If there was one thing I learned from my Peace Corps experience it was that people everywhere know a lot more than the lucky few in the worldwide elites believe they do—and that the idea of helping them is really, at its heart, an idea of helping that elite. We lucky ones, generally from industrialized … Continue reading Naïveté? Or Exploitation?
It's simple, really. In our adoration for free enterprise that has been built into cult-like status over the past generation, we have forgotten the prime rule of business: failure is the norm.Let me say it again: failure, in business, is far more common than success. When we opened Shakespeare's Sister in 1994, the cliche was … Continue reading Why the Business Model Doesn’t Work for Education
In January, Thomas Friedman wrote:In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap … Continue reading "And All the Pundits Are Below Average"
Diane Ravitch may be adamant and forceful... but hysterical? In a post today, she refers to another, one by Gary Houchens, a professor of "Educational, Leadership, & Research" at Western Kentucky University. His is entitled "Biometric hysteria: the anti-research mentality of the educational status quo." In a postscript Ravitch writes: I do not like to … Continue reading Biometric “Hysteria”?
Just what does a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) have to do with education? In a couple of posts last month (the first one is here), I hinted that their real relationship to education is pretty much the same as that of any tool (books, for example), but that they can rarely be the basis … Continue reading Learning, Teaching, and Talking
Anyone with an Appalachian background understands the references in the old Merle Travis song (made popular by Tennessee Ernie Ford) "Sixteen Tons":You load sixteen tons and what do you get?Another day older and deeper in debt;Saint Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go:I owe my soul to the company storeUntil the triumph of … Continue reading Sixteen Tons
This morning, before leaving for school, I responded to Thomas Friedman's piece in today's New York Times. I wrote quickly. Though today is "reading day" before final exams, I am responsible for a good deal of advisement and needed to get to the college so that I can talk to students face-to-face. As a teacher, … Continue reading The School of Teaching Without Teaching, Part II
In her novella Wise Blood, Flannery O'Connor has character Hazel Motes create the Church of Christ Without Christ. Thomas Friedman has apparently joined its contemporary offshoot, the School of Teaching Without Teaching. Certainly, he sounds like a true believer.Friedman, and all those people at Stanford, MIT and Harvard (to mention just a few) who are … Continue reading School of Teaching Without Teaching
Someone sent me a link to an article from The Washington Post by David Levy called "Do College Professors Work Hard Enough?" Levy writes:Though faculty salaries now mirror those of most upper-middle-class Americans working 40 hours for 50 weeks, they continue to pay for teaching time of nine to 15 hours per week for 30 … Continue reading Articles I Never Should Have Read, #1093
Yesterday, I shared with a class the Charles Simic article from The New York Review of Books that set me off so a few days ago. These particular students are enrolled in an early-college high school program that will lead them (if everything works out) to an Associates degree within five or six years of … Continue reading The Naive and Hopeful Me