the enemies education

Discussion in 'Education' started by Carol, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Carol
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    Carol Member

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    When this was written, Germany was not the declared enemy of the US. It was published in 1899, and is written by William James, one of the best know authorities on education. His book is titled "Talks To Teachers on Psychologiy: and to Students on Some of Life's Ideals"

    We need to clarify that at this time in history the Prussians had centeralized German education. They used this centeralized public education to destroy Germany's heroes. Whatever culture we speak of, the way to destroy that culture is to destroy the culture's heroes, then educate them to accept the new paradigm.

    Under the new paradigm, the young were taught to praise efficiency to trust in Prussian rule over them, as many in the US today, think of government as the answer to all their problems. Just create a new law and a new bureaucracy to enforce it, and we will have utopia. Mostly trust in technoogy like little children trust in Santa Claus, and foucs education on the development of that technology. Don't worry, God, technology and Big Brother will take care of everything, and if you don't believe this, we will move you to the consprisy thread, so you don't disturb our peace of mind and faith.

    The education philosophy behind this education is, "Everyone is born with blank brain, and anything can be written on it, as long as the right method is used." The efforts were made to get our schools to accept this German model of education for military reasons when we entered WWI, but we thought that war was the war to end all wars, and teachers stressed, an institution for making good citizens is good making patriotic citizens, so education was not changed at that time. The US was caught completely off guard when it entered the second war, because while our enemies used technology to prepare for war, the US maintained, what Past President Eisenhower called "domestic education". This was liberal education that transmitted the classics, and focused on citizenship, not technology. The US was technologically behind, especially when it came to military technology. Liberal education resulted in some scientist and inventors but not the technological soceity we have become. Eisenhower praised the Germans for thier contributions to democracy, and we might believe equalizing everyone, by thinking of them as blank brains, upon which the state can write anything, may seem a good thing democracy, but it is not.

    What Eisenhower missed, and what I want to be sure you do not miss is, the philososhy holds that the state has the right, and even the duty, to write on these blank brains. We need to repeat William James here "If we reflect upon the various ideals of education that are prevalent in the different countries, we see that what they all aim at is to organize capacity for conduct." In 1958 we changed the capacity for conduct, when we passed the 1958 National Defense Education Act, that was supposed to end in 4 years, but permanently changed public education, and the culture of the US.
     
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  2. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    Carol- it's obvious that you are passionate about the education of America's youth, but for the life of me, I can't figure out exactly where your focus is. For people like myself, who are linear thinkers and straightforward in personality, could you please try to express some specific examples of where you believe we have gone wrong, and what your opinions include that might fix the problems as you perceive them? I don't mean to come across as demeaning or critical, but I really can't figure out what the underlying motivations for your outrage are.
     
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  3. Carol
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    Carol Member

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    lizzie, that was a very intelligent reply, a whole lot better than moving my post to the conspiracy thread as though the Military Industrial Complex were just a conspiracy theory, and the attempt to answer your questions does not belong in the history and education forum. I keep opening new threads, because it has been intention to address the things ask about when I opened the first thread.

    However, everyone, I screwed up the title of this thread. It should be The enemy's education, not the enemies education. However, religious controlled education verses secular education could also be a very good discussion. Especially if fundamentalist Christians and Moselms joined the discussion.

    You might notice from William James' tone that he disapproved of the German model. Secondly, you might note that we did not adopt the German model until 1958, when Eisenhower asked congress to pass the National Defense Education Act, that replaced our liberal education with education for technology for military and industrial purpose. Thirdly you might note, Eisenhower told us the Military Indusrial complex will effect every aspect of our lives. We replaced our liberal education with the education for technology for military and industrial purpose that is the model of our enemy's education. Our young have been prepared to serve the Military Industrial Complex that was put in place during the Eisenhower administration. Just as the young of Germany were prepared to serve. Among other things, this could become a discussion of socialism. Education is like a genie in a bottle, the wish is the defined purpose and the students are the genie. We changed the wish in 1958, and every aspect of lives are effected.

