Here, we will gather together some of the more interesting education news stories form around the world. With everyday stories of great success and the trials of fighting against an increasingly bureaucratic system there should be something to challenge and stretch every mind. You can also send us your suggestions for stories.
Abstract: Somewhere at the top of the Hundred Acre Wood a little boy and his bear play. On the surface it is nocent world, but on closer examination by our group of experts we find a forest where neurodevelopmental and psychosocial problems go unrecognized and untreated.
On the surface it is an innocent world: Christopher Robin, living in a beautiful forest surrounded by his loyal animal friends. Generations of readers of A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories have enjoyed these seemingly benign tales. However, perspectives change with time, and it is clear to our group of modern neurodevelopmentalists that these are in fact stories of Seriously Troubled Individuals, many of whom meet DSM-IV3
criteria for significant disorders. We have done an exhaustive review of the works of A.A. Milne and offer our conclusions about the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood in hopes that our observations will help the medical community understand that there is a Dark Underside to this world.
We begin with Pooh. This unfortunate bear embodies the concept of comorbidity. Most striking is his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), inattentive subtype. As clinicians, we had some debate about whether Pooh might also demonstrate significant impulsivity, as witnessed, for example, by his poorly thought out attempt to get honey by disguising himself as a rain cloud. We concluded, however, that this reflected more on his comorbid cognitive impairment, further aggravated by an obsessive fixation on honey. The latter, of course, has also contributed to his significant obesity. Pooh's perseveration on food and his repetitive counting behaviours raise the diagnostic possibility of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Given his coexisting ADHD and OCD, we question whether Pooh may over time present with Tourette's syndrome. Pooh is also clearly described as having Very Little Brain. We could not confidently diagnose microcephaly, however, as we do not know whether standards exist for the head circumference of the brown bear. The cause of Pooh's poor brain growth may be found in the stories themselves. Early on we see Pooh being dragged downstairs bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head. Could his later cognitive struggles be the result of a type of Shaken Bear Syndrome?
Pooh needs intervention. We feel drugs are in order. We cannot but wonder how much richer Pooh's life might be were he to have a trial of low-dose stimulant medication. With the right supports, including methylphenidate, Pooh might be fitter and more functional and perhaps produce (and remember) more poems.
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Additional Supporting articles:
The Mental Disorders of Winnie-the-Pooh Characters
Winnie the Pooh Mental Disorders & Reading Between the Lines
A. A. Milne
Pooh celebrates his 80th birthday
Made-up words in Winnie the Pooh and Harry Potter 'help children learn English'
The Original Language of Winnie-the-Pooh
By all accounts, American teenagers should be the happiest people in the world. They live in a
virtual Disney universe, with delectable Big Macs, fantastic new cars, parents who buy them video games and cater to their every need, music that appeals to their adolescent tastes, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and all sorts of magical gadgets and computers. They are citizens of the greatest, richest, most advanced nation in history, the beneficiaries of its freedoms and beauty. So, why has life become so unbearable for so many of them?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports that 60 percent of high school students claim that they have thought about committing suicide, and around nine percent of them say that they have tried killing themselves at least once. Indeed, the CDC reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death for Americans aged 15 to 24. The only two phenomena that cause more death among teenagers are car accidents and homicide.
A recent survey of high-school students found that almost one in five had seriously considered suicide; more than one in six had made plans to attempt suicide; and more than one in 12 had made a suicide attempt in the past year.
But this is not a new situation. Education Week (10/31/84) reported that there were 18 teenage suicides a day in the United States, or about 6,570 per year. According to the Boston Herald(3/5/86), a half million teenagers tried to kill themselves in 1985. There is no reason to believe that this morbid death-wish has abated among teenagers in 2012. Indeed, teen suicide is now so common that only the most spectacular tragedies get national attention.
One such tragedy occurred in April 1990 in Sheridan, Arkansas, where three high school students committed suicide within 24 hours of each other. This rural community of 3,200 people is about 40 miles south of Little Rock. According to Facts on File (5/18/90):
The suicides began April 30, when a 17-year-old student, Thomas Smith, walked to the front on his American history class at Sheridan High School, told one of the girls in the class he loved her and then shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber pistol as his classmates watched.
Later that evening, a friend of Smith’s, Thomas M. Chidester, 19, was found shot to death at his home with a .45 caliber pistol, leaving a note that read, “I can’t go on any longer.” The next day, another Sheridan High student, Jerry Paul McCool, 17, was found shot to death at his home with a .22 caliber pistol. Police labeled the death a suicide, although McCool’s parents insisted it had been an accident. The three deaths occurred in the wake of another suicide in Sheridan, by 17-year-old Raymond Dale Wilkinson, who had shot himself to death on March 28. Police said there appeared to be no link among the killings, other than the friendship between Smith and Chidester, and that none of the youths had been in trouble with the police.
We are now all too familiar with these bizarre cluster suicides that have shocked and baffled communities all across America:
Jefferson County, Colorado: At least 14, possibly 17, teenagers committed suicide between January 1985 and April 1986. A study showed that “few of the victims had taken drugs or alcohol before killing themselves. Some had problems at school or with the law, but others were model students who participated in sports and had high grades.” (Rocky Mountain News, 4/10/86)
Fairfax County, Virginia: Three Annandale High School seniors committed suicide between September 17 and October 26, 1987. According to the Fairfax Journal of 10/29/87, Annandale students are a “very ordinary bunch of American kids. ... Nobody really knows what specific troubles the Annandale youths who killed themselves may have been facing.”
Omaha, Nebraska: Three teenagers attending Bryan High School committed suicide and two attempted suicide within a two-week period in February 1986. According to Education Week(2/19/86), the students were “normal kids, not really involved with drugs or anything.”
Leominster, Mass.: On March 27, 1986, George Henderson, 14, a Leominister High School honor student, shot himself to death with a 12-gauge shotgun in his bedroom. He was the sixth teen suicide in Leominster in two years, the third in that school year. According to the Worcester Telegram of 3/28/86: “Here was a boy not identified as being a child at risk. ... There was no indication something was wrong ... he was a good student, an athlete from a relatively normal family.”
Bergenfield, New Jersey: In March 1987, four teenagers — two boys and two girls — committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in a car idling in a closed garage. They had made a suicide pact.
Alsip, Illinois: Nancy Grannan, 19, and Karen Logan, 17, described as best friends and classmates, committed suicide in March 1986 by carbon monoxide poisoning in a closed garage.
School officials and parents expressed bafflement when trying to figure out why these young people killed themselves. Some psychologists suggested that it may have had something to do with low self-esteem. But many of these suicide victims were good students, good athletes, well-loved by their families. So why did they put an end to their promising young lives?
Is it possible that death education is an important contributing cause? Most people, including parents, haven’t the faintest idea what death education is. A graphic description of death education was given in the Winslow Sentinel of 4/9/90. Winslow, a town of about 5,500 inhabitants, is in central Maine where people assume that weird subjects like death and dying are not part of the school curriculum. You’ll assume differently after reading this account:
Death, dying, funerals, wills and organ donations — pretty morbid stuff, but not for a group of Winslow High School seniors.
They wrote their own obituaries and epitaphs, filled out organ-donation cards, visited a funeral home and talked about such issues as mercy killing. They wrote instructions for their own funerals.
As part of a week-long seminar on death and dying, the 60 seniors learned to feel more comfortable about the issue of death — what to do if someone dies, what to say to family members of a deceased loved-one, how to prepare for the inevitable.
“It’s the first time I’d ever been exposed to anything like this. Families don’t talk about death,” said Jennifer Erickson, who took the seminar as part of her psychology class. “Because of this course, I’ll talk to my own kids about death,” she said.
