Education


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The U.S.A.

Teacher Quits I have truly attempted to live John Dewey’s famous quotation (now likely cliché with me, I’ve used it so very often) that “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”

This type of total immersion is what I have always referred to as teaching “heavy,” working hard, spending time, researching, attending to details and never feeling satisfied that I knew enough on any topic. I now find that this approach to my profession is not only devalued, but denigrated and perhaps, in some quarters despised.

STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings.

Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education... After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me.

It no longer exists... For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, “Words Matter” and “Ideas Matter”. While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean.

Wards of the Nanny State Protecting America’s Children from Police State Goons, Bureaucratic Idiots and Mercenary Creeps

By John W. Whitehead September 22, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Rutherford Institute"

It’s not easy being a parent in the American police state.

When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ [Hitler] said in a speech on November 6, 1933, “I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’”—As reported by historian William L. Shirer

Out on the streets, you’ve got the menace posed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later. In the schools, parents have to worry about school resource officers who taser teenagers and handcuff kindergartners, school officials who have criminalized childhood behavior, school lockdowns and terror drills that teach your children to fear and comply, and a police state mindset that has transformed the schools into quasi-prisons.

In your neighborhoods, you’ve got to worry about the Nanny State and its network of busybodies turning parents in for allowing their children to walk to school alone, walk to the park alone, play at the beach alone, or even play in their own yard alone.

And now in the last refuge for privacy—one’s home—parents are being put through the grinder, their actions scrutinized and judged by government goon squads armed with outrageous, overreaching, egregious laws that subject families to the hyped-up, easily offended judgment of the Nanny State.

The latest slap in the face comes from the Arizona Supreme Court whose 3-2 ruling in Arizona v. Holle paves the way for parents to be charged as child molesters or sexual abusers for such innocent acts as changing their children’s diapers or taking baths with their kids.

The message is chillingly clear: your children are not your own but are, in fact, wards of the state who have been temporarily entrusted to your care. Should you fail to carry out your duties to the government’s satisfaction, the children in your care will be re-assigned elsewhere.

This doesn’t even touch on what happens to your kids when they’re at school—especially the public schools—where parents have little to no control over what their kids are taught, how they are taught, how and why they are disciplined, and the extent to which they are being indoctrinated into marching in lockstep with the government’s authoritarian playbook.

The harm caused by attitudes and policies that treat America’s young people as government property is not merely a short-term deprivation of individual rights. It is also a long-term effort to brainwash our young people into believing that civil liberties are luxuries that can and will be discarded at the whim and caprice of government officials if they deem doing so is for the so-called “greater good” (in other words, that which perpetuates the aims and goals of the police state).

Clearly, the schools should be educating children about their duties as citizens and how to protect their constitutional rights. Instead, government officials are molding our young people into compliant citizens with no rights and subjecting them to invasive questioning, searches of their persons and property, and random drug testing, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

Franklin D. Roosevelt observed, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

How far to free? How much would it cost to make every public two- and four-year college and university in the United States tuition-free for all students? Much less than you think... According to our estimate, after stripping off the amount that the government already spends to subsidize higher education — including at predatory for-profit institutions — the total amount of new money necessary would be as little as $15 billion a year. Fifteen billion is a lot of money, to be sure, but within the scope of the federal budget it is a fraction of one percent of yearly spending — merely a rounding error.

Some will say this is a utopian proposition. But virtually every other industrialized nation (and many a developing country) has managed to offer free public higher education for decades. Even in this era of fiscal austerity, governments in countries as disparate as Germany and Chile have recently announced they are eliminating tuition costs altogether.

We Need to End the Student Loan Debt Crisis

Higher Education and the Politics of Disruption, Posted on Mar 21, 2015 By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout.

What has become clear is that the attack on the social state, workers and unions is now being matched by a full-fledged assault on higher education. Such attacks are not happening just in the United States but in many other parts of the globe where casino capitalism is waging a savage battle to eliminate all of those public spheres that might offer a glimmer of opposition to and protection from market-driven policies, institutions, ideology and values.

