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Response to mothra1orbit (Original post)

Sun Oct 23, 2016, 11:36 AM

28. I got a great public education

in California, before prop 13.

And I had sewing and cooking classes. No power tools or auto shop, but touch-typing that has served me well my whole life. I got my "other" skills with livestock, with digging and planting and mulching and pruning and hay hooks and hoof picks and cleaning and repairing leather tack and grooming and fence repair and driving a stick shift (3 on the column in that old truck) and changing tires and so many other things working on a ranch.

My high school taught some of everything to everybody, and if we wanted to go to college, our counselors told us which classes were necessary for which types of universities we planned to attend, and we took them.

I included, and include, among my friends many who did not attend college. That didn't mean that they weren't intelligent, just that they had different goals. And, throughout my life, I've depended on many people who didn't attend college to perform vital services that I didn't learn how to do for myself. And they make just as much money as I do with my college degree doing so. Some of them make more.

It's true that today's Trump supporters don't "get" some really vital pieces of the big picture. And the public education system is partly at fault, having been dumbed down to simplistic thinking. That has nothing whatsoever to do with "Common Core;" those standards are another whole topic.

Start with Ronald Reagan, who wanted to abolish the DOE. Whose administration published "A Nation At Risk" as part of its determined effort to attack public education and public ed teachers, to devalue them in the national culture. That's an effort that was wildly successful.

That led to the adamant "back to the basics" push, which fed the public on eloquent rhetoric about focusing on basics and neglected to mention that critical thinking was, and is, not considered "basic." So we get generations of people who, unless they were preparing for college, were not taught critical thinking skills. Not only were those skills not taught, but any effort to do so was fucking HAMMERED by the propagandists shaping the national thinking over the airwaves, so that parents began complaining, loudly, at site and district levels whenever their children were expected, in school, to question ANYTHING. Because, happening at the same time, we goy the de-regulation of the airwaves and the rise of propaganda-driven talk radio and tv; propaganda can influence anyone.

That was the rise of an anti-intellectual agenda on the right, keeping the masses unthinking followers of media leaders. It also includes, though, the rise of Democratic neo-liberalism, which includes neo-liberal education policies that build on the anti-intellect, anti-teacher, anti-public ed foundation laid by the neo-cons; the agenda to blame teachers for "failing" and privatize public education.

The generations of students I teach these days come from parents who want very simple, linear, black-and-white, literal worksheets and questions, and who complain when I ask their students to think. Many of them are Trump supporters. Do I feel superior to them? I don't look at it that way. I look through a different lens:

I'm grateful for the education that I got, and I consider it my duty to pass it on to my students and their families. It's not about judging them, but about paying it forward. It's about unconditional love for my students and their families, and about doing what I can to weed and prepare soil and plant seeds that may, someday, take root. If they don't remember, nor use, anything I teach them, at the very least they will remember that school offered them a safe, respectful environment and their teacher cared about them. That in itself is the best response to the anti-everything-education poison that I can offer. Still, they do remember more than that. They do get skills that will help them. And when they reach adulthood, have established themselves more independently, and their prefrontal cortices are fully developed, the thinking skills I introduced and reinforced can help them grow.

If you need someone to blame, don't blame the system. Blame the voters that voted for, and supported, politicians who degraded the system. And don't hate the Trump supporters; that only pushes them further away. To change their thinking, they have to be open to listening to you. That will never happen if you give them good reason to slam the doors in your face.

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
mothra1orbit Oct 2016 OP
Skittles Oct 2016 #1
mothra1orbit Oct 2016 #22
Skittles Oct 2016 #35
A-Schwarzenegger Oct 2016 #2
mothra1orbit Oct 2016 #23
steve2470 Oct 2016 #3
mothra1orbit Oct 2016 #24
alarimer Oct 2016 #4
pat_k Oct 2016 #13
mothra1orbit Oct 2016 #25
Thinkingabout Oct 2016 #5
Adrahil Oct 2016 #6
MyOwnPeace Oct 2016 #7
JI7 Oct 2016 #9
awoke_in_2003 Oct 2016 #10
pat_k Oct 2016 #12
kcr Oct 2016 #16
pat_k Oct 2016 #20
kcr Oct 2016 #21
mothra1orbit Oct 2016 #30
treestar Oct 2016 #17
pressbox69 Oct 2016 #15
treestar Oct 2016 #18
kcr Oct 2016 #19
LineNew Reply I got a great public education
LWolf Oct 2016 #28
The Velveteen Ocelot Oct 2016 #29
bhikkhu Oct 2016 #33
GreenEyedLefty Oct 2016 #34
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