Jeffrey Charland attended the seminar as part of his sociology elective. “A lot of people don’t have experience with going to funerals,” he said. “It helped us to feel more comfortable about being around someone who has lost someone.”
Guidance Counselor Cathleen Clement taught the seminar. She came up with the idea for the course when she was in graduate school, looking at different areas in which students need exposure. ... “I wanted to (conduct the seminar) in a positive, upbeat way, even though the topic is morbid,” she said.
How anyone can be upbeat about death is a bit of a stretch. Ms. Clement could have taught a seminar on the Constitution, or some interesting aspect of American history, but she chose death education which she learned about in graduate school. High school seniors, concerned with making productive lives for themselves after 12 years of politically-correct schooling, ought to be given a positive outlook which will help them deal with living instead of dying. But as the Rev. R. J. Rushdoony has written: “Humanistic education is the institutionalized love of death.” The article continues:
Activities for the course included role-playing, in which students pretended someone had died. They went through the motions of dialing 911, making funeral arrangements, and either going through stages of grieving themselves, or helping another person through those stages.
In the process, they learned about the cost of being embalmed and buried in a coffin, as opposed to being cremated, and about the choices they have. “We got a price list on everything, and it’s expensive to die,” said Erickson.
Charland said that while taking the course he has made the decision to be cremated when he passes on. “I want to be cremated because of environmental reasons. It saves land and is a lot cheaper,” he said.
The trip to Gallant Funeral Home Inc. in Waterville was neat, according to Charland. Although the students did not see any bodies there, they did see the equipment and tools used for preparing them for burial. ... The students saw the make-up, and learned that a hairstylist comes in to fix the corpse’s hair. ...
Clement said the students never stopped asking questions at the funeral home. ...
Erickson said she wants to teach, probably high school sociology, and Charland wants to work in the field of psychology. Clement said some students initially felt uncomfortable with the seminar, but eventually became less afraid.
There is no indication in the newspaper article that parents were consulted about the seminar or were asked for their approval. Also, not all students react to death education as calmly as the two interviewed by the reporter. Some get quite upset. Death educator Nina Rebak Rosenthal, in an article entitled “Death Education: Help or Hurt?” (The Clearing House, Jan. 1980) wrote:
Death arouses emotions. Some students may get depressed; others may get angry; many will ask questions or make statements that can cause concern for the instructor. ... Students may discuss the fact that they are having nightmares or that the course is making them depressed or feeling morbid. ... Others may have no reactions or feel a great sense of relief that someone finally is talking about the things they often felt they could not say. Others may become frightened. In fact, Bailis and Kennedy report that secondary students increased their fear of death and dying as a result of participating in a death education program.
Depression, fear, anger, nightmares, morbidity. These are the negative emotions and reactions stirred up in students by death education. Is this what parents want their children to experience? Is this what they send their children to school for? However, according to Ms. Rosenthal, simply because death education can cause such emotional turmoil and anxiety is no reason not to teach it. “Since death has been such a taboo topic, open and honest communication is essential. Such communication,” she writes, “helps to desensitize students to anxiety-arousing items.”
Thus, the purpose of death education is to “desensitize” children to death — to remove or reduce that reasonable, rational, and useful antipathy toward death that helps us preserve our lives. Maybe that’s why it’s a taboo subject. But it is when children begin to see death as “friendly” and unthreatening that they begin to be drawn into death’s orbit and lured to self-destruction. It’s a phenomenon that might be called “death seduction,” in which an individual is drawn irresistibly into a fascination and then obsession with death. The individual, with the usual adolescent problems, begins to reject life and love death.
(To be continued.)
Written by Sam Blumenfeld
Taken From THE NEW AMERICAN
Teen Suicide: Is Death Ed a Cause?
Teen Suicide: Is Death Ed a Cause?
Teen Suicide: Is Death Ed a Cause?
ESSENTIAL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
The Past, Present & Future of Death Education:
Does Anyone Need Death Education?
Death Education in the Primary School 
Effects of Death Education Programs upon Secondary School StudentsDEATH EDUCATION in the PUBLIC SCHOOLSDEATH EDUCATION AT COLUMBINE HIGH
Death Education Overview
What is Death Education? Basics:
NSA - Death Education News Report:
Remove the word 'Education' from 'Death Education' and you get the picture. (G)
Casual sex linked to depression and suicidal thoughts
Would your marriage survive the porn chat?
How to tell your wife you want to watch online porn
Britain is a sexualised society now. Fact. We must educate our children
Girl Guides back Telegraph better sex education campaign
Down the road, only a few generations, perhaps we shall not at all recall the millennium of The Magna Carta, one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights. Whether its legacy shall be celebrated, mourned, or ignored is not at all clear. That should be a matter of serious immediate concern. What we do right now, or fail to do, will determine what kind of world will greet that event. It is not an attractive prospect if present tendencies persist – not least, because the Great Charter is being shredded before our eyes.
The first scholarly edition of Magna Carta was published by the eminent jurist William Blackstone. It was not an easy task. There was no good text available. As he wrote, "the body of the charter has been unfortunately gnawn by rats" – a comment that carries grim symbolism today, as we take up the task the rats left unfinished.
Blackstone's edition actually includes two charters. It was entitled The Great Charter and the Charter of the Forest. The first, the Charter of Liberties, is widely recognised to be the foundation of the fundamental rights of the English-speaking peoples – or as Winston Churchill put it more expansively, "the charter of every self-respecting man at any time in any land." Churchill was referring specifically to the reaffirmation of the Charter by Parliament in the Petition of Right, imploring King Charles to recognise that the law is sovereign, not the King. Charles agreed briefly, but soon violated his pledge, setting the stage for the murderous civil war.
After a bitter conflict between King and Parliament, the power of royalty in the person of Charles II was restored. In defeat, Magna Carta was not forgotten. One of the leaders of Parliament, Henry Vane, was beheaded. On the scaffold, he tried to read a speech denouncing the sentence as a violation of Magna Carta, but was drowned out by trumpets to ensure that such scandalous words would not be heard by the cheering crowds. His major crime had been to draft a petition calling the people "the original of all just power" in civil society – not the King, not even God. That was the position that had been strongly advocated by Roger Williams, the founder of the first free society in what is now the state of Rhode Island. His heretical views influenced Milton and Locke, though Williams went much farther, founding the modern doctrine of separation of church and state, still much contested even in the liberal democracies.
As often is the case, apparent defeat nevertheless carried the struggle for freedom and rights forward. Shortly after Vane's execution, King Charles granted a Royal Charter to the Rhode Island plantations, declaring that "the form of government is Democratical", and furthermore that the government could affirm freedom of conscience for Papists, atheists, Jews, Turks – even Quakers, one of the most feared and brutalised of the many sects that were appearing in those turbulent days. All of this was astonishing in the climate of the times.
A few years later, the Charter of Liberties was enriched by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, formally entitled "an Act for the better securing the liberty of the subject, and for prevention of imprisonment beyond the seas". The US constitution, borrowing from English common law, affirms that "the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended" except in case of rebellion or invasion. In a unanimous decision, the US supreme court held that the rights guaranteed by this Act were "[c]onsidered by the Founders [of the American Republic] as the highest safeguard of liberty". All of these words should resonate today.
Read more of Noam Chomsky's Article:
How the Magna Carta became a Minor Carta: Part 1.http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/24/magna-carta-minor-carta-noam-chomsky
How the Magna Carta became a Minor Carta: Part 2.http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/25/magna-carta-minor-carta-noam-chomsky
ESSENTIAL ADDITIONAL MATERIAL:
Britain to Repeal Magna Cartahttp://www.outsidethebeltway.com/britain_to_repeal_magna_carta/
Did Magna Carta Die in Vain?