We live at a time when it is more crucial than ever to believe that the university is both a public trust and social good. At best, it is a critical institution infused with the promise of cultivating intellectual insight, the imagination, inquisitiveness, risk-taking, social responsibility and the struggle for justice. In addition, higher education should be at the “heart of intense public discourse, passionate learning, and vocal citizen involvement in the issues of the times.”

As higher education’s role as a center of critical thought and civic engagement is devalued, society is being transformed into a “spectacular space of consumption” and financial looting. One consequence is an ongoing flight from mutual obligations and social responsibilities and a loss of faith in politics itself.

Central to this view of higher education in the United States is a market-driven paradigm that seeks to eliminate tenure, turn the humanities into a job preparation service and transform most faculty members into an army of temporary subaltern labor. For instance, in the United States out of 1.5 million faculty members, 1 million are “adjuncts who are earning, on average, $20K a year gross, with no benefits or healthcare, and no unemployment insurance when they are out of work.” The indentured service status of such faculty is put on full display as some colleges have resorted to using “temporary service agencies to do their formal hiring.” A record number of adjuncts are now on food stamps and receive some form of public assistance.

Higher Education and the Promise of Insurgent Public Memory, Posted on Mar 9, 2015 By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout. both political parties, anti-public intellectual pundits and mainstream news sources view the purpose of higher education almost exclusively as a workstation for training a global workforce, generating capital for the financial elite, and as a significant threat to the power of the military, corporate and ultra-rich

As difficult as it may seem to believe, John Dewey’s insistence that “democracy needs to be reborn in each generation, and education is its midwife” was once taken seriously by many academic leaders. Today, it is fair to see that Dewey’s once vaunted claim has been willfully ignored, forgotten or made an object of scorn.

Throughout the 20th century, there have been flashpoints in which the struggle to shape the university in the interest of a more substantive democracy was highly visible. Those of us who lived through the 1960s ... the university presented itself as a site of struggle. That is, it served, in part, as a crucial public sphere that held power accountable, produced a vast array of critical intellectuals, joined hands with the antiwar and civil rights movements and robustly challenged what Mario Savio once called “the machine” ... The once vibrant spirit of resistance that refused to turn the university over to corporate and military interests is captured in Savio’s moving and impassioned speech on December 2, 1964...

Conservatives were deeply disturbed by the campus revolts and viewed them as a threat to their dream worlds of privatization, deregulation, militarization, capital accumulation and commodification. What soon emerged was an intense struggle for the soul of higher education.

... the Powell Memo was released on August 23, 1971, and authored for the Chamber of Commerce by Lewis F. Powell Jr., who would later be appointed as a member of the US Supreme Court. Powell identified the US college campus “as the single most dynamic source” for producing and housing intellectuals “who are unsympathetic to the [free] enterprise system.” He recognized that one crucial strategy in changing the political composition of higher education was to convince university administrators and boards of trustees that the most fundamental problem facing universities was the lack of conservative educators, or what he labeled the “imbalance of many faculties.”

The Powell Memo was designed to develop a broad-based strategy, not only to counter dissent but also to develop a material and ideological infrastructure with the capability to transform the US public consciousness through a conservative pedagogical commitment to reproduce the knowledge, values, ideology and social relations of the corporate state. Not only did the Powell Memo understand and take seriously the educative nature of politics, it also realized that if a crisis of economics was not matched by a crisis of ideas, it was easier to reproduce a society in which conformity could be bought off through the swindle of a neoliberal mantra that used the discourse of freedom, individuality, mobility and security to serve the interests of the rich and powerful. The Powell Memo was the most influential of one of a number of ideological interventions in the 1970s that developed political roadmaps to crush dissent, eliminate tenure and transform the university into an adjunct of free-market fundamentalism.

Why the Right-Wing Is as Obsessed with Brainwashing Your Kid as With Looting Social Security it's our history of progressive change that makes Conservatives hate accurate depictions of our past... Many of the today's biggest political issues, like our privacy rights, would not even be up for debate today had it not been for the attack on education. If more Americans had had a strong understanding of our history, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would have never been able to pull off the Patriot Act. And, we wouldn't be discussing the Orwellian government spy agencies like the NSA in this day and age.

