royal Air Force as a radar specialist and was involved in the early warning radar defense system which contributed to the RAF's success during the Battle of Britain. He retired in the rank of Flight Lieutenant. After the war, he obtained a first class degree in mathematics and physics at King's College London. In the 1940s he forecast that man would reach the moon by the year 2000, an idea experts dismissed as rubbish. When Neil Armstrong landed in 1969, the United States said Clarke "provided the essential intellectual drive that led us to the moon." His most important contribution may be the idea that geostationary satellites would be ideal telecommunications relays. He proposed this concept in a paper titled "Extra-Terrestrial Relays - Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?", published in Wireless World in October 1945. It was also met with derision by experts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke#Biography

quote:
For example, why are books on Linux more relevant than say Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois.


Have you heard that the richest man in the world made his money on computer software? I believe his name is Gates. Maybe Bill something or other. Some people say that the only threat to the Macro$cam monopoly is Linux. I have been talking about Black people worldwide standardizing on Linux for more than 4 years. It appears that the honkys will have to do it for us. Have you heard about the $100 laptop for the 3rd world? It will run Linux.

http://laptop.media.mit.edu/faq.html

Leaving ourselves open to the software monopoly of Microsoft is like letting someone remove money from your wallet whenever they decide. Microsoft changes file formats and the older software can't read the newre file formats so the user is forced to upgrade. Some governments have finally gotten there acts together and moved to address the problem.

http://news.com.com/Governments+vote+against+Microsoft/...-7344_3-5145332.html

It is interesting you don't mention what I regard as the weaknesses of my list. There are no books about biology and health and medicine and nutrition. None about automobiles or architecture or civil engineering. The objective is to increase the list not detract from it. The only reason I would remove a book is to replace it with a better on about the same subject. I can't suggest books about subjects I don't know. I was originally thinking other people would want to contribute to those areas, but I think the larger percentage of people are interested in treating knowledge like personal property and that makes it possible for the educational system to function the way it does. The fact that you are on this website proves you must be using technology. You probably own a television and a cellular phone but you suggest removing electronics books. I don't expect EVERYBODY to be interested in electronics. But when your stuff breaks down you want somebody to know how to fix it? RIGHT!? Oh, they were supposed to go to school to learn that.

I suggested creating a reading list back in the 80's at a mensa meeting. This White woman looked at me like I was nuts. I first created a website with two, then three booklists, a sci-fi list and a non-fiction list. I later split the non-fiction into techy and non-techy stuff, and added sections about electronics, economics and accounting. Haki Madhubuti's book BLACK MEN triggered the whole thing. He has a booklist in his book, from pages 135 to 155, a total of 349 books. To me the wierdest thing about his list is that it is classified by Black and non-Black authors. 253 books by Black authors and 96 by the rest. Is that a significant criteria for judging a book? All he gives is title and author and they are sorted alphabetically by author. You can't tell the fiction from the non-fiction. Future Shock by Alvin Toffler has a fine title for a sci-fi book but it is non-fiction but someone unfamiliar with it might have no idea what it was about. I read it back in the 70's, non-fiction. He also has The Art of War by Sun Tzu but makes no suggestions about which translation, there must be more than a dozen. So I thought, "I can put together a book list far more useful than this." He doesn't have a single book about technology but near the beginnig of his book he talked about White boys building planes that could fly but he had a toy that he could just pull along the ground. So that started the project. I sold my 4-unit apartment building last year, so the books in the second bedroom, my library, had to be packed up. There were more than 2,000.

I think the list should consist of about 1000 books. The objective is not for everyone to read all of the books. I am thinking of it in 3 steps, kind of like Sturgeon's Law. 10 books at the core which everyone should read, then another 90 with more specialized interests, then another 900 going into the details of the specialties.

This is getting too long. Time for a break.

umbrarchist
When I said:

quote:
This is getting too long. Time for a break.


I didn't mean for everyone else to take a break. lol

The entries to this thread have gone like this:

Feb 15 = 4
Feb 16 = 18
Feb 17 = 5
Feb 18 = 2
Feb 19 = 1
Feb 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, Mar 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 = ZERO

So when I defend my list and correct the impression that people seem to have inferred that the list was complete, the thread comes to a grinding halt. I decided to let it go for two weeks while I typed some excerpts from Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?

The cover was sufficient to attract my attention but it was the introduction that got me to buy it.

