Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Here's a Book for You...

Contemporary Critics of Education. edited by Howard Ozman. Danville, Ill., Interstate Printers & Publishers [1970] Contents:
How to read a book, by M. J. Adler.--The house of intellect, by J. Barzun.--Educational wastelands, by A. E. Bestor.--The process of education, by J. S. Bruner.--I and thou, by M. Buber.--The citadel of learning, by J. B. Conant.--Compulsory mis-education, by P. Goodman.--The conflict in education, by R. M. Hutchins.--Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, by A. Huxley.--The miseducation of American teachers, by J. D. Koerner.--Education at the crossroads, by J. Maritain.--Education and human relations, by A. Montagu.--The secret of childhood, by M. Montessori.--Summerhill, by A. S. Neill.--What are they doing to your children? By M. Rafferty.--Education and freedom, by H. G. Rickover.--Education and the good life, by B. Russell.--The science of learning and the art of teaching, by B. F. Skinner.--The aims of education, by A. N. Whitehead.

Kinda old, but the criticisms stand. Not all the critics agree with each other either. It's amazing to me just how many of our current problems were being written about 50 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same. See if you can find the book, perhaps through Inter-Library Loan. At least 329 libraries own it.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

A nine year old on abortion

Nat Hentoff tells about a 9-year old boy who sees clearly.
A longtime friend of mine is married to a doctor who also performs abortions. At the dinner table one recent evening, their 9-year-old son — having heard a word whose meaning he didn't know — asked, "What is an abortion?" His mother, choosing her words carefully, described the procedure in simple terms.

"But," said her son, "that means killing the baby." The mother then explained that there are certain months during which an abortion cannot be performed, with very few exceptions. The 9-year-old shook his head. "But," he said, "it doesn't matter what month. It still means killing the babies."


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rebecca Hagelin warns us about what we let the kids read. I prefer the classics myself.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

On Prop 82 and Universal State-Funded PreSchool

Jennifer Roback Morse on Prop 82.
These same kinds of studies are used to browbeat stay at home mothers into placing their kids in preschools or daycare centers. "Am I harming my child by depriving him of the enriching preschool experience?" mothers ask me all the time. No, I always reply.

After all, we wouldn’t want to give credit to parents. Everyone knows parents are the problem. The sooner we get kids away from their parents and into government run schools, the better off everyone will be.

Proposition 82 requires preschool teachers to have approximately five years of college. Proposition 82 funds would pay a half billion dollars to colleges and universities to develop new courses. There is no proven benefit to this increased credentialism.

Also Nathanael Blake is one of the best young writers out there, even if I don't always agree with him.
Conservatives generally hold to the traditional perspective of homosexuality being something one does (i.e. sexual acts with others of the same sex), for liberals, homosexuality is something one is. The whole point of morality is the suppressing of wrong or inappropriate urges, and the encouragement of good ones.

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