Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation
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A conservative, bipartisan consensus dominates the discussion about what’s wrong with our schools and how to fix them. It offers “solutions” that scapegoat teachers, vilify unions, and impose a market mentality. But in each case, students lose. This book, written by teacher-activists, speaks back to that elite consensus and offers an alternative vision of learning for liberation.
facilitate the smooth running of society. These institutions include governmental and also cultural institutions as they evolve over time. Each institution develops its own rules and takes on an internal logic (and therefore an ideology) and method of operating. Courts and schools are two examples of institutions that are superstructural branches of the government. According to Marxist analysis, the way that work and production are organized (the “base”) is the motor that drives societies. The
Spring of 2011 was born out of years of ongoing struggles for political liberalization, the right to political association, and an end to repression. The street vendor in Tunisia who immolated himself in protest against state repression of the informal sector of the economy may not have foreseen that he would fan the flames of a movement that would topple dictators. More to the point, the resignation of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt in February 2011 does not appear to have put a damper on the
branches of government have conspired since the early 1970s to dismantle desegregation. “The fact of resegregation,” they wrote, does not mean that desegregation failed and was rejected by Americans who experienced it. Of course the demographic changes made full desegregation with whites more difficult, but the major factor, particularly in the South, was that we stopped trying. Five of the last seven Presidents actively opposed urban desegregation and the last significant federal aid for
hundred schools after just sixty days of instruction. Alabama shut half its schools. The Nation magazine reported teachers panhandling on city corners after school.27 The economic calamity was unlike any crisis teachers, or anyone, had ever experienced, as Marjorie Murphy described: “Those fortunate few teachers whose school districts did not force a pay cut, or close schools . . . still confronted daily the long-term effects of the depression. They observed the deterioration of school programs
standards and to increase the standardization and regulation of what goes on in schools. This doesn’t leave much room for most teachers to create a learning environment that is built from the learner’s world outward. It definitely excludes almost any possibility of seeing the world outside the school walls as an essential component of a real education. There is also a commonsense notion that children are just easily swayed because of their young and mushy brains, that they cannot dialogue with