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Topic: Why Make Reform So Complicated?
Replies: 5   Last Post: Jan 22, 2014 11:42 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 6,932
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Why Make Reform So Complicated?
Posted: Jan 21, 2014 6:04 AM
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Further my earlier response to Kirby Urner's post dt. Jan 19, 2014 1:40 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9367960):

Though quite dated in the light of later developments, Bertrand Russell's thoughts on 'Science and Art under Socialism' (http://www.personal.kent.edu/~rmuhamma/Philosophy/RBwritings/ProposedRdFree/chap-7.html) and on 'Educational Theory' (http://www.matsuishi-lab.org/russelleducationJ_E.htm) contain many useful and usable ideas - few of which have been adequately explored even to this date, nearly a century or so later.

The above comments are made with full acceptance and understanding that Russell was often wrong in his ideas about 'socialism as practiced in the USSR'.

KU's post to which this responds is copied below my signature, for ready reference.

Kirby Urner posted Jan 19, 2014 1:40 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9367960):
> On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 4:01 AM, GS Chandy
> <gs_chandy@yahoo.com> wrote:
> << SNIP >>

> > *The stakeholders in the educational system are,
> broadly, as follows:
> >
> > Teachers; students; parents; administrators in the

> system; educational
> > experts; politicians; others interested in
> contributing to the 'reform
> > process'.
> >
> >

> I think a kind of "ghost shareholder" is the large
> US-based factory, such
> as reached a peak in the 1960s after WW2. US
> Americans were taught to
> think of themselves in terms of "blue collar" line
> workers or "white
> collar" management. The brick and mortar pre-college
> public schools of
> that era were designed to track junior, in theory
> according to his talents,
> in practice also according to his "race" and "gender"
> and "family means",
> either towards "the trades" (as in blue collar) or to
> tag him as
> college-bound, in which case more likely management
> and/or officer material.
> A lot of this same industrialist mentality of the
> mid-1900s still permeates
> North America, although much of the industry has left
> for sunnier climes,
> per Flint, Michigan (a paradigm case, oft used to
> stand for the "rust belt"
> more generally). This mentality underlines
> conformity and compliance as
> chief virtues. One learns to identify one's
> superiors and develop properly
> deferential behaviors. The Japanese culture found a
> lot to recognize as US
> managers took over interim administration of that
> economy just after the
> war.
> In an idyllic USA, one that championed democracy as
> the textbooks say it
> does, students would receive much more training in
> democratic institution
> models, not just model UN or model NATO. There would
> be frequent voting
> and polling, with the voting and polling process
> itself open to scrutiny
> and postmortem analysis. The statistics of
> representational versus direct
> democracy, and difference between parliamentary,
> bicameral and numeric
> versus non-numeric criteria for delegate and vote
> counting... there's much
> civics to study here, much statistics, much history.
> Let's agree this is
> *not* the USA that materialized and just describing
> it reminds us how
> alienated the USA has become from philosophies of
> democracy. Public school
> is still far more geared to serve the "giant factory"
> than "neighborhood
> and regional government", in terms of the reflexes it
> instills and rewards.
> However, all these pushes and pulls are in constant
> tension and a perpetual
> renegotiation goes on.
> These days, with junior often having better access to
> educational resources
> *away* from the brick and mortar building, the
> influence of "ghost
> factories" is quite a bit less. Junior has more time
> to survey the big
> picture and "construct his own reality" should he
> have propensities in that
> direction. * The shape of education has changed a
> lot, thanks to the
> emergence of cyberspace as a kind of shared "Global
> U" (U = University).
> Kirby
> * I stick with "junior" being a "he" and write in a
> kind of male-dominated
> / patronizing style in part in tongue-in-cheek
> allusion to those more
> patriarchal chapters in US history, e.g. at the
> height of the so-called
> "imperial presidency", raised to that level by
> Kennedy and still waning in
> the shadow of Nixon as a result of the "Vietnam War"
> debacle, the end of an
> era in many ways.

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