Connexions Resource Centre
Focus on Education, Children
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to education and children in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Just Wait Until I Get Tenure (April 4, 2017)
A Facebook friend, Steven Salaita, recently wrote a post about academe arguing that tenure-track professors are kidding themselves if they say they will become more radical once they get tenure. I agreed with his post, and I made a long reply. Here, I incorporate what I said into a more coherent commentary.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - September 10, 2016 (September 10, 2016)
Education about the world, and about social change in particular is a key element in the work that Connexions does. In this issue of Other Voices, we explore a few aspects of the ways in which education and educational institutions are changing. We also look at ways in which education is used to bring about change.
- The meaning of the school testing obsession (April 4, 2016)
This article focuses on the new frontiers for the calculation of human productivity in its earliest forms, in early years education in Britain; but the general points are applicable across continents and educational age-phases. It will be argued that the English baseline test is just one example of the policing of capital's interests in our classrooms, but a particularly pernicious one for the way it reaches deep into the experience of the youngest children.
- Koch Brothers View Universities As Propaganda Machines (January 31, 2016)
New Yorker reporter Jane Mayers new book, "Dark Money," includes details that bolster concerns publicized by UnKoch My Campus, and students and professors across the USA who have blown the whistle on Charles Kochs co-optation of higher education programs. Universities are the spine of Charles Koch's lobbying model, which after four decades of finance has grown into an integrated network of professors, public relations agents, lobbyists, pundits, and politicians. Koch foundations started investing in campuses at an exponential pace, starting with just seven campuses in 2005.
- No Grades in Higher Education Now! (October 12, 2015)
Author and social scientist Stuart Tannock has recently published a historical and critical overview of the practice of grading in education.
- A Zapatista 'Seminar' in Chiapas (May 8, 2015)
On the outskirts of San Cristobal de las Casas, famed colonial center of the southern state of Chiapas, over a thousand people from all over Mexico and beyond are attending a weeklong seminar "Critical Thinking Confronting the Capitalist Hydra." It was conceived and organized by the Zapatistas, the Chiapas-based armed insurgency.
- Abolish High School (April 1, 2015)
Solnit says that we need to recognize that high school doesn't work for most young people, and suggests abolishing it.
- John Holt: Homeschooling Pioneer and Visionary Progressive (October 4, 2014)
The stereotype of homeschooling as the haven for conservative, religious ideologues overshadows the movement's radically progressive roots. One of the movement's foremost pioneers, John Holt, was an egalitarian atheist who explicitly opposed patriarchy, corresponded with progressive thinkers including Paul Goodman and Noam Chomsky, and helped initiate the still emerging childrens rights movement.
- Why I'm on the Picket Line (June 6, 2014)
Teacher Tara Ehrcke talks about why she voted to strike in Greater Victoria, British Columbia: The "public" in public school shouldn't mean just providing a building, with some tired teachers to deliver a curriculum, the success of which is measured by standardized tests. A good public school system should provide high quality opportunities to every single child. While our public schools have many wonderful programs and many dedicated teachers, the sad truth is that there are also overcrowded classrooms, children falling behind, and a workforce exhausted from trying to fill in the gaps.
- On Academic Labor (February 28, 2014)
An edited transcript of remarks given by Noam Chomsky on 4 February 2014 to a gathering of members and allies of the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh, PA.
- Teaching Workers (February 27, 2014)
Karl Marxs famous dictum sums up my teaching philosophy: The philosophers of the world have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. As I came to see it, Marx had uncovered the inner workings of our society, showing both how it functioned and why it had to be transcended if human beings were to gain control over their lives and labour.
- Austerity U (January 29, 2014)
Policy-makers are introducing big changes to university systems under the banner of an austerity agenda. Globally common themes in this agenda include rapid increases in tuition fees, new models of university governance, new ways of teaching, a significant shift in subject matter, an attempt to depoliticize campuses, and major alterations in employment relations.
