I have found that gardening is an interesting place to learn stuff. I was part of a lab once that did research in plant biology. You know what I found interesting:
- You can put the cleanest water, the best fertilizer and growth aid in the soil but each seed (of the same species of plant of course) will germinate at its own time.
- Each plant is very different. Flowers on the same tree all look the same but if you look hard enough you can find difference.
So about this Education thing
Having been both a student and teacher I have some issues with education. It is my belief that what we call education is not in fact education. It is more molding or shaping. These are very different processes.
As an educator I have notice that its my job to put the fertilizer in the soil and prepare the ground for something to happen within the student. The want to learn has to of course come from the student. What makes it difficult is that I have to access how my student learns, and use that to create a unique way for them to approach the material when they are ready to.
Education seeks to take children and give them a certain formation that will allow them to fit the depiction of what a model citizen or worker, or family member (mother father sister brother etc) should be. Compare education to edification. Education is a social institution and Edification as in self edification not at all a social institution.
Education and technology enjoy an interesting relationship. Technology carries with it culture and culture nowadays in the area of globalization is a primary export. I think the song Gangam style which has 897,180,285 views is a great example of culture being an export. Quoting from K-Pop Online: Korean Stars Go Global with Social Media. TIME. Retrieved on 2011-02-20: “With the rise of social media networks during the mid 2000s, the ability of K-pop to reach a previously inaccessible audience via the Internet is driving a shift in the exposure and popularity of the genre.”
Did You Know
K-Pop Korean Pop originally started in the 1885 when an American missionary, Henry Appenzeller started teaching American and British folk songs at a school. These songs were called changga in Korean, and they were typically based on a popular Western melody sung with Korean lyrics
But to get back
But to get back to the topic, the social institution of education is always on the look out for new technologies that can make the molding and shaping of its raw material more efficient. And I feel as Langdon Winner proposed, that technologies embody social relations i.e. power.
If you think of students as crude oil then perhaps what I am trying to depict becomes clearer. Children are pumped into the education system in the hope that we will turn them into something that in being consumed can drive the economic, nationalistic or world growth and or change. Gasoline has no value in and off itself, it is what it can be used to do. The same for children.
In order to education a mass of children we have to force them to fit a particular mold of what an ideal student should be. Any deviations from that ideal are quickly punished or dealt with. To education the masses we have to ignore the uniqueness of each child. We have to sacrifice part of their individuality for the sake of the future prosperity of the community.
I think this is why the dressing up and acting childish during Halloween is so popular amongst a lot of adults, it is a substitute for the sacrifices made for the sake of society. Many of the gross inequalities we see in society are mirrored in education. Should I even talk about education in low income neighborhood?
Education is a socially acceptable indoctrination process. I know this sounds extremely cynical but do you remember the Hitler Youth who were in Nazi Germany viewed as future “Aryan supermen” and were indoctrinated in anti-Semitism in order to instill the motivation that would enable them to fight faithfully for the Third Reich.
Whatever a particular culture is focused on it will indoctrinate its youth to have the same focus.
What do we want American children to do?
Consume more of what they should and be obedient enough to not cry injustice as the worsening work conditions. But I think I have to cut it short here and get my ass back to what I was doing, pretending to work at work.
- Sociology and Your Grades (everydaysociologyblog.com)
- How Has The Internet Changed Education? (edudemic.com)
- ‘Sending the wrong students to college’ (costofcollege.wordpress.com)
- Myths Come From Values, Not From Ignorance (cedarsdigest.wordpress.com)
- Educating for Equality (practicaltheorist.wordpress.com)
- Britain woos bright Indian students, business people (vancouverdesi.com)
- NAPLAN myths: it’s not a high-stakes test (theconversation.edu.au)
- Taking socio-political critique as a personal attack. (francoistremblay.wordpress.com)
- Social Media Applications in Education (pooriast.wordpress.com)
- Celebrating Planned Parenthood’s Birthday with a Mammogram Myth (nationalreview.com)