Ken Clarke is ready to betray 800 years of British justice
"The Relevance of the Magna Carta to the 21st Century"
The Magna Carta & Our ConstitutionThe Magna Carta - Failed Diplomacy that Changed the World
Magna Carta: Our Freedoms Our Rightshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4Rc-qs-pV8
Magna Carta and the Commons
Magna Carta presentation by Professor John Robson
Moral of the story: 'Know Your History' (G)
The UK has become the drug and alcohol "addictions capital of Europe", a think tank has warned. The Centre for Social Justice - set up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith - said drink and drug abuse cost the UK £36bn a year. Its report warned that the UK has become a hub for websites peddling potentially dangerous "legal highs".
The CSJ also criticised the government for failing to tackle heroin addiction and cheaply available alcohol. The report, No Quick Fix
, found that last year 52 people in England and Wales died after taking legal highs, up from 28 the previous year.
The substances, sometimes referred to as club drugs and including Salvia and Green Rolex, are often marketed as bath salts or research chemicals. But the drugs can be sold legally as long as they are clearly marked "not for human consumption", but have been known to cause permanent bladder damage, blood poisoning and death.
According to the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), there are now more than 130 UK-registered websites selling the products cheaply by mail order - making postal service workers unwitting drug mules.
'Faster bans needed'
The think tank said one in 12 young people in the UK admitted to having taken legal highs - the highest figure in Europe. It said a faster system of prohibition was needed to deal with legal highs, as 150 new substances have come on to the market in the last three years, while the government has managed to ban just 15 in the same period.
The report also attacked a failure to offer heroin addicts effective treatment.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL ARTICLES:
How our children's prospects are trailing behind Europe
Television turns your children into zombie-headed sloths
Scurvy returns among children with diets 'worse than in the war’
Russian children get gay love books from the West
Hundreds of children identified as extremism risk
Home schooling: if a child gets bored at school, blame the system
School is a prison — and damaging our kids
Five-year-old children arrive in primary school still in NAPPIES and unable to speak
Sleep and the Teenage Brain
Children need more exercise - especially girls
UK 'fares badly in European health league table'
TV habits 'can predict kids' waist size and fitness'
Mapping children's chances
Children's diet better in 1950s
Family Happiness and the Overbooked Child
The moral of the story is ... 'Don't be or create a victim'. (G)
Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the
night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony,
but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is
appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
If the right-wing billionaires and
apostles of corporate power have their way, public schools will become
“dead zones of the imagination,” reduced to anti-public spaces that wage
an assault on critical thinking, civic literacy and historical memory.1 Since
the 1980s, schools have increasingly become testing hubs that de-skill
teachers and disempower students. They have also been refigured as
punishment centers where low-income and poor minority youth are harshly
disciplined under zero tolerance policies in ways that often result in
their being arrested and charged with crimes that, on the surface, are
as trivial as the punishment is harsh. 2
Under casino capitalism’s push to privatize education, public schools
have been closed in cities such as, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York
to make way for charter schools. Teacher unions have been attacked,
public employees denigrated and teachers reduced to technicians working
under deplorable and mind-numbing conditions. 3
Corporate school reform is not simply obsessed with measurements that
degrade any viable understanding of the connection between schooling
and educating critically engaged citizens. The reform movement is also
determined to underfund and disinvest resources for public schooling so
that public education can be completely divorced from any democratic
notion of governance, teaching and learning. In the eyes of billionaire
un-reformers and titans of finance such as Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch,
the Walton family and Michael Bloomberg, public schools should be
transformed, when not privatized, into adjuncts of shopping centers and
Like the dead space of the American mall, the school systems promoted
by the un-reformers offer the empty ideological seduction of
consumerism as the ultimate form of citizenship and learning. And,
adopting the harsh warehousing mentality of prison wardens, the
un-reformers endorse and create schools for poor students that punish
rather than educate in order to channel disposable populations into the
criminal justice system where they can fuel the profits of private
prison corporations. The militarization of public schools that Secretary
Arnie Duncan so admired and supported while he was the CEO of the
Chicago School System was not only a ploy to instill authoritarian
discipline practices against students disparagingly labeled as unruly,
if not disposable. It was also an attempt to design schools that would
break the capacity of students to think critically and render them
willing and potential recruits to serve in senseless and deadly wars
waged by the American empire. And, if such recruitment efforts failed,
then students were quickly put on the conveyor belt of the
school-to-prison pipeline. For many poor minority youth in the public
schools, prison becomes part of their destiny, just as public schools
reinforce their status as second-class citizens. As Michelle Alexander
points out, “Instead of schools being a pipeline to opportunity, [they] are feeding our prisons.” 5
Market-driven educational reforms, with their obsession with
standardization, high-stakes testing, and punitive policies, also mimic a
culture of cruelty that neoliberal policies produce in the wider
society. They exhibit contempt for teachers and distrust of parents,
repress creative teaching, destroy challenging and imaginative programs
of study and treat students as mere inputs on an assembly line. Trust,
imagination, creativity, and a respect for critical teaching and
learning are thrown to the wind in the pursuit of profits and the
proliferation of rigid, death-dealing accountability schemes. As John
Tierney points out in his critique of corporate education reforms in The
Atlantic, such approaches are not only oppressive – they are destined
to fail. He writes:
Policies and practices that are based on distrust of
teachers and disrespect for them will fail. Why? ‘The fate of the
reforms ultimately depends on those who are the object of distrust.’ In
other words, educational reforms need teachers’ buy-in, trust, and
cooperation to succeed; ‘reforms’ that kick teachers in the teeth are
never going to succeed. Moreover, education policies crafted without
teacher involvement are bound to be wrongheaded. 6
The situation is further worsened in that not only are public schools
being defunded and public school teachers attacked as the new welfare
queens, but social and economic policies are being enacted by
Republicans and other right-wingers to ensure low-income and poor
minority students fail in public schools. For instance, many Tea
Party-elected governors in states such as Wisconsin, North Carolina and
Maine, along with right-wing politicians in Congress, are enacting cruel
and savage policies (such as the defunding of the food stamp program)
that directly impact on the health and well-being of poor students in schools. 7 Such
policies shrink, if not destroy, the educational opportunities of poor
youth by denying them the basic provisions they need to learn and then
utilizing the consequent negative educational outcomes as one more
illegitimate rationale for turning public schools over to private
To read more articles by Henry A. Giroux and other authors in the Public Intellectual Project, click here.