- At the Escuelita Zapatista, Students Learn Community Organizing and Civil Resistance as a Way of Life (August 29, 2013)
From August 11-17, the Zapatistas brought more than 1,500 people into their communities to attend the Escuelita Zapatista, the Little Zapatista School. According to a February comunicado by the EZLN, in a class entitled Liberty According to the Zapatistas: Autonomous Government I, "our compas from the Zapatista bases of support are going to share the little we have learned about the struggle for freedom, and the [the students] can see what is useful or not for their own struggles."
- The Predatory Pedagogy of On-Line Education (June 3, 2013)
Distance learning amounts to the erosion of the traditional face-to-face classroom.
- Black Teachers' Revolt of the 1960s (October 26, 2012)
Chicago's educational apartheid has a history which includes the racial segregation of its schools, the allocation of resources on an unequal basis and second class treatment for teachers of color. It was Jim Crow North. But there was also resistance, a resistance which grew into a powerful social movement during the 1960's.
- After the Arab spring, the struggle continues on a university campus (October 16, 2012)
A university administrator takes a stand against religious extremism.
- Austerity and Resistance: Lessons from the 2012 Quebec Student Strike (October 15, 2012)
The student strike in Quebec has ended, in a rather clear victory. After a seven month-long struggle the longest of its kind in Quebec history students have won a cancellation of the proposed tuition hike, a pledge to repeal the infamous Law 78 that had criminalized demonstrations, and the ouster of Premier Jean Charest and his Liberal government.
- Once Again on Education: Beyond Ordinary Leftism (October 15, 2012)
An article exploring elements of education in the USA.
- Memory as Resistance: Grassroots Archives and the Battle of Memory (October 14, 2012)
CONNEXIONS and Beit Zatoun are spotlighting grassroots archives this November with an open house and networking event November 24, a talk and discussion November 27, and an exhibit (November 16-27). Grassroots archives play a valuable role in what has been called the battle of memory. Mainstream media and institutions of power consign inconvenient histories, struggles, and alternative visions to what George Orwell called the memory hole. Peoples history projects such as grassroots archives preserve and share stories of resistance, hidden histories, and alternative visions. Their role is particularly important as official archives are forced to restrict acquisitions, limit access and discard materials as funding is slashed.
- Criminalizing Truancy (September 11, 2012)
American jurisdictions are increasingly turning to the criminal justice system to deal with truancy. Students and parents are being fined, and in some cases jailed, for missing school.
- The Gates Foundation's Leveraged Philanthropy (July 4, 2012)
Gates' leveraged philanthropy model is a public-private partnership to improve the world, partly through targeted research support but principally through public advocacy and tax-free lobbying to influence government policy. The goal of these policies is often to explicitly support profitability for corporate investors, whose enterprises are seen by the Gates Foundation as advancing human good. However, maximum corporate profit and public good often clash when its projects are implemented.
- Make Sure You Don't Fall: Perspectives on the Recent Social Agitation in Chile, Part One (June 3, 2012)
Discontent and rage have always been there, but while Social Democracy was in power, the supporters of the regime -- well placed in the open spaces for action and thought in high schools, universities and companies -- were able to use them to channel protests into directions that did not endanger the political credibility of the ruling parties.
- Chile: Return of the Penguins! (March 1, 2012)
The struggle to democratize Chiles educational system has, for the first time since the countrys return to bourgeois democracy in 1990, challenged the very foundations of its neoliberal model.
- Neo-Racism in the Southwest (January 18, 2012)
What is taking place in southern Arizona deserves our attention as the most fanatical episode in the war against public education.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- Youth Subdued (July 28, 2011)
Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. But now young Americanseven more so than older Americansappear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it.
- War Colleges (June 29, 2011)
One consequence of the increasing militarization of American society can be seen in changes that have taken place in public and higher education. Schools have become the testing grounds for new modes of security and military-style authority.
- Debunking the Fraser Institute's Latest Crusade: Teacher Merit Pay (June 24, 2011)
Fresh from the triumph of successfully promoting its fallacious school report card, this time in Alberta, the Fraser Institute is already scheming to peg teacher pay to student test scores and create a market for teachers. We should remember that the institute's success with school rankings would not be possible without over-the-top support from the corporate media.
