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Thu Feb 20, 2014, 03:12 PM

William Ayers: Teach Freedom!

William Ayers: Teach Freedom!

Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
By William Ayers, HarperCollins | Book Excerpt

The following is a chapter by retired education professor William Ayers from the anthology. In it, Ayers advocates replacing a capitalist-oriented educational system with one that liberates students and their intellectual and creative capabilities.

From Imagine Living in a Socialist USA:

Analogy Test

Multiple Choice

High-stakes standardized testing is to learning as:

a. Memorizing a flight manual is to flying

b. Watching Hawaii Five-0 is to doing police work

c. Exchanging marriage vows is to a successful marriage

d. Reading Gray’s Anatomy is to practicing surgery

e. Singing the national anthem is to good citizenship

f. All of the above


Capitalist Education: Into the Wreckage

Schools serve societies, and every society is reflected, for better and for worse, in its schools. Every school is both a mirror of and a window into the defining social order. If one looks at the schools hard enough, one can see the whole of the larger society; if one fully grasps the intricacies of society, one will know something about how its schools must be organized, and why.

In a totalitarian society, schools are built to teach obedience and conformity, plain and simple. In a kingdom, schools teach allegiance to the crown. An ancient agrarian community apprentices the young to become participants in a rustic world of farming. With a theocratic regime come lessons in faithfulness and piety and devotion.

These schools might be “excellent” by some standards or measures, but whatever else is taught - math or music, literature or science - the most important lessons are those that teach how to function in a specific social order. South Africa under apartheid had beautiful palaces of learning and small state-of-the-art classes for white kids - and overcrowded, dilapidated, ill-equipped classes for the African kids. That made perfect, if perverse, sense: privilege and oppression were on opposite sides of the color line, and everyone understood that hard, cruel fact. German schools in the early twentieth century produced excellent scientists, athletes, artists, and intellectuals, and they also produced submission and conformity, moral blindness, obtuse patriotism - and people for whom a pathway straight into the furnaces for some of their fellow citizens seemed acceptable. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/21955-william-ayers-teach-freedom

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marmar Feb 2014 OP
madrchsod Feb 2014 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2014, 04:19 PM

1. thom hartman also has written about the german system.

one of his comments on us education was the last true learning experience in the usa were one roomed schools.

everyone learned from everyone else.

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