Updated date:

Pedagogy Today Is the Media: The End of Education as We Know It. Miseducation of a Civilization-Unlearning Old School


Old Ghost A Burden On Public And Social Education

Teachers have been deskilled. Losing much of their autonomy to be creative in the classroom, they have been relegated to technicians whose sole objective appears to be enforcing a deadening instrumental rationality in which teaching is not done

Teachers have been deskilled. Losing much of their autonomy to be creative in the classroom, they have been relegated to technicians whose sole objective appears to be enforcing a deadening instrumental rationality in which teaching is not done

My father decided in the sixties that he would try as much as he could to present his ideas in an aphoristic style. Aphorisms, as Francis Bacon said, are incomplete, a bit like cartoons. They are not filled-out essay writing that is highly compressed

My father decided in the sixties that he would try as much as he could to present his ideas in an aphoristic style. Aphorisms, as Francis Bacon said, are incomplete, a bit like cartoons. They are not filled-out essay writing that is highly compressed

Students using an interactive whiteboard, part of an ambitious technology plan in the Kyrene School District in Arizona.

Students using an interactive whiteboard, part of an ambitious technology plan in the Kyrene School District in Arizona.

Apple and Amazon would have you believe that reading books in eBook form is considered the future, but would you still go along with that thought if you knew that reading an electronic book on the iPad or Kindle takes much longer than print form.

Apple and Amazon would have you believe that reading books in eBook form is considered the future, but would you still go along with that thought if you knew that reading an electronic book on the iPad or Kindle takes much longer than print form.

In the olden days, writing on a typewriter was considered modern; today, punching on a cell phone and messaging is the new school and new way of sending messages and communicating. Not typing but texting a message

In the olden days, writing on a typewriter was considered modern; today, punching on a cell phone and messaging is the new school and new way of sending messages and communicating. Not typing but texting a message

Print(books) vs. Digital Books(e_Books)

Print(books) vs. Digital Books(e_Books)

For the first time we are preparing students for a future we cannot clearly describe

For the first time we are preparing students for a future we cannot clearly describe

E-Learning initiative is an investment in pedagogical innovation that will enhance the academic experience of students, affording them the flexibility of any time/an place learning thus offering faculty new approaches to learning and teaching

E-Learning initiative is an investment in pedagogical innovation that will enhance the academic experience of students, affording them the flexibility of any time/an place learning thus offering faculty new approaches to learning and teaching

Old school has classes, teachers running exams, people grouped by age, following a curriculum. This system set on structural concepts incompatible with computers and the digital age.

Old school has classes, teachers running exams, people grouped by age, following a curriculum. This system set on structural concepts incompatible with computers and the digital age.

Students today use internet-speak in the classroom more often than not

Students today use internet-speak in the classroom more often than not

Media Education for 21st Century. These are new initiatives in the area of youth, learning, and digital media. This is the New School; New Classrooms.

Media Education for 21st Century. These are new initiatives in the area of youth, learning, and digital media. This is the New School; New Classrooms.

This is the regular look of an Old classroom. Maybe these are slowly disappearing in the digital/Internet Age

This is the regular look of an Old classroom. Maybe these are slowly disappearing in the digital/Internet Age

A World that is being Interconnected by the computers through the Web from all over the Globe from different countries at the same time, and all the time

A World that is being Interconnected by the computers through the Web from all over the Globe from different countries at the same time, and all the time

It seems like the end of the school day.

It seems like the end of the school day.

Lap tops are replacing the books and the blackboard

Lap tops are replacing the books and the blackboard

Computer Laboratories are the wave of future classrooms

Computer Laboratories are the wave of future classrooms

Online Education has now become one of the many ways that changing education in the 21st century has morphed into. Online Education Investors make more the $1 million in Scholarships available to those in need.

Online Education has now become one of the many ways that changing education in the 21st century has morphed into. Online Education Investors make more the $1 million in Scholarships available to those in need.

The 30 & over Project: Back to school - Old School vs. New School

The 30 & over Project: Back to school - Old School vs. New School


We Read, heard it, Seen It Or Logged On To on...

Changing Technologies And Noise in The Ether

Listening and reading what people are talking about, writing on various subjects and issues, blogging, twittering, Texting and being TV talking heads, one gets a sense that our knowledge about issues being discussed is premised and based upon what the media reports.

The way it disseminates information and data, the proliferation of technological gadgets and the fast changing technology and its updated techniques, has radically changed the way we communicate with one another on many levels, environments and so forth. We have been taught, weaned and programmed to listen and to see by the media and its new technologies and techniques.

Our discourses revolves around Films,radio talk shows, cable news, Youtube, texting, cell phones, internet, other new forms of media/communications spawned by this new and 'becoming complex and overwhelming' environment ushered in by Technopoly; and our dependence on it has also created a new mindset and new ways of interacting/communicating, and thus making it easy for its users to be depending heavily on 'techne', by doing so as to enable us and draw us intimately and wholly into its remarkable feats audio-logically and visually and technically: as being immersed, engorged and embedded with and within TV, DVD'. Listen to CD, i-Pods.

In the late twentieth century, the most common trend was thinking about what to buy next, what to read next, what to listen to next, -information products were being served at an amazing rate, and a pattern of consumption became a habit. As more and more Web applications began to appear that allowed each individual to become the "creator" of the Web, a new kind of Internet came into being. It was nicknamed Web 2.0, and now everyone could collaborate internationally with a click of a mouse. The twenty-first century has seen a dramatic shift-the generation of 'creative surplus'.

Technology is creating huge changes in the world scene as well as how we behave socially, how we learn intellectually and academically. The more one understands technology, the greater is ones productivity and become better prepared for any career. Technology now allows you to be very active in critical social and global issues. People have now had to move beyond being just casual computer users and achieve computer literacy. Being computer literate means being familiar enough with computers that you understand their capabilities and limitations, and you get to know how to use them .

Finally, being computer literate means knowing which technologies are on the horizon and how to integrate them into your home set up when possible. You might have to know how to connect Blue Tooth, and know if your computer has it. One has to know how to use a USB 3.0 flash drive be plugged into an old USB 1.0 port. Not only that, but a person nowadays has to know what is a USB port.

The other thing one must keep up with is now much memory should ones cellphone have memory. In this computer literacy age, one has to know how to upgrade ones computer; how to diagnose and fix certain problems which will save you a lot of time and hassle. One of the other things one has to know is how to upgrade ones computer if you want more memory; know which software and computer settings can keep your computer in top shape.

Modern-day Computers: Computer Pedagogy

Everywhere one goes one sees ads for computers and other devices: laptops, printers, monitors,cell phones, digital cameras, and GPS (Global Positioning system) devices. So that, as this is happening, one has to know what all the words/jargon in the Ad mean. Like one has to know what RAM is; what a CPU is; what are MB, GB, GHz, and cache?

We are the Grammatical Man that produces plays, publish books, interact on the Net by posting, commenting, singing, reading poetry, theater and so on-this remains a constant in our morphing and evolution within the 'given' technologies with their gadgets produced and designed for us its users using computer embedded techniques.

We are a species that listens and sees whatever is transmitted to us, that in the end we morph into and regurgitate all that we have received and post it, comment on it, fill in information for logging, buying, selling and appearing on the Web by logging and surfing at viral speeds and spreads on the Web. So, our education, in contemporary times, is being immersed within these technologies and the memes they transmit to us.

Media in this case, becomes education messages, information, data and whatever we need to read, participate in, disseminate, disperse, think about or react to all that is garnered and gathered by and from the data spewing gadgets churning their memes and zines.

Information And IT As Education And Occupation

Information Technology(IT) is a field of study focused on managing and processing information and the automatic retrieval of information. Information technology includes computers, telecommunications, and software deployment. So that, new technologies in the workplace and schools are creating a demand for a new skill level for students and employees. A study from the National Research Council concludes that by the year 2030, computers will displace humans in 60 percent of the current occupations

To us, this is hawked with efficiency and expediency, which will broaden our 'learning curve,' and it will dent or upgrade our capacity and ability to learn and grow and be relevant to the burgeoning technological environment in the now emergent technological society. Data is no more presented and gathered for us and made easy for us to not bother by going look for it in the library. Reading books is slowly being replaced by encyclopedic types like the Wikipedia search engines-information is accessed much more faster form various sources in the web and easier to attain akin to ordering a McDonald's burger.

Education: Teaching And Learning

Computers and the Web, today, have changed education as we know it, just by reading some of the points noted above about how computers and the Web are restructuring and changing our use of it, and its literacy programs that today's user need know.

So that, today's teachers need to be at least computer savvy as their students(who are for most times are ahead of their teachers in computer jargon, usage and applications). Today, computers are part of most schools, even pre-schools. In fact, at many colleges, students are required to have their own computers/Laptops.

Courses are designed around course management software such as Blackboard or Moodle, so that students can communicate outside of class, take quizzes online, and find their class materials easily. Teachers must, therefore, have a working knowledge of computers to integrate computer technology into the classroom effectively.

The Internet has obvious advantages in the classroom as a research tool for students, and effective use of the Internet allows teachers to expose students to places students otherwise could not access. There are simulations and instructional software programs on the Web that are incredible learning tools. Teachers can employ these products to give the students a taste of running global business, or provide experience of the Interactive Body.

So that today, being computer literate as an educator will help the teacher integrate technologies like these constructively into the lesson plans and much more greater and efficient interactions with the students. Teachers can take students on a virtual tours of Museums like MOMA to examine museum collections even if they are on the West Coast of America,or anywhere in the world. This computer literacy has spawned E-books and now we look at the case of E-books below, in terms of also how these have caused a marked shift from using the traditional ways of executing education and learning

The Case of E-Books Vs. Print Books

According to Investopedia:

In the last two years, e-books have outsold print books While this is great for publishing, it can be daunting for readers. If you are used to going to the local bookstore, browsing the aisles and perhaps reading the first chapter before purchasing, you still can … with a little adjustment. Most publishers, and nearly all online book retailers offer readers the opportunities to sample a book before you purchase it Offers even offer free reads or free first chapters on their personal websites. both formats have their advantages and disadvantages.

For instance "large publishers" have to deal with overhead expenses, this includes office space, utilities, benefits and salaries. So that, taking up on an author, they are never guaranteed that the work of the author will be successful; so, publishers take a huge risk whenever they sign-up an author. They also incur expenses throughout the printing, editing and distribution. At publishing houses , a single book can have as many as five editors, such as content editors, grammar editors, line editors,character editorsAll these factors go into producing a book

Neil Postman writes:

"I know that education is not the same as schooling, and that, in fact, not much of our education takes place in school. That is why poverty is a great educator. Schooling may be a subversive or a conserving activity, but it is certainly a circumscribed one.

"What is relentless is our education, which, for good or ill, gives us no rest. Having no boundaries and refusing to be ignored, it mostly teaches hopelessness, but not always because politics is also a great educator. Mostly it teaches cynicism, but not always. Television is a great educator as well. Mostly it teaches consumerism, but not always. It is the "not always" that keeps the romantic spirit alive in those who write about schooling."

"The faith is that despite some of the debilitating teachings of culture itself, something can be done in school that will alter the lenses through which one sees the world. Which is to say, that non-trivial schooling can provide point of view from which what is can be seen clearly, what was as a living present, and what will be filled with possibilities.

"What this means is that all its best, schooling can be about how to make a life, which is quite different from how to make a living. Such an enterprise is not easy to pursue, since our politicians rarely speak of it, our technology is indifferent to it, and our commerce despises it.

"People who have a say about schooling ask questions like, "Should we privatize our schools?" "Should we have national standards of assessment?" How should we use computers" "What use can we make of television?" "How shall we teach reading?" "Can we teach listening?"

There are many question regarding schooling, and some of these questions are interesting and some are not. But what they have in common is that they evade the issue of what schools are for. It is as if we are a nation of technicians, consumed by our expertise in how something should be done, afraid or incapable of thinking about why.

We have been groomed by Technological gadgets, with their in-built technologies, which have helped or conditioned us to speed and make efficient our information, in the process extending us, easy to access beyond our wildest imaginations.

Postman's description of education and learning is what we can say is an analogical description of what we used to know as schooling, and then he asks questions as to how should the new technologies and their gadget are altering our ways of knowing how to teach the old school easily, and what should be the new ways of executing pedagogy be like in the technological age(Digital Education).

In a brief manner, we will look at the various gadgets that are seemingly instructors of the future in school, as noted above in the Hub.

Technology and Gadgets as Instructors

Telegraph: We know that the introduction of the Telegraph has collapsed as delegated authority and management structures familiarized in many organizational or bureaucratic structures. This division and separation of structures, stages, spaces and tasks, which are characteristic of visual societies in the West, were broken down and enhanced by the introduction of the telegraph.

This has allowed and was readily accepted by the society to be used, and the public applied it and used it uncritically. We use and abuse contemporary technological gadgets with their in-built technology and technique in modern societies as if they were part of us and our lives depended on them. The telegraphic technology altered and taught us how to message even faster and efficiently.

McLuhan writes:

"Whereas all previous technology[save speech itself] had, in effect, extended parts of our bodies. Electricity may be said to have outered the central nervous system itself, including the brain. Our central nervous system is a unified field quite without segments.

"We live today in the Age of Information and of Communication because electric media instantly and constantly create a total field of interacting events in which all men participate. The simultaneity of electric communication, also characteristic of our nervous system, makes each of us present and accessible to every other person in the world.

"To a large degree, our co-presence everywhere at once in the electric age, is a fact of passive, rather than active experience. Actively, we are more likely to have this awareness when reading the newspaper or watching a TV show, [or surfing the Web"]-my italics and addition."

The Print:

Long before Gutenberg developed the printing press, a great deal of printing has earlier been done by block printing. These printers were preceded by typographic Printing. McLuhan states that:

"Visual information stored orally shows us that science in the western world had for a long time been dependent on the visual factor.

"A literate culture based on the technology of the alphabet, is in turn reduced from the spoken language to a visual mode. As electricity has created multiple non-visual means of storing and retrieving information, not only culture, but science has also shifted it entire base and character."

"Printing in pictorial statements can be repeated precisely and indefinitely. The alphabet left the visual components as supreme in the word, reducing all other sensuous fact of the spoken word to this form. The print was seized upon as a means of imparting information, as well as an incentive to piety and meditation.

The art of making pictorial statements in a precise and repeatable form is one that we have long taken for granted in the West and the rest of the modern world. But it is usually forgotten that without prints and blueprints, without maps and geometry, the world of modern sciences and technologies would hardly exist.

Learning anything would be cumbersome and very slow and discouraging.

The Press: Literacy and education were made possible by the invention and widespread use of printing, from movable type and this dramatically changed the entire fabric of Western culture. Books were published and printing helped to change and transition from the philosophy of the Middle ages to new and perplexing perspectives of the modern era.