5 Devastating Facts About Charter Schools You Won't Hear from the 'National School Choice Week' Propaganda Campaign

Greed Kings of 2014: How They Stole from Us, byPaul Buchheit As schools and local governments are going broke around the country, companies who built their businesses with American research and education and technology and infrastructure are paying less in taxes than ever before. It's not just greed, it's theft.

How Capitalist Germany Made College Possible for Everyone, While It Seems Impossible in America: Clearly it's possible. by Barbara Kehm.

Everyone in America Could Go to College for Free for the Amount of Money Spent on Mideast Wars

Germany Makes College Education Free as American Students Drown in Debt "Free education is a concept that is embraced in most of Europe with notable exceptions like the U.K., where the government voted to lift the cap on university fees in 2010. The measure has reportedly cost more money than it brought in... While there are many government measures that could ease the massive burden of student debt, some straightforward steps could make higher education accessible to all. Tennessee, for example, recently voted to make two-year colleges free for all high school graduates. The U.S. as whole could take a note from Germany and make public universities free with relative ease. "

Germany just eliminated tuition, while Americans are drowning in $1.2 trillion student loan debt. 10/3/14... "Germany has just joined other nations of the Continental European Union to eliminate all university tuition, as a human right. This comes in addition to the fact that all countries in the European Union as a human right have some type of medical access for all of its citizens, yet on these benchmarks the United States continues to lag far behind...

" the German government does care enough about your family as a human right to give you a free university education, even if you've never been to Germany and never paid any taxes to the German government, all you got to do is come to Germany. Oh by the way, you also get access for yourself and your family members to a student health medical plan which has no deductibles, and doesn't have pre-existing conditions, and that is the difference between a government working for working class people, as opposed to the best government money can buy, who works overwhelmingly for the 1%.

"Prospective students in the United States who can’t afford to pay for college or don’t want to rack up tens of thousands in student debt should try their luck in Germany. Higher education is now free throughout the country, even for international students." Attention, American Students: Tired of Prohibitive Debt? Germany Has Now Abolished ALL Tuition Fees 10/2/14. "man-oh-man, if I had realized when I was young that I could have had an opportunity to enroll in a major, accredited university but didn't have to pay ANY tuition -- and all I had to do was to move to Europe -- I would have done it in a heartbeat.

"“We got rid of tuition fees because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents,” Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic, the minister for science and culture in Lower Saxony, said in a statement. Her words were echoed by many in the German government. “Tuition fees are unjust,” said Hamburg’s senator for science Dorothee Stapelfeldt. “They discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”"

"The U.S. as whole could take a note from Germany and make public universities free with relative ease. The government spends around $69 billion subsidizing college education and another $107.4 billion on student loans. Tuition at all public universities comes to much less than that, around $62.6 billion in 2012. By restructuring the education budget, the cost of attending public universities could easily be brought down to zero. This would also put pressure on private universities to lower their cost in order to be more competitive."

Robert Reich: College Is a Waste for Millions of Kids -- There's a Better Way

Two States Make Community College Free Tennessee and Oregon.

Jim Hightower: For-Profit Colleges Get Rich By Sinking Students Into Debt--and Their Scam Is Financed By Our Tax Dollars Let's make higher education free to all.

The New Right-Wing College Lie: Students Become Liberal on Their Own, No One Is Indoctrinating Them on Campus while college faculty tend to be liberal, evidence suggests “going to college does not make students substantially more liberal."

But there’s another side to this story, one that shows just how much conservative rhetoric has distorted our impressions of teaching and learning at college. The idea that college students are indoctrinated neglects the fact that college students are capable of thinking for themselves, and provided the tools to do so.

We can start with the word “indoctrination,” which already presupposes the intent to convert someone to a certain ideology. As with words like “doctrine,” “docent,” and “doctor” (sorry M.D.s), the Latin root of “indoctrinate” is docere, “to teach.” As humans have long acknowledged, when we teach, we necessarily impart some combination of facts and value judgments, just as any other intellectual exercise—a study, a trial, an essay, a presentation—requires us to shape or frame the knowledge we want to investigate or communicate. Whether it flatters the liberal or the conservative, there’s no such thing as “raw data,” no such thing as a purely unbiased or un-ideological stance. There are only degrees of measure, of fairness, of critical thinking.