When billionaire club members, such as Bill Gates and right-wing
donors such as Art Pope, are not directly implementing policies that
defund schools, they are funding research projects that turn students
into test subjects for a world that even George Orwell would have found hard to imagine. 8 For
instance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided a $500,000
grant to Clemson University to do a pilot study in which students would
wear galvanic skin bracelets with wireless sensors that would track
their physiological responses to various stimuli in the schools. A
spokesperson for the foundation argues in defense of this creepy
obsession with measuring students’ emotional responses by claiming that
the biometric devices are a help to teachers who can measure
“‘real-time’ (reflective feedback), kind of like a pedometer.” 9
It is not the vagueness of what this type of research is trying to
achieve that is the most ludicrous and ethically offensive part of this
study: It is the notion that reflective feedback can be reduced to
measuring emotional impulses rather than produced through engaged
dialogue and communication between actual teachers and students. How can
bracelets measure why students are acting out if they are hungry,
bored, fearful, sick or lack sleep because their parents might be
homeless? How do such studies address larger structural issues such as
the 50 million people in the United States who go hungry every night,
one-third of whom are children? And how do they manage to ignore their
own connection to the rise of the surveillance state and the ongoing
destruction of the civil rights of children and others? Research of this
kind cannot speak to the rise of a Jim Crow society in which the mass
incarceration of poor minorities is having a horrible effect on
children. As Michelle Alexander points out, these are children “who have
a parent or loved one, a relative, who has either spent time behind
bars or who has acquired a criminal record and thus is part of the
under-caste – the group of people who can be legally discriminated
against for the rest of their lives.” 10 And the effect of such daily struggle is deadly. She writes:
. . . For these children, their life chances are greatly
diminished. They are more likely to be raised in severe poverty; their
parents are unlikely to be able to find work or housing and are often
ineligible even for food stamps. For children, the era of mass
incarceration has meant a tremendous amount of family separation, broken
homes, poverty, and a far, far greater level of hopelessness as they
see so many of their loved ones cycling in and out of prison. Children
who have incarcerated parents are far more likely themselves to be
In contrast to the socially and ethically numb forms of educational
research endorsed by so-called reformers, a recent study has linked
high-stakes testing to lower graduation rates and higher incarceration
rates, indicating that such testing plays a significant role in
expanding “the machinery of the school-to-prison pipeline,” especially
for low-income students and students of color.12 Most
critics of the billionaires’ club ignore these issues. But a number of
critics, such as New York University education professor Diane Ravitch,
have raised significant questions about this type of research. Ravitch
argues that Gates should “devote more time to improving the substance of
what is being taught . . . and give up on all this measurement mania.” 13 Such
critiques are important, but they could go further. Such reform efforts
are about more than collapsing teaching and learning into an
instrumental reductionism that approximates training rather than
education. As Ken Saltman points out, the new un-reformers are political
counter-revolutionaries and not simply misguided educators. 14
Noam Chomsky gets it right in arguing that we are now in a general period of regression that extends far beyond impacting education alone. 15 This
period of regression is marked by massive inequalities in wealth,
income and power that are fueling a poverty and ecological crisis and
undermining every basic public sphere central to both democracy and the
culture and structures necessary for people to lead a life of dignity
and political participation. 16 The
burden of cruelty, repression and corruption has broken the back of
democracy, however weak, in the United States. America is no longer a
democracy, nor is it simply a plutocracy. It has become an authoritarian
state steeped in violence and run by the commanding financial, cultural
and political agents of corporate power. 17
Corporate sovereignty has replaced political sovereignty, and the
state has become largely an adjunct of banking institutions and
financial service industries. Addicted to “the political demobilization
of the citizenry,” the corporate elite is waging a political backlash
against all institutions that serve democracy and foster a culture of
questioning, dialogue and dissent. 18
The apostles of neoliberalism are concerned primarily with turning
public schools over to casino capitalism in order to transform them into
places where all but the privileged children of the 1% can be
disciplined and cleansed of any critical impulses. Instead of learning
to become independent thinkers, they acquire the debilitating habits of
what might be called a moral and political deficit disorder that renders
them passive and obedient in the face of a society based on massive
inequalities in power, wealth and income. The current powerful
corporate-based un-reform movement is wedded to developing modes of
governance, ideologies and pedagogies dedicated to constraining and
stunting any possibility for developing among students those critical,
creative, and collaborative forms of thought and action necessary for
participating in a substantive democracy.
At the core of the new reforms is a commitment to a pedagogy of
stupidity and repression that is geared toward memorization, conformity,
passivity, and high stakes testing. Rather than create autonomous,
critical, and civically engaged students, the un-reformers kill the
imagination while depoliticizing all vestiges of teaching and learning.
The only language they know is the discourse of profit and the
disciplinary language of command. John Taylor Gatto points to some
elements of this pedagogy of repression in his claim that schools teach
confusion by ignoring historical and relational contexts. 19
Every topic is taught in isolation and communicated by way of sterile
pieces of information that have no shared meanings or context.
A pedagogy of repression defines students largely by their
shortcomings rather than by their strengths, and in doing so convinces
them that the only people who know anything are the experts –
increasingly drawn from the ranks of the elite and current business
leaders who embody the new models of leadership under the current regime
of neoliberalism. Great historical leaders who exhibited heightened
social consciousness such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Nelson
Mandela, John Dewey, Paulo Freire and Mahatma Ghandi are relegated to
the dustbin of history. Students are taught only to care about
themselves and to view any consideration for others as a liability, if
not a pathology. Ethical concerns under these circumstances are
represented as hindrances to be overcome. Narcissism along with an
unchecked notion of individualism is the new normal.
Under a pedagogy of repression, students are conditioned to unlearn
any respect for democracy, justice, and what it might mean to connect
learning to social change. They are told that they have no rights and
that rights are limited only to those who have power. This is a pedagogy
that kills the spirit, promotes conformity, and is more suited to an
authoritarian society than a democracy. What is alarming about the new
education un-reformers is not only how their policies have failed, but
the degree to which such policies are now embraced by liberals and
conservatives in both the Democratic and Republican Parties despite their evident failure. 20 The
Broader, Bolder Approach to Education study provides a list of such
failures that are instructive. The outcomes of un-reform measures noted
in the study include:
Test scores increased less, and achievement gaps grew
more, in “reform” cities than in other urban districts. Reported
successes for targeted students evaporated upon closer examination.
Test-based accountability prompted churn that thinned the ranks of
experienced teachers, but not necessarily bad teachers. School closures
did not send students to better schools or save school districts money.
Charter schools further disrupted the districts while providing mixed
benefits, particularly for the highest-needs students. Emphasis on the
widely touted market-oriented reforms drew attention and resources from
initiatives with greater promise. The reforms missed a critical factor
driving achievement gaps: the influence of poverty on academic
performance. Real, sustained change requires strategies that are more
realistic, patient and multipronged. 21
The slavish enthusiasm of the cheerleaders for market-driven
educational policies becomes particularly untenable morally and
politically in light of the increasing number of scandals that have
erupted around inflated test scores and other forms of cheating
committed by advocates of high stakes testing and charter schools. 22 David
Kirp offers an important commentary on the seriousness and scope of the
scandals and the recent setbacks of market-oriented educational reform.
In the latest Los Angeles school board election, a candidate who
dared to question the overreliance on test results in evaluating
teachers and the unseemly rush to approve charter schools won despite $4
million amassed to defeat him, including $1 million from New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and $250,000 from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Former Atlanta superintendent Beverly Hall, feted for boosting her
students’ test scores at all costs, has been indicted in a massive
cheating scandal. Michelle Rhee, the former Washington D.C. school chief
who is the darling of the accountability crowd, faces accusations,
based on a memo released by veteran PBS correspondent John Merrow, that
she knew about, and did nothing to stop, widespread cheating.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Bill Gates, who has spent hundreds of
millions of dollars promoting high-stakes, test-driven teacher
evaluation, did an about-face and urged a kinder, gentler approach that
teachers could embrace. And parents in New York State staged a
rebellion, telling their kids not to take a new and untested achievement
While pedagogies of repression come in different forms and address
different audiences in various contexts, they all share a commitment to
defining pedagogy as a set of strategies and skills to use in order to
teach prescribed subject matter. In this context, pedagogy becomes
synonymous with teaching as a technique or the practice of a craft-like
skill. There is no talk here of connecting pedagogy with the social and
political task of resistance, empowerment or democratization. Nor is
there any attempt to show how knowledge, values, desire and social
relations are always implicated in power. Any viable notion of critical
pedagogy must reject such definitions of teaching and their
proliferating imitations even when they are claimed as part of a radical
discourse or project. In opposition to the instrumentalized reduction
of pedagogy to a mere method that has no language for relating the self
to public life, social responsibility or the demands of citizenship,
critical pedagogy works to illuminate the relationships among knowledge,
authority and power. 24 For
instance, it raises questions regarding who has control over the
conditions for producing knowledge such as the curricula being promoted
by teachers, textbook companies, corporate interests or other forces?