The introduction of paper making techniques in Europe accelerated the expansion of commerce and education. The printing press technology spread with the speed comparable to the data processing systems and orbiting satellites of our time.

It is important to note that print culture and technology tended to reflect the priorities of the social forces it was applied upon, since printing prior to printing, communications took place primarily in a communal context. At that time, people held very limited conceptions of time and space. But the rapid increase in book production on a large scale speeded up the flow of information and ideas.

The growth of literacy promoted social fragmentation conducive to Protestantism. Reading,in the end, became a private activity, the antithesis of communal thought and behavior. But it was the press which during Luther's time that gave arsenal to his words to the greater reaches of the reading public.

Evolution From Telegraph To Printing Paper, To Steam Engine, The Public, etc...

The industrialization of paper making and the invention of steam engine allowed for the growth in newspaper circulation during the latter half of the century. People in taverns, trains, taverns, coffeehouses, clubs and so forth increase the readership than their actual sales figures would show.

A British media scholar wrote that, "The developments in the scale, technology and finance of the press facilitated the growth of newspapers as independent and influential political organs both expressing and guiding public opinion. Government and politicians could no longer exert much influence over the press, and proprietors had to respond to the demands of their new paymaster-the public: one might say that government restrictions were replaced by commercial control."

In the nineteenth century, the press changed from a political voice to a vast impersonal institution. The advent of the penny press and their rise to mass circulation increased the opportunity and access for information and entertainment to the societally disadvantaged. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, new media were emerging touching everyday life viscerally than had any newspaper or any product of the printed word.

The Sender; The Receiver And The Message: The Extension Of Man

McLuhan states:

"We can look at all forms of transport of goods and information both as a metaphor of exchange. Each form of transport not only carries, but translates and transforms, the sender, the receiver, and the message.

"The use of any kind of medium or extension of man alters the patterns of interdependence among people, as it alters ratios among the senses.These principal factors in media have a serious impact on existing social forms through acceleration and disruption. All means of interchange and of human inter-association tend to improve by acceleration. This gave rise to mass learning and dialogue.

"A graphic revolution that paralleled mass circulation of newspapers was the ability to make, preserve and disseminate precise images; through the advent of this new cultural machinery, verisimilitude took on a new meaning.

Vivid image-making apparatuses made everyday reality pale by comparison, and whoever controlled the image-making apparatus, ultimately wielded more power than the owners of banks and factories. The owners of the media always endeavor to give the public what it wants, because they sense that their power is in the medium and not in the message or the program.

Motion Pictures:

The influence of Hollywood on movies and its industries in pervasive and inescapable. Hollywood and its metaphorical environment are a major source of television fare, and movies still pull lines of customers outside movie house country-wide. Filmmaking is an industry with power, influence and appeal through its focus on development, their managerial structures, production practices and the artistic creations of the studios.

Motion picture monopoly was designed to control all phases of the motion picture industry: production, distribution and exhibition. Movies as a nonverbal form of experience are like photography, a form of statement and syntax.

McLuhan Observes:

"If the movie merges the mechanical an organic in a world of undulating forms, it also links with the technology of print. The reader in projecting words, as it were, has to follow the sequence of stills that is typography, providing his own words and soundtrack.

"He tries to follow the contours of the authors mind, at varying speeds and with various illusions of understanding. It would be difficult to exaggerate the bond between print and movie in terms of their power to generate fantasy in the viewer and the reader.

"We have to bear in mind that what we see as a motion picture [and television] is achieved within highly prescribed series of convention, was mainly developed in Hollywood. Everything we see in movies has gone through a complicated creative process involving lighting, lenses,film stock, camera movement and so on.

"Even filming of reality, that is, sports, news, speeches and so on, this involves apparatuses and procedures that are highly manipulative in nature. At the same time motion pictures conventions reflect the single-minded pursuits of profits by the front office and stock holders.

"The widely accepted practices and procedures that prevailed in Hollywood was through the constant pressure from institutions of social control outside the industry, civic, political, and religious groups, who clamored for motion picture censorship. The front office worked very hard to accommodate them and quell the swelling opposition.

"The Movie is not only a supreme expression of mechanism, it also offers the most magical of consumer commodities, namely dreams.

"The introduction of the projector and screen innovated the typographical culture as we knew it. Along with TV, the projectors are in fact teaching machines. These films and devices were worked because they easily adapted from books and utilized the direction of dialogue.

These teaching machines are really private tutors, and they illustrate how every innovation must pass through a primary phase in which the new effect is secured by the old method, amplified, or modified by some new feature. Movies adapted from books were turned into films shown through projectors and movies."


Television created a world where the dissemination of images was in fact having a widespread effect in mass communication and mass viewing. Perhaps the most familiar and pathetic effect of the TV image is the posture of children in the early grades. Since TV, children-regardless of the eye condition-average about six and a half inches from the printed page.

Our children cover the printed page with the all-involving sensory mandate of the TV image. With perfect psycho-mimetic skill, they carry-out at he commands of the TV image. They pore, they probe, they slow down and involve themselves in-depth within the medium.

This is what they had learned to do in the cool iconography of the comic book medium. TV carried the process much further. Suddenly they are transferred to the hot print medium with its uniform patterns and fast lineal movement. Pointlessly they strive to read print in depth.

They bring to print all their senses, and print rejects them. Even adults are affected and effected by television in the same manner as the children. Print asks for the isolated and stripped-down visual faculty, not for the unified sensorium(McLuhan).

For millions of people television programming provides a separate reality, one full of seemingly living images. The familiarity of television makes it an unheeded influencing force.

Behind the glitz and flickering images is a complex force with imperatives and inclinations, which have cultural consequences. What Radio has affected, television was able to transfer and make contemporary television's policies, priorities and products, from radio products and productions, which the industry could not do without. National networks, advertiser finance, government regulation, and program practices, all are proliferation of the pattern that evolved in the first half of this past century.

More than any other medium of expression, television fills out the idle hours, providing reassurance and relaxation. It structures not only our general perceptions about the world, but our patterned social existence. Its messages and images distilled through this electronic cube reach us in our kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and on the Internet.

The psychic and social disturbances created by TV image, and not the TV programming, is occasionally commented-upon by the Press. With TV, the viewer is the screen, and he/she is bombarded with light impulses that imbues his "soul skin with subconscious inklings" (Marshall).

The film image, offers many more millions of data per second, and the viewer does not have to make the same drastic reduction to form his impression. He/She tends to accept the full image as a package deal. TV content and programming is the factor that influences outlook and action that is derived from the book medium, which shows a break between form and content.

For good or bad, the TV image has exerted a unifying synesthetic force on the sense-life of these literate societies such as they never had for centuries. The effects of the lesson of TV to contemporary societies are still being studied and with the advent of the Internet, the research is still ongoing. But television has had an everlasting impact on how we learn, school and educate ourselves.

The Internet. The Technological Master Teacher

Whenever we log onto the computer terminal, we get welcomed into a vast new world of information that is presently revolutionizing and changing the way we learn today and into the future. The World Wide Web (WWW) represents an information explosion unknown in the annals of world history. It even rivals the invention of the printing press and broadcasting, TV by how it is presently affecting and will affect our lives.

The internet now links our homes, businesses, schools hospitals and libraries. It links people in different time, places, schools, homes and libraries worldwide. This information superhighway is also changing and affecting the way we learn and interact with each other in a myriad ways.

The World Wide Web on the computer is a growing and expanding new environment, growing faster than our abilities to document or civilizing it. Howard Rheingold says that the industries inadvertently gave private consumers access to those billions of dollars by selling them a tiny device to link the two technologies together: a computer modem.

By hooking up the personal computer through a modem, one gains access to a global communication network, with all every computer system linked to that network. It is important to note that the Internet is social anarchy because there is not governing body for the system.

The net is also used by scientists, hobbyists, hackers,writers, artists, researchers, corporations, activists and so forth. More than a hundred million people speak to one another through the computer text and they get their information from researchers, observers, archived material and people who are out of control.

This is a reality check for them and a test, and they also use it as a cultural program and weapon. All these people are operating and conversing, conferencing , commenting and posting topics, whilst they receive these responses, in the bulletin boards.

This territory on the Web is called 'Cyberspace'. Many people, governments,corporations and law-makers are perceiving this new technology as uncontrollable and brings about new challenges and social effects. There is no denying that the Web is becoming the technological master teacher.

The Internet is an integral part of our lives, and our ability to use and interact within the Internet and the World Wide Web(WWW) will only converge even more with our daily lives. Therefore, it is important to understand how the Internet works and the choices available.

For instance, the many ways one communicates with friends, family, professors, and business associates over the Internet,you can do so by using Instant Messaging, Group , social networking. Web Logs and Video Logs. Wikis, Podcasts, and Webcasts to communicate via the Internet.

Social Networking is a means by which people use the Internet to communicate and share information among their immediate friends, and meet and connect with others through common interests, experiences and friends. social networking services such and the Facebook and Twitter, WhatsApp have become widely popular because they provide ways for members to communicate with friends, through a variety of means such as by voice, chat, instant message, and videoconference so that members do not need separate communication accounts. social networking is used for business, too.

Listening on the Web: Learning From the Web

Speaking and listening seemed to be immediate experience when people interact face-to-face. When the twentieth century electronic media, radio, television and recording tape were adjusted, this assumption regarding 'immediacy,' many messages became more accessible, and were normally associated with immediacy. This means that media became more and more "immediate," and sophisticated and they came to be experienced less like the old analog media.

When we reached the technological sphere of the telegraph(which made writing and reading more interactive and spontaneous in an extended way) and radio (which made speaking and listening spontaneous, (although the communicators were distant) in media, our communications distinctions became more blurred.

Purdy writes that: "Written and spoken modes offered their own advantages, of course. Speech, especially in face-to-face situations, provides more holistic clues to meaning, including a speaker's appearance, vocal tone and gestures. Written texts invite, presume, and, in fact, shape a nexus of vast networks of context, and have been able to spin out complicated stories and nuances that broadcasters can only hint at.

Listening skills and encoding and decoding of messages has always been associated with listening, responding and interpreting are skills that do not fit into the old categories anymore."(Analogical Sphere)

Walter Ong states that:

"The new media now fueled by an on-line culture are moving inevitably in the direction of a listening mode. Immersion, co-authorship, interdependence and interpretive responsibility are the keys to this new model. Effective listeners have always known they had to immerse themselves in a kind of ecology of experience; they've always known they were to some extent coauthors in communication; they've known that listening and speaking are not really separable, but are interdependent processes that co-create "presence"; they've known that social and political power has never resided solely with dictators, presidents , or charismatic speakers and writers, but also with the responsiveness and responsibilities of listeners.

"Listening is a phenomenologically different experience than observing or reading, in that sound surround us. We listen, experientially speaking, within sound, not outside it, to it, or toward it. A listener turns-changes perspective-yet we can hear for the sound refuses to be bound entirely by perspective or direction. With computers, we are similarly surrounded by the medium as it expects particular actions and responses from us. The medium is simultaneously an extension of us and an environment for us (Ong).

The computer and its Web product does and facilitates for listening, talking and viewing simultaneously, thus changing the old paradigm of communication and upgrading it to the digital age.

Computers are not just tools or even conduits, but create their own experiential listening environments that is becoming naturalistic ad pervasive in human life. The computer culture forces us to redefine what mediated communication means. In the old culture,messages and meanings were transmitted or transported; in the new media, messages are offered, deposited and ,in some sense, invested, through a viral stream.

"With the Web, to receive a message, one cannot simply be a receptacle; you reach out to meet the message, the idea, the meaning, the feeling, at least halfway. The listening self is in motion, taking action, traveling, connecting, accessing. In this time we do not wait for messages, we move toward them. This movement is to a new space, a new distant and deferred presence, that is both familiar and unfamiliar: the viral metadata viral stream. This sense of presence is unfamiliar because old metaphors seem oddly dissonant; they are also familiar because they legitimize the essence of communications. At the same time give it a new spin and meaning and way of communications between human using the new techniques, technologies and gizmos.

"Computers sometimes seem like tools for our communication, or like media for containing and sending our messages, sometimes like extensions of ourselves, and most often like environments in which we live, immersed as if in the midst of sound. Understanding listening as a "between" process is getting nearer towards understanding the new on-line Web culture. It surely looks like at this time and age, Media is our future Pedagogical sphere and environment and instructor,as already noted above. It has surpassed the old ways of knowing, communicating and educating masses. It has changed, completely, the environment of media communication and media dissemination

"But it is important to keep in mind that the engineering of learning is very often puffed up, assigned an importance it does not deserve. As an old saying goes. 'There are one and twenty ways to sing tribal lays, and all of them are correct.' So it is with learning. There is no one who can say that this or that is the best way to know things, to feel things, to see things, to remember things, to apply things, to connect things, and that no other will do as well. In fact, to make such a claim is to trivialize learning, to reduce it to a mechanical skill."(Neil Postman)

Postman adds to the discourse on education by elucidating his postulations as follows:

"Of course, here are many learnings that are little else but a mechanical skill, and in such cases, there well may be a best way. But to become a different person because of something you have learned — to appropriate an insight, a concept, a vision, so that your world is altered — that is a different matter.

"For that to happen, you need a reason. And this is the metaphysical problem I speak of. A reason, as I use the word here, is different from a motivation. Within the context of schooling, motivation refers to a temporary psychic event in which curiosity is aroused and attention is focused. I do not mean to disparage it. But it must not be confused with a reason for the being in a classroom, for listening to a teacher, for taking an examination, for doing homework, for putting up with school even if you are not motivated."

Postman further adds: "The kind of reason is somewhat abstract, not always present in one's consciousness, not at all easy to describe. And yet, for all that, without it schooling does not work. For school to make sense, the young, the parents, and their teachers must have a god to serve, or, even better, several gods. If they have none, school is pointless."

Nietzsche's famous aphorism is relevant here: "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how." This applies as much to learning as to living. (Italics mine) To put it simply, there is no surer way to bring an end to schooling than for it to have an end.(Neil Postman) Ending serious and"Deep reading" has unforeseen consequences that the narrative below addresses fully.

Internet Reading And How it Limits Our Autonomy:

This Hub is an attempt to show how the coming of the Internet really has affected our abilities to read whole books and think deeply about them. This issue has been written about by Jesse A. Goldberg wherein we are tutored on this subject as follows:

"Traditionally, human beings and tools are thought to be in a simple relationship with one another. All agency is located in the person, consequently making the human being the sole object of power which acts on its subject, the tool. As we move forward into an era of increasingly powerful digital technologies, this model has to be re-examined.

"Instead of a one-way relationship in which the human agent has total control as the sole actor and the tool is merely the objected acted upon — a mere means to an end, which the human agent has total control as the sole actor and the tool is merely the object acted upon - a mere means to an end which the human agent has in mind, it would be more accurate today in the face of digital technology, specifically the Internet, offers potential complications into human beings' discussion and understanding of free will.

