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January, 2017

  1. 1984 – PC – 2+2=4 & MERRY XMAS

    January 21, 2017 by Tunya

    Political Correctness Is Coercion!

    In Orwell’s novel “1984” — nearly 70 years ago — Winston Smith declares: "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows."

    Since the 50s truth has been battered and manipulated by progressive mindsets into oppressive political correctness.

    What does a Trump era promise? Perhaps the most profound effect will be the lifting of this oppressive shroud. This front-page story in the G&M has a grandmother (Ms Villano) proclaiming a new kind of liberation: “All of a sudden, it was okay to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”

  2. Choice is the answer

    January 20, 2017 by Tunya

    Choice Is The Answer

    “ . . . the educational bureaucracy has tended to replace parents in deciding what and how our children should learn. The most expedient, and perhaps the only way, to return control to parents is an arrangement whereby parents can choose the schools their children attend and — if they are not satisfied — can move their children from one school to another.” Milton & Rose Friedman, Tyranny of the Status Quo, 1984, p 143)

    My comment to article:  

    Former NEA Lawyer: Abolish the Department of Education

    Would we see a change for the better in the nation’s schools if education was placed back in the hands of local communities?

    Annie Holmquist | January 9, 2017  



  3. Teachers as Avengers ?

    January 11, 2017 by Tunya

    Should Teachers Be Avengers?

    Teachers should do more to steer people to the progressive point-of-view. Democracy’s supposedly “wrong” turns in Brexit and Trump need correction. So say a number of teachers in opinion pieces in the TES (Times Education Supplement). The word “brainwashing” comes up.

    The latest has Oliver Beach proposing that teachers work harder at shaping student dispositions — “The next world leader is sitting in a classroom today”. ]

    What is so striking is the irony. These “thought leaders” do not admit that they are proposing groupthink!

    All this has been foretold and expected through the use of sophisticated propaganda techniques precisely designed to develop this progressive mindset. This book lays it out — Soviet Impregnational Propaganda, Baruch Hazan, 1982 — “ . . . the basic propaganda target is the large social group and not the individual.”

    The chapters include these groupings to be manipulated: sports, the cinema, theater, language studies, and literature. The aim of these propaganda techniques and formation of opinion is to “promote uniform behavior of large social groups”. Today, since 1982, we could guess that media and the education system have been added to that list of groupings.

    We should recognize that these opinions being now parroted are indeed the result of successful permeation. We should strive mightily against teachers taking on the role of heroic avengers — shaping students to predispositions rather than becoming objective, analytical and independent thinkers. Individual thinking is not the norm while collaboration and group projects are being normalized in schools.

    Unfortunately, this shift to social/emotional learning (SEL) in education outcomes has already seen much worldwide adoption. Even the valued OECD’s Program for International Student Assessments (PISA) has been testing for non-academic factors in school. One question students are to reply Yes or No to is: “I feel happy at school.”

  4. Is Education about dependency on the state?

    January 7, 2017 by Tunya

    Teaching For The “Real World” — Homelessness, Universal Basic Income, Etc.

    WOW ! Time to think again ! What is education for? Is it for jobs? For democracy? For perpetuation of the system or to radically change it? Learning to collaborate? Learning to avoid homelessness? What?

    The education field has been rife and ridden with fads and frills for generations and it’s a wonder that people still send their kids to schools. Maybe it’s just a safe place for kids while growing up. Certainly the 3Rs are “old hat”. Graduate’s Math skills are reported as deplorable and functional illiteracy is stated at 40% of the population.

    The latest education buzzword (fad) is Design Thinking.

    Basically, it’s yet another variation of what has beset the whole 20th C education industry — progressivism, the John Dewey method of experiential learning — learning by doing — teacher as guide by the side not sage on the stage — discovery, inquiry — education is “caught”, not “taught”, etc., etc., etc.

    One parent has just posted that under the “umbrella of Entrepreneurship” her school used Design Thinking to help solve “poverty” problems in developing countries. A business model was drawn up whereby impoverished girls would make bracelets for a Fair Trade organization. The Atlantic article referenced above says Design Thinking has “gone viral despite scant objective data regarding its effectiveness for learning”.

    Many teachers adopt progressive methods because they don’t like the drill of didactic teaching. Others are romantics and do want to save the world! The Atlantic article states that they see themselves as “helping their students learn through solving real-world problems”.

    Well, here’s a real-world problem. Many Think Tanks, including some of the most conservative free-market types, are seriously exploring the expansion of the womb-to-tomb welfare state. These are some of the plans: GAI (Guaranteed Annual Income); UBI (Universal Basic Income); ESP (Economic Security Project); BIG (Basic Income Guarantee). Finland is already into its first week of the Western world’s first UBI as national policy.

    BIG was tried for 4 years in the late 70s in the town of Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada (pop. 8500 in 2011)

    My question is this: Since our Thought Leaders think UBI is the inevitable direction of our economic system how soon before public schools start injecting this topic into the classrooms? Is there an alternative? Will broader private and public education choices avert this slippery slope to universal state dependency?

    [Above post published on my Facebook and Invisible Serfs Collar.  ]

  5. Responsibilities of teaching

    January 4, 2017 by Tunya

    The Responsibilities Of Teaching

    I dispute and object to teaching being called a “profession”. Teaching is teaching. Some say it’s a “calling”. Some can teach and some can’t.

    I’m reminded of the few, very few, teachers — maybe 1 in 200 — who, when talking about their love of and dedication to teaching will mention their awareness of the biblical injunction in James 3:1 — Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

    I like Greg Ashman’s devotion to teaching and really appreciate his dissemination of useful research and insights. I think they do help in keeping the vocation of teaching on its toes. Look forward to more via this blog and reports about progress in the field in 2017. Thanks, Greg.

    My critique comes from a long history of involvement. First: I attained a teaching certificate a long time ago from a teacher’s college, which I thought was a prerequisite if I was to teach my own children. Not required. Also — poor preparation if I was ever to be in charge of a classroom. Second: My main interest always was with the parental responsibility in education. I worked to promote home education and parent rights in education. I soon realized, after much evidence, that the field was predominantly a self- serving industry. Even some teachers were dismayed that children’s interests were not the foremost priority. Third: I now see the need for greater choices for both parents and teachers. As a grandmother I see that today’s children cannot be well served by the one-size-fits-all style of the past.


    [Comment made to blog post by Greg Ashman, Australia, Filling the Pail, Position Statement, Jan 05, 2017[