"page i"
quote:
I wrote this book because I sensed a need in the United States for a new truth - a truth not based on false histories, false assumptions, false arguments or false realities. In a Newsweek essay(1-21-80), the scientist/writer Isaac Asimov wrote about the "cult of ignorance" in this country. He said, "The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant threatwinding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
Ignorance about the state of Black people in America is appalling. However, what is even more appalling is that few people in the dominant culture even give a damn, and too many African American leaders have no idea how to improve the lives of their people.


A Black man quoting Isaac Asimov was sufficiently unusual to be worthy of note.

"page ii"
quote:
The education I received in the Black community was entirely different - in content and context - from that of whites. Not only was "training" not a challenge, it was discouraging. The major piece of information I absorbed after twelve years of public education was that I was a problem, inferior, ineducable and a victim.


That sounded just like my grammar school.

"page iii"
quote:
One year on my birthday, my mother took me to a five-and-dime store to buy me a gift. She bought ma a blue plastic airplane with blue wheels, a blue propeller and a blue string on the front of the plane so that one could pull it across the floor. I was happy. That followingweek she took me and my sister to Dearborn, Michigan where she occasionally did "day work." Day work, for the uninformed, means Black women cleaning up white folks' homes. Dearborn Michigan is where many of the movers and shakers who controlled the automobile industry lived. What I quickly noticed was that they lived differently. There were no five-and-dime stores in Dearbornat this time; there were craft shops. This is where the white mothers and fathers bought their children airplanes in boxes. In the boxes were wooden parts, directions for assembly, glue and small engines. Generally, the son would assemble the plane (which might take a day of two) and then take the plane outside and - guess what - it would fly.
This small slice of life is an example of the development - quite early - of two different consciousnesses. In my case and tha of other poor youths, we would buy the plane already assembled, take it home and hope it rolled on the floor as if it was a car of truck rather than a plane. In Dearborn, the family would invest in a learning toy, and the child would put it together. Through this process, the child would learn work ethics and science and math principle. And, as a result of all that, the plane would fly. I was learning to be a consumer who depended on others to build the plane for me. The child in Dearborn made an investment, worked on it and, through his labor and brain power, produced a plane that flew. Translating this to the larger world, I was being taught to buy and to use my body from the neck down, while the white upper class boy was being taught, very early, to prepare himself to build things and run things, using the neck up. Two different worlds: my world - depending on and working for others, and his world - controlling his own destiny.


Souls of Black Folk came out in 1903, the same year as the Wright brother's first flight. Du Bois wouln't have played with a toy airplane flying or otherwise. But it is that with this personal experience with technology and education he does not include any technology books in his list.

"page 157"
quote:
Learning to take hold of one's life is a very difficult in a culture that values property over life. This is the same culture that developed the concept of "planned obsolescence" and throw-away underwear. Most Black people in thes country are wards of the state. This dependency has rendered many of them neutral in the fight for Black liberation. Therefore, it is mandatory that Afrikan Americans develop "survival and development strategies." We must be able to disconnect from the oppression around us, whether it is political, economic or of a more personal form coming from friends, family members of co-workers. Negaive people always will want to involve others in their defeated lives.


Anybody mentioning "planned obsolescence" must know something about what is really happening in the world. But the only book in his list about personal finance is Real Estate is the Gold in Your Future by Dempsey Travis.

"page 15"
quote:
The U.S. may not be the most literate nation in the world, but it certainly has more information available to the general public than any other nation. The great majority of information that is freely circulated goes untouched by the Black community, either because of ignorance or non-concern. The need for a highly literate and analytical mind to deal with tody's world is not considered as important as basketball or haristyles. Until our priorities change, we will not be able to compete of complete our task.


And most of the freely circulated information is BULLSH!T The problem is finding the stuff that is worth paying attention to in the blizzard of trivia. Most of the palefaces don't know and the ones that know won't tell.

quote:
If you're tenured, the job security is outta this world. The benefits are fantastic. Lots of vacation time. Plenty o' perks.


quote:
outside of Business Schools, you're most likely to find the hardcore Libertarian-NeoCon types in Math, sciences, and Engineering. The faculty in these departments tend to be smart individualistic white guys.


So the educators have been bought off to perpetuate the system. Curious how the "smart individualistic" people are in math, sciences and engineering. lol

quote:
Everyone has hopefully read Carver's The Mis-Education of The Negro.


Been there, done that. 1930's - GIVE ME A BREAK! Haki Madhubuti's Black Men is old at 1991 because it is pre-World Wide Web.

quote:
... they also need to learn critical thinking skills. I know as a math and physics major at Vanderbilt eons ago, I got none of this.


It is now my opinion that liberal arts colleges tend to do a better job in this respect.