"Even as the Internet appears to open up options and capacities for individuals to exercise increased 'autonomy', it also has the potential to change the very ways in which human beings think, thereby impeding human capacities for meaningful self-reflection, a necessary if not sufficient criterion for rational autonomy."

Yochai Benkler talking about 'Individual Freedom' Autonomy, Information, and Law, argues that "the emergence of the networked information economy has the potential to increase individual autonomy. ...this networked information economy has the potential to increase individual's information, allowing for more informed decisions, as well as a greater raw number of possible decisions… the transformation of people's form passive consumers of media (watching TV) to active participants (creating YouTube videos), which in itself is an augmentation of individual autonomy."

Jesse goes on to add that:

"The problem with Benkler's analysis is that it reaches too far without addressing more fundamental aspect of autonomy first: an agent is said to be autonomous in acting if and only if the agent can be said to be, to some extent, 'ultimately' responsible for itself. Information networks certainly increase the available capacities of individual autonomy, but more options does not necessarily mean more freedom."

Benkler should have landed here in his evaluation:

"Human beings who live in a material and social context that lets them aspire to such things as possible for them to do, in their own lives, by themselves and in loose affiliation with others, are human beings who have a greater realm for their agency. It is in this "greater realm" for agency that we can see the value of information network economy to individual autonomy.

"But again, having a greater realm within which to make autonomous decisions does not translate to greater autonomy since individual autonomy is contingent on an agent's ability or lack thereof to make self-caused decision and meaningfully reflected on the motivations for such decisions."

Nicholas Carr argues that the Internet is fundamentally changing how our brains work and how our minds function. Carr says that the way in which we interact with texts is evolving as use of the Internet increases, which in turn affects our ways of thinking, both at a conceptual level and a biological level, and sees these shifts in our mental lives as potentially problematic. In fact, Carr's reasoning can be taken a step further to offer a critique to Benkler's praise of the Internet's potential for augmenting individual autonomy.

According to Jesse, "Car argues by moving from anecdotal accounts of social and psychological theory to empirical studies and ends at essentially philosophical conclusions. Tis is formerly speaking a valid method of argumentation: start with the ordinary experience, offer established theories with authoritative sources as possible explanations of these experiences, substantiate said theories with (scientifically accumulated) empirical evidence, and form a conclusion about the nature of the experience which started he chain of inquisition." What does this form of argumentation offer us, then?

Computer Assisted Learning: Reading E-Books and Traditional Books

First, it seems evident that, "media or other technologies we use in learning or practicing the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains. Since the brain is plastic throughout most of a person's life, according to James Olds. As a person changes the way he or she uses technology to read, his or her brain will change as well. Carr offers the historical example of Friedrich Nietzsche to supplement this point: after buying a typewriter to assist him is eyesight began to fail. "[Nietzsche's] already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic."

Nietzsche's writing-the direct expression of his thinking-had been changed as his medium of writing changed. This is but a particular example of Carr's greater argument that technology affects how we think. Carr demonstrates this through an image of a philosopher and a typewriter, and we see it today through most people's interactions with the Internet. Carr cites a recently published study of online research habits conducted by scholars form University College London which found that:

"People using [two popular research sites that provide access to journal articles, e-books, and other sources of written information] exhibited a form 'a form of skimming activity,'hopping from one source to another and rarely returning to any source they'd already visited. They typically read no more than one or two pages of a book by psychologist Maryanne Wolf: the kind of reading promoted by the internet may actually predispose us to engaging in surface-level readings rather than meaningful deep readings of tests. As a result of this, our ability to interpret text for ourselves — a key component of free thought and autonomous rationality — is deadened by engaging in this peculiar kind of reading."

This is where the influence of tools on human beings becomes most apparent and most frightening. This is no longer within the realm of changing "merely" how we read and write, but it begins to et at the ways in which changes in those two precesses transform the very ways we think, which in turn augment or limit our ability to meaningfully engage with reality. It is worth quoting Carr at length:

"The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author's words but for the Intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds. In the quiet spaces opened up by the sustained, undistracted reading of a book, or by any other act of contemplation, for that matter, we make our own associations, draw our own inferences and analogies, foster our own ideas." Deep Reading, as Manyanne Wolf argues, is 'indistinguishable from deep thinking.'

Deep thinking is a necessary component of true rational autonomy. According to many defenders of free will and/or moral responsibility, if an agent is to be truly rationally autonomous, it must be able to engage in critical introspection. This is because an agent must be able to identify the source of its own actions and decisions and reflect on its own motives, changing them according to choice that than allowing them to be formed and shaped exclusively by social biological, psychological, or other deterministic forces.

In order to truly and meaningfully engage in introspection, an agent must be capable of deep thinking, since such a performance requires immense reading skills due to the multitude of psychological barriers many human beings put up between their capacities for self-perception and their understanding of the inner selves in order to avoid possibly painful revelations that they are not ready to hold. The Internet changes how we read and thereby impedes our ability to engage in meaningful deep reading, thus hampering our ability to engage in meaningful introspection. This makes it enormously difficult to claim significant degrees of rational autonomy, and therefore difficult to claim to be deserving of "Kantian Respect."

The Internet, then, offers us an opportunity to re-configure our understanding of the relationship between human beings and their tools. When we create things to use for our own purposes, these tools can and do indeed act back on us, in some cases changes the very ways we think. It is especially poignant to make this observation in the face of the development of the Internet because information technology's potential to dramatically augment or infringe on human autonomy.

While views like Benkler's are certainly valid, the extent to which digital technology increases our freedom can be overestimated in the face of such tempting optimistic conclusions, and the risks involved are easily neglected by many as a result. While the Internet may indeed open up choices and opportunities to people that were never there before, it also has the potential to degrade individual's deep reading capacities, which is a dangerous threat to these individuals' claim to free will since deep reading is necessary for meaningful introspection which is necessary to claims on rational autonomy (Jesse)

Access and limits to Information

The Case For Poor People

The realization that the Black(African) owners of the major African media outlets have been financed by White funding sources, are supported by White advertisers, have gained access to their media properties through special dispensations, provisos, set-asides and affirmative action programs promulgated by the White rulers, globally. ... Consequently, the Black(African) community is spared a true, realistic and thorough education as to how the Western Media(American or otherwise) political system really works by the Black(African) media establishment.

It is not informed as to how the system is subverted by the White corporate elite; as to how the process of governance is almost unrelated to the electoral process and electing of politicians; as to how an economically powerless people are almost invariably a politically powerless people as well. The Black(African community is misled by electoral mumbo-jumbo and antiquated, ethereal political theory into placing all its hopes for survival, security and liberation in the hands of politicians who are as powerless as the community they represent[The ANC-led government a case in point].

Because of their personal and career ties to the White American/Eurocentric political systems, electoral processes and political parties. Black(African) politicians, along with their Black(African) media supporters are almost instinctively opposed to an independent, nationalistic political and economic movements. This is particularly the case when those movements rival their own leadership and influence the Black(African) community, and when they cannot control or squash them at the behest of their White political and party bosses/or financial potentates.

Therefore, the way forward for African people into liberation, power and education is to rid themselves of the leadership and influence of the Black(African) political media and white Media alliance as it exists today. The African media, as it should exist and constitute itself, should increase in its intensity and scope.

Underdeveloped Miseducation and Apartheid Use of Technology

Class Communications: Distorted Global Village

Schooling for the poor and people of color in the realm of media has demonstrated that this is going to be the end of education for those in the lower rungs of society. As the new electronic media have developed as "media fro a free" rather than "media for free," perceptive observers have warned that their low income status could leave many people of color off the information superhighway. Gerald M. Sass warned those attending a National Association of Black Journalists dinner, "We as a society are on the verge of launching the electronic version of 'separate but/and [un]equal.' The few available statistics suggest that the majority of users of key parts of the information superhighway are white male. The issue is the same as 100 or 200 years ago. It's access to information.

As the new technologies are becoming part and parcel of our pedagogy, this is taking place on a society that is divided and racially segmented. The most immediate implication of class communication in a racially diverse society is that minority groups will be more fully addressed than in a mass audience media system. Racial and cultural groups will no longer have to depend on mass audience media that consider them only a secondary audience, if they consider them at all. To the extent that the segmented media provide entertainment and information content that serves the needs of these audiences, racial and cultural groups will benefit from this growth in the media diversity.

Media targeted to racial and cultural groups depending on market segmentation advertising act to identify the characteristics that separate these groups from the majority and from each other, then reinforce those factors in their content and advertising. Advertisers may want to target their advertising to media that reach only affluent members of the racial group, or those in the age categories that buy their products. This means that the future of ethnic media could be dictated by their ability to attract the most lucrative segments of their racial group, not those in the greatest number of need.

But there are deeper implication to the classification and segmentation of racial and cultural groups in social fabric of the United States. Class communication an also mean that people of color become further separated, and possibly distanced, from the rest of society. Class communication points to a society which people may be integrated in term of the products they consume, but do not share a common culture based on the content of the entertainment or news media they use. Class communication means that a society will no longer be as strongly bonded by the media. This is a trend that affects all people in the United States who use the media, not only racial and cultural groups. The "Global Village" envisioned by the communication theorist Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s is developing as a worldwide network in which people are not so much drawn together by a common media content they read, hear, or watch; but by the products they consume. We may all be members of the same village, but we are sitting at our own campfires.

All of this is part of the great story of how humans use language to transformed by their own invention. The story, of course, did not end with the invention of speech. In fact, it begins there i.e. where speech made us human. The story continued to unfold with fantastic twists as human beings invented surrogate languages to widen their scope: ideographs, phonetic writing, then printing, then telegraphy, photography, radio, movies, television and computers, each of which transformed the world — sliced it, framed it, enlarged it, diminished it. To say all of this that we are merely toolmakers, and the word weavers. That is what makes us smart, moral and immoral; tolerant and bigoted. That is what makes us human.

But, the bottom line was that mass communication media sought and built an audience based on common interests, rather than differences. And out of this was forged the society that most Americans live in today. Now, with the emphasis on marketing and audience segmentation, the media play a very different role… The media, rather than trying to find commonalities among diverse groups in the mass audience, classify the differences and ways to capitalize on those differences through content and advertising. The force in society that once acted to bring people together, now works to reinforce the differences that keep them apart. It is in this way then that education for a society ends because the media and its technologies,instead of helping educe and evolve that society, the media freezes those part of that society that under develop and miseducate the society. In this way, one can see the end of education fostered by corporate media take-over.

Education is not the same thing as schooling, and that, in fact, not much of our education takes place in the school. Schooling may be a subversive or a conserving activity, but it is certainly a circumscribed one. It has a late beginning and an early end in between it pauses for summer vacations and holidays, and generously excuses us when we are ill. To the young, schooling seems relentless, but we know it is not. What is relentless is our education, which, for good or ill, gives us no rest. But not always. Politics is also a great educator. Mostly it teaches, I am afraid, cynicism. Television is a great educator as well. Mostly it teaches consumerism.

But not always.It is the "not always" that keeps the romantic spirit alive in those who write about schooling. The faith is that despite some of the more debilitating teachings of culture itself, something can be done, and will alter the lenses through which one sees the world; which is to say, that nontrivial schooling can provide a point of view from which what is can be seen clearly, what was as a living present, and what will be as filled with possibility.

What this means is that at bet its best, schooling can be about how to make a life, which, is quite different from how to make a living. Such an enterprise is not easy to pursue, since our politicians rarely speak of it, our technology is indifferent to it, and our commerce despises it. Nonetheless, it is the weightiest and not important thing to write about.(Postman)

The computer, by combining left- and right-brain processes, might provide the way out of a paradox or double bind that the use of the alphabet n an electronic-information environment poses. In an article entitled "The Bind of communication," McLuhan and logan identified a paradox that arises out of his theory of communication. The use of the alphabet reinforced by the printing press created the dominance of left-brain patterns of thought and organization that have characterized science-based industrial society. One of the unfortunate side effects of these pattern of organization has been the tunnel vision of the specialist, which has contributed to a number of major global problems facing the world today such as pollution, the energy crisis, depletion of our natural resources, overpopulation, and the balance of nuclear terror and terrorism.

The Advent ofElectronic information systems brought with it new patterns of communication in which the right hemisphere began to reassert itself. The present-day concerns with environmental and ecological issues are in part due to this development. Unfortunately, some electric information systems, such as TV, have had a negative impact by destroying attention span and discouraging reading and other analytic skills associated with the left brain. Because human survival depends on our ability to manage and maintain the complex technological machinery we have created, the degradation of reading and other analytic skills could represent a serious problem

"We are caught in a double bind. Electronic Media are a mixed blessing. They encourage ecological patterns of thought and help us recognize the nature of our Global Village. On the other hand, they discourage the development of reading and the concomitant analytic skills associated with them."(McLuhan) Reading is a mixed blessing. Print encourages specialism and blinds us to the ecological patterns required for our survival. If our reading skills deteriorate, however, then the capacity to maintain the complex technological infrastructure also vital to our survival will be impaired.

The unique challenge facing educators is to be able o promote both sets of skills, the analytic ones associated with reading and the synthetic one associated with computers and other form so electronic information technology. There is no inherent conflict between print and electronic information or between left- and right brain patterns of knowledge. The dynamic tension between these different ways of organizing information can be very creative. A way of synthesizing them must be found.

The end of education is not nigh, and for its end to be, that means a new way is what we see and learn about today on the web. Students no more research papers in the classroom, but cut and paste from the web and put together a research paper; people do more of their reading not from books and newspapers, but get their information from the Web TV, Newspapers, Blogs and so on. Why we need to learn today is not the important 'why'; but how we are learning may be the way to go for the future. It might be that this is the end of education as we know it, but a new way of learning is what we're immersed in today in its early stages.

I think the amalgamation of the old ways of learning and the news ways we are not supposed to mean the end of education, but will require us to know how to learn in the future and increase our learning curve as indicated by the technologies and motivation Postman spoke of. We might have to learn about learning in learning and non-learning institutions. How we learn might help up ease into new ways of learning about learning; ways of knowing the emerging technologies anew.

Without Living Freely, Man, Will Turn To Fascism

Erich Fromm says:

"Fascism must be taken seriously, there is no greater mistake and no graver danger than to see that in our own society we are faced with the same phenomenon that is fertile soil for the rise of Fascism anywhere: the insignificance and powerlessness of the individual. This statement challenges the conventional belief that by freeing the individual form all external constraints, modern democracy has achieved true individualism.

"We are proud that we are not subject to any external authority, that we are free to express our thoughts and feelings, and we take it for granted that this freedom almost automatically guarantees our individuality. The right to express our thoughts, however, means something if we are able to have thoughts of our own; freedom from external authority is a lasting gain only if our inner psychological conditions are such that we are able to establish our own individuality."