    If I explain this whole change in one post, it would be too long for anyone to read. But among the changes is, we stopped transmitting our culture. Jefferson devoted his life to supporting the development of free public education for the masses, because he believed this is essential to our democratic republic. There are two ways to have social order, culture or authority over the people. We stopped transmitting our culture and that leaves only authority over the people. That is what we stood against.

    Of course the economic. social and political changes do not happen over night, and the changes are not all bad. I am thrilled by our new technology and our new reality of a growing population of long lived people. I would be living in a wheel chair if it were not for this technology and a hip replacement. I buy college lectures about math and quantum physics, and have books explaining how quantum physics and eastern philosophy compliment each other. In fact, I think Newtron's laws of physics is part of our present problem, and quantum physics is the solution. If people think I am just stuck in the past, they are wrong. However... I need to stop here because the post is too long. A lot of really good stuff has happened because of the change, but not all of it is for the good. We have sold out, and cheated our young and deprived many of them from having life opportunity. We so changed our culture this is no longer the democracy we defended in two world wars.

    I really hope this factual thread about education stays in the" history and education" forum, so there can be meaningful discussion.
     
  4. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    Good Luck.

    As far as I can tell, whatever the problem is has something to do with The Prussians' opinion of Eisenhower's acceptance of Newtonian Physics vs. Quantum Theory.
     
  5. Carol
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    Carol Member

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    John Dewey is as important to our education as William James and some conservatives curse him. The Right wing folks here might not like Dewey, and that is fine with me, considering I have my concerns about him too. He was a follower of Hegel and Hegel did not oppose Hitler's NAZI Germany. What is important at the moment is information, and I am hoping to keep this thread in the "History and Education" forum long enough to have a meaningful discussion. This discussion is both histroical and about education, and there are many facts to add to it.


     
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  6. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    Okay, I will ask again, what in specific can we do to make our education what you perceive it should be? You have repeatedly posted what you see as the root cause, but I haven't seen you post any solutions that are practical and solid steps. You say that "we stopped transmitting our culture", but you don't say what that culture is in any manner that I can wrap my mind around. You seem to speak in abstract about general ideas, but I haven't seen you address specific problems. You speak often about morality and humanism, but you don't define your own perceptions of morality or the concept of humanism. What comes across in your posts (to me) is words of a dreamer and an ideologue who doesn't really know what the problem is, but wants to reach an undefined Utopia without the ability to put forth any kind of blueprint.
     
  7. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    According to Dewey good education should have both a societal purpose and purpose for the individual student. For Dewey, the long-term matters, but so does the short-term quality of an educational experience. Educators are responsible, therefore, for providing students with experiences that are immediately valuable and which better enable the students to contribute to society.

    Dewey polarizes two extremes in education -- traditional and progressive education.

    The paradigm war still goes on -- on the one hand, relatively structured, disciplined, ordered, didactic tradition education vs. relatively unstructured, free, student-directed progressive education.

    Dewey criticizes traditional education for lacking in holistic understanding of students and designing curricula overly focused on content rather than content and process which is judged by its contribution to the well-being of individuals and society.

    On the other hand, progressive education, he argues, is too reactionary and takes a free approach without really knowing how or why freedom can be most useful in education. Freedom for the sake of freedom is a weak philosophy of education. Dewey argues that we must move beyond this paradigm war, and to do that we need a theory of experience.

    Thus, Dewey argues that educators must first understand the nature of human experience.

    Dewey's theory is that experience arises from the interaction of two principles -- continuity and interaction. Continuity is that each experience a person has will influence his/her future, for better or for worse. Interaction refers to the situational influence on one's experience. In other words, one's present experience is a function of the interaction between one's past experiences and the present situation. For example, my experience of a lesson, will depend on how the teacher arranges and facilitates the lesson, as well my past experience of similar lessons and teachers.

    It is important to understand that, for Dewey, no experience has pre-ordained value. Thus, what may be a rewarding experience for one person, could be a detrimental experience for another.

    The value of the experience is to be judged by the effect that experience has on the individual's present, their future, and the extent to which the individual is able to contribute to society.

    Dewey says that once we have a theory of experience, then as educators can set about progressively organizing our subject matter in a way that it takes accounts of students' past experiences, and then provides them with experiences which will help to open up, rather than shut down, a person's access to future growth experiences, thereby expanding the person's likely contribution to society.