I have heard people throwing the phrase "critical thinking" around a lot in recent years. The only course I had in high school that involved what I regarde as "critical thinking" was mathematics, especially doing proofs. But when I allpied that kind of thinking to the liberal arts stuff the teachers got bent out of shape.

By the way kresge did you know MLK got Nichelle Nicholls to stay on Star Trek?

umbrarchist

[441 3/11 19:10]
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
To misquote Morpheus:

I think our educational system is a scam. Children's time is wasted in grammar school and high school when their mind's are most ready to assimilate information.


I get so very tired of people suggesting that we "do away" with the educational system, offering no recommendations as to how we are to get the masses of Black children to perform academically on par with other children. These people are often the least likely to do anything about the problems they observe in our nation's education system. I understand, fully, people's gripe with the "educational system." I work within this sytem on a daily basis, but we need to grow up and accept the reality that this "system" is not going anywhere. Therefore, your issues with the system has to go far beyond mere complaints. Complaint time is over. Everyone has hopefully read Carver's The Mis-Education of The Negro. Now, let's take the ideas that he proposed a step further. Now, we need action-oriented people who are willing to make a reality the changes they feel are desparately needed in our children's education. Are you willing to visit schools, volunteer your time with students, speak with your local public officials, consult administators, principals, and superintendents, or even suggest a different way to approach a history or social studies lesson to your children's teachers?, because these are the ACTIONS that precede resolution.

I strongly disagree. Those are passive examples of particpation. We need to do much, much, more. The vanguards of the current system need to be out of business.

Education is a political event and true educational reform has to be sponsored by the masses. Public school systems in the United States were born from the need to provide the nation with a constant labor force primarily made up of whites. As this nation moved from an agrarian society to a nation where goods were mass produced, northern factory owners noticed a negative and direct correlation between productivity and literacy. Without the ability to read or write, factory workers could not operate machinery, read instruments, or follow written instruction, which lead to low productivity and decreased profits. Influenced by big business, public education evolved into a system where the white amerikkkan child learned just enough to secure a job as a laborer. Education, as an avenue toward social and economic mobility was not and has never been the goal of public education in the United States.

In the case of the Africans in this country, then, whose experience is singularly rooted in a culture of white exclusion, we somehow embraced the notion that African-American participation in public education is a vehicle through which economic empowerment, social equity, or equal participation could be achieved - and for the life of me, I can't understand why.

Nevertheless, generations of African-Americans en masse have sought access to quality education, and they have suffered under the constraints of labor intensive, euro-centered curriculum. This begs two questions; why do Africans in amerikkka continue to participate in a system where we are not successful (i.e. disparity in the black – white achievement gap, low graduation rates, low standardized test scores)? Moreover, given the state of the amerikkkan education system, which lags far behind the rest of the world - even countries considered "thrid world" by white folks - why do we continue to settle for a system that doesn't even educate the white masses? These are words spoken by the richest cracker in the world

African community management of schools is not a new idea. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2005/is_4_38/ai_n14858593#continue
quote:
The Black Power phase of Brownsville's black freedom struggle gained its most intense expression in the struggle for community control of public education. In 1968, the BCC gave vital organizational support to the grassroots struggle for local control over Brownsville's public schools. This movement pitted local activists against the predominantly white and heavily Jewish United Federation of Teachers (UFT). The teachers union resisted the community control movement in Oceanhill-Brownsville by launching a series of three city wide strikes against the New York public school system, particularly its approval of an "experimental" grassroots "governing board" designed to shape school policy at the local level. White teacher resistance resulted in the destruction of the local control movement when the New York State Education Commissioner dissolved the "governing board" and placed the Oceanhill-Brownsville school district under state trusteeship.

We need to continue taking over community school districts and build schools like the one talked about here http://store.tcpress.com/0807741566.shtml I worked with East Harlem Block Schools as the Director of Community Literacy and I am a staff developer with Educator's for Social Responsibility (ESR). The author of the book mentioned here, is the founder ESR and organized to help the community takeover that led to the creation of the Block Schools.