Fromm goes on to add that:

"In pointing out how our economic conditions make for increasing isolation and powerlessness leading to a kind of escape that we find in the authoritarian character, or else to a compulsive conforming in the process of which the isolated individual, becomes an automaton, looses his self, and yet at the same time consciously conceives himself as free and subject only to himself. It is important to consider how our culture fosters this tendency to conform, even tough there is space for only a few outstanding examples, and thereby of the development of genuine individuality, starts very early, as matter of fact with the earliest training of a child" (Anna Hartoch)

This is to say that training must inevitably lead to suppression of spontaneity if the real aim of education is to further the inner independence and individuality of the child, its growth and integrity. The restrictions which such a kind of education may have to impose upon the growing child are only transitionary measures that really support the process of growth and expansion. In our culture, however, education too often result in the elimination of spontaneity and in the substitution of original psychic acts by superimposed feelings, thoughts, and wishes (Fromm). The miseducation of the poor is a process of 'dumbing the poor' down. It is through control of all facets of the lives of Africans in the world, as attested for above, that we can see a purportedly advanced nation like the USA purposefully giving third rate education to its oppressed Africans, and the Africans in the Diaspora that we see the miseducation of selected majority within its civilization

Learning to Learn About Learning

Psychologists of late have been preoccupied with learning theory, and one anthropologist, John Gillin, has worked learning theory into his text on anthropology. What complicates matters, however, is that people reared in different cultures learn to learn differently. Some do so by memory and wrote without reference to..

"Logic as we think of it, while some learn by demonstration but without the teacher requiring the student to do anything himself while 'learning.' Some cultures, like the America, stress doing as a principle of learning, while others have very little of the pragmatic. The Japanese even guide the hand of the pupil, while our teachers usually aren't permitted to touch the other person.

"Education and educational systems are about as laden with emotion and as characteristic of a given culture as its language. It should not come as a surprise that we encounter real opposition to our educational system when we make attempts to transfer it overseas… Learning to learn differently is something that has to be faced everyday by people who go overseas and try to train local personnel.

"It seems inconceivable to the average person brought up in one culture that something as basic as this could be done any differently from the way they themselves were taught. The fact is, however, that once people have learned to learn in a given way it is extremely hard for them to learn any other way" (Gillin).

Hall adds the following:

"The educator has much to learn about his own systems o learning by immersing himself in those that are so different that they raise questions that have never been raised before. Americans in particular have too long assumed that the US educational system represents the ultimate in evolution and that other systems re less advanced than our own. Even the highly elaborated and beautifully adapted educational techniques of Japan have been looked down upon. Just why we feel so complacent and smug can be explained only by the blindness that culture imposes on its members.

"Certainly there is very little reason for complacency when one looks, not at others, but at ourselves. The fact that so many of our children dislike school or finish their schooling uneducated suggests that we still have to learn about learning as a process. Yet the schools are not the only agents responsible for education. Parents and older people in general play a part.

"Having learned to learn in a particular fashion, adults can communicate their prejudices or convictions in a variety of subtle and often not so subtle ways. Americans need to break the educational logjam, and the American culture's approach to the teaching of reading is just one of the many obvious defects in American pedagogy. It is a symptom that something is wrong with our way of teaching. Instead of being rewarding for the child, learning has often become painful and difficult."

In all strands of American cultural life, one can find so many examples of technological adoration that is possible to write a book about it. And I would if it had not already done so well. But nowhere do you find more enthusiasm for the god of technology than among educators Lewis Perlman argues that modern information technologies have rendered schools entirely irrelevant, since there is now much more information available outside the classroom than inside…

Dr. Diane Ravitch envisions, with considerable relish, the challenge that technology presents to the tradition that, "Children (and adults) should be educated in a specific pace, for a certain number of hours, and a certain number of days during the week and year. In other words, that children should be educated in school. Imagining the possibilities of an information superhighway(or virtual reality) offering perhaps a thousand channels."

Neil Post man quotes Dr. Ravitch, whom he says assures us that:

"In this new world of pedagogical plenty, children and adults will be able to dial up a program on their home television to learn whatever they want to know, at their own convenience. If little Eva cannot sleep, she can learn algebra instead. At her home-learning station, she will tune in to a series of interesting problems that are presented in an interactive medium, much like video games. ... Young John may decide that he wants to learn the history of modern Japan, which he can do by dialing up the greatest authorities and teachers on the subject, who will not only use dazzling graphs and illustrations, but will narrate a historical video that excites his curiosity and imagination."

Postman explains further that: "What Ravitch is talking about here is not a new technology but a new species of a child, one that, in any case, hasn't been seem much up to now. Of course, new technologies do make new kinds of people, which leads to a second objection to Ravitch's conception of the future There is a kind of forthright determinism about imagined world described in it.

The technology is here or will be; we must use it because it is there; we will become the kind of people the technology requires us to be; and, whether we like it or not, we will remake our institutions to accommodate the technology. All of this must happen because it is good for us, but in any case, we have no choice. This point of view is present in very nearly every statement about the future relation of learning to technology. This is what Hugh McIntosh has to say about a similar scenario similar to the one extolled by Ravitch:

- School for children of the Information age will be vastly different from it was for Mom and Dad.

- Interested in Biology? Design your own life forms with computer simulation.

- Having trouble with a science project? Teleconference about it with a research scientist.

- Bored with the real world? Go into a virtual physics lab and rewrite the laws of gravity.

"These are the kinds of hands-on learning experiences schools could be providing right now(of which some already are). The technologies that make them possible are already here [and in use], and today's youngsters, regardless of economic status, know how to use them. They spend hours with them every week — not in the classroom, but their own homes and in video game centers at every shopping mall [and/or Game Store]" (McIntosh)

For example, Americans tend to correct children rather impatiently. With Americans, learning is supposed to be endowed with a certain amount of pressure so that the person who learns fast is valued over the one who learns slowly. Some cultures seem to place less emphasis on speed and perhaps a little more on learning correctly. On the other hand, the current educational mode in the United States is to tell the child to guess if he-she doesn't know the meaning of the word. Not very good training for future scientists.

Nonetheless, this might be the end of education as we know it in the age of the Internet, merging and emerging media and social media, as Postman further explains:

"The role of that new technology should play in schools or anywhere else is something that needs to be discussed without the hyperactive fantasies of cheerleaders. In particular, the computer and its associated technologies are awesome additions to a culture, and they are quite capable of altering the psychic, let alone the sleeping habits of the young. But like all important technologies of the past, they are Faustian bargains, giving and taking away, sometimes in equal measure, sometimes more in one way than the other."

It is strange — indeed, shocking — that with the twenty-first century [already here], we can still talk of new technologies as if they were unmixed blessings, gifts, as it were, from the gods. If, indeed, the idea of a school will be dramatically altered, what kinds of learning will be neglected, perhaps made impossible? Is virtual reality a new form of therapy? If it is, what are the dangers? These question will be fully addressed as this Hub develops

The dangers are that the level of incoming Freshmen entering college have to hone on a lot of their Reading Skills, books are now found and brought in the computer(disappearance of books), and the student have a short-attention span, and are having problems reading whole books; the problems that have now arisen is that children spend more time playing computer games, reading less, and not really watching the news and other documentaries, unless it is a movie they can access on the computer, or cable[less so, unless some adults who purchase special viewing slots to watch something of interest.]

Yes, maybe education has ended as we know it... Maybe...

On Education

Neil Postman informs us that:

"I know that 'education' is the same as schooling, and that, in fact,not much of our education takes place in school. Schooling may be a subversive or a conserving activity, but it is certainly a circumscribed one. It has a late beginning and an early end an in between pauses it pauses for summer vacations and holidays, and generously excuses us when we are ill. To the young, schooling seems relentless, but we know it is not. What is relentless is our education, which, for goo or ill, gives us no rest.

"That is why poverty is a great educator. Having no boundaries and refusing to be ignored, it mostly teaches hopelessness. What this means is that at its best, schooling can be about how to make a life, which is quite different from how to make a living. Such an enterprise is not easy to pursue, since our politicians rarely speak of it, our technology is indifferent to it, and our commerce despises it. Nonetheless, it is the weightiest and most important thing to write about."

According to Jose Marti:

"Basic to the foundations of liberty was the education of the people. Nothing guaranteed that a government was anxious to serve its citizens as much as the haste it displayed in educating its people. Education is a work of constant impassioned tenderness." Below are some of the speculation and postulation Marti pointed out to in what he thins education is and ought to do.

  1. Instruction is not the same as education: the former refers to thought, the latter principally to feelings. Nevertheless, there is no good education without instruction. Moral qualities rise in price when they are enhanced by qualities of intellect.
  2. Popular education does not mean education of the poorer classes exclusively, but rather that all classes in the nation-tantamount to saying the people-will be educated. Just as there is no reason why the rich are educated and not the poor, what reason is there for the poor to be educated and not the rich? They are all the same.
  3. He who knows more is worth more. To know is to possess. Coins are minted, knowledge is not. Bonds or paper money are worth more, o less, or nothing; knowledge always has the same value, and it is always high. A rich man needs money to live, but he can lose it and then he no longer has the means of living. An instructed man lives from his knowledge, and since he carries it with him, he never loses it and his existence is easy to secure.
  4. The happiest nation is the one whose sons have best education, both in instruction of thought and the direction of feelings. An instructed people loves work and know how to derive profit from it. A virtuous people will live a happier and richer life than another that is filled with vices, and will better defend itself from all attacks.
  5. Every man when he arrives upon this earth has a right to be educated, and then, in payment, the duty to contribute to the education of others.
  6. An ignorant people can be deceived by superstition and become servile. An instructed people will always be strong and free. An ignorant man is on his way to becoming a beast, and a man instructed in knowledge and conscience is on his way to being a god. One must not hesitate to choose between a nation of gods and a nation of beasts. The best way to defend our rights is to know them well; in so doing one has faith and strength; every nation will be unhappy in proportion to how poorly educated are its inhabitants. A nation of educated men will always be a nation of free en. Education is the only means of being saved from slavery. A nation of enslaved men of another nation is as repugnant as being enslaved to the men of one's own.

With the advent of Technology and the Web, some seem to think that this is the end of education as we know it. Well, the two people cited above have a different perspective as to what education is or ought to be; but one thing remains, pedagogy is a right of all human beings and should be considered and treated as such.

New technological Learning And Old School Pedagogy

Technology in Education

The rapid and constant pace of change in technology is creating both opportunities and challenges for schools.

The opportunities include greater access to rich, multimedia content, the increasing use of online course taking to offer classes not otherwise available, the widespread availability of mobile computing devices that can access the Internet, the expanding role of social networking tools for learning and professional development, and the growing interest in the power of digital games for more personalized learning.

At the same time, the pace of change creates significant challenges for schools. To begin with, schools are forever playing technological catch up as digital innovations emerge that require upgrading schools’ technological infrastructure and building new professional development programs. Some schools have been adept at keeping up with those changes, while many others are falling far behind, creating a digital divide based largely on the quality of educational technology, rather than just simple access to the Internet.

The rapid evolution of educational technologies also makes it increasingly challenging to determine what works best. Longitudinal research that takes years to do risks being irrelevant by the time it is completed because of shifts in the technological landscape. The iPad, for instance, became popular in schools soon after it was released and well before any research could be conducted about its educational effectiveness.

Following is a look at some of the hottest issues and trends in educational technology and how they are creating opportunities and challenges for K-12 schools.

Technology Infrastructure

Schools and districts continue to battle to keep pace with ever increasing demands to upgrade their technological infrastructure. But the demands themselves have changed during the past decade, from a focus on simply gaining connectivity to finding enough bandwidth to run more complex applications in classrooms such as, for example, streaming audio and video.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 97 percent of schools across the country had Internet connectivity as of 2010 (FCC, 2010). Far fewer, however, were able to successfully meet the need for higher speed access, the FCC said, citing that demand as one reason it unveiled its National Broad-band in March 2010. In October of the same year, it also revised the E-Rate, the federal program that subsidizes school purchases for Internet connectivity, to allow schools to use E-Rate dollars to gain connectivity via dark fiber networks, among other reforms. The stated theory behind the reform was that by allowing more options for connectivity, schools could in theory gain more bandwidth while at the same time drive down cost because increasing the speed of fiber networks generally involves a one-time upgrade rather than consistent, periodic expenditures to secure more bandwidth via other connections.

Yet even before all this action had a chance to take effect, it appeared some schools were already making progress meeting infrastructure demands on their own. For example, data released in the spring of 2011 as part of the ongoing Speak Up research by Project Tomorrow found that restrictive Internet filtering was the top student complaint about Web use in 2010. Five years earlier, the chief complaint was connectivity speed. And anecdotal evidence suggests more schools are providing, or at least considering providing, high-speed wireless networks on their campuses, and reaping savings in some cases by allowing students who own their own laptops, netbooks, or mobile phones to use those devices rather than purchase new school hardware.

But because technology infrastructure needs vary widely between districts, and indeed between schools within the same districts, the federal government’s perceived desire to focus its efforts as a facilitator of infrastructure access has become somewhat controversial among education technology advocates. This was especially evident when it became clear that the Enhancing Education Through Technology, or EETT, program, was in jeopardy. The program, which was initially funded at $700 million annually but had dropped to $100 million by 2010, was the only federal program within the US Department of Education’s general funding devoted specifically to education technology. It was defunded as part of a federal budget compromise in the spring of 2011 (Education Week, April 29, 2011).

In an interview after his appearance at the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference in New Orleans in March of 2011, White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra reiterated the stance of President Obama’s administration and the US Department of Education beneath it that being facilitators of technology access was the best and perhaps most practical goal of the federal government in lean economic times (Digital Education, March 15, 2011). By contrast, organizations such as the Consortium for School Networking, the State Educational Technology Directors Association, and the International Society for Technology in Education, united on several occasions to voice their stance that investment in access and infrastructure was wasted without support for programs like EETT, which was designed to direct up to 40 percent of its funds toward professional development needs.

Huge differences in technology infrastructure remain among schools in the United States. And while chief technology officers generally say that school infrastructure is improving, many openly doubt that capability will catch up with demand, since new digital tools used in education are requiring ever-increasing amounts of bandwidth.


While there is much on-going research on new technologies and their effects on teaching and learning, there is little rigorous, large-scale data that makes for solid research, education experts say. The vast majority of the studies available are funded by the very companies and institutions that have created and promoted the technology, raising questions of the research’s validity and objectivity. In addition, the kinds of studies that produce meaningful data often take several years to complete—a timeline that lags far behind the fast pace of emerging and evolving technologies.