So colleges teach critical thinking, the ability to entertain the negation of an idea while also entertaining the idea itself, and thus to hold in suspension all the ways in which something might be true or valuable and all the ways in which it might not be. To “indoctrinate” is to imbue someone with a preferred idea. Critical thinking is the antidote to indoctrination, because critical thinking isn’t about affirming ideas in the first place, as indoctrinators do; it’s about questioning the ideas being affirmed and subjecting them to reason and evidence.

The fact that liberal people work on campus and liberal things happen on campus doesn’t mean college courses are instruments of liberal indoctrination.

Free College for All Worked in the US for 100 Years Until Elite Took It Away Bernie Sanders’ call for free public college is being called an unaffordable fantasy by Hillary Clinton, who opposes free college for those who can pay, but the reality is that college was free in the US for 100 years until the rich and powerful in Washington took it away in the 1960s. We had it once, and can have it again!


Links

Academic Info --Your Gateway to Quality Educational Resources
Books recent NAP books full text online
Career and Placement
College Life
COLLEGES --information, rankings, etc.
Computer Integration for Educators
CRITICAL THINKING
--page of links
DEVELOPING WEB COURSES (PAC Internet Committee)
Dewey, John, and F. Matthias Alexander
Distance-Educator.com a great site for solutions and discussion if you are in this field
HEATH Resource Center The HEATH Resource Center of the American Council on Education is the national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities.
INFORMATION LITERACY CLASSES
Library of the Workplace
-"shows the connection between schoolwork and job activities through the stories of employees, who answer the student question, "Why do I have to learn this?""
Minority Issues
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND notes and quotes
Occupational Outlook Handbook Peterson's Education Site
Resources for Correctional Education
Student Center (info)
Student Financial Aid Guide
Study Abroad Directory
Study Aids
Style Manuals Online (MLA, APA, and others)
Teachers Without Borders "designed to connect global 'best practices' to those-at the local level--who can build their capacity and, in so doing, change their communities
TEACHING --aimed at teacher aid program
TECHNOLOGY AND HIGHER EDUCATION
Test Locator, ERIC/AE
Texas Higher Education
(UT Austin)


star New Core Curriculum for Community Colleges in Texas --THECB

Campus Safety
COLLEGES and college information, rankings, etc.
Information Literacy Courses
Palinurus: The Academy and the Corporation
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
homepage
Texas Higher Education (UT Austin)


Other Lists of Links:

Computer Integration for Educators
Education Index
, education-related sites


Europe

"Europe-wide education programs are also being pursued. The European Union has initiated three high-profile educational programs: Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Youth program.

Socrates covers general education from nursery school to adult education. The program establishes common educational projects, encourages student and teacher mobility between EU member countries, and is engaged in efforts to harmonize curricula. Its Erasmus project has provided grants to more than one million European students to study in another member country. The Comenius project has brought more than ten thousand schools together in cooperative education efforts across the EU.

The Leondardo da Vinci program has helped more than two hundred thousand young people secure job training in another member country. The Youth program provides young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five with opportunities to do volunteer service either locally or in one of the other EU member countries" (Jeremy Rifkin. The European Dream. p. 62)...

Bildung Bildung (German for "education" and "formation") refers to the German tradition of self-cultivation wherein philosophy and education are linked in a manner that refers to a process of both personal and cultural maturation. This maturation is described as a harmonization of the individual’s mind and heart and in a unification of selfhood and identity within the broader society, as evidenced with the literary tradition of bildungsroman.


Universal Public Education

First, see Higher Education Should Be Free Education is A Human Right, An Economic Necessity

"Universal public education is among our most cherished institutions and a signature for a country that has long believed in equality of opportunity...

"No wonder American educators were taken aback by the results of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) conducted in the mid-1990s and designed to compare the cognitive skills of adults in countries around the world. They survey found that American with less than nine years of education "score worse than virtually all of the other countries."

"In 2000, the OECD reported on a detailed global survey taken to assess reading literacy in various countries. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) "focuses on measuring the extent to which individuals are able to construct, expand, and reflect on the meaning of what they have read in a wide range of texts... our children rank fifteenth in the world in reading literacy, below eight Western European nations.

