(the ‘education writer’ of 28Jun13) https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=ie7&q=A+new+emphasis+on+science+is+coming+to+California+schools&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7TSHB
Enforcing separation of knowledge into a saleable commodity, separating knowledge into subjects.
Conferring a label on a worker by the name of their job
The degree/s and diplomas worker is forced to obtain in order to have a better status job.
Making critical thinking into a subject.
Competition is ruinous – and wholly unnecessary – except to maintain capitalism.
Love – communal control
Envisioning teaching and learning otherwise.
A category named ‘science’ gets separated out of life in order to commoditize it, make it saleable in the form of a student who has taken classes labeled science – meaning the physical including the biological sciences, not the social, and gotten diplomas and degrees saying they’ve completed courses of studies that make them a scientist. Then, when the employment situation permits, they get jobs ‘being’ a scientist of one specialty area or another.
Or they teach.
Science, like literature and math and ‘gym’ and drawing and all that school is supposed to include, is just part of life. But it is a prerequisite in order for there to be school, to separate knowledge, teaching, study – in effect, life — into subjects. Early in school there’s reading and writing and calculating. Then there begins the separated categories of knowledge….science, art, social studies, music…
Do wonder at the purpose of tearing knowledge apart.
Do consider that people taking care of living as well as necessary could encompass all these studies, all studies the community encounters as they work and play and hang around.
Those circumstances – work, play, hanging around – naturally give rise to questioning. In a proper environment they engender teaching, study, research. In this environment where people’s knowledge is respected, it gets shared. In this environment where people love their thinking they push it onto other people who ask for it. ‘Please share with me these ideas – this dancing, this consideration of a situation that requires the math in order to work it, this need to research a cure for the disease, …’ The two-year old hangs out with people working things out, picks up and is helped to pick up the reading and arithmetic and that his/her ideas are significant – that they cause teaching and learning.
The studies are repair the house, find the cure, write the story – all knowledge as part of living, all study and teaching and learning is derived from living together, doing activities.
The ‘divide in order to conquer’ that school is, serves the profit system, effects our minds about how things are supposed to be.
But life is supposed to be age integrated with no one standing at the head of a study room setting up lessons by which to assess people. People are to gather over the many questions and ideas and work on them together.
Tests are, ‘am I doing this right’; ‘oh look – do it this way’; ‘oh that’s a good way to do it’; ‘that’s the wrong way – do this instead’. Tests are on site moved by the person studying or working with a thing.
Testing in schools is the remnant of churchly judgment, making room for admonition, correction, judgment. And of course it separates us into strata, validating our capacities – wrongly. We are all capable of plenty, given the chance. The test that finds us failing is the wrong test, is all.
In school we begin to see there’s so much to know – to see – to learn – to question – an endless buffet with more choices than we can ever put onto our plates if we have to become employable at some specialty, some exclusion of all those excess studies, some way by which we can ‘make a living’, thereby missing huge helpings of equally enticing, thrilling, that is enJOYable!! studies.
We’re berated – oh, you can do those in your spare time! AS IF!! As if there’s enough spare time from an 8hour day.
EducationSCHOOL amounts to being forced away from enjoyment. It’s like forcing us away from enjoyment of our participation in our communities. It’s like preparing us to endure the hardship of ‘the job’.
This method of suppressing the totality of our interests counters people’s tendencies to be the jack of all trades, able to pursue a special interest as well as clean up after oneself and take care of oneself – and of someone else, if that happens.
Carefully eliminated is the handy-one (handyman), the person who works on one or another project and must study, read, ask other people, in order to deal with incidents that arise from this tastier living. Reduced is the renaissance person, the person enjoying doing what they do. If we lived doing our lives fully, without the separation required by our job-Masters, we all would be the person – the crew, the environment of people – who are not denied the critical thinking with which we’re born – then told in school we have to be taught it –
by teachers who have been told they have to teach it –
having to study it in courses teaching how to teach, schools where teaching critical thinking is a course, a class that has to be passed!
Assembly line-like production eradicates our pleasure. This includes the person writing at their desk, the person doing research in their lab wherever it is, all our work that is segregated to fit the mold, all enables us to keep on enriching our Rich.
Everyone always critically thinks.
Whether or not people’ve lived so that they are accustomed to KNOWing that they do depends on their experiences. If they’re told they need to learn to do it, they infer they haven’t been, and that they must require themselves to revise, suppress the sense that they’ve been doing it.
Making competition required by workers only serves, again, our function within the profit system. We don’t need competition in order to do all facets of our life, maintain ourselves, enjoy ourselves, advance beyond what we know today; these all have been done by humans, and even humanoids in long ago eras and today, too.
After all, life is about going along – to one degree or another – within one’s society.
Having to compete with any of our fellows is an unfortunate imposition. You know why, you who look here to see what to do about the contradiction that is school.
Among the many unmet yearnings that this system forces us to endure, conscribing our actions into service to the production systems that maintain our Owners’ profit system, is separating our children from us. So we deny our need to be together in order to love each other. School, the job, poverty, long hours away from loved ones serve to enable frustrating our yearnings to be among loved ones, causing unrelenting anguish and confusion. From these comes the tired acceptance of the brutality of our saddened lives, making us malleable wage slaves.
Age segregation is central to that alienation we endure.
All children – like all old people, all people with mental and physical capabilities different from the norm – are able and WANT to ‘work’. If you can’t see that now, once I say it to you, I am available to describe how you know that’s true.