For example, it is difficult to pinpoint empirical data to support the case for mobile learning in schools—a trend that educators have been exploring for several years now—let alone data to support even newer technologies such as tablet computers like the iPad. The studies that do look at the effects of mobile technologies on learning are often based on small samples of students involved in short-term pilots, not the kind of large-scale, ongoing samples of students that educators and policymakers would like to see (Education Week, Feb. 23, 2011).

However, there are a handful of large-scale studies that do point to trends and observations in the education technology field. For example, Project RED, a research initiative linked closely with the One-to-One Institute, which supports one-to-one laptop initiatives in K-12 schools, released a study about successful implementation models of education technology in October 2010. That study found that most of the schools that have integrated laptops and other digital tools into learning are not maximizing the use of those devices in ways that best make use of their potential. The report goes on to outline the critical steps needed to capitalize on that potential (Project RED, 2010).

A meta-analysis of more than a thousand studies regarding online learning was released by the US Department of Education in 2009, followed by a revised version of the report in September 2010. That study concluded that students in online-only instruction performed modestly better than their face-to-face counterparts, and that students in classes that blended both face-to-face and online elements performed better than those in solely online or face-to-face instruction. However, the researchers cautioned that the vast majority of the studies in the meta-analysis were from students in higher education, and as a result, the conclusions drawn may not be applicable to K-12 education. In fact, a major finding of the meta-study was the severe lack of rigorous research studies regarding online learning in K-12 (US Department of Education, 2010).

The Speak Up survey, which is conducted annually by Project Tomorrow—a nonprofit research organization—and Blackboard, Inc., surveyed nearly 300,000 students, parents, teachers, and other educators about their views on technology in education. Findings from the 2010 survey found an increased interest from educators in mobile learning, as well as an increase in the number of students who own mobile devices such as smartphones, regardless of economic or demographic differences. The survey also found an increased interest in online learning and blended learning opportunities, as well as electronic textbooks.

While these studies represent some of the more large-scale research conducted in this field, education advocates emphasize the need for a wider range of well-researched, longitudinal, and ethically sound data on education technology.


Online learning in many forms is on the rise in schools of all types across the country. Students in many parts of the country now have a long list of choices when it comes to e-learning. The menu of options often includes full-time, for-profit virtual schools; state-sponsored virtual schools; supplemental online learning courses offered by brick-and-mortar schools; and charter schools presenting a hybrid option of digital material coupled with face-to-face instruction.

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning, or iNACOL, estimates that more than 1.5 million K-12 students were engaged in some form of online or blended learning in the 2009-10 school year. At the end of 2010, supplemental or full-time online learning opportunities were available in at least 48 of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia (iNACOL, 2010).

Options for full-time virtual schools are growing. Students from kindergarten through high school can seek out online schooling opportunities, which usually include virtual teachers and a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online learning (Education Week, June 15, 2011). These schools are starting to focus more on the issue of socialization for their students and some are incorporating more face-to-face instruction into their array of services to allow for student interaction both online and in person. They’re forming clubs, holding proms, and creating school newspapers.

At the end of 2010, 27 states plus the District of Columbia had full-time online schools serving students statewide, according to NACOL's report, “A National Primer on K-12 Online Learning.”

But full-time virtual schools also face the reality that for many students with two parents working outside the home such a scenario is not an option. Such students often cannot tap into full-time online schools for that reason, and virtual school providers acknowledge that their version of education works best, particularly in the lower grades, when an adult is present to assist.

In addition to courses that offer an online instructor, some researchers say students have had the most success with hybrid or blended education. That can mean that students use digital content with a face-to-face instructor, or an online instructor and an in-class teacher may work together to assist students. Hybrid charter schools, which use mostly digital curriculum with face-to-face support and instruction—sometimes even combined with an online teacher—are gaining a foothold in K-12.

At the same time, a growing number of students now have access to online courses in their brick-and-mortar schools. Schools are tapping into e-learning for a variety of reasons. Some schools say it saves money and allows them to offer a wider variety of courses, including Advanced Placement classes. Others say it can help with scheduling conflicts when a face-to-face class is provided only at a time when a student already has another obligation. In addition, online courses can provide highly qualified teachers for classes otherwise not offered by a school.

One of the fastest growing areas of e-learning, and a category that mainstream schools are increasingly turning to, is credit recovery. These online courses allow students to retake classes they haven’t passed, but in a new and different format. Many of these credit recovery courses give students a brief evaluation, then permit them to skip concepts they already know to focus on ideas they haven’t yet grasped. However, some educators and education experts have questioned the quality and academic rigor of these programs (Education Week, April 28, 2010).

So where are traditional schools getting these online courses? Some are developing their own, others are purchasing them from for-profit vendors and a growing number are able to tap into state virtual schools or state-led online learning initiatives that currently exist in 38 states. Some schools find it easier to use courses developed by a state-run virtual school, since it is already aligned with their state standards.

Mobile Computing

Increasing access, growing acceptance, and decreasing cost are all helping to make the use of mobile devices a popular and increasing trend within the world of educational technology.
While the digital divide between the affluent and disadvantaged still exists, mobile devices appear to have the potential to close it, at least in terms of access.

According to the 'Horizon" Report,' the report predicts game-based learning will be widely adopted by mainstream classrooms within two to three years (New Media Consortium, 2011).

Instead of educational software, e.g., Math Blaster or Reader Rabbit, students and teachers are much more likely to incorporate Web-based educational games into classrooms, which are often available for free. The National Science Foundation has played a large role in providing funding for the research and development of Web-based science games such as Crystal Island—a game developed by the IntelliMedia Group at North Carolina State University where students investigate an infectious outbreak—and the River City Project—a multi-user virtual environment for science inquiry created by researchers at Harvard University (Education Week, March 17, 2011; Education Week, April 30, 2008].

Some educators hope that games and simulations will provide a way for students to picture themselves in career paths they may otherwise would not have chosen, especially in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects, and some argue that games and simulations offer students a way to connect what they are learning in class to (simulated) real-world situations in a safe and low-cost environment (Education Week, March 17 2011).

Researchers have also found that games and simulations may help students learn by helping them visualize processes they otherwise could not see, such as the flow of an electron or the construction of a city. Games can also promote higher-order thinking skills, such as collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork (MIT, 2009; National Academies Press 2011).

However, creating a healthy marriage of an engaging and entertaining game with educational objectives and goals is a challenging process that has yet to be perfected. To create and design games with the kind of high-resolution graphics and complex situations that children are used to seeing in commercial games takes a large amount of funding and time that educators often do not have. And finding the time and resources to train teachers who may not be familiar with game-based learning is a challenge for most schools.

Despite these challenges, many educators and researchers are committed to developing educational games and incorporating game-based learning into classrooms across the United States.

Social Networking

Many schools are no longer debating whether social networking should play a role in education. Instead, that debate has shifted to what social networking tools work best and how to deploy them (Digital Directions, June 16, 2010).

Some schools are using mainstream social networking tools, like Facebook, for everything from promoting school events to organizing school clubs as well as for more academic purposes related to assignments and class projects.

But educators wary about security, advertising, information-sharing, and social interaction in such an environment are often seeking out social networks designed specifically for learning instead. These sites, like ePals and eChalk, are more restrictive, often allowing teachers and school officials to limit not only who can join, but who students can talk to and interact with. Some educators also say students seem to take these sites more seriously and treat them with a more academic focus and tone than they would a site they routinely use for socialization with their peers. These sites also often provide safety features that can detect foul language or bullying phrases and alert a teacher (Education Week, June 15, 2011).

Many educators say the academic benefits of social networking are real. They allow students to work cooperatively on projects in an online environment that feels familiar to students. Teachers often report that a student who does not speak up in class will be more engaged on a social networking site and that these sites allow instructors to extend the school day.
Educators have also taken to social networks for professional development.

The social networking site Ning, for example, has a plethora of group sites organized around teaching a particular subject, like English literature or high school biology. In addition, Twitter has become a force in the professional development arena, with features such as EdChat, weekly one-hour conversations that take place around pre-arranged educational topics (Digital Directions, June 16, 2010).

Web 2.0 and other technology tools are making it quicker and easier than ever to create digital portfolios of student work—a method of showcasing student progress that experts say increases student engagement; promotes a continuing conversation about learning between teachers, parents, and students; and extends academic lessons beyond school walls (Education Week, March 17, 2011). New social networking tools to aid this are being developed and updated regularly.

Wikis and blogs allow students to work collaboratively and share their work with a limited or unlimited number of people. The video phone service Skype is also popular with teachers, particularly for allowing their students to connect with peers in other parts of the country or the world. Other tools, like VoiceThread, which archives and indexes images, videos, text and audio, are popular with all ages of students, including at the elementary level (Education Week, June 16, 2010).

The piece above discusses the fusion of the burgeoning and emerging technologies and how to use the effectively and progressively within a classroom and learning situation and environment. Technique is being put to use and conforming it to and conforming the user to the efficiency produced and enabled by merging and emerging technological techniques-morphing old school learning-and upgrading it with contemporary technologies.

Future Tech Classes-Stagnant and Failing Schools

Technological-centric Classroom

We learn from Matt Ricchtel that

Amy Furman, a seventh-grade English teacher here, roams among 31 students sitting at their desks or in clumps on the floor. They’re studying Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” — but not in any traditional way.

"In this technology-centric classroom, students are bent over laptops, some blogging or building Facebook pages from the perspective of Shakespeare’s characters. One student compiles a song list from the Internet, picking a tune by the rapper Kanye West to express the emotions of Shakespeare’s lovelorn Silvius.

The class, and the Kyrene School District as a whole, offer what some see as a utopian vision of education’s future. Classrooms are decked out with laptops, big interactive screens and software that drills students on every basic subject. Under a ballot initiative approved in 2005, the district has invested roughly $33 million in such technologies.

The digital push here aims to go far beyond gadgets to transform the very nature of the classroom, turning the teacher into a guide instead of a lecturer, wandering among students who learn at their own pace on Internet-connected devices.

“This is such a dynamic class,” Ms. Furman says of her 21st-century classroom. “I really hope it works.”

"Hope and enthusiasm are soaring here. But not test scores."

Since 2005, scores in reading and math have stagnated in Kyrene, even as statewide scores have risen.

To be sure, test scores can go up or down for many reasons. But to many education experts, something is not adding up — here and across the country. In a nutshell: schools are spending billions on technology, even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, with little proof that this approach is improving basic learning.

This conundrum calls into question one of the most significant contemporary educational movements. Advocates for giving schools a major technological upgrade — which include powerful educators, Silicon Valley titans and White House appointees — say digital devices let students learn at their own pace, teach skills needed in a modern economy and hold the attention of a generation weaned on gadgets.

Some backers of this idea say standardized tests, the most widely used measure of student performance, don’t capture the breadth of skills that computers can help develop. But they also concede that for now there is no better way to gauge the educational value of expensive technology investments.

“The data is pretty weak. It’s very difficult when we’re pressed to come up with convincing data,” said Tom Vander Ark, the former executive director for education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and an investor in educational technology companies. When it comes to showing results, he said, “We better put up or shut up.”

And yet, in virtually the same breath, he said change of a historic magnitude is inevitably coming to classrooms this decade: “It’s one of the three or four biggest things happening in the world today.”

Critics counter that, absent clear proof, schools are being motivated by a blind faith in technology and an overemphasis on digital skills — like using PowerPoint and multimedia tools — at the expense of math, reading and writing fundamentals. They say the technology advocates have it backward when they press to upgrade first and ask questions later.

The spending push comes as schools face tough financial choices. In Kyrene, for example, even as technology spending has grown, the rest of the district’s budget has shrunk, leading to bigger classes and fewer periods of music, art and physical education.

At the same time, the district’s use of technology has earned it widespread praise. It is upheld as a model of success by the National School Boards Association, which in 2008 organized a visit by 100 educators from 17 states who came to see how the district was innovating.

And the district has banked its future and reputation on technology. Kyrene, which serves 18,000 kindergarten to eighth-grade students, mostly from the cities of Tempe, Phoenix and Chandler, uses its computer-centric classes as a way to attract children from around the region, shoring up enrollment as its local student population shrinks. More students mean more state dollars.

The issue of tech investment will reach a critical point in November. The district plans to go back to local voters for approval of $46.3 million more in taxes over seven years to allow it to keep investing in technology. That represents around 3.5 percent of the district’s annual spending, five times what it spends on textbooks.

The district leaders’ position is that technology has inspired students and helped them grow, but that there is no good way to quantify those achievements — putting them in a tough spot with voters deciding whether to bankroll this approach again.

“My gut is telling me we’ve had growth,” said David K. Schauer, the superintendent here. “But we have to have some measure that is valid, and we don’t have that.”

It gives him pause.

“We’ve jumped on bandwagons for different eras without knowing fully what we’re doing. This might just be the new bandwagon,” he said. “I hope not.”

A Dearth of Proof

The pressure to push technology into the classroom without proof of its value has deep roots.

In 1997, a science and technology committee assembled by President Clinton issued an urgent call about the need to equip schools with technology.

If such spending was not increased by billions of dollars, American competitiveness could suffer, according to the committee, whose members included educators like Charles M. Vest, then president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and business executives like John A. Young, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard.

To support its conclusion, the committee’s report cited the successes of individual schools that embraced computers and saw test scores rise or dropout rates fall. But while acknowledging that the research on technology’s impact was inadequate, the committee urged schools to adopt it anyhow.

The Report's final sentence read: “The panel does not, however, recommend that the deployment of technology within America’s schools be deferred pending the completion of such research.”

Since then, the ambitions of those who champion educational technology have grown — from merely equipping schools with computers and instructional software, to putting technology at the center of the classroom and building the teaching around it.

Kyrene had the same sense of urgency as President Clinton’s committee when, in November 2005, it asked voters for an initial $46.3 million for laptops, classroom projectors, networking gear and other technology for teachers and administrators.

Before that, the district had given 300 elementary school teachers five laptops each. Students and teachers used them with great enthusiasm, said Mark Share, the district’s 64-year-old director of technology, a white-bearded former teacher from the Bronx with an iPhone clipped to his belt.

“If we know something works, why wait?” Mr. Share told The Arizona Arizona Republic the month before the vote. The district’s pitch was based not on the idea that test scores would rise, but that technology represented the future.

The measure, which faced no organized opposition, passed overwhelmingly. It means that property owners in the dry, sprawling flatlands here, who live in apartment complexes, cookie-cutter suburban homes and salmon-hued mini-mansions, pay on average $75 more a year in taxes, depending on the assessed value of their homes, according to the district.

But the proof sought by President Clinton’s committee remains elusive even today, though researchers have been seeking answers.

Many studies have found that technology has helped individual classrooms, schools or districts. For instance, researchers found that writing scores improved for eighth-graders in Maine after they were all issued laptops in 2002. The same researchers, from the University of Southern Maine, found that math performance picked up among seventh- and eighth-graders after teachers in the state were trained in using the laptops to teach.