Central to any viable notion of what makes a pedagogy critical is, in
part, the recognition that pedagogy is always a deliberate attempt on
the part of educators to influence how and what forms of knowledge and
subjectivities are produced within particular sets of social relations.
In this case, critical pedagogy draws attention to the ways in which
knowledge, power, desire, and experience are produced under specific
conditions of learning, and in doing so rejects the notion that teaching
is just a method or is removed from matters of values, norms, and power
– or, for that matter, the struggle over agency itself and the future
it suggests for young people. Rather than asserting its own influence in
order to wield authority over passive subjects, critical pedagogy is
situated within a project that views education as central to creating
students who are socially responsible and civically engaged citizens.
This kind of pedagogy reinforces the notion that public schools are
democratic public spheres, education is the foundation for any working
democracy and teachers are the most responsible agents for fostering
This approach to critical pedagogy does not reduce educational
practice to the mastery of methodologies. It stresses, instead, the
importance of understanding what actually happens in classrooms and
other educational settings by raising questions such as: What is the
relationship between learning and social change? What knowledge is of
most worth? What does it mean to know something? And in what direction
should one desire? Yet the principles and goals of critical pedagogy
encompass more. Pedagogy is simultaneously about the knowledge and
practices teachers and students might engage in together and the values,
social relations and visions legitimated by such knowledge and
practices. Such a pedagogy listens to students, gives them a voice and
role in their own learning, and recognizes that teachers not only
educate students but also learn from them.
In addition, pedagogy is conceived as a moral and political practice
that is always implicated in power relations because it offers
particular versions and visions of civic life, community, the future,
and how we might construct representations of ourselves, others, and our
physical and social environment. Pedagogy provides a discourse for
agency, values, social relations, and a sense of the future. It
legitimates particular ways of knowing, being in the world, and relating
to others. As Roger Simon observed, it also “represents a version of
our own dreams for ourselves, our children, and our communities. But
such dreams are never neutral; they are always someone’s dreams and to
the degree that they are implicated in organizing the future for others
they always have a moral and political dimension.” 25
It is in this respect that any discussion of pedagogy must begin with a
discussion of educational practice as a particular way in which a sense
of identity, place, worth, and above all, value is informed by
practices that organize knowledge and meaning.
Central to my argument is the assumption that politics is not only
about power, but also, “has to do with political judgements and value
choices,” 26 indicating
that questions of civic education and critical pedagogy (learning how
to become a skilled citizen) are central to the struggle over political
agency and democracy. Critical pedagogy rejects the notion of students
as passive containers who simply imbibe dead knowledge. Instead, it
embraces forms of teaching that offer students the challenge to
transform knowledge rather than simply “processing received knowledges.”
such circumstances, critical pedagogy becomes directive and intervenes
on the side of producing a substantive democratic society. This is what
makes critical pedagogy different from training. And it is precisely the
failure to connect learning to its democratic functions and goals that
provides rationales for pedagogical approaches that strip what it means
to be educated from its critical and democratic possibilities. 28
Critical pedagogy becomes dangerous in the current historical moment
because it emphasizes critical reflection, bridging the gap between
learning and everyday life, understanding the connection between power
and difficult knowledge, and extending democratic rights and identities
by using the resources of history. Rather than viewing teaching as
technical practice, pedagogy in the broadest critical sense is premised
on the assumption that learning is not about memorizing dead knowledge
and skills associated with learning for the test but engaging in a more
expansive struggle for individual rights and social justice. The
fundamental challenge facing educators within the current age of
neoliberalism, militarism, and religious fundamentalism is to provide
the conditions for students to address how knowledge is related to the
power of both self-definition and social agency. In part, this suggests
providing students with the skills, ideas, values and authority
necessary for them to nourish a substantive democracy, recognize
antidemocratic forms of power and fight deeply rooted injustices in a
society and world founded on systemic economic, racial and gendered
Any viable notion of critical pedagogy must be understood as central
to politics itself and rather than disconnect public education from
larger social, economic and political issues, it must connect them to
such forces as part of a wider crisis of both education and democracy.
At the very least, education must be viewed as part of an emancipatory
project that rejects the privatization and corporatization of public
schools and the tax and finance forces that support iniquitous schools
systems. For pedagogy to matter, it must support a culture and the
relations of power that provide teachers with a sense of autonomy and
control over the conditions of their labor. Teachers must be viewed as
public intellectuals and a valuable social resource, and the conditions
of their labor and autonomy must be protected. In this instance, the
fight to preserve labor unions must be viewed as central to preserving
the rights and working conditions necessary for public school teachers
to teach with dignity under conditions that respect rather than degrade
Critical pedagogy must reject teaching being subordinated to the
dictates of standardization, measurement mania and high stakes testing.
The latter are part of a pedagogy of repression and conformity and have
nothing to do with an education for empowerment. Central to the call
for a critical pedagogy and the formative and institutional culture that
makes it possible is the need to reconfigure government spending and to
call for less spending on death and war and more on funding for
education and the social programs that make it possible as a foundation
for a democratic society. Schools are about more than measurable
utility, the logic of instrumentality, abject testing, and mind-numbing
training. In fact, the latter have little to do with critical education
and pedagogy and must be rejected as part of an austerity and neoliberal
project that is deeply anti-intellectual, authoritarian, and
As a moral and political project, pedagogy is crucial for creating
the agents necessary to live in, govern and struggle for a radical
democracy. Moreover, it is important to recognize how education and
pedagogy are connected to and implicated in the production not only of
specific agents, a particular view of the present and future, but also
how knowledge, values and desires, and social relations are always
implicated in power. Power and ideology permeate all aspects of
education and become a valuable resource when critically engaged around
issues that problematize the relationship between authority and freedom,
ethics and knowledge, language and experience, reading texts
differently, and exploring the dynamics of cultural power. Critical
pedagogy address power as a relationship in which conditions are
produced that allow students to engage in a culture of questioning, to
raise and address urgent, disturbing questions about the society in
which they live, and to define in part the questions that can be asked
and the disciplinary borders that can be crossed.
Education as a democratic project is utopian in its goal of expanding
and deepening the ideological and material conditions that make a
democracy possible. Teachers need to be able to work together,
collaborate, work with the community, and engage in research that
informs their teaching. In this instance, critical pedagogy refuses the
atomizing structure of teaching that informs traditional and
market-driven notions of pedagogy. Moreover, critical pedagogy should
provide students with the knowledge, modes of literacy, skills,
critique, social responsibility, and civic courage needed to enable them
to be engaged critical citizens willing to fight for a sustainable and
Critical pedagogy is a crucial antidote to the neoliberal attack on
public education, but it must be accompanied and informed by radical
political and social movements willing to make educational reform central to democratic change. 29 The
struggle over public education is inextricably connected to a struggle
against poverty, racism, violence, war, bloated defense budgets, a
permanent warfare state, state sanctioned assassinations, torture,
inequality, and a range of other injustices that reveal a shocking
glimpse of what America has become and why it can no longer recognize
itself through the moral and political visions and promises of a
substantive democracy. And such a struggle demands both a change in
consciousness and the building of social movements that are broad-based
and global in their reach.
