Friday, October 22, 2010

Pedagogy of Freedom, Paulo Freire

"[T]he school, which is the space in which both teachers and students are the subjects of education, cannot abstract itself from the sociocultural and economic conditions of its students, their families, and their communities" (Freire, 1998, p. 62).

Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of freedom: Ethics, democracy, and civic courage. Trans. P. Clarke. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Making the misguided credible. . .

This New York Times piece is disturbing:

'Culture of poverty' makes a comeback

The assumptions and distortions at the heart of this discussion is why the work of Ruby Payne and the support of "no excuses" charter schools are flourishing within our classist/racist views of people who happen to live in poverty. . .

This comment from John Fullinwider on the NYT article is more credible than the article or the scholars examined in the article:

"What would make for some interesting sociology is a study of the 'culture of wealth.' Why do rich people remain so willfully blind to the injustice that benefits them? Why do landlords who defer apartment maintenance pretend that it's the tenants who "don't care"? Why do cops haul poor black men out of their cars during a minor traffic stop, but give prosperous-looking whites a pass? Why are there a thousand studies about unwed teenage mothers who are poor and zero about the disposition of unwanted pregnancies among Ivy League co-eds? Why don't the sociologists at Harvard study the moral failings of their largest donors? Why doesn't Professor Sampson study his own amoral 'culture of well-funded curiosity' as he drops fake letters on the sidewalk of destitute, devastated neighborhoods to see which poor people care enough to return his mail? Why not study residents of the wealthiest census tracts in Chicago to learn why they don't care enough to end the devastation? Instead of studying the disadvantaged, why not study the ones who put so many at a disadvantage?"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review of Obama's "Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students"

The Obama administration's educational policies are being revealed time and again as more ideology than evidence-based initiatives. . .See this review of neighborhood :

Review of Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students


The research summary "Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students" presents the research background for the Obama administration’s proposals for comprehensive, community-wide services in high-poverty neighborhoods, extended learning time, family engagement and safe schools. While these policies have broad and common-sense appeal, the research supporting the particular policies proposed by the administration is weak and poorly presented in the research summary. As promising as community-wide services may be, a broad research base does not yet exist concerning how to make them successful. The research on extended learning time is also inconclusive. Family involvement is crucial to education, but the evidence for a causal link between student achievement and the type of parent involvement discussed is ambiguous and suspect. The proposals for safe schools boil down to increased local flexibility and increased gathering of survey data, neither of which can be expected to improve outcomes. Together, the administration’s proposals would require an extensive financial commitment in order to be fully implemented, but the scope and source of these funds is not explained. Overall, the evidence provided is not sufficiently strong to justify the programs they champion. While the research summary adequately documents problems, a wiser course for public policy would be a carefully structured set of pilot studies to sharply and accurately identify solutions.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Leave it to comics: Where our commitments lie. . .

While we choose as a society to ignore disproportionate poverty among children compared to affluent countries throughout the world, our political leaders never forget to help those who are already winning the (fixed) game:

No More Corruption (from Married to the Sea)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Excellent interview at Truthout

See this interview and note the well explained assault on teachers and willingness to ignore the impact of poverty; from Truthout:

Back to School: An Interview With Bill Ayers