- Rethinking Educational Failure and Reimagining an Educational Future (March 19, 2011)
If we start not from the goal of acculturating most children to the demands of an economy which promises only to make things worse, but from the goal of preparing all children to live in a world worthy of human beings, we will find a very different kind of education reform to advocate for. It will have some things in common with some parts of current reform efforts
but it will go beyond and transform them.
- What is education for? (December 31, 2010)
There is a fundamental difference between being a student and being a consumer. Education is not a product but a relationship and a process, a relationship between student and lecturer, and process by which knowledge transforms the individual. When someone buys a car or a hamburger, he or she is purchasing a pre-packaged, readymade commodity to satisfy a specific need. Education is about creating critical thinkers whose skill is precisely the ability to challenge ideas that are pre-packaged or readymade or designed to satisfy such a need.
- Israeli Soldiers Sexually Abuse Palestinian Children (September 13, 2010)
- Death of the university? (June 27, 2010)
As universities have turned into businesses, so students have turned into consumers. There is, however, a fundamental difference between being a student and being a consumer. Education is not a product but a relationship and a process. Once students become consumers, their whole relationship to education changes. They come to look upon ideas, not as ways of understanding the world, but as possessions that they can trade for a better job or greater social prestige.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- Guernica Written With the Hands and Hearts of Children (October 5, 2009)
The keynote speaker at the launch of the exhibition Gaza's childrens' paintings, referred to the paintings as 'a toxic cargo of beautiful but unwelcome images which it is necessary that we see and acknowledge.' Toxic because the blockade and assault on Gaza was, and is, toxic. Toxic because the paintings mirror back to our adult world the poisonous environment we have watched develop for these children. The paintings describe aerial bombardment of apartment blocks, mosques, schools, hospitals, ambulances. They portray phosphorous, helicopter and drone attacks on civilians. Gunboats fire inland from the sea. Bulldozers demolish homes. Everything happens in an enclosed space from which there is no escape.
- Spain Excludes Settlement University from Academic Competition (September 21, 2009)
The "University Center of Ariel in Samaria" (AUCS) has been excluded from a prestigious university competition about sustainable architecture in Spain. With this move, Spain joins the growing number of European governments taking effective, even though preliminary, steps to uphold international law by boycotting or divesting from institutions and corporations involved in or profiting from Israel's illegal Wall and colonial settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.
- Mobile Schools Help Nomadic Somalis Fight Drought (September 17, 2009)
Mobile schools - secular pre-schools which follow these groups as they move to find pasture and water for livestock - are an attempt to help nomadic communities develop more options as the climate becomes increasingly hostile.
- The Corporate Stranglehold on Education (September 8, 2009)
Rather than challenge the economic irresponsibility, ecological damage, and human suffering, and culture of cruelty unleashed by free market fundamentalism, higher education appears to be one of its staunchest defenders, uncritically embracing a view of itself based on a market model of the academy.
- Brazil: Changing Lives Through the Power of Dance (September 7, 2009)
Founded in 1991 and directed by Dora Andrade, EDISCA is a non-governmental organisation that caters exclusively to children and adolescents from poor neighbourhoods.
- Fighting For The Right To Walk (September 4, 2009)
Israel has denied the residents of Gaza -- children and adults -- Gaza food, medical supplies, clean water, building materials, health care, and pretty much every other element of normal life, and in doing so has violated the most basic standards of human decency.
- Education gap divides Jerusalem (September 3, 2009)
A recent report by an Israeli non-governmental organisation says 5,000 Palestinian children in East Jerusalem will not be able to attend classes this year because there are not enough classrooms.
- Gaza's Kite Runners (August 11, 2009)
Gazan children's kites are expressions of defiance, hope and the longing for freedom.
- Israel's School Apartheid Highlighted By Court Case (August 10, 2009)
Instances of Arab children being denied places at kindergartens and junior schools have become more common in recent years. Now, an Arab couple whose daughter was expelled from an Israeli daycare centre on her first day because she was Arab is taking the case to court.
- Turning Children Into Consumers (June 29, 2009)
Children are naïve about advertising and can easily be manipulated and exploited by marketers to want and demand their products. Corporate marketers believe that over time they can be shaped into lifelong consumers with brand loyalties and that can be profitable for decades to come.