"Although the US spends about the same proportion of our GDP--3.6 percent--on education as the EU countries, children in twelve European nations rank higher in mathematics literacy, and in eight European countries, the children outscored American kids in scientific literacy. Equally surprising, the average teenager in the EU finishes 17.5 years of education, whicl American teenagers, on the average, finish only 16.5 years of education. And, in nine European coutries, more teenagers enter tertiary education (higher education) than in America" (Jeremy Rifkin. The European Dream. pp. 78-79)...

Education: A Human Right

The right to [free] education is a universal entitlement, recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as a human right (Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_education, accessed 5/22/2014).

UN Human Rights Article 13: The States Parties [countries] to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society [my emphasis], promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace...

Article 13, 2(c) Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education" (U.N.).

~~~

Latest Economic Study

THE BOOK: Piketty, Thomas. Translated from French by Arthur Goldhammer. Capital In the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014. This book, by an economics professor (and founding director) of the Paris School of Economics, just came out (May, 2014) and has become a surprise best-seller! Emphases and notes in [these brackets] are mine (Colby Glass).

"Knowledge and skill diffusion [education] is the key to overall productivity growth" (Picketty, p. 21).

"Over a long period of time, the main force in favor of greater equality has been the diffusion of knowledge and skills [ie., education]" (Picketty, p. 22).

"In essence, all of these [successful] countries themselves financed the necessary investments in physical capital and, even more, in human capital, which the latest research holds to be the key to long-term growth' (Picketty, p. 70).

"To sum up, historical experience suggests that the principal mechanism of [economic success]... is the diffusion of knowledge... Above all, knowledge diffusion depends on a country's ability to mobilize financing as well as institutions that encourage large scale investment in education" (Picketty, p. 71).

"Now consider the US case. Two economists, Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, systematically compared the following two evolutions in the period 1890-2005... the wage gap between workers who graduated from college and those who ad only a high school degree... the conclusion is stark... the wage gap... suddenly begins to widen in the 1980s, at precisely the moment when for the first time the number of college graduates stops growing... Goldin and Katz have no doubt that increased wage inequality in the United States is due to a failure to invest sufficiently in higher education... they conclude, the United States should invest heavily in education so that as many people as possible can attend college" (Picketty, p. 306).

"... the best way to increase average productivity... and the overall growth of the economy is surely to invest in education..." (Picketty, pp. 306-7).

",,,if the United States... invested more heavily in high-quality professional training and advanced educational opportunities and allowed broader segments of the population to have access to them, this would surely be the most effective way of increasing wages... The question of how to pay for education, and in particular how to pay for higher education, is everywhere one of the key issues of the twenty-first century" (Picketty, P. 307).

"In all human societies, health and education have an intrinsic value.... the ability to acquire knowledge and culture, is one of the fundamental purposes of civilization" (Picketty, p.308)."

"Policies to encourage broader access to universities are indispensable and crucial... in the United States and elsewhere" (Picketty, p.314).

~~~

Germany just eliminated tuition, while Americans are drowning in $1.2 trillion student loan debt. 10/3/14... "Germany has just joined other nations of the Continental European Union to eliminate all university tuition, as a human right. This comes in addition to the fact that all countries in the European Union as a human right have some type of medical access for all of its citizens, yet on these benchmarks the United States continues to lag far behind...

" the German government does care enough about your family as a human right to give you a free university education, even if you've never been to Germany and never paid any taxes to the German government, all you got to do is come to Germany. Oh by the way, you also get access for yourself and your family members to a student health medical plan which has no deductibles, and doesn't have pre-existing conditions, and that is the difference between a government working for working class people, as opposed to the best government money can buy, who works overwhelmingly for the 1%.

"Prospective students in the United States who can’t afford to pay for college or don’t want to rack up tens of thousands in student debt should try their luck in Germany. Higher education is now free throughout the country, even for international students."

~~~

Attention, American Students: Tired of Prohibitive Debt? Germany Has Now Abolished ALL Tuition Fees 10/2/14. "man-oh-man, if I had realized when I was young that I could have had an opportunity to enroll in a major, accredited university but didn't have to pay ANY tuition -- and all I had to do was to move to Europe -- I would have done it in a heartbeat.

"“We got rid of tuition fees because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents,” Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic, the minister for science and culture in Lower Saxony, said in a statement. Her words were echoed by many in the German government. “Tuition fees are unjust,” said Hamburg’s senator for science Dorothee Stapelfeldt. “They discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”"

"The U.S. as whole could take a note from Germany and make public universities free with relative ease. The government spends around $69 billion subsidizing college education and another $107.4 billion on student loans. Tuition at all public universities comes to much less than that, around $62.6 billion in 2012. By restructuring the education budget, the cost of attending public universities could easily be brought down to zero. This would also put pressure on private universities to lower their cost in order to be more competitive."