The struggle to reclaim public education as a democratic public
sphere needs to challenge the regressive pedagogies, gated communities,
and cultural and political war zones that now characterize much of
contemporary America. These sites of terminal exclusion demand more than
the spectacle of cruelty and violence used to energize the decadent
cultural apparatuses of casino capitalism. They demand an encounter with
new forms of pedagogy, modes of moral witnessing, and collective
action, and they demand new modes of social responsibility. As Martin
Luther King, Jr. insisted, “We are called to speak for the weak, for the
voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for
no document from human hands can make these humans any less our
brothers.” 30 We can update King’s speech
to encompass the weak, voiceless, and victims of our nation who are now
represented by the low-income and poor minority youth who inhabit both
the public schools and increasingly the prisons. These are the
throwaway youth of an authoritarian America; they are the excess who
painfully remind the elite of the need for social provisions, the
viability of the public good, and those principles of economic life in
need of substantial rethinking.
Under neoliberalism, it has become more difficult to respond to the
demands of the social contract, public good, and the social state, which
have been pushed to the margins of society – viewed as both an
encumbrance and a pathology. And yet such a difficulty must be overcome
in the drive to reform public education. The struggle over public
education is the most important struggle of the 21st century because it
is one of the few public spheres left where questions can be asked,
pedagogies developed, modes of agency constructed and desires mobilized,
in which formative cultures can be developed that nourish critical
thinking, dissent, civic literacy and social movements capable of
struggling against those antidemocratic forces that are ushering in
dark, savage and dire times. We are seeing glimpses of such a struggle
in Chicago and other states as well as across the globe and we can only
hope that such movements offer up not merely a new understanding of the
relationship among pedagogy, politics, and democracy, but also one that
infuses both the imagination and hope for a better world.
have taken this term from David Graeber, “Dead Zones of the
Imagination,” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 2 (2012): 105-128.
 I address this issue in great detail in Henry A. Giroux, Youth in a Suspect Society: Democracy or Disposability (New York: Palgrave, 2010).
 For an excellent critique of this type of corporate educational un-reform, see Kenneth J. Saltman, The Failure of Corporate School Reform (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2013).
 Kenneth Saltman, The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philosophy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
 Sheldon S. Wolin, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Princeton University Press, 2008), p. ix.
 John Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, second revised edition (Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2002).
 On the predatory nature of such reforms, see Henry A. Giroux, Education and the Crisis of Public Values (New York: Peter Lang, 2012); and Michael Gecan, “How Predatory Reformers Are Destroying Education and Profiting at Our Children’s Expense,” AlterNet (June 14, 2013), online: http://www.alternet.org/education/how-predatory-reformers-are-destroying-education-and-profiting-our-childrens-expense.
On the failure of such reforms, see the work of Kenneth Saltman, Diane
Ravitch, Henry A. Giroux, Jonathan Kozol, Shirley Steinberg, bell hooks,
 Elaine Weiss and Don Long, Market-oriented
education reforms’ rhetoric trumps reality: The impacts of test-based
teacher revaluations, school closures, and increased charter school
access on student outcomes in Chicago, New York City, and Washington,
D.C. (Washington, DC: Broader, Bolder Approach to Education (April 22, 2013). Online: http://www.epi.org/files/2013/bba-rhetoric-trumps-reality.pdf
 For examples of this tradition, see Maria Nikolakaki (ed.), Critical Pedagogy in the Dark Ages: Challenges and Possibilities (New York: Peter Lang, 2012); and Henry A. Giroux, On Critical Pedagogy (New York: Continuum, 2011).
 Roger Simon, “Empowerment as a Pedagogy of Possibility,” Language Arts 64:4 (April 1987), p. 372.
 Cornelius Castoriadis, “Institutions and Autonomy.” In Peter Osborne (ed.), A Critical Sense (New York: Routledge, 1996), p. 8.
 Chandra Mohanty, “On Race and Voice: Challenges for Liberal Education in the 1990s,” Cultural Critique (Winter 1989-1990), p. 192.
 Amy Gutman, Democratic Education (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999).
 Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: A
Time to Break Silence.” Information Clearing House. Speech delivered on
April 4, 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside
Church in New York City. Online: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm
Originally published at TruthOut.
Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV
Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and
Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship
at Ryerson University. His most recent books include: On Critical Pedagogy (Continuum, 2011), Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Publics in the Age of Disposability (Paradigm 2012), Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories and the Culture of Cruelty (Routledge 2012), Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future (Paradigm 2013), and The Educational Deficit and the War on Youth (Monthly Review Press, 2013), America’s Disimagination Machine (City Lights) and Higher Education After Neoliberalism (Haymarket) will be published in 2014). Giroux is also a member of Truthout’s Board of Directors, and a Contributing Editor of Cyrano’s Journal. His web site is www.henryagiroux.com.
Original Article Link:
In the 1922 edition of Public
Education in the United States, Ellwood P. Cubberley, Professor
of Education at Stanford Junior University wrote:
"Our schools are, in a sense,
factories, in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and
fashioned into products to meet the various demands of life. The
specifications for manufacturing come from the demands of
twentieth-century civilization, and it is the business of the school
to build its pupils according to the specifications laid down."
Furthermore, this gentleman also had
the honor of editing the book upon which this article is based.
The purpose of this article is to
summarize the foundational reasoning of our modern western education
system and its practical application in society as outlined by
Alexander James Inglis (1879–1924), who was Assistant to The
Professor of Education at Harvard University, in his classic work
'Principles of Secondary Education' which was published in 1918, and
correspondingly to highlight how relevant today his vision of
education's purpose still is.
The inspiration for this article comes
from the research work of John Taylor Gatto to which links will be
provided at the end of this article.
We shall begin.
In exactly the same way that news
media, not long after the invention of the printing press, was
inserted into society as a 4th column that eventually
allowed the powers that be to maintain a control over the 'status
quo' in society, modern education, in a not too dis-similar fashion,
was planned to eventually become a 5th column that once driven into
place would cement a perfect new order in the world that, was hoped
by many social elites, would be irreversible.
It was a centuries old plan, regularly
updated as technology advanced, that the class based royal system of
England, which itself had successfully imported military Prussian
models and Socio-Indian caste hierarchy, and that had so well fed and
watered the first truly modern feudal based global empire, would be
slid slowly and carefully into all societies with traditions of
liberty or religious freedoms. A thinly disguised veil of social
principles would gradually divide the students against each other so
that among friends children would find only enemies and constant
conflict. It would become a perfect model, of divide and conquer in
the great tradition of Julius Cesar, where state ethics, out of the
sight of the parents, could interfere in the development of young
minds without the barrier of inter-generational family values or core
Children, outside of the nuclear family
and surrounded only by other children of similar social background,
could be trained from as young an age as possible to supervise each
other, and would remain limited, powerless and ignorant in some kind
of dis-topic Neverneverland where they truly never would grow up.
They would be lost to the future and the past and left without the
psychological and intellectual resources to make any meaningful
change to the order of society. Fearful of reprisals and unsure of
each unsteady step the pupils would be taught to await instruction
rather than develop their own natural instinct to explore the world
around them. Under such conditions they would become forever
dependent on handouts from the state, who would come, over time, to
incrementally replace the role of parents.
All too soon this concept and the
models built around it would be exported all over the world. Vertical
learning environments would be abolished and replaced with horizontal
inconsequential interactions and children would become incomplete
humans who would be hidden from harsh realities of life and the
principle of a true balanced family by a fog of falsely reasoned
rewards, high walls, loud bells, obtrusive distractions, absent
responsibility, senseless inactivity and a constant repetition of the
need for obedience. Alongside this, in due time, the principal
interactive ratios of society had already changed and by the mid 20th
century we found one adult to be commonly surrounded by 25 children
whereas just a little more than one century previous the standard had
been 4 adults to one child.
Surreptitiously, somebody has stolen
our dreams of learning in freedom, of liberty, through self
discovery, from right under our noses. So how did this thief creep up
on us. Did he come in the night when we were sleeping? Did he pick
our pocket as he walked past? Or was he always there disguised as a
friend pretending to help while just waiting for an opportune moment.