A question plaguing many education researchers is how to draw broader inferences from such case studies, which can have serious limitations. For instance, in the Maine math study, it is hard to separate the effect of the laptops from the effect of the teacher training.

Educators would like to see major trials years in length that clearly demonstrate technology’s effect. But such trials are extraordinarily difficult to conduct when classes and schools can be so different, and technology is changing so quickly.

And often the smaller studies produce conflicting results. Some classroom studies show that math scores rise among students using instructional software, while others show that scores actually fall. The high-level analyses that sum up these various studies, not surprisingly, give researchers pause about whether big investments in technology make sense.

One broad analysis of laptop programs like the one in Maine, for example, found that such programs are not a major factor in student performance.

“Rather than being a cure-all or silver bullet, one-to-one laptop programs may simply amplify what’s already occurring — for better or worse,” wrote Bryan Goodwin, spokesman for Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, a nonpartisan group that did the study, in an essay. Good teachers, he said, can make good use of computers, while bad teachers won’t, and they and their students could wind up becoming distracted by the technology.

A review by the Education Department in 2009 of research on online courses — which more than one million K-12 students are taking — found that few rigorous studies had been done and that policy makers “lack scientific evidence” of their effectiveness… A division of the Education Department that rates classroom curriculums has found that much educational software is not an improvement over textbooks.

Larry Cuban, an education professor emeritus at Stanford University, said the research did not justify big investments by districts.

“There is insufficient evidence to spend that kind of money. Period, period, period,” he said. “There is no body of evidence that shows a trend line.”

Some advocates for technology disagree.

Karen Cator, director of the office of educational technology in the United States Department of Education, said standardized test scores were an inadequate measure of the value of technology in schools. Ms. Cator, a former executive at Apple Computer, said that better measurement tools were needed but, in the meantime, schools knew what students needed.

“In places where we’ve had a large implementing of technology and scores are flat, I see that as great,” she said. “Test scores are the same, but look at all the other things students are doing: learning to use the Internet to research, learning to organize their work, learning to use professional writing tools, learning to collaborate with others.”

For its part, Kyrene has become a model to many by training teachers to use technology and getting their ideas on what inspires them. As Mr. Share says in the signature file at the bottom of every e-mail he sends: “It’s not the stuff that counts — it’s what you do with it that matters.”

So people here are not sure what to make of the stagnant test scores. Many of the district’s schools, particularly those in more affluent areas, already had relatively high scores, making it a challenge to push them significantly higher. A jump in students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches was largely a result of the recession, not a shift in the population the district serves, said Nancy Dundenhoefer, its community relations manager.

Mr. Share, whose heavy influence on more than $7 million a year in technology spending has made him a power broker, said he did not think demographic changes were a good explanation.

“You could argue that test scores would be lower without the technology, but that’s a copout,” he said, adding that the district should be able to deliver some measure of what he considers its obvious success with technology. “It’s a conundrum.”

Results aside, it’s easy to see why technology is such an easy sell here, given the enthusiasm surrounding it in some classrooms.

Engaging With Paper

“I start with pens and pencils,” says Ms. Furman, 41, who is short and bubbly and devours young-adult novels to stay in touch with students. Her husband teaches eighth grade in the district, and their son and daughter are both students.

At the beginning of the school year, Ms. Furman tries to inspire her students at Aprende Middle School to write, a task she says becomes increasingly difficult when students reach the patently insecure middle-school years.

In one class in 2009 she had them draw a heart on a piece of paper. Inside the heart, she asked them to write the names of things and people dear to them. One girl started to cry, then another, as the class shared their stories.

It was something Ms. Furman doubted would have happened if the students had been using computers. “There is a connection between the physical hand on the paper and the words on the page,” she said. “It’s intimate.”

But, she said, computers play an important role in helping students get their ideas down more easily, edit their work so they can see instant improvement, and share it with the class. She uses a document camera to display a student’s paper at the front of the room for others to dissect.

Ms. Furman said the creative and editing tools, by inspiring students to make quick improvements to their writing, pay dividends in the form of higher-quality work. Last year, 14 of her students were chosen as finalists in a statewide essay contest that asked them how literature had affected their lives. “I was running down the hall, weeping, saying, ‘Get these students together. We need to tell them they’ve won!’ ”

Other teachers say the technology is the only way to make this generation learn.

“They’re inundated with 24/7 media, so they expect it,” said Sharon Smith, 44, a gregarious seventh-grade social studies teacher whose classroom is down the hall from Ms. Furman’s.

Minutes earlier, Ms. Smith had taught a Civil War lesson in a way unimaginable even 10 years ago. With the lights off, a screen at the front of the room posed a question: “Jefferson Davis was Commander of the Union Army: True or False?”

The 30 students in the classroom held wireless clickers into which they punched their answers. Seconds later, a pie chart appeared on the screen: 23 percent answered “True,” 70 percent “False,” and 6 percent didn’t know.

The students hooted and hollered, reacting to the instant poll. Ms. Smith then drew the students into a conversation about the answers.

The enthusiasm underscores a key argument for investing in classroom technology: student engagement.

That idea is central to the National Education Technology lan released by the White House last year, which calls for the “revolutionary transformation” of schools. The plan endorses bringing “state-of-the art technology into learning to enable, motivate and inspire all students.”

But the research, what little there is of it, does not establish a clear link between computer-inspired engagement and learning, said Randy Yerrick, associate dean of educational technology at the University of Buffalo.

For him, the best educational uses of computers are those that have no good digital equivalent. As examples, he suggests using digital sensors in a science class to help students observe chemical or physical changes, or using multimedia tools to reach disabled children.

But he says engagement is a “fluffy term” that can slide past critical analysis. And Professor Cuban at Stanford argues that keeping children engaged requires an environment of constant novelty, which cannot be sustained.

“There is very little valid and reliable research that shows the engagement causes or leads to higher academic achievement,” he said.

Instruct or Distract?

There are times in Kyrene when the technology seems to allow students to disengage from learning: They are left at computers to perform a task but wind up playing around, suggesting, as some researchers have found, that computers can distract and not instruct.

The 23 kindergartners in Christy Asta’s class at Kyrene de las Brisas are broken into small groups, a common approach in Kyrene. A handful stand at desks, others sit at computers, typing up reports.

Xavier Diaz, 6, sits quietly, chair pulled close to his Dell laptop, playing “Alien Addition.” In this math arcade game, Xavier controls a pod at the bottom of the screen that shoots at spaceships falling from the sky. Inside each ship is a pair of numbers. Xavier’s goal is to shoot only the spaceship with numbers that are the sum of the number inside his pod.

But Xavier is just shooting every target in sight. Over and over. Periodically, the game gives him a message: “Try again.” He tries again.

“Even if he doesn’t get it right, it’s getting him to think quicker,” says the teacher, Ms. Asta. She leans down next to him: “Six plus one is seven. Click here.” She helps him shoot the right target. “See, you shot him.”

Perhaps surprisingly given the way young people tend to gravitate toward gadgets, students here seem divided about whether they prefer learning on computers or through more traditional methods.

In a different class, Konray Yuan and Marisa Guisto, both 7, take turns touching letters on the interactive board on the wall. They are playing a spelling game, working together to spell the word “cool.” Each finds one of the letters in a jumbled grid, touching them in the proper order.

Marisa says there isn’t a difference between learning this way and learning on paper. Konray prefers paper, he says, because you get extra credit for good penmanship.

But others, particularly older students, say they enjoy using the technology tools. One of Ms. Furman’s students, Julia Schroder, loved building a blog to write about Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”

In another class, she and several classmates used a video camera to film a skit about Woodrow Wilson’s 14-point speech during World War I — an approach she preferred to speaking directly to the class.

“I’d be pretty bummed if I had to do a live thing,” she said. “It’s nerve-wrecking.”

Teachers vs. Tech

Even as students are getting more access to computers here, they are getting less access to teachers.

Reflecting budget cuts, class sizes have crept up in Kyrene, as they have in many places. For example, seventh-grade classes like Ms. Furman’s that had 29 to 31 students grew to more like 31 to 33.

“You can’t continue to be effective if you keep adding one student, then one student, then one student,” Ms. Furman said. “I’m surprised parents aren’t going into the classrooms saying ‘Whoa.’ ”

Advocates of high-tech classrooms say computers are not intended to replace teachers. But they do see a fundamental change in the teacher’s role. Their often-cited mantra is that teachers should go from being “a sage on the stage to a guide on the side.”

And they say that, technology issues aside, class sizes can in fact afford to grow without hurting student performance.

Professor Cuban at Stanford said research showed that student performance did not improve significantly until classes fell under roughly 15 students, and did not get much worse unless they rose above 30.

At the same time, he says bigger classes can frustrate teachers, making it hard to attract and retain talented ones.

In Kyrene, growing class sizes reflect spending cuts; the district’s maintenance and operation budget fell to $95 million this year from $106 million in 2008. The district cannot use the money designated for technology to pay for other things. And the teachers, who make roughly $33,000 to $57,000 a year, have not had a raise since 2008.

Many teachers have second jobs, some in restaurants and retail, said Erin Kirchoff, president of the Kyrene Education Association, the teacher’s association. Teachers talk of being exhausted from teaching all day, then selling shoes at the mall.

Ms. Furman works during the summer at the Kyrene district offices. But that job is being eliminated in 2014, and she is worried about the income loss.

“Without it, we don’t go on vacation,” she said.

Money for other things in the district is short as well. Many teachers say they regularly bring in their own supplies, like construction paper.

“We have Smart Boards in every classroom but not enough money to buy copy paper, pencils and hand sanitizer,” said Nicole Cates, a co-president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Kyrene de la Colina, an elementary school. “You don’t go buy a new outfit when you don’t have enough dinner to eat.”

But she loves the fact that her two children, a fourth-grader and first-grader, are learning technology, including PowerPoint and educational games.

To some who favor high-tech classrooms, the resource squeeze presents an opportunity. Their thinking is that struggling schools will look for more efficient ways to get the job done, creating an impetus to rethink education entirely.

“Let’s hope the fiscal crisis doesn’t get better too soon. It’ll slow down reform,” said Tom Watkins, the former superintendent for the Michigan schools, and now a consultant to businesses in the education sector.

Clearly, the push for technology is to the benefit of one group: technology companies.

The Sellers

It is 4:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. Mr. Share, the director of technology at Kyrene and often an early riser, awakens to the hard sell. Awaiting him at his home computer are six pitches from technology companies.

It’s just another day for the man with the checkbook.

“I get one pitch an hour,” he said. He finds most of them useless and sometimes galling: “They’re mostly car salesmen. I think they believe in the product they’re selling, but they don’t have a leg to stand on as to why the product is good or bad.”

Mr. Share bases his buying decisions on two main factors: what his teachers tell him they need, and his experience. For instance, he said he resisted getting the interactive whiteboards sold as Smart Boards until, one day in 2008, he saw a teacher trying to mimic the product with a jury-rigged projector setup.

“It was an ‘Aha!’ moment,” he said, leading him to buy Smart Boards, made by a company called Smart Technologies.

He can make that kind of decision because he has money — and the vendors know it. Technology companies track which districts get federal funding and which have passed tax assessments for technology, like Kyrene."

The article above gives one a sense as to why the topic of this Hub is "Pedagogy Today is the Media: The End of Education As We know It. Miseducation of A Civilization-Unlearning Old School" is aptly encapsulated above. It is clear that there advantages and disadvantages in the introduction of technologies in today's classroom, but the experts on both side of the issue agree that there is still a paucity of data as to whether this is good or bad-introducing new ways of learning in the classroom by inventing in technologies, or working towards encrypting old ways of teaching and learning.

The reader can apply their understanding and knowledge of this decision to make up their minds. But it is clear that technology is here to stay and it is part and parcel of our lives today and into the future.

This is big business. Sales of computer software to schools for classroom use were $1.89 billion in 2010. Spending on hardware is more difficult to measure, researchers say, but some put the figure at five times that amount.

The vendors relish their relationship with Kyrene.

“I joke I should have an office here, I’m here so often,” said Will Dunham, a salesman for CCS Presentation Systems, a leading reseller of Smart Boards in Arizona.

Last summer, the district paid $500,000 to CCS to replace ceiling-hung projectors in 400 classrooms. The alternative was to spend $100,000 to replace their aging bulbs, which Mr. Share said were growing dimmer, causing teachers to sometimes have to turn down the lights to see a crisp image.

Mr. Dunham said the purchase made sense because new was better. “I could take a used car down to the mechanic and get it all fixed up and still have a used car.”

But Ms. Kirchoff, the president of the teachers’ association, is furious. “My projector works just fine,” she said. “Give me Kleenex, Kleenex, Kleenex!”

The Parents

Last November, Kyrene went back to voters to ask them to pay for another seven years of technology spending in the district. The previous measure from 2005 will not expire for two years. But the district wanted to get ahead of the issue, and leave wiggle room just in case the new measure didn’t pass.

It didn’t. It lost by 96 votes out of nearly 50,000 cast. Mr. Share and others here said they attributed the failure to poor wording on the ballot that made it look like a new tax increase, rather than the continuation of one.

They say they will not make the same wording mistake this time. And they say the burden on taxpayers is modest.

“It’s so much bang for the buck,” said Jeremy Calles, Kyrene’s interim chief financial officer. For a small investment, he said, “We get state-of-the-art technology.”

Regardless, some taxpayers have already decided that they will not vote yes.

“When you look at the big picture, it’s hard to say ‘yes,' spend more on technology, when class sizes increase,” said Kameron Bybee, 34, who has two children in district schools. “The district has made up its mind to go forward with the technologically advanced path. Come hell or high water.”

Other parents feel conflicted. Eduarda Schroder, 48, whose daughter Julia was in Ms. Furman’s English class, worked on the political action committee last November to push through an extension of the technology tax. Computers, she says, can make learning more appealing. But she’s also concerned that test scores haven’t gone up.

She says she is starting to ask a basic question. “Do we really need technology to learn? She said. “It’s a very valid time to ask the question, right before this goes on the ballot.”

Jose Marti

Jose Marti

Neil Postman

Neil Postman

Chinweizu Informs us that:

"Universities serve as finishing schools for those who have to lead and develop traditions of a society. If, as we have seen, a modern African culture is being developed, not within, but perforce outside Africa's universities; if it requires a revolt against the Ethiophilia of these institutions for artists who emerge from them to join in creating an African modernity, then all African nationalists must want to know what is wrong with them.

"Why do purportedly African universities serve as conduits for dumping a pro-European assimilationist poison into our cultural stream? Why do they refuse to become nurseries of a liberated African consciousness, nurseries of a vigorous neo-African culture? Why should they get national money and attention while the genuine pioneers of a modern African culture have to get by without? Studying their origins, and paying attention to and giving close examination of the intentions of their founder, would be in order here.

