Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society. —
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
Dhamma Everywhere: Talking -
Why are you talking? Is it because it’s important [topic]? Of course you’ll lose mindfulness if you go on talking when it’s not important. Speak only when it’s necessary. There’s no need to talk when it’s not necessary – but you’ve going around talking when it’s not necessary. If you just watch,…
You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path.
Each path is only one of a million paths. If you feel that you must now follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances.
Any path is only a path.
There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on a path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.
Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush of the Universe.
The only question is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then it is a good path. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use. — Carlos Castaneda, Anthropologist / Author (1925 - 1998). From The Tao of Photography. (via nezartdesign)
(Source: crashinglybeautiful, via lisawhitehare)
I’d like to offer one of my favorite poems, by Grace Butcher, which appears in the Best American Poetry 2000, edited by Rita Dove. It tells a story, a fable of sorts, about a crow who, like me at this moment, like all the rest of us all the time, is at the end of something, and at the beginning of something.
Crow is Walking
Crow is walking
to see things at ground level,
the landscape as new under his feet
as the air is old under his wings.
He leaves the dead rabbit waiting—
it’s a given; it’ll always be there—
and walks on down the dirt road,
admires the pebbles, how they sparkle in the sun;
checks out his reflection
in a puddle full of sky
which reminds him
of where he’s supposed to be,
but he’s beginning to like
the way the muscles move in his legs
and the way his wings feel so comfortable
folded back and resting.
He thinks he might be beautiful,
the sun lighting his back
with purple and green.
Faint voices from somewhere far ahead
roll like dust down the road towards him.
He hurries a little.
His tongue moves in his mouth;
legends of language move in his mind.
His beak opens.
He tries a word.
I would argue a single bar in itself is discriminatory because it favors one type of ability over others, while other abilities may be as valuable. For example, a newly arrived immigrant may not do as well as native born students in English but she has already spoken another language. By judging her ability in English only, she would be “at-risk.” Likewise, if a child is musically talented but may not do well in mathematics, if using a single bar, he would be “at risk” in math. Like Albert Einstein once said: “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Or imagine judging a swimmer by how high he can jump and training him as a jumper. — Yong Zhao Interview: Will the Common Core Create World-Class Learners? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher
“There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A grimmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people’s consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman. I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the faucets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable.
Alan Moore (via zoetica)
“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”
~Richard Rohr, from Everything Belongs
Photo by Alisa Cooper (distributed with instagram)
Killing Students’ Creativity. And Teachers? -
One of the most consistent findings in educational studies of creativity has been that teachers dislike personality traits associated with creativity.
Education and child rearing « Property is Theft! -
A century before Reich, Mikhail Bakunin anticipated him when he argued that children “do not constitute anyone’s property: they are neither the property of the parents nor even of society. They belong only to their own future freedom” and the “rights of the parents shall be confined to loving their children and exercising over them … authority [that] does not run counter to their morality, their mental development, or their future freedom.” From this, “it follows that society, the whole future of which depends upon adequate education and upbringing of children… , has not only the right but also the duty to watch over them.” Thus, child rearing is not just a parental but a communal process, and “real freedom – that is, the full awareness and the realisation thereof in every individual, pre-eminently based upon a feeling of one’s dignity and upon the genuine respect for someone else’s freedom and dignity, i.e. upon justice – such freedom can develop in children only through the rational development of their minds, character and will.”
Guatemala, Reagan, Newt Gingrich And The Reactionary Mind -
In reading Corey Robin’s new book, The Reactionary Mind I came across a review he wrote for the London Review of Books in 2004 of Greg Granlin’s Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War. How could any serious examination of the reactionary mind— particularly the American reactionary mind— not deal with the enormity of what was visited (by reactionary minds) on the Mayan native people of Guatemala, the ones whose ancestors had managed to escape being slaughtered in previous centuries by Spanish imperialists? And whose reactionary mind— albeit an extraordinarily weak one— would be better to start with than Ronald Reagan’s?
Such Dummies, or Why I Didn’t Have To Decode Jay-Z Like Y’all Did -
Jose Vilson: ….more importantly, it let me know on a profound level just how unready teachers are for a profound change in education. Part of the reason why education hasn’t changed is because little has changed about who we ought to listen to when it comes to education. Too many of us profess that we want to be at the forefront of what happens in the classroom, but mimic and worship college professors who have our line of thinking. It’s no disrespect to Dr. Diane Ravitch, Alfie Kohn, and the cavalcade of experts too many of us pay homage to, but teachers who consider themselves leaders ought to recognize the fallacy of this validation / power structure. Too many of us hate overtesting and the Common Core State Standards, but ignore the underlying premise of these policies and replace them with the same power structures. We say we want the best for all children, but have a hard time using the words “Black,” “Latino,” or “Asian.” Heck, you still think those types of kids don’t come to school to learn how to make it in a world that’s not theirs.
Alaska's education woes profiled by Texas TV station | Alaska Dispatch -
It’s no secret in Alaska, but the state is constantly hiring teachers from Outside, especially for its rural communities, and the turnover rate for administrators and teachers is ridiculously high. WFAA-TV, from Dallas, Texas, has published a report — complete with a Manokotak dateline — about the challenges posed by Alaska education, with a focus on perennially troubled rural schools. Perhaps because the reporter actually visited the village west of Dillingham, the report turns out to be better than most Alaskans might expect. The report focuses on a Texas couple, the Cantrells, who moved to Alaska in July from the Dallas metropolitan area so that Amanda Cantrell could take a job teaching school. Texas has been cutting education budgets by the billions and laying off teachers right and left. But Alaska is always hiring. Estimates say around 80 percent of Alaska’s school teachers are from Outside, and districts are afflicted by a high rate of turnover, both in administration and in the classroom. Nowhere has that been the case more than in the rural parts of the state. Alexandra Hill, a UAA researcher, told WFAA that as many as 30 percent of the teachers in the Southwest Region leave in any given year. For students, it means investing in their own education is much harder, and there’s ample evidence turnover negatively impacts student progress. “It’d be like if you had a different mom every year,” said Larry Johnson, Manokotak school’s principal, who also arrived in July. Alaska’s overall turnover rate has been decreasing, thanks in part to new investment in teacher housing, but Hill thinks the lack of opportunity in a sour Lower 48 economy is a bigger factor. Rural teachers simply have a harder time bailing out these days. Read much, much more, here.
Polar bear cam: View live the white giants of the North | Alaska Dispatch -
The town of Churchill, Manitoba — with around 900 people and located on the coast of Canada’s Hudson Bay — bills itself as the polar bear capital of the world. Tourists from all over the world visit the community each year to board the so-called tundra buggies and ride out to get a close look at the bears. But a new webcam has been set up to let people watch the bears in real time, no matter where they are in the world. The Annenberg Foundation has made a $50,000 grant to set up the webcam. For the best viewing, they say on the site to check between 4 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Alaska time. To read more about the project, check out AP’s story in the Toronto Star.
Yukon First Nations warn they'll block pipeline -
Liard First Nation Chief Liard McMillan says the federal government has ignored demands to negotiate an agreement on a gas pipeline. CBCGroups want social and economic benefit agreement Yukon First Nations warn that they’ll block an Alaska gas pipeline unless social and economic benefits are negotiated for their people. Chiefs from the Liard and White River First Nations, as well as the Kaska Dena Council, made the threats in letters to the Northern Canada Pipeline Agency in Ottawa. Chief Liard McMillan of the Liard First Nation in Watson Lake, Yukon, said the federal government has ignored demands to negotiate an agreement.