If we take a closer look at a few central pages of Inglis's classic
treatise we find that perhaps he simply walked in through the front
door that was left unlocked. In essence we let him in.
What follows are the Six Functions
of Secondary Education, with original quotes, as stated by the
aforementioned author with a description of the manner in which they
have subtly manifested themselves inside the modern school system.
The Adjustive or Adaptive Function
'Mere adjustment through the
development of relatively fixed habits of reaction is fairly adequate
for those elements which may be conceived as destined in all
likelihood to remain relatively unchanged in their essential
characteristics within the life of the present generation'
Book Page: 375
Fixed habits of automatic reaction to
authority must be established with no space for critical judgment or
personal opinion. Nothing will be possible without permission and you
are to learn how to accept rules that you don't like with the
understanding that you can't change them. Order will be the aim and
obedience will be consistently rewarded. Independent ideas will be
discourage, frowned upon and in more extreme cases punished through a
variety of disciplinary techniques with fixed standards and ideals.
The Integrating Function
'One of the imperative demands made by
society on the secondary school is provision for the development …
of likemindedness, of unity in thought, habits, ideals and standards,
requisite for social cohesion and social solidarity'
Book Page: 377
The statistics necessary to control
society require conformity from the masses. Orders, however
ridiculous, must without question be followed. Tests must be taken,
homework assignments must be handed in before deadlines, the
appropriate dress must be worn at all times, the correct toilet pass
must be presented on request and figures of authority must be
addressed with the right language. Finally all evidence will be
logged with scientific methods of mathematical precision in a
cumulative permanent record.
The Differentiating Function
'Being necessitated by the relation of
the two factors of integration and differentiation in the process of
social evolution … the differentiating function arises out of the
necessity of taking advantage of the differences among individuals
for the purpose of determining social efficiency'
Book Page: 379
No variations except that on the same
theme shall be allowed at any time. All students will be molded alike
and so be to the greatest extent predictable. Teaching will be done
in levels, layers or tiers. Preferably by social class or income
bracket or geographical location or all three. Such horizontal
planning can be compared to the process of a computer game where all
the tasks or challenges in each level must be completed before you
can move on. The end of one section will lead to nothing more that
the beginning of the next … and so on it will continue.
The Propaedeutic Function
'A more intensive and more extensive
preparation for the social-civic activities is possible; preparation
for vocational activities in its direct and specific form is
deferred; different forms of preparation for different modes of
leisure are possible and justified; a somewhat higher selection of
pupils is common, at least with reference to social and economic
Book Page 379
A small fraction of children will be
groomed to rule over the others. They will be given privileges and
taught that they deserve this role as guardians of the population.
The will reinforce the value of a common purpose for all and will
develop the attitude that servants exist to serve and nothing beyond.
They will believe in the Darwinian principles of survival of the
fittest delivered as a birth right and will follow such directions
with blind faith. Though the small faction may at times be exposed to
alternative opinions they will understand that they are powerless to
effect any form of change within the system itself.
The Selective Function
'From one aspect selection is commonly
considered as involving the elimination of those individuals who are
unable to meet the demands set. To this view little objection could
be raised, provided, and only provided, that the demands set could be
justified … which rests on the further assumption that either all
desirable mental traits are involved in the specific subjects
selected, or the improvement in mental traits involved can be
Book Page 381
Processes of compulsory health
assessment, both physical and psychological, will provide feedback on
the quality and will allow for changes in the structure that prevent
any one group from thinking or breeding too much. The unfit will be
tagged, labeled or branded with poor grades and referral for
punishment which will lead to their rejection by the main group. The
unwanted will be stigmatized and made to appear unattractive to
anyone but their own minority group. Ranks and tables will reinforce
a winner takes all culture.
The Diagnostic and Directive
The mere offering of various forms of
instruction does not complete the work of secondary school. It must,
as far as possible, add to that function the function of exploring,
testing, diagnosing, and directing the education of the pupil …
including … moral guidance, social guidance, physical guidance and
Book Page: 383
Students will be well trained for a
specified destination and nothing more. The school will guide the
student and provide a justifiable evidence base for the reasons of
choice, in fact, the answers will be provided before the questions
have been asked. The school will tell the students exactly what roles
they are able to perform in society with the subtext that all
alternatives are at most impossible and at least a fantasy. It will
sort them, file them, label them, and set permanent physical and
psychological boundaries, borders or barriers wherever they are able.
So what does this all mean when we
interpret it collectively.
In an attempt to pull, with a little
force, these points together, we must recognize that the system has
aimed to create, from the sentient individual, a stimulus response
animal capable only of reflexive obedience. In essence stimulus
response communicative ability is a form of mental slavery where the
free thinker is re-modeled into a robotic operant cog in the great
machine of society. Without the insertion of a logical thought
process such as that paralleled in the trivium there can be no
extension of true knowledge, no habit of intellectual self defense,
and therefore ultimately no liberty for mind, body or the spiritual
soul. No matter how beautiful the bird it would forever be confined
to the pan-optical environs of its one dimensional cage.
As, educational historian, John Taylor
Gatto, who himself personally recognized the visible effect of the
process while he was teaching, wrote: ''We have become a nation of
children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political
exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual
adults. We buy televisions, and then we buy the things we see on the
television. We buy computers, and then we buy the things we see on
the computer.'' And the cause? Terrified of over production in an
unimpeded open market society of competing interests, industrialists,
over 100 years ago, felt that limits needed to be surgically inserted
to ease expectations. This bore its rotten fruit in the scientific
infantilization of whole generations where it is now possible to
avoid real contact with the functions of world for beyond the first
third of our lives.
With such a system in place the upper
echelons, of any generation, could relax as duties were performed and
orders executed in an ever increasing self governing fashion. The
intended consequence of such a process is quite clear to the reasoned
mind. Nothing ever changes and the 'status quo' is in place as long
as the system remains stable and fulfills it's tasks and upgrades
it's principles where it is necessary. With these limitations firmly in place the mind will not be able to exercise itself beyond a
certain point. In essence our children are broken before they are
built. They are taught learned helplessness encoded into a societal
normalcy bias where the group is conditioned to hold back the
The trouble is that sensible people,
who have retained some semblance of self worth, either adults or
children, do not want to be incomplete individuals and true learning
is an inevitable natural process if individuals are left untampered
with. The school system that reinforces these ideas only torments and
tortures the free thinking mind, on purpose of course. Childhood, in
any harsh reality, ends somewhere between the ages of 7 and 12, and
beyond this point we are all beings of equal stature, though not
necessarily adults, who have independent thoughts and impulses. We
are sentient, creative and capable of great deeds if we find that
right moment where the people, the place and the time lock together
in an unbreakable three cord fold.
To understand the real purpose of
modern schooling, and its slave to work orientation, is to understand
why human history has taken the course that it has. There are no
perfect solutions to the artificial problems we have today, but to
not know the past is to be as if you were born yesterday. We can
change this by sharing what we know and building on each others
dreams. By breaking the mold that has tightened it's hold on us over
the last two centuries. For we are not empty soul-less machine like
creatures that need to be taught how to feel, how to love or how to
pursue happiness. We are beings of light, of love and of grace and
it is our destiny to realize this, and the sooner the better. The
alternative would be to lose our humanity and have to re-search for
its meaning over the coming centuries.
Perhaps it is best to approach this
subject from an altogether different perspective.