~~~

If We Put an End to Corporate Welfare, College Tuition Could Be Free

"Your best teacher is your last mistake" --Ralph Nader


Foreign Languages

The Linguist Method

"Language is power" -Steve Kaufmann

Memrise Science under each of the three principles, click on "Learn more"

Have you ever wondered “Why learn a foreign language?” LANGUAGES HELP YOU CONNECT WITH A CULTURE--language and culture are intertwined. By studying a language you gain a deeper understandings of a culture and it’s people.

..discover words which don't exist in my language, make friends all over the world, have the pleasure of cursing in other languages...

YOU HAVE A LOVE FOR LANGUAGES AND AN URGE TO STUDY THEM--For a lot of you, your studies are motivated by a deep love for learning languages. You just enjoy the whole process of studying and learning how other people communicate... Life is too short to speak one language.

KNOWING A NEW LANGUAGE CAN ENHANCE YOUR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS--

STUDYING A LANGUAGE HELPS YOU CONNECT WITH FAMILY AND RELATIVES--Some of you have a pretty diverse background! And naturally, with family members or ancestors from all over the world, the desire to know where you come from can create a strong impulse to study their language. It’s a great way to better understand your cultural roots.

LANGUAGE LEARNING HELPS YOU MAKE FRIENDS--The best way to learn to speak a language is to just speak the language and naturally you need native speakers to help with that. Learning a language and meeting people who speak that language are two things that go hand-in-hand.

LANGUAGES MAKE TRAVELING THE WORLD AND LIVING ABROAD MORE PLEASURABLE--Exploring the world and it’s cultures is the whole reason I study languages in the first place.

STUDYING LANGUAGES CAN EXERCISE YOUR BRAIN--Besides the many benefits listed in that post, such as being better at math, improved test scores, improved studying skills and increased creativity, studies at the University of Edinburgh show that studying languages improves the “elasticity” of your brain and keeps it young!

LANGUAGES HELP YOU EXPLORE YOUR HOBBIES AND HAVE FUN--For many of you, studying new languages helps you dive even deeper into your hobbies and interests.

LANGUAGES SUPPORT YOUR EDUCATION AND ENHANCE YOUR CAREER--

LANGUAGES HELP YOU BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL PERSON OF MYSTERY--I think this was my favourite category of answers. Apparently we have a lot of burgeoning international spies in our midsts! A surprising number of you looked at languages as a way of hiding or gathering information from the people around you.

I had my own experiences blending into the local environment in Egypt so I definitely know where you’re coming from. Whether you want to blend in like a local, or you want to know what the native speakers are saying without their knowledge, studying a language can help you enhance your covert skills.

Language skills change how your brain works The languages you speak — even the ones you may have heard when you were just an infant — have a lasting effect on how your brain processes information, researchers find.


The Deficiencies of Capitalism

Hedges: Karl Marx Was Right Socialism, in other words, would not be possible until capitalism had exhausted its potential for further development. That the end is coming is hard now to dispute, although one would be foolish to predict when.

“The top five banks—JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—account,” the report went on, “for $64 billion of the total subsidy, an amount roughly equal to their typical annual profits. In other words, the banks occupying the commanding heights of the U.S. financial industry—with almost $9 trillion in assets, more than half the size of the U.S. economy—would just about break even in the absence of corporate welfare. In large part, the profits they report are essentially transfers from taxpayers to their shareholders.”

Government expenditure accounts for 41 percent of GDP. Corporate capitalists intend to seize this money, hence the privatization of whole parts of the military, the push to privatize Social Security, the contracting of corporations to collect 70 percent of intelligence for our 16 intelligence agencies, as well as the privatization of prisons, schools and our disastrous for-profit health care service. None of these seizures of basic services make them more efficient or reduce costs. That is not the point. It is about feeding off the carcass of the state. And it ensures the disintegration of the structures that sustain capitalism itself.