Moreover, the Kansas City Model for African centered schools is another source showing how reform done properly can lead to real results.
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/13801310.htm

Also, in addition to African centered schools, we need to move away from the idea that "education" has to happen in a school. We need to support alternative systems of learning like The City as School
quote:
Nevertheless, generations of African-Americans en masse have sought access to quality education, and they have suffered under the constraints of labor intensive, euro-centered curriculum. This begs two questions; why do Africans in amerikkka continue to participate in a system where we are not successful (i.e. disparity in the black – white achievement gap, low graduation rates, low standardized test scores)? Moreover, given the state of the amerikkkan education system, which lags far behind the rest of the world - even countries considered "thrid world" by white folks - why do we continue to settle for a system that doesn't even educate the white masses?


appl appl appl appl appl appl appl appl appl appl appl appl

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by Shango67:
I worked with East Harlem Block Schools as the Director of Community Literacy and I am a staff developer with Educator's for Social Responsibility (ESR).


Great! I'm always appreciative of people who not only acknowledge problems in our educational system, but are also working towards solving those problems, whatever they may be. Ultimately, all of us know that the "educational system" is wrought with problems. Antiquated teaching methods based on an industrialized education model is just ONE of them. However, the question is what are you doing and what have you done to address what you perceive to be a problem. To be honest, I'm ready for whatever major, minor, or gradual changes in the educational system that people feel are necessary. Insofar as students and teachers are expected to excel and do their best, it doesn't matter to me.

quote:
The Kansas City Model for African centered schools is another source showing how reform.


I think charter schools, magnet programs, gendered schools, ethnocentric schools, and the like are great alternatives to traditional schools IF the student is academically excelling in that environment. The only issue that I have with alternative schools is that in some cases (emphasis on some), parents place their children in alternative programs as a way to prolong addressing deeper, underlying issues (e.g., lack of discipline, poor parenting, absentee father, sexual and/or physical abuse, etc.). Now a parent can unfortunately play "musical schools" with a child for his or her entire academic career, but at some point, the child is going to have to face the reality that every academic environment cannot be individually structured around his or her personal issues and needs--that's what homeschooling is for. Ultimately, the world is not going to coddle and cater to your child once he or she is promoted from school. Therefore, some self and academic discipline is necessary if the child is going to be successful in ANY academic environment. It is imperative that when placing a student that parents be mindful of the difference between making accommodations and making excuses. More importantly, if a child is having serious academic, emotional and/or behavioral problems, rather than enrolling the student in and out of various programs, alienate the source the child's dilemma and work towards solving it so that the child can remain focused on his or her academic studies.

quote:
Also, in addition to African centered schools, we need to move away from the idea that "education" has to happen in a school. We need to support alternative systems of learning.


I totally agree, and this responsibility to provide supplemental education in addition to the general education the child receives at school falls upon parents. Parents (and the general public) should release themselves from the notion that everything you need to know in order to be accomplished in this world should be attained from a teacher at school. Teacher-dependency is another problem in our schools. Not enough students are encouraged to be independent learners and thinkers. They expect every lesson to fed to them, literally. It is not a school's responsibility, however, to shape your child's political views or to inform your child as to why "Black men" are considered "obsolete" and "dangerous." Some of this "information" will have to be retreived outside of the academic environment. Lastly, education may not have to happen at school, but many college institutions still require students to have a highschool diploma in addition to passing SAT scores; therefore, students will not be accepted into their college institutions of choice unless they come prepared with basic skills.

Something about me, I've never been a wishful or idealistic thinker, I like to deal with reality. And there is no chance that the US is going to simply shut down entire schools systems. Needless to say mandatory schooling is here to stay. So let's come up with solutions that have root in reality.
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quote:
I've never been a wishful or idealistic thinker, I like to deal with reality. And there is no chance that the US is going to simply shut down entire schools systems. Needless to say mandatory schooling is here to stay. So let's come up with solutions that have root in reality.

Reality is a construct and "mandatory schooling" can be abolished with organization. I, for one, would definitely work toward that goal if it was presented to me. Until then, I agree, reform is all we have.
quote:
The only issue that I have with alternative schools is that in some cases (emphasis on some), parents place their children in alternative programs as a way to prolong addressing deeper, underlying issues (e.g., lack of discipline, poor parenting, absentee father, sexual and/or physical abuse, etc.).

This is problematic in ALL types of schools - not just alternative learning environments.

The emphasis on including mental health professionals at any school, traditional or otherwise, is a key component in addressing the issues you raised. Our children come to school with a host of issues unknown to educators. Alternative schools are better prepared to deal with these types of problems than large schools that sheppard children through a maze of emotionally disconnected learning environments.

For example, John lives in a shelter with his mother and sister, and he falls asleep in class. In a traditional school, John (especially if he is Black and / or poor) is at high risk of being rushed into a catagory where he is marked as learning impaired or disabled. In an alternative setting, John is more likely exposed to educational professionals that will use a holistic approach aimed at solving the problem.

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