September 16th, 2004

Macbeth the Usurper

Further into Education

I am further into The Underground History of American Education. I have hit the place where he talks about psychology and psychological research into learning. It is here that I see the deepest problems with this work. They are deep enough for me to question its integrety.

The authors description of pschychogists and their research into learning desmonstrates only a basic psychology textbook understanding of learning and learning research. Much of his discussion on child development boils down to "it's invalid because you can't just stuff kids into cans that way." That is to say, he has no actual idea on the research that has actually occurred in this area. He has no idea that most of this has little or nothing to do with school style learning. This is from a person who claims to have studied psychology and this area of psychology.

In fact, what his is doing is attacking psychology in general, which demonstrates to me that the research itself is not very easy to attack. This puts up a big beware sign. I find it amazing how shallow his argument become the moment he talks about a subject in which I am informed.

I could tear this work down further, and certainly freshen up my rhetoric, but I don't feel like doing that. However, I will continue reading this work with a deeper skeptical eye.
Macbeth the Usurper


Here's a quote.

Addicting people to praise as a motivator puts them on a slippery slope toward a lifetime of fear and exploitation, always looking for some expert to approve of them.

He goes on to describe how he participated in a program that tried to use money to motivate kids in schools. He was then given no supervision and on how to use this money. No program. He then tried one approach, it didn't work, and he gave up. Where do you see the problem?

The next chapter is how God is not in schools. Ahhh. The toucher subject are coming later, but at this time, you are giving him more authority. Cleverly written. The chapter then talks about how the past was better than times are now. That's a common misconception. Read a little history and you found out things were pretty rotten back in the day.

The central fear spoken throughout is that sending your kids to school dumbs them down, brainwashes them into corporate cogs, and leaves them with no self esteem.

The repetition of a belief, stated enough, becomes true. This work relies on this. The only purpose of the work is that schools do nothing but chew up and spit out children. This fundamental idea is never challenged within the work.

Finally, the student is still not held to account.
Macbeth the Usurper


I find the remake of Alfie odd, mostly because of associations. That's a film that I saw back when I dated Heather. She had just moved into her condo, and all we had to watch on was an all-in-one TV with a tiny screen.

Come to think of it, I'm sure that I assembled much furniture for her that day.

I really can't complain about the films we watched. Alfie. Breakfast at Tiffanies. Fiddler on the Roof. Dancer in the Dark. We saw some neat films. We almost saw Brother Where Art Thou.

I can complain about Dancer In The Dark. I will never watch that film again. You can't make me. I bought it in DVD because it was a musical, and almost did not watch it a second time. I made the wrong call. If you do choose to watch it, get nicely drunk before hand. Maybe take illegal drugs. It's not a bad film, just a damned hard one to watch.