The British in Africa around 19443, whilst setting up the Asquith Commission on higher education in the their colonies, the secretary of state for the colonies, Oliver Stanley, had this revealing remark to make:

"His Majesty's Government is deeply committed to quickening the progress of Colonial peoples towards the ultimate goal of self-government. It is essential to the success of this policy that the supply of leaders from the indigenous people themselves should be rapidly increased. There is, therefore, an urgent and fundamental need to enlarge our facilities for higher education without these leaders cannot be created...

"The universities of this country have in the past made their vast contributions to the successful growth of the overseas dependencies by themselves training and nourishing the administrators and specialists on whom their progress had depended. We are now entering on an era when this contribution may become more indirect but no less vital by taking the form of assistance in the development of Colonial Universities which will rear the local leaders of the future."

Maybe being aware of such intention will help Africans in Unlearning Old School and begin schooling their people in ways that raises the consciousness and Ubuntu/Botho. It is carving out the encrusted old ways of conditioning and educationally enslaving African that Africans need to be cognizant of and begin to work for a more humane and edifying education for their people, today.



Education By Chinweizu

But does that necessarily imply that the design of our education system may have left out some vital loose ends?
A: Do you have an education system?

Q: Well, we have a system in place at the moment even if it does not
qualify as an education system.

A: You have what you dignify by calling it an education system.

Q: Well, it’s perhaps because some of us are products of this system and may not have had the good fortune of knowing how other systems work.

A: Well, the argument is not with you but with those who maintain the system and call it an education system. An education system trains somebody to live in a particular society. That’s what every proper education system does. As somebody recently said in a book: “A Chaga with the education of an Eskimo is, from the point of view of his society, uneducated, as he would be were he to have been exclusively educated in a Western school or university.” Now, if you take an Eskimo who lives in his environment, his ecosystem, and give him the training of an Englishman who lives in a different environment, is that education? You train him to live in English society but he is not going to live in English society. In Eskimo society, he cannot fit in because he has a wrong mentality; his attitude, his notion of his ecosystem and how to exploit it are all wrong. So, he is not educated. He cannot function effectively in Eskimo society because you trained him for English society, which is in a different ecosystem. What we practice here is some version of the English education system. You see the students in all these schools with their jackets and blazers, especially these new ones in Lekki and V.I. What are they being trained to be? What society will they operate in when they graduate? Not English society, not American society but Nigerian society. And they are not being trained to function in Nigerian society or ecosystem. Start with language. Language is critical in any culture. So when you train people in a language that is not the language of their culture, you have not trained them for their culture. This is a very large issue, actually, but the point is that what we call our education system here is basically a miseducation system. We are miseducating our children by trying to train them as if they are going to live in the industrialized society of England, with the traditions of England and among people who think and behave as the English people do. But that’s not the society they are going into. So, on the premise that an education system trains people to live in their own society and ecosystem, what we have here is a miseducation system. Its all crap! People think they are doing a great thing here: They give birth to a child and hand it over to an alien education system and expect that at the end of 20 – 30 years he would come back to be part of them. It can’t be, because they have moulded him differently, alienated him from his culture.

Q: How can a good education system be designed? What are the standards in other societies?

A: The standards in other societies should not interest you because they were designed for their own peculiar purposes. You have to ask yourself what kind of training you need in your own society, and then invent a system to provide it. It’s not something you copy; it’s something you invent. You have to know what you want, what kind of society you want the products to live in. If you haven’t worked out all those things, then you haven’t started, because it’s only when you know the purpose for which you plan to train the next generation that you can invent an education system that will serve your purpose.For a century now, we have not been educating our people for our society and its ecosystem. It started when the British conquered us. So, it’s a great error that has been perpetuated for a century or more. We don’t even train people to speak our languages. Here we are, holding this discussion in English. It’s not your fault or mine. I am just pointing out the cumulative effect of a century of misdirection. It was not the fault of our ancestors directly because somebody conquered them and imposed an alien and alienating system on them. The white people trained people here because they needed clerks to help them exploit us. That’s why they brought their schools. They didn’t bring their schools to help us survive. The people who designed the present system did not do so in our interest. They came here to destroy us. And some of the structures they brought in, we have foolishly adopted as our own and we can’t see beyond our noses to realize that what they have given us is poison, and that we should throw it out and find something else. We haven’t reached that stage in our understanding of our situation. So, we perpetuate the ruinous system the British left behind.

Q: This miseducation, as you rightly pointed out, has been going on for over a century. So, when shall we wake up to its disturbing reality?

A: Well, it’s not in the hands of any other people; it’s in our own hands. The world is moving on. It is when we want to wake up from our slumber that we will wake up. Fela, in one of his songs, told us what to do. He reminded us that, as in other lands, it is the culture of our people that our schools should teach. That’s the basic need. But was he heeded? We blacks haven’t understood that this our imported way of living isn’t a good way. Until we find that out, we’ll keep messing up. But, as usual, we don’t ask ourselves the fundamentals. Take this matter of education, which is our gloss of Igbo ozuzu. In contrast to this education, which is a process of book learning and Europeanization, ozuzu was the process of socializing a child into the Igbo way of life, so he became an adult equipped to behave in the Igbo way, rather than the Eskimo way, the European way or some other non-Igbo way, or even like a wild animal! Unlike this education, ozuzu was specific and appropriate to a cultural context, the Igbo context. It aimed to produce, not just any kind of educated person, but an Igbo person, a well-behaved Igbo person, suffused with the Igbo worldview, and living by the Igbo code of conduct. And I am sure that every other pre-colonial African society had its own equivalent of Igbo ozuzu, an equivalent that was appropriate to its own specific culture. To get back to your point about our waking up, we shall continue on our present ruinous way until we wake up and retrace our steps to our ancestral system of culturally appropriate education, and then develop it. The pertinent question to ask is not how other societies educate but how did our ancestors socialize and acculturate their children for their environment? The answer does not lie in copying how other societies conduct their own training. There’s so much to learn from what our ancestors did. If we find out how we did it in ancient times, we can then adapt from it and make a new version that will serve our new situation. What they did is still relevant. After all, we still live in the same ecosystem as they did. And they mastered how to live in it, which is why we have survived so far. And we should gratefully use their legacy to our benefit.

Q: Now, talking about our ancestors, you are a distinguished black scholar. How valid is the claim that Greek civilization had its origins in Africa, particularly Egypt? And also how true is the claim that these ancient Egyptians from whom the Greeks borrowed the now famous European model of civilization were actually black?

A: The long and short of it is that the ancient Egyptians, those who built the pyramids and all of Pharaohnic civilization were black; and they played a central role in the formation of Greek culture. The evidence of that is abundant. Pythagoras, Orpheus, Homer, Thales, Lycurgus, Solon, Plato, Eudoxus and other famous Greeks that founded the various aspects of Greek civilization went to Egypt to learn. Much of what is propagated as Greek philosophy and Greek knowledge were things they learnt when they went to Egypt to study. There are books on that. Here, for instance, is Onyewuenyi’s book on that (produces a copy of Prof. Onyewuenyi’s The African Origins of Greek Philosophy: An exercise in Afrocentrism).Furthermore, Egyptian influence on Greek civilization was not exerted only through students who took Egyptian learning back to Greece. In addition, by ancient Greek accounts, settlers from Egypt and Phoenicia had, much earlier, either founded or supplied ruling dynasties to such Greek cities as Thebes, Argos, Sparta and Athens. Athens is actually named after an Ancient Egyptian city Sais which was reportedly also called Athenai; and the Greek goddess Athena is a version of the goddess Neith of the Egyptian Sais/Athenai. In addition, many Greek words, (about 25% of the Greek vocabulary, by some expert estimates) are derived from Ancient Egyptian. Greek place names that were derived from Egyptian words testify to what the ancient Greeks themselves said: that Egyptians had colonized Greece in remote times and taught civilization to the Greeks. They also said that Greek religion, including its oracles and mystery rites, was introduced from Egypt. A good popular account of all this is given in the book Black Spark, White Fire by Richard Poe. If the specialist argument interests you, you can look it up in the multi-volume work Black Athena by Martin Bernal.

On the matter of the color of the Ancient Egyptians, Herodotus, whom the Europeans call the ‘father of history’, said that the Egyptians were black. In fact Cheikh Anta Diop has an essay, “Origin of the Ancient Egyptians,” in which he quoted about ten of those Greek and Roman writers who lived during the first six centuries after the whites had overrun Egypt. They all say that the ancient Egyptians were black. People who went there and saw them with their own eyes, said that the ancient Egyptians were black. They were still a black population even centuries after whites had overrun them. In contrast, those claiming today that the Ancient Egyptians were not black have not produced even one ancient eyewitness report that says the Egyptians were anything other than black.

The bottom line is that Ancient Greek civilization was a daughter of Egypt; and that the Ancient Egyptians were blacks. The white boys now pretend that the Ancient Egyptian civilization was created by white people and that it did not spawn Greek civilization. They are lying about all that and they have been doing so for the last three centuries. Their ancestors knew differently. The Greeks themselves said differently. So, even if you don’t believe what anybody else says, there are the ancient Greeks themselves who studied in or visited Egypt, and they said so.

Q: How come black people could not sustain this civilization after the Europeans invaded Egypt? Where was our proverbial knowledge?

A: You first have to understand that black civilization was destroyed. Chancellor Williams wrote a book, The Destruction of Black Civilization, where he describes that. The easiest way to understand what happened is to take what happened to your own country in the last century. Once you lose sovereignty, you are rubbished. Loss of sovereignty is the worst thing that can happen to a people. The Egyptians tried long and hard to maintain their sovereignty and power: it took the white people more than 1000 years of repeated attempts to finally overrun Egypt. But once they finally accomplished it, it was one white group after another. The Persians were the first whites to overrun Egypt. Before them, other groups had penetrated Egypt but were fought off by the Egyptians. The long and short of it is that 525 BC was the final defeat of Egypt, about 2,500 years ago. After the Persians, the Greeks defeated the Persians and took over Egypt. Then the Romans took over and occupied it till the Arabs invaded Egypt.

The Arab invasion was the turning point because all the previous conquerors just sent people to administer Egypt, but the Arabs came in large numbers to live. They were a settler multitude. They swamped and drove the real Egyptians away so that today, most Egyptians don’t look black. The only Egyptians who are still black are descended from remnants of the ancient Egyptians. People like Sadat, the former Egyptian president. Sadat didn’t look like the normal Arab; he was black, being of Nubian descent, from the Nubian remnants of the Ancient Egyptians. Boutrous Ghali, who was presented as an Egyptian, is a Copt and the Copts are descendants of Greek invaders. So, Boutrous Ghali is a white man. He descended from people like Cleopatra who were the Greek colonizers of Egypt. But, by the lying accounts of modern Europeans, the Copts are the real Ancient Egyptians! The long and short of it is that 525 BC marked the end of the sovereign ancient black Egypt. Everything since then has been the Egypt of white invaders. The invaders have long since taken over. That’s the way it is with conquest. If you allow yourself to be conquered, you are finished. Not many peoples survive conquest, especially by conquerors who are determined to eliminate you. Black Africa is struggling to shake off the effects of just one century of people who didn’t even come in droves to live here. It’s so hard. They scattered your civilization, scattered your culture, scattered your mind and scattered your mentality. And just getting yourselves out of that disaster is difficult enough, not to talk of when they come in large numbers to settle permanently and take over your land. So, you can begin to understand what happened in Egypt.

But the basic thing is that those illustrious Egyptians were black. The pyramids were built by black people. All of the glory of Ancient Egypt belongs to black people. But there are other questions, of course. Why is the influence of Ancient Egyptian civilization not so manifest in the rest of Africa? It’s necessary to ask such questions. Egypt happens to be one great achievement but where are the others? This is what makes it easier for the whites to claim Egypt. Maybe if pyramids like those of Ancient Egypt are found all over the continent and you lose Egypt to the whites, that’s not so bad. There would still be enough visible remains to save you from the imputation of having achieved nothing. There are all kinds of questions about African history that need to be investigated, but black people are yet to wake up from their slumber to investigate them. Cheikh Anta Diop once asked: “How can Africans love Africa when they don’t know Africa?” A century of European brainwashing through the education system has done its damage, and to get out of it is a long and difficult process. So, people should just read Cheikh Anta Diop’s works to get themselves started. These include The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality, Pre-Colonial Black Africa, The Cultural Unity of Black Africa, and Civilization or Barbarism.

Jonathan Kozol

Jonathan Kozol

Kozol On Savage Pedagogy

"If you grow up in the South Bronx today or in south-central Los Angeles or Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, you quickly come to understand that you have been set apart and that there’s no will in this society to bring you back into the mainstream. The kids have eyes and they can see, and they have ears and they can hear. Kids notice that no politicians talk about this. Nobody says we’re going to make them less separate and more equal. Nobody says that." (Kozol)

This is What Marcus A. Winters wrote about Kozolo in an articled Dubbed:

Savage ExaggerationsEducation Next Issue CoverWorshiping the cosmology of Jonathan Kozol
Jonathan Kozol has made a good living talking with students. His books chronicle travels among poor, minority children, most of themAfrican Americans in struggling public schools. They are not gentle accounts. His first book, published in 1967, was called Death at an Early Age. Nor are his books politically tepid: his latest, published in 2005, is called Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America.
In the four decades that Jonathan Kozol, now 70, has been writing books—11 so far—his message has hardly wavered: minority children are unsuccessful because rich, white Americans have little interest in using their vast resources to help them. In each of his works Kozol seems intent on burdening other white upper-class Americans with guilt enough for them to see the light and share their wealth. With this attractive message Kozol has won a loyal following among school teachers, policymakers, and book-reading citizens. Not only are many of his books bestsellers, but they have become staples on education-course syllabi. Even education researchers think his work has value: he has been cited 1,790 times in journals counted in the Social Science Citation Index, quite a feat for a popular author. Ordinarily, only influential scholars achieve such recognition. Shame of the Nation got a prepublication boost when Harper’s magazine ran an excerpt and featured it on the cover. The author also received a fawning New York Times Magazine interview; Shame leaped on to the Times bestseller list two weeks after its publication in September.
The notoriety has perhaps gone to Kozol’s head. In his first book, Death at an Early Age, he described the horrific experience of teaching at, and being fired from, a segregated public school in Boston. The book has the feel of being written by a young, dedicated, public school teacher on the frontlines of a major battle, which is exactly what Kozol was. So open to new ideas was he at that time that in another of his earlier volumes, Free Schools, he even hinted at a solution not much different from the one advocated by choice supporters today. More on that later.
In the books that have followed, however, Kozol, no longer in the trenches, seems to have less to write about and offers little more than the old, tired, and failed solutions for the problems of our schools. He tells similar stories, revisits old haunts, has, essentially, the same conversations. Adding to the monotony, Kozol’s most recent books, in fact, are as much about him as about American education. They contain long digressions about his compassionate understanding of the plight of urban youth. In my copy of Ordinary Resurrections, published in 2000, Kozol is even featured on the cover, showing the dramatic transformation of the author from reporter of others’ stories to chronicler of his own. Though he writes with a compelling sense of injustice, much of Kozol’s work is a form of self-reflection that masks—brilliantly, given the popularity of his books—what is an increasingly skewed description of our nation’s schools.
Though it is difficult to judge Kozol’s specific impact on education policy in America, there is no doubt of his influence on the way Americans frame the questions that drive that policymaking. But is the Kozol prism a clarifying one? Is his insistence on our racial sins a sufficient or even accurate way to understand our education problems?
Financial inequalities in urban New Jersey had largely been done away with by 2000-01, yet school outcomes showed no discernible improvement.Those Slippery Facts
Shame of the Nation, as its subtitle proclaims, purports to be about segregation. Kozol’s point that urban public schools are too racially homogeneous is certainly not novel; many urban public schools clearly have majority single-race populations. However, Kozol misses the mark in attributing that problem to, or suggesting that its solution is in, our education system. In fact, as Duke economist Charles Clotfelter has pointed out, segregation levels within school districts have actually decreased since the 1970s, after allowing for the changing demographic of urban populations. That decrease has only been offset by the tendency of higher-income families, both black and white, to move to suburban communities with more family-friendly schools and safer environments.
Kozol recognizes that migration is the explanation for continuing segregation, but says its cause is racism. This leads him to propose policies that are so impractical as to be unhelpful. For example, he advocates school busing and other such measures that attempt to get whites to mingle with blacks through coercion, measures that are outside the realm of the politically feasible. Oddly, he rejects more promising policies that rely less on the power of the state. He eschews school-choice policies, for instance, even while conceding that they have led to school desegregation in cities where they have been tried. He says that choice does not work unless it is regulated. Even if we concede his point, it is unclear why he should oppose regulated choice policies if they work. Why should integration be worthwhile only if it is forced?
That Kozol expresses such strenuous opposition to vouchers is all the more peculiar, given his earlier passion for “Free Schools.” His 1972 book of that title is a manual on how to start and operate private schools outside what he saw as an excessively regulated public school system. In Free Schools, Kozol wrote that urban parents should exit the public school system because reforms within the system, “no matter how inventive or how passionate or how immediately provocative,” are simply an “extension of the ideology of public school.” Those reforms, said Kozol, “cannot, for reasons of immediate operation, finance, and survival, raise serious doubts about the indoctrination and custodial function of the public education apparatus.”

Racist Reforms
But his tune on that particular reform has changed since he became the idol of that same education establishment. Now Kozol has little interest in improvements outside the current system, such as vouchers and charters. Why? Because, he says in Shame, it “opens up a gate of sorts for a small fraction of poor people.” Never mind that the body of empirical evidence suggests that choice helps not only the children who leave failing public schools but also those left behind. Studies of voucher programs in Florida, Milwaukee, and San Antonio all find that vouchers not only have not harmed public schools; they have improved them.
Vouchers are not the only reform to which Kozol objects. On the contrary, he treats almost any proposed restructuring as little more than racism in disguise. “Although generically described as ‘school reform,’” he writes in Shame, “most of these practices and policies are targeted at poor children of color,” failing to explain why reform should not be directed at the lowest-performing schools. One favorite Kozol target is accountability testing, which is treated as a racist plot to harm minority children, hatched by “politically conservative white people.”
In Shame Kozol pays particular attention to Success for All, a school-wide reform program that requires teachers to followstrict schedules and test students frequently. He likens Success for All, now used in more than 1,200 schools nationwide, to a military training facility. And not just any military facility: “My attention was distracted by some whispering among the children sitting to the right of me. The teacher’s response to this distraction was immediate: His arm shot out and up in a diagonal in front of him, his hand straight up, his fingers flat. The young co-teacher did this too. When they saw their teachers do this, all the children in the classroom did it too.” It was all there, for Kozol, except for the Sieg Heil !
So committed is this veteran author to damning interventions designed to preserve order in the classroom that he overlooks the considerable evidence that Success for All actually helps exactly that population for which Kozol expresses a profound allegiance. As is his wont, he ignores the results from a randomized field trial, conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers, that found that Success for All has large, statistically significant positive effects on student literacy.
The Original Sin: Unequal Education Spending
So, besides desegregating schools, what does Kozol want to do? Surprisingly enough, for all of his self-expressed idealism, he turns out to be as naive a materialist as one would expect from someone who has found his own money­making formula. Again and again Kozol returns to his primary message: give those schools more money! No reform short of unloading a dump-truck filled with hundred-dollar bills on the campus of each urban public school will solve today’s education ills.
While his books consist largely of a series of sad stories, it is Kozol’s use of numbers that gives those stories their meaning and impact. He and his faithful readers believe that the dollars not spent on education make all the difference. To highlight the funding disparities in urban centers, Kozol produces an appendix in both Shame of the Nation and Savage Inequalities with tables comparing per pupil spending in several cities, including New York, Chicago, and urban New Jersey, with that in select surrounding suburban districts. Not surprisingly, the wealthiest districts in the area spend a good deal more money than the most poverty-stricken parts of the city.
Kozol points out that the wealthiest suburban school districts surrounding New York City, for example, spend more per pupil to educate their mostly white student bodies than the city spends to educate its mostly minority population. He produces interviews with children in schools receiving less funding; the children ask, in their small voices, why it is that they do not have everything that rich children have. It is a powerful rhetorical device perhaps, but not one that has much bearing on the question of student outcomes. The fact is, though Kozol ignores it, that changing the incentives of urban schools (with choice or accountability) yields much more of a change in performance than more money does.
One indication that more spending might not be the answer is that while urban public schools might not spend as much as the wealthiest districts surrounding them, they do spend what those wealthy districts spent in the past. For example, Kozol points to funding disparities around Boston, which is where he started his career. In 1999 Weston, a Boston suburb, spent $10,039 per pupil, in adjusted 2003 dollars, and that year its 4th-grade students averaged a scale score of 248 on the state reading test. In 2003 the Boston school district spent $10,057 per pupil, similar to what Weston spent in 1999 in real dollars. However, while Boston’s spending caught up to Weston’s previous expenditures, its test scores did not. Boston’s students scored an average of 224 on the 4th-grade reading assessment in 2003. Boston’s reading scores were only a one-point improvement from 1999, when the district spent an inflation-adjusted $9,213. Similarly, in their book, No Excuses, the Manhattan Institute’s Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom point out that the financial inequalities in urban New Jersey had largely been done away with by 2000–01, yet school outcomes showed no discernible improvement. Since suburban students certainly have other advantages over the average student in the cities, we might not expect equal spending to produce identical results. But if Kozol is right, shouldn’t it at least bring about progress?
Kozol’s analysis is just as wrong elsewhere in the country. New York City schools, for instance, might spend less than the few school districts that educate the sons and daughters of New York’s investment bankers (who live in those rich suburbs). My analysis, using the same data on school districts in the Empire State that Kozol cites, finds that districts with a higher percentage of African American students actually spend more money than other districts in the state on average.
A Relative Problem
Kozol scoffs at figures suggesting that schools are failing to improve despite increases in funding. In Savage Inequalities he attempts to rebut what is perhaps the most popular critique among education reformers—that over the past 30 years there has been a doubling in real dollars in education spending and no significant progress in education achievement measured in test scores or graduation rates. Discussing a Wall Street Journal editorial that pointed this out, Kozol writes, in Inequalities, “What the Journal does not add is that per-pupil spending grew at the same rate in the suburbs as it did in urban districts… thereby preventing any catch-up by the urban schools.” The most important education reform, in Kozol’s view, is for urban schools to have as much money as the richest suburban ones. He ignores the fact that, overall, central-city schools out-spend the typical suburban school, to say nothing of those in small towns and rural areas.
But why should a district’s performance depend entirely on what is happening elsewhere? Greater spending must lead to at least some education gains as long as the funds are well spent. Kozol is the first to argue that urban schools lack the physical amenities of suburban schools. So when urban schools get more money, as even Kozol admits has been the case, why can’t those amenities be provided, regardless of what suburban schools are doing? If a school lacks air-conditioning, for example, and if one expects this amenity to affect student performance, then the addition of air-conditioning should improve outcomes regardless of whether another school builds a swimming pool.
Kozol argues that only relative spending matters, because both suburban and urban schools are hiring out of the same labor pool. Thus it might not matter how much urban districts spend, because as long as they spend less than other districts they will get the same poor-quality teachers. But this assumes that the labor pool for teachers cannot change. As schools have more money they should either bid up the price for teachers or be able to hire more teachers at the same price. In theory, either of these changes should lift all boats, either by improving the overall quality of the labor pool or by reducing class size. If more money does not provide better amenities, or a higher quality workforce, or smaller classes, or if it produces these things and performance does not improve, then we must conclude that more money is not the answer.
Kozol often insists that he will believe that more money will not improve urban public schools when rich Americans stop trying to spend more money on their schools. The trouble with this seemingly reasonable quip is that it fails to recognize that urban and suburban schools are more separated by their incentive structure than they are by their bank accounts.
If we assume that suburban districts improve with greater funds (perhaps a stronger assumption than many realize), it is also reasonable to assume that they face consequences if they use those additional resources unwisely. If suburban schools do not live up to their price tag, then their active parents and other taxpayers worried about their property values put pressure on policymakers to improve them. If the school continues to fail, suburbanites will move to the next town over, or they will send their child to a private school.
On the other side of the tracks, however, urban schools have a captive clientele. Low-income minority parents have neither the resources to move out of their city nor the political power to force policymakers to meet their education needs. Without consequences for failure, urban public schools have little incentive to use their resources wisely. Thus increasing urban public-school budgets will fail to improve their performance until urban schools are operating under the same incentives as suburban schools. Kozol blithely ignores the existence of these differing incentives in his Ahab-like pursuit of more money.
When we step back and look at the evidence, it becomes clear that changing the incentives for urban public schools is far more attractive a reform than providing them with more funds. Increasingly, the scientific research indicates little to no relationship between escalating education expenditures and improvements in academic outcomes. Erik Hanushek’s 1996 review of the research on school funding found that only 27 of 163 studies indicated that spending more dollars improved student outcomes. Kozol ignores these findings. He ignores the evidence (by Hanushek and Margaret Raymond, as well as by Martin Carnoy and Susanna Loeb) that changing the incentives for public schools with high-stakes testing is succeeding where simply increasing resources has failed. He ignores the wide body of research suggesting that school-choice policies improve public schools by forcing them to compete for students that they used to take for granted. He lamentsthat paying teachers for their successful performance taints their “unselfish inclinations that are not at all unlike the call to ministry,” without discussing the evidence suggesting that these programs have been successful at improving student outcomes.
Who Needs Research?
Kozol is contemptuous of empirical research on education. Test scores, he says, tell us nothing about the number of times a day that a child smiles, which is what really counts in our schools. Kozol feels it unnecessary to rely on empirical measures of achievement because they “don’t speak of happiness.” We can understand schools only by walking around in them and talking with children. In Shame of the Nation, he writes that he trusts his interviews with children because, “Unlike these powerful grown-ups, children have no ideologies to reinforce, no superstructure of political opinion to promote, no civic equanimity or image to defend, no personal reputation to secure.”
Unfortunately, what all but the most unusual children lack is perspective, foresight, and knowledge. This is why we don’t let children marry, imbibe alcohol, or, for that matter, decide what time they will go to sleep. We should be similarly hesitant to base decisions that cost billions of dollars and might affect the structure of society on their musings.
What makes children so useful to a Kozol-style researcher is the ease with which the researcher can evoke the answers that are sought, especially when one can pick and choose from among the children one wants to include in the next bestseller.
When one follows the basic canons of social science, which require sensitivity to the biases of respondents and the biases that can come from selecting individuals in any way other than randomly, then one cannot so easily construct fanciful castles out of the comments of either children or adults. That is the greatest virtue of the social-science methodologies that Kozol regularly denigrates. Quality research forces us to step back, removing ourselves from our predispositions and the feelings that might force our eyes to lie to us. Statistics can surely be manipulated, as Kozol himself proves, but at least the limitations are verifiable and the truth of the matter is not dependent on the eye of the beholder.
Admittedly, many scholars pay more attention to how well children are doing on tests designed to measure how much they are learning in school than to the simplistic responses children tend to give. But that is the only way we can find out if they know how to read, or write, or add numbers. Without skills, these children whom Kozol professes to love so dearly, and whom he quotes so extensively, will never acquire the skills that will allow them to lead happy, productive adult lives. Money is Kozol’s only reform model, and it will hardly preserve the smile on those children’s faces.
It’s difficult to visualize the system Kozol wants for us. Beyond his insistent pleas for an equitable distribution of the money in education, he provides few specifics. In fact, though, the best argument against Kozol’s prescription is that the money spent on American public schools doubled over the past 30 years—yet outcomes in education have remained as savagely unequal as ever and will remain so until the incentives of urban schools are changed. To the extent that it persuades people to avoid reforms that change school incentives in favor of ever-increasing school spending, Jonathan Kozol’s work is an impediment to the very thing that he claims to desire most: a day when urban minority children receive an acceptableeducation.

Jonathan Kozol: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America

Oppressive Education Yields Oppressive Oppressors

We Look, Listen and Learn From Paulo Freire:

Humanization and Dehumanization

Freire weaves the concept of humanization throughout the majority of chapter 1. Humanity includes qualities that make us human such as understanding, freedom, and integrity. Freire stresses the point that not only do people need to demonstrate those qualities toward others, but also toward themselves. He mentions that in order to recognize humanization, we must also acknowledge dehumanization. With dehumanization, a person’s humanity has been stolen; thus that person has become oppressed. For oppressors, to be is to have and constant control over the oppressed is what they need to have. People who oppress others see these oppressed people as things or objects, not humans to be treated with integrity. Oppressors also feel the oppressed are in their situation because they are “lazy” and ungrateful to the generous overtures offered by the elitist class.However, Freire also recognizes that those who steal the humanity of others are themselves dehumanized through “an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors” (p. 44). As the oppressors engage in oppression, they violate the rights of others and they themselves also become dehumanized. To restore the humanity of both, the oppressed must struggle to change their situation but must not become oppressors in the process.

Oppressed become Oppressors?

Why don’t the oppressed do anything to change their situation? Freire mentions the feeling of the “fear of freedom” (p. 46) that many of the oppressed possess. This fear prohibits the oppressed from being proactive regarding their situation partially because they have adopted the guidelines of their oppressor. Freire goes on to state that “Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly” (p. 47). The oppressed have become accustomed to the