    Dewey examines his theory of experience in light of practical educational problems, such as the debate between how much freedom vs. discipline to use. Dewey shows that his theory of experience (continuity and interaction) can be useful guides to help solving such issues.

    Throughout, there is a strong emphasis on the subjective quality of a student's experience and the necessity for the teacher of understanding the students' past experiences in order to effectively design a sequence of liberating educational experiences to allow the person to fulfil their potential as a member of society.
     
  8. lizzie
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    lizzie Zen Warrior Supporting Member

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    Ahhhh, now we're cooking with fuel.:)

    So Carol, please define what our culture is that we no longer transmit, and clue me in as to what your concept of morality is, and how humanism fits into what you think our educational system should be instilling in our youth. Really, I would like to try to understand your pov.
     
  9. Carol
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    The Prussian opinion of Eisenhower has nothing to do with anything. It is Eisenhower's opinion of what the Prussians accomplished that matters. Our history should be as strong in knowledge of the Prussians as it is in knowledge of ourselves. The USA was the Athnes of the modern world, and Germany (actually Germany under Prussian leadership) was the Sparta of the modern world. Now we are the Sparta of the modern world. Or as the Bush family said, The New World Order.

    "War is a highly organized science-the soldier and industrial worker both need training in scinitific thinking and application" This is the title of J.A.B. Sinclair's speech at the National Education Association Conference in 1917. That is when we mobilized for the first world war and used public schools to mobilize us for war and mainitian support of the war. Sinclair praised the German military accomplishments and said, "It is the Great God Efficeincy, to which the Germans were required by their commanders to pay homage of worship-and it behooves us either to effect a thing that will operate as well or to copy theirs." Mind you he is speaking to teachers.

    Significant changes were made in public education at this time. Obviously there was a military need for change, but also we had to appease Industry that wanted to close the public shools, claiming the war caused a labor shortage. Just a few years earlier we manned industry with children, and the child labor law keeping children out of industries during school hours was new. Had Industry won the argument, our population could be as educated as the population of India, which until recently was not a well educated population and still has mass ignorance and child labor. The introduction of vocational training in our schools, greatly increased the number of parents willing to send their children to school, rather them keep them home to work. However, it was not until 1958 that we replaced our liberal education with education for technology for military and industrial purpose.

    Nothing is black and white here. This whole subject is more a matter of balance than, than this is good and that is bad. In 1958 our education became unbalanced and we are paying a terrible price for that lack of balance. Our liberty and freedom could be lost to us, if we do not understand the need for balance. We no longer have the culture that was the meaning of being an American.

    As I said else where, imagine if you died and people put someone else's brain in your head. It would be your head and your body, but someone else's brain. Now is that you? Our national consciouseness has been changed by public education. We are not the democracy we defended in two world wars. Some things are better and some are worse, and we better have meaningful discussion of these matters, because we can not depend on government to manifest life as we want it. Our liberty and justice depends on our knowledge of principles and our willingness to stand for them.
     
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  10. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    The Prussian opinion of Eisenhower has everything to do with everything. It is Prussian opinion of what Eisenhower accomplished that matters. Our history should be as strong in knowledge of Eisenhower as it is in knowledge of ourselves. A language expresses the inner life and knowledge of its speakers, and that languages must differ from one another in the same way and to the same degree as those who use them. Sounds do not become words until a meaning has been put into them, and this meaning embodies the thought of a community.

    What Humboldt terms the inner form of a language is just that mode of denoting the relations between the parts of a sentence which reflects the manner in which a particular body of men regards the world about them. It is the task of the morphology of speech to distinguish the various ways in which languages differ from each other as regards their inner form, and to classify and arrange them accordingly. Imagine if you died and people put a chicken brain in your head. It would be your head and your body, but a chicken's brain. Now is that you?

    Public education has been changed by our national consciouseness. We are the democracy we defended in two world wars. Some things are worse but some are better, and we better have meaningful discussion of these matters. We can depend on government to manifest life as we want it and our liberty and justice does not depend on our knowledge of principles and our willingness to stand by them.
     

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