NO ONE wants to work that ‘gift’ of an 8 hour day.
Look at Paul and Percival Goodman’s Communitas. Find where they note that a 4 hour work WEEK would overproduce, if we let the available labor force participate.
You’re familiar with the maxim that in order to conquer us, we must be divided by the conquerors. Age is one mechanism to do that – and we submit, it being so customary, so unable to be even an idea in this structure. Separation by age – age segregation – is unnatural. But we have accepted it the past about 200 years. It’s enforced by our Owners’ institutions, in particular, by the job. And by school. Children are prohibited from doing adult things.
People call for education – we want education, etc. – meaning we want the child care and the indoctrination and training mechanisms; we want the customary structure so we’re not ostracized. We want school, the structure we’re accustomed to wanting, even though it is harmful for us all, painful, actually.
The separation is painful for us all – our 60 month-old babies snatched from us by force, and we off to isolated home-making, or a paying job – that might or more likely might not be a somewhat satisfying activity – aside from the satisfaction of making a day’s pay.
We quickly adjust. There’s no choice. ‘Everybody’s doing it.’ The tears of separation [my experience when I was five] quickly give way to joining the crowd and giving up feeling denied, disregarded, our lament at our loss of the familiar surrounding drowned in the crowd’s enforcement of the little brutal status quo of acceptance, acceptance of that disregard of our screamed requirement – don’t leave me here in this place [I screamed] – which is the school.
Then there they are, a particular group forced into the reserve army of the unemployed; essential to the maintenance of capitalism.
This discussion does not say children should not work, labor, have jobs.
Children and older people all should have fine working conditions. NO alienating EIGHT HOUR DAYS FOR ANYONE!, people only to work long hours because they’re caught up doing some ‘job’ they want to stay at.
That job is not for someone else’s profit, but for the satisfaction, fulfillment of the person doing it. It also satisfies the worker’s community, and the community tells the child or adult so; good job, they say.
Or better yet, worker and-or community evaluate the work, test their work. Is this good or right? Yes, or no. If not how can I do it the way it needs to be done, the way it feels good to me to do it; the way the community needs it done.
This is the way testing must be done. Not the way that the priest or the boss or the pressured family will test, in order to judge, to find fault. Or, in the case of the parent, to try to protect the child by pushing, always pushing, for child’s life to be done in ways that the overseers, the salary payers will find satisfactory, or at least acceptable, or at least will not upset that boss. …not the way the teacher is required to test – never again tests in any form that resembles the tests that go on in schools. …that are replicated at the workplace, where the boss, or next in line underling can find a reason to berate you, …the worker.
These enforced controls – the job in capitalism – weakens workers, a necessary way to maintain our Owners’ subjugation of us.
As well it undercuts the enjoyment of thinking, – most often done best in close proximity to other people… – with other people. These controls actually lessen accomplishment. They certainly lessen satisfaction.
Age segregation is the masterful unfriendly structure. Instead of us variously age-ed working on things together, we are forced into antagonisms.
The evidence has for decades been in the school yard, in the classroom, extending into the child’s and all our social arrangements. That bullying, one-up-one-ship, shrinking from contact for fear of the constant rejection, constant dissatisfaction even by those who make top grades – even to the point of suicides; the fear of whether I/one will get along, will succeed, will survive, will be liked – loved, admired – and all the aberrations from living in fear of falling short … the damages these cause people. You think people are born crazy, or mean, or excelling at what cost; or any of the edgy feelings we live with our whole lives – ? You think we’re born criminal or brilliant, successful?
No, you know better than that. If you didn’t know it a minute ago, I give you the opportunity to face your real sensations about life. We’re not born those ways anymore than anyone is born genius.
So, suffering through the earliest years we arrive at the effect of obtaining a place in society by say, becoming a scientist. Here we become our job.
No more a person, but an accountant, a factory worker, a canner in a factory, a mechanic, …
Science is an extraction out of life, cut out of it in order for someone to write about it, compose some study of science – as separate from the whole of our life – making it saleable
as subject to be taught.
as teacher certified to teach it – in elementary school or as graduate courses in university.
as writer to be declared professor of one or another element of science for having written about it.
Each study prompts study of related ideas and questions. Looking at an element of science will engender a mathematical question.
Thinking that arises this way obviates the distaste we all have for being forced to sit in a classroom, instead of to be on the scene of the work.
These are when work comes to take up our days – because we’re interested, and competent, and with people we care about – looking at whatever the project is.
See yourself working with all the variously age-ed and all people and get that life is exhilarating, not a painful chore to get through – with someone/s over us to judge us. In this structure there is no failure. There is everybody plays the piano and studies and writes papers and shows us how and asks how to and is thrilled constantly at pursuing within that pleasant arrangement, the tastes one has and gets as one lives.
Everyone cleans up after themselves. No janitors. No job less important than any other.
Only satisfaction will counter conflict.
More, the conflict that gets required by this system is only created by our Masters’ insistence we not negotiate and find solutions together.
School aids that manner of interaction. That’s its nature – to cause people to strive, to get ahead, to excel beyond others, – who then beat us up for our excellence, one way or another, in the boys’ toilets, on the playground, at the machine that guides drones…
No matter what mollifying lip service is paid, those dishonest directives to ‘play nice’ have no sway over the structure itself. School in capitalism forces combat.