Is it not better to live a short life
doing what you love and living to the fullest extent that you can
than it is to have a long life doing things for a system that can not
feel the beat of your heart or see the sweat on your brow? In the end
nobody wins 'the game of life', especially one with constant
assessment, interruption and diversion. The greatest gift that can
survive our limited lifetime on this planet is that the knowledge
which you have learned gets passed on to the next generation so that
they may continue to dream your dream, or live their dream, or expand
on humanities collective dream to find or even rediscover its destiny
in the stars. Yet, personally we all have a unique destiny, and there
is no single way, there are just multitudes of possibilities and each
one as beautiful and unimaginable as the next.
Once you realize this, and can
visualize education not 'as a die cast' but as door of eternal hope
and reason, then we will have the strength and not fear that which
grows out of this moment, the inevitable to-morrow. With this we can
constructively challenge the system face to face, shape it, make it
our own, embrace it, build our own Guerrilla Curriculum for life long
learning, and never need to recoil. Because what becomes of you is
what you envision and the positive light that guides your life will
serve as a beacon to others, everywhere. If you are able to do this
then you will have a higher probability of having a long successful
life doing what you love and living to the fullest extent that you
can, and you shall have no need of external systems that are
heartless and spiritually unprofitable. As was the intellectual
disguise of the true reason behind compulsory, which means forced,
For those with the time to do research,
the documentation exists far beyond what has already been included
here, though not always in the public domain, to reinforce the claim
that the majority of our education systems have been subverted to the
point where real learning through true experimentation, inside of a
controlled curriculum, is extremely rare. But, we humans are ever
adaptive, stubborn and resourceful beings with a natural tendency to
break illogical constructs built around us and so pockets of natural
learning, however isolated, do occur. But this is, sadly, far from
To conclude let us examine the first
mission statement, written over 100 years ago, of Rockefeller’s
General Education Board as it is found in a document called
Occasional Letter Number One:
''In our dreams … people yield themselves with perfect
docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions
[intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and
unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and
responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of
their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of
science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators,
poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great
artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers,
politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set
before ourselves is very simple … we will organize children … and
teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and
mothers are doing in an imperfect way.''
Attributed to Rev. Frederick T. Gates, Advisor to
John D. Rockefeller (1906)
And so finally I ask you to hold an
idea in your mind, a simple concept. That if knowledge of the truth,
as it is reflected here, is the first step to wisdom, then it is time
to unshackle the chains and emancipate ourselves from this regulatory
discipline of mental slavery. Please ask yourself what you can do to expand the horizons of the world that surrounds you to work for a
better and brighter future, for each brother and sister, with
purposefully higher ideals and goals than those set by the previous
Graham W. HendreyFounder & Director Native Speakers Academy Slovakia July 2013
Additional Information and references:
Available information on Alexander James Inglis is almost non-existant
Book Pages refer to the 1918 version.
Who's Afraid of The Peer Review Process
The Case for The Abolition of Tests in High Schools
The Final Human Right (It's not about guns, it's about control)
The World Through A Needle (Vaccination Research)
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods, and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food.
The term GMO is very close to the
technical legal term, 'living modified organism' defined in the
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, "any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology").
Are they the solution or the source of another problem?
Let's look at some video evidence.
Note: These links are external and may cease to function at any time. If this happens then please do a You Tube search for additional mirrors of these links.
1. Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives
2. Genetically Engineered Documentary - "A Silent Forest"
3. Genetically Modified Foods: Panacea or Poison
4. GMO Poison - Ticking Time Bomb [Full Documentary]
5. Jeffrey M Smith: The GMO Threat ... Full Length • HD
6. Jimmy's GM Food Fight: (BBC Documentary)
7 . Monsanto: A Documentary on GMO
8. Monsanto Food Wars: GMO Seeds and Animals
9. "Food Inc." :Monsanto GMO
10. Seeds Of Death - Full Movie
Only after you watch all of the films will you have a clear picture of what is going to happen to our world in the near future. (G)
Other Relevant Articles of Interest:
1. GM foods kept off the menu at Westminster
2. GM foods not served in Monsanto cafeteria
3. Longest-Running GMO Safety Study Finds Tumors in Rats
4. The Monsanto Protection Act
5. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize
Useful Infographics ... (Stored Externally)
Also search for ""Inforgraphics of GMO vs Organic''
Stefan Molyneux is a Canadian blogger, essayist, and author, and is the host of the Freedomain Radio series of podcasts. He has written numerous articles and smaller essays which have been published on libertarian websites and has recorded numerous podcasts and videos, and self-published several books.
He holds a B.A. in History from McGill University and an M.A. in history from University of Toronto. The Freedomain Radio website offers an online podcast, and other materials which present Molyneux' views on topics including anarcho-capitalism, ethics, Austrian economics, religion, education, family, and politics.
His work is at the forefront of using philosophical analogy to make the world a more peaceful place. In this post you will have an opportunity to assess for yourself whether or not you feel that the time has come to try a new, some may say more traditional, approach to bringing up children in a more free and open environment.
I suggest you begin with the following posts:
Western Society Lives For It's Kids:
Teaching Children to THINK Rationally:
School is Out For Evah:
School is A Prison:
Public Schools = Private Hell:
Parenting without Punishment:
How to have a great relationship with your children in 20 years:
Forcing Children to Stay in School is an Epic Failure:
Free to Learn with Dr Peter Gray:
Chicago Teachers Teach only 3 Hours a Day:
Tiger Mother - Aggressive Parenting:
Freedom for The Children:
Nature & Nurture:
Please support the work of Stefan Molyneux and donate to help the cause at:
Greg Palast writes: The idea that The Euro has "failed" is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do.
That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of "supply-side economics" is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell's research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency. Mundell, then, was more concerned with his bathroom arrangements. Professor Mundell, who has both a Nobel Prize and an ancient villa in Tuscany, told me, incensed: "They won't even let me have a toilet. They've got rules that tell me I can't have a toilet in this room! Can you imagine?" As it happens, I can't. But I don't have an Italian villa, so I can't imagine the frustrations of bylaws governing commode placement.
But Mundell, a can-do Canadian-American, intended to do something about it: come up with a weapon that would blow away government rules and labor regulations. (He really hated the union plumbers who charged a bundle to move his throne.) "It's very hard to fire workers in Europe," he complained. His answer: the euro. The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government's control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession.
"It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians," he said. "[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business." He cited labor laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes. All would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace – or the plumbing.
As another Nobelist, Paul Krugman, notes, the creation of the eurozone violated the basic economic rule known as "optimum currency area"
. This was a rule devised by Bob Mundell. That doesn't bother Mundell. For him, the euro wasn't about turning Europe into a powerful, unified economic unit. It was about Reagan and Thatcher.
"Ronald Reagan would not have been elected president without Mundell's influence," once wrote Jude Wanniski in the Wall Street Journal. The supply-side economics pioneered by Mundell became the theoretical template for Reaganomics – or as George Bush the Elder called it, "voodoo economics": the magical belief in free-market nostrums that also inspired the policies of Mrs Thatcher.
Greg Palast Homesite:
Further Essential Background Reading:
Collapse of euro could pose threat to peace, says Angela Merkel
‘Eurozone breakup might end EU’ - Father of The Euro (Interview)
A short history of The Euro
CFR Applauds European Union’s “Real Subversion of Sovereignty”
What is Creative Destruction?
Hard Times for the Elusive “Father of the Euro”
Europe could be plunged into war if efforts to save the euro fail
Helmut Kohl: I acted like a dictator to bring in the euro
Who is Robert Mundell?
More Essential Videos to Watch:
All Wars Are Bankers' Wars
The End of Europe: By Freedomain Radio
IMF & EU Conspired with Insider to Loot Cyprus Banks
Enough Said ... a lot of people are going to lose a lot in this system. Sadly, most of them are not going to have any idea why. (G)