The capitalists respond to the collapse of their domestic economies, which they engineered, by becoming global loan sharks and speculators. They lend money at exorbitant interest rates to the working class and the poor, even if they know the money could never be repaid, and then sell these bundled debts, credit default swaps, bonds and stocks to pension funds, cities, investment firms and institutions. This late form of capitalism is built on what Marx called “fictitious capital.” And it leads, as Marx knew, to the vaporization of money.

What we saw in 2008 was the enactment of a welfare state for the rich, a kind of state socialism for the financial elites that Marx predicted. But with this comes an increased and volatile cycle of boom and bust, bringing the system closer to disintegration and collapse. We have undergone two major stock market crashes and the implosion of real estate prices in just the first decade of the 21st century.


Educator Salaries

Professors on Food Stamps: The Shocking Exploitation of Toilers in the Ivory Tower: Three quarters of college professors are adjunct—many don't even earn minimum wage.


Global Education

The Public Intellectual Project Critical education for a global democracy

Education: The Global Antidote to Poverty, Disease, and Terrorism, by César Chelala Girls’ education not only empowers them, but is also considered the best investment in a country’s development.

There is a clear connection between poverty and a lack of education... Governments tend to spend less on public education -the kind of schooling that tends to benefit mostly the poor- particularly in developing countries, during times of economic crises.

In regard to terrorism, one question notably absent from the discussion on this phenomenon are the reasons behind it, and why it has increased so markedly in recent years. Although many countries suffer this problem, it seems to be aimed to a large extent against the U.S. One cannot avoid thinking how the foreign policies of the U.S. have been a major cause.

Among those policies are: the presence of U.S. troops in Arab countries; the U.S. support for dictatorships throughout the world; the widespread use of torture and humiliation in U.S. prisons, particularly against prisoners from Arab countries; and the unconditional U.S. support for Israel’s policies in the Middle East to the detriment of Palestinians’ rights and aspirations.

Rather than trying to understand those reasons, the U.S. has led a brutal war against those it perceives as terrorists, killing thousands of innocent people in a state of unending war of enormous economic cost. Rather than eliminating terrorists these policies are only fueling the creation of new ones. As Malala Yousafzai, the 17-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate Pakistani young woman told President Obama: “While guns only kill terrorists education kills terrorism.”


Indocrination

Chomsky: How the Young Are Indoctrinated to Obey Forty years ago there was deep concern that the population was breaking free of apathy and obedience. Since then, many measures have been taken to restore discipline

Why the Right-Wing Is as Obsessed with Brainwashing Your Kid as With Looting Social Security it's our history of progressive change that makes Conservatives hate accurate depictions of our past... Many of the today's biggest political issues, like our privacy rights, would not even be up for debate today had it not been for the attack on education. If more Americans had had a strong understanding of our history, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would have never been able to pull off the Patriot Act. And, we wouldn't be discussing the Orwellian government spy agencies like the NSA in this day and age.


Real Teaching

"The truth is that dealing with the contemporary prepares the mind poorly for a thoughtful life, shortening judgment and distorting perspective. The contemporary, moreover, is extremely difficult to assess land teach, though dealing with it makes the teacher popular. His references to the living satisfy in students the illusion of being at last in the know... once again, the best way lies through comfort, and comfort is happy confusion, mental promiscuity" (Jacques Barzun. The House of Intellect. NY: Harper & Bros., 1959. p.122).

Teacher Quits I have truly attempted to live John Dewey’s famous quotation (now likely cliché with me, I’ve used it so very often) that “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”

This type of total immersion is what I have always referred to as teaching “heavy,” working hard, spending time, researching, attending to details and never feeling satisfied that I knew enough on any topic. I now find that this approach to my profession is not only devalued, but denigrated and perhaps, in some quarters despised.

STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings.

Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education... After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me.

It no longer exists... For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, “Words Matter” and “Ideas Matter”. While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean.


Please send comments to: Professor Colby Glass, MLIS, PhDc, Prof. Emeritus