- Keeping Books Safe (April 2, 2009)
Imagine a dystopian horror tale in which virtually all books from the past were destroyed...Books that did not meet the ideologies of the publishers, the demands of the mass market, the trends of the day would be destroyed...That incredible scenario is actually playing out in terms of children's books under a law meant to protect toddlers from lead contaminant in toys. Called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the law was passed in August 2008 -- quickly, without scrutiny and nearly unanimously.
- Race Obsession harms those it is meant to help (March 29, 2009)
Ethnic monitoring does not just produce misleading data. The process of classification often creates the very problems it is supposed to solve. Local authorities have used ethnic categories not only as a means of collecting data but also as a way of distributing political power - by promoting certain 'community leaders' - and of disbursing public funds through ethnically-based projects. Once the allocation of power, resources and opportunities becomes linked to membership of particular groups, then people inevitably begin to identify themselves in terms of those ethnicities, and only those ethnicities.
- The Israel Advocacy Push to 'Reclaim' York University (March 3, 2009)
York is a longstanding hub for "Israel advocacy" organizations (as they designate themselves). This reality expresses itself in various ways. At the grassroots level, far-right Zionist organizing has been common at York since at least the early 1980s, and seems to have even included direct recruitment for armed settler movements in the West Bank (and more commonly for the Israeli military itself). At the level of university fundraising, York has thoroughly integrated some of Canada's leading Israel advocacy figures into its main administrative bodies. And at the level of university governance, York has earned a reputation for deep association with the Israeli state and for heavy-handed regulation of campus politics in favor of Israel advocates.
- Academic Freedom Threatened in Ontario Universities (February 18, 2009)
While most academics would agree that a university should be a place where critical debate is fostered, what is academic freedom when the freedom to attend classes without being bombed isn't even assured? Academic freedom falters it seems when it comes to Palestine, whether in the Middle East or in North America. Not only is there no realizable academic freedom for Palestinians, but also, even in North America, students and faculty raising critical viewpoints about Israel find themselves muffled, accused of anti-Semitism, threatened with disciplinary action, or, in the case of former Depaul University professor, Norman Finkelstein, out of a job entirely.
- The Case for Academic Boycott (January 31, 2009)
Academic boycott targets Israel's intellectual leadership, the educated elite whose record consists largely of misinforming Israelis about their history, distorting their understanding of current conflicts, normalizing the racism of their society, and providing to the Israeli military and government the legal, technological, and political tools it needs to facilitate the continued theft of Palestinian land and the containment of its restive population.
- Public Universities in Peril (July 1, 2008)
It's hare to imagine that only a year ago the privatization of a public university would emerge as a major political issue in Bloomington, Indiana. That is not to say the topic took the community by surprise. As early as 1994, the Indiana Universitys Board of Trustees formed various tasks forces to evaluate the universitys potential for privatization.
- Edward Said's shadowy legacy (May 7, 2008)
So many academics want the arguments presented in Edward Said's Orientalism (1978) to be true. It discourages any kind of critical approach to Islam in Middle Eastern studies.
- The Survival of Education (May 1, 2008)
I remember reading Jonathan Kozols Savage Inequalities as a student activist, when becoming a teacher was an abstract and somewhat romanticized idea floating around my head. I was moved by the politically sharp but also deeply humanizing way in which Kozol documented how institutional racism and class inequality shape the experiences of students in American schools, a reality that all of us who have been educated in this country have experienced first-hand in one way or another.
- Profit motives behind sexualization of 'tween girls (April 25, 2008)
The sexualization of 'tween girls - those between the ages of 8 and 12 -- in pop culture and advertising is a growing problem fueled by marketers' efforts to create cradle-to-grave consumers.
- Free Speech and Acceptable Truths (April 1, 2008)
While we support freedom of speech and academic freedom, we believe that university administrations have a duty to provide a safe learning environment in which students and faculty are protected by incorrect or harmful ideas. To achieve this safe learning environment, it will be necessary for the university authorities to cleanse the university's libraries of harmful books, to block inappropriate Internet sites, to ban guest lectures who hold improper views, and to identify and prosecute students and faculty who are guilty of thought crimes.
- Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage: What is at Stake? (February 27, 2008)
There are good people on either side of the same-sex marriage debate. Unfortunately, however, it has been one of the most divisive issues in society. Opponents of same-sex marriage perceive the other side as part of a cabal of gay activists and social-engineering judges and politicians, intent on making a mockery of important social values. Proponents of same-sex marriage often perceive the other side as "homophobic" bigots or religious fundamentalists who want to deprive gay or lesbian couples of a right enjoyed by others because they hate homosexuals. The debate over same-sex marriage has divided people who share common values and beliefs on many fundamental questions--war and peace, economic security, democracy versus the increasingly anti-democratic and repressive nature of American society. This divisive debate cripples the ability of ordinary Americans to unite around the things that we agree on.
- Who owns knowledge? (September 21, 2007)
The resurgence of a Romantic view of culture poses a real menace to the free flow of knowledge and threatens to corral it into intellectual Bantustans. The ideas of free speech and open debate become meaningless if we fail to defend a universalist concept of knowledge or if we accept the notion of science as but a local view whose factual claims must defer to cultural and political needs. If scientific debate is constrained to express only sentiments with which people feel comfortable, culturally and politically, then science dies as the line between knowledge and myth becomes eroded.
- Health care and children in crisis in Gaza (March 26, 2007)
These days one hears a lot about Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, adults who have been specifically trained for warfare, who are nevertheless traumatized by the experience of seeing comrades injured or killed, or suffering injuries or danger themselves. The trauma goes on, long after the experience has ended and they are back in a place of safety. How much worse then for children in Gaza who witness and experience these events day after day, week after week with no end and with no place of safety.
- Strip-Searching Children (March 15, 2007)
Israeli officials have been regularly strip-searching children for decades.
- My Father Was an Anonymous Sperm Donor (December 17, 2006)
Those of us in the first documented generation of donor babies -- conceived in the late 1980s and early '90s, when sperm banks became more common and donor insemination began to flourish -- are coming of age, and we have something to say. I'm here to tell you that emotionally, many of us are not keeping up. We didn't ask to be born into this situation, with its limitations and confusion. It's hypocritical of parents and medical professionals to assume that biological roots won't matter to the "products" of the cryobanks' service, when the longing for a biological relationship is what brings customers to the banks in the first place. We offspring are recognizing the right that was stripped from us at birth -- the right to know who both our parents are.
- The Academic Boycott Debate (November 28, 2006)
An excellent summary and commentary on a debate at Ryerson University about whether Israel should be subjected to an academic boycott because of its human rights violations.
- Breaking the Spell of Stupid Opinions (2006)
When someone is outside the hold of a stupid opinion, its inanity is so apparent that one wonders how it could ever be held by anyone. But when people are caught believing something that isn't reality-based, most believe it far more rigidly than they believe facts.
- On Handcuffed and Felonious Children (February 9, 2005)
Arresting young children for a crayon drawing, not unlike the games of hangman we once all played, is the ultimate meaning and logic of Zero Tolerance. Zero tolerance involves the application of law in an extreme and uncompromising manner to any activity, violent or not, that is deemed to be anti-social.
- Right-Wing Thought Police Assault Free Speech on Campus (February 1, 2005)
The Orwellian campaign to portray the expression of views in the university that run contrary to those ruling the country as a lack of "academic freedom."
- Disaster and Mental Health (2005)
The continuing Israeli military occupation of Gaza is the cause of deep and widespread trauma for Palestinian children and adults.
- How 'diversity' breeds division (August 19, 2004)
Diversity training is supposed to help 'promote good relations' between different ethnic groups and capitalise on workforce diversity. However, there is warranted scepticism about whether such training alleviates tensions or exacerbates them. Much of the content of this training is overreliant on pop sociology and pseudo-therapeutic techniques. Participants are expected to talk about stereotypes they harbour deep in their subconscious, and disclose feelings of harassment and victimisation. Trainers claim to eliminate stereotypes in the workplace, yet in talking about 'different cultural perspectives' they end up generating new and more insidious stereotypes in their stead.
- Why Are Families Under Attack? (2004)
The media are full of very sophisticated anti-family messages, which can come from both the right and the left. Liberals denigrate the value of families in which children are raised by their real mother and father, and they sometimes suggest that such families are often patriarchies with abusive fathers. Conservatives often call for "family values" in which women are subordinate to men and inequality prevails. Neither liberal nor conservative views reflect true family values of equality and commitment to each other.
- Falsifying History and Ourselves: Anti-Democratic Propaganda in the Classroom (2001)
Contrary to the views promoted by FHAO, the true facts about Germany during the Holocaust show that 1) working class Germans fought the Nazis; 2) anti-Semitism did not come from ordinary people; and 3) anti-Semitism was a weapon used by Germany's industrial and aristocratic elite to attack not only the Jewish minority but the entire working class.
- Ontological "Difference" and the Neo-Liberal War on the Social (2001)
We have today legions of people with a smattering of knowledge turning out reams of books filled with buzz words that could be (and have been) produced by a computer program, and could be (and are) picked up in peer-group shop talk in a few months at the nearest humanities program or academic conference. Everyone these people don't like is trapped in a "gaze"; everyone "constitutes" their "identity" by "discourse"; to the fuddy-duddy "master narratives" that talk about such indelicate subjects as world accumulation these people counterpose "pastiche" and "bricolage", the very idea of being in any way systematic smacking of "totalitarianism"; it is blithely assumed that everyone except heterosexual white males now and for all time have been "subversives" (one wonders why we are still living under capitalism); a crippling relativism makes it somehow "imperial" to criticize public beheadings in Saudi Arabia or cliterodectomy practiced on five-year old girls in the Sudan.
- High Stakes Testing (2000)
The tests are very destructive educationally. They test students on such a broad range of materials that teachers have to rush through the curriculum; they cannot allow real discussion or in-depth study. Education is reduced to memorization of disconnected facts.
- "Take This Test and Shove It!" (1999)
Open resistance to high stakes tests is an important development: it can be the first step in a movement uniting students, teachers, parents, and others against the corporate assault on public education and for a democratic society.
- You'll Never Be Good Enough: Schooling and Social Control (1998)
The remarkable thing about the public schools isn't that some teachers become demoralized and "burned out," or that some students drop out or do poorly, but that so many teachers and students achieve so much in the face of a system designed to fail.
- Learning for the Revolution (November 1, 1997)
Socialist sunday schools were part of a thriving radical culture which included daily newspapers, clubs, lectures, festivals and parades.
- The University of Nike (September 1, 1997)
Nike is just a piece of the bigger puzzle of private donors in public universities, but it is a perfect example of why private money is helping to erode the positive goals of public education.
- School Reform and the Attack on Public Education (July 1, 1997)
The education reform movement is part of a wider corporate and government plan to undermine democracy and strengthen corporate domination of our society.
- Anthroplogy and the Machine (1997)
The first Teach-In against the Vietnam war, held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in March 1965, proved the ideal solution, an event that was at the same time an exercise in learning and a political protest. Its success was to spur a widespread series of similar events, bringing the anti-war message and the realities of U.S. "counter-insurgency" in Vietnam to other campuses. It was not entirely surprising that one of the most innovative and effective strategies for opposing U.S. crimes in Vietnam was initiated by anthropologists. In a discipline sensitive to the problems facing peasant populations due to colonialism and the spread of western market interests, it was particularly difficult to accept at face value the rhetoric of U.S. geopolitical posturing.
- Islam, Children's Rights, and the Hijab-gate of Rah-e-Kargar (1997)
It has been proved time and time again that pushing back religiosity and religious reaction is not possible except through unequivocal defence of human values against religion. It has been proved time and time again that preventing religious barbarism does not come about through bribing it and trying to give it a human face, but through the fight against reactionary religious beliefs and practices.
- Chomsky on Post-Modernism (1995)
What I find in the writings of the post-modernists is extremely pretentious, but on examination, a lot of it is simply illiterate, based on extraordinary misreading of texts that I know well (sometimes, that I have written), argument that is appalling in its casual lack of elementary self-criticism, lots of statements that are trivial (though dressed up in complicated verbiage) or false; and a good deal of plain gibberish.
- Rationality/Science (1995)
Chomsky writes: "It strikes me as remarkable that the left today should seek to deprive oppressed people not only of the joys of understanding and insight, but also of tools of emancipation, informing us that the "project of the Enlightenment" is dead, that we must abandon the "illusions" of science and rationality--a message that will gladden the hearts of the powerful, delighted to monopolize these instruments for their own use."
- The Nazis and Deconstruction: Jean-Pierre Faye's Demolition of Derrida (1993)
A review of Jean-Pierre Faye's book 'La raison narrative', which traces the Nazi origins of deconstructionist and post-modernist concepts and terminology. Faye shows, for example, that the concept of 'deconstruction' was introduced in a Nazi journal edited by M.H. Goering, and he shows how theorists who based themselves on Heidegger's writings, such as Derrida, Lyotard, and Lacoue-Labarthe, whitewashed Heidegger's Nazism, treating it as a mere 'detail'.
- They're Going to be Stuffing Our Kids (April 1, 1991)
Will technology in the classroom be a boon to educators in the future, or a disaster waiting to happen?
- Connexions Annual Overview: Education, Children (October 1, 1989)
Education is being seen as an essential element of grassroots development both in Canada and abroad. The guiding idea is that education is not merely concerned with imparting knowledge, but with helping people develop the skills and the confidence to analyse and solve problems and thus to act, both individually and collectively.
- The Responsibility of Intellectuals (1967)
It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.
- Foreword to A.S. Neill: Summerhill - A Radical Approach to Child Rearing (1960)
A. S. Neill's system is a radical approach to child rearing. His book Summerhill is of great importance because it represents the true principle of education without fear.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with education and children in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
An online education resource centre with extensive subject guides and distance learning information. Our mission is to provide free, independent and accurate information and resources for prospective and current students (and other researchers).
Web portal with sources of information about education and academia, including articles, documents, books, websites, and experts and spokespersons. The home page features a selection of recent and important articles. A search feature, subject index, and other research tools make it possible to find additional resources and information.
- People for Education
Working together to defend fully publicly-funded education in Ontario.
Other Links & Resources
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to education and children in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
A New Approach to Popular Education
AH-HAH seminars are designed to organize groups of comman interests, especially workers, to come to a common understanding.
- Chomsky on MisEducation
Author: Chomsky, Noam; edited and introduced by Donald Macedo
Chomsky critiques the education system and discusses what education could be like in a democratic society.
- Class Warfare
The Assault on Canada's School
Author: Barlow, Maude; Robertson, Heather-Jane
The authors show that the attack on schools has been mounted by representatives of big business who stand to make a fortune by privatizing education, aided by the religious right, who want to control what is taught -- and not taught -- in our schools.
- Descent into Discourse
The Reification of Language and the Writing of Social History
Author: Palmer, Brian
Critique of postmodernist and poststructuralist approaches in history.
- How 2 Take an Exam... & Remake the World
Author: Ollman, Bertell
- A Manual on Nonviolence and Children
Author: Judson, Stephanie; Paul, Paula J.
The authors felt that an important way of building a peaceful world would be to develop a program for young children. It would help children and their caregivers develop non-violent attitudes and skills.
- Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship
Author: Chomsky, Noam
Chomsky's classic analysis of the liberal scholarship that justified American foreign policy and aggression during the 1960s.
- The Origins of Post-Modernity
Author: Anderson, Perry
Perry Anderson's book outlines the cultural changes that have accompanied the victory of global capitalism.
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Author: Freire, Paulo
Freire maintains that every human being, no matter or "ignorant" or submerged in the "culture of silence," is capable of looking critically at the world in a dialogical encounter with others, and that provided with the proper tools for such an encounter, can gradually perceive his personal and social reality and deal critically with it.
- Roots of Empathy
Changing the World Child by Child
Author: Gordon, Mary
Roots of Empathy looks at eliminating crime and changing the world by starting with a compassionate environment for children.
- Schooling for "Good Rebels"
Socialist Education for Children in the United States, 1900-1920
Author: Teitelbaum, Kenneth
Teitelbaum captures in detail the spirited devotion and revolutionary fervor of the Socialist Sunday School movement whose themes of solidarity, cooperation, and concern for others are badly needed today. Socialist Sunday Schools were part of a thriving radical culture which included daily newspapers, clubs, lectures, festivals and parades.
Author: Sale, Kirkpatrick
The rise and development of the Students for a Democratic Society, the organization that became the major expression of the American left in the 1960s -- its passage from student protest to institutional resistance to revolutionary activism, and its ultimate impact on American politics and life.
- Spying 101
The RCMP's Secret Activities at Canadian Universities 1917 - 1997
Author: Hewitt, Steve
If you attended a Canadian university in the past eighty years, it's possible that, unbeknownst to you, Canadian security agents were surveying you, your fellow students, and your professors for 'subversive' tendencies and behaviour. Since the end of the First World War, members of the RCMP have infiltrated the campuses of Canada's universities and colleges to spy, meet informants, gather information, and on occasion, to attend classes. Why they were there is the subject of this book.
- Street children
New Internationalist April 2005 - #377
A look at the lives of street children around the world. Discussion of the challenges they face day-to-day and what some are forced to do to survive.
A Radical Approach to Child Rearing
Author: Neill, A. S.
A.S. Neill describes the ideas and practice of Summerhill school, the alternative school he founded. He expresses his radical opinions on parenthood and child rearing.
- Vanguard of Retrogression
"Postmodern" Fictions as Ideology in the Era of Fictitious Capital
Author: Goldner, Loren
When one probes the terms of the debate, what is truly amazing is that the ostensibly anti-Eurocentric multiculturalists are, without knowing it, purveying a remarkably Eurocentric version of what the Western tradition really is. The ultimate theoretical sources of today's multiculturalism are two very white and very dead European males, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger.
- We Make the Road By Walking
Conversations on education and social change
Author: Horton, Myles; Freire, Paulo
Horton, the founder of the Highlander Folk School, and Freire, a Brazilian education leader, are from two different backgrounds, but their shared views on the use of participatory education in bringing about social change are the basis for this thought-provoking book.
Learning from our History
Falsifying History and Ourselves: Anti-Democratic Propaganda in the Classroom - Contrary to the views promoted by FHAO, the true facts about Germany during the Holocaust show that 1) working class Germans fought the Nazis; 2) anti-Semitism did not come from ordinary people; and 3) anti-Semitism was a weapon used by Germany's industrial and aristocratic elite to attack not only the Jewish minority but the entire working class.
Learning for the Revolution - Socialist Sunday Schools were part of a thriving radical culture which included daily newspapers, clubs, lectures, festivals and parades..
Ontological “Difference” and the Neo-Liberal War on the Social - It was 1971. We were in our early 20’s and we were mad. After the seeming prelude to apocalypse we had just lived through, who, at the time, would have believed that we were at the beginning of three decades (and counting) in which, in the U.S. at least, mass movements would all but disappear from the streets? Even today, the evanescence of the world-wide mood of “1968” seems slightly incredible.
The Student Movement of the Thirties - Most of the references one hears to the student movement of the thirties are quite wrong in one basic respect: they speak as if “the thirties” represented a single, homogeneous period for the student movement. But the biggest single fact about the history of this movement is that it went through a sweeping change in spirit, methods, and politics, which changed its face completely in mid-course.
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists. Submit your events for free here.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada’s print and broadcast media. .
Sources - A membership-based service that enables journalists to find spokespersons and story ideas, and which simultaneously enables organizations to raise their profile by reaching the media and the public with their message.
Organizing Resources Page - Change requires organizing. Power gives way only when it is challenged by a movement for change, and movements grow out of organizing. Organizing is qualitatively different from simple “activism”. Organizing means sustained long-term conscious effort to bring people together to work for common goals. This page features a selection of articles, books, and other resources related to organizing.
Publicity and Media Relations - A short introduction to media relations strategies.
Grassroots Media Relations - A media relations guide for activist groups.
Socialism Gateway - A gateway to resources about socialism, socialist history, and socialist ideas.
Marxism Gateway - A gateway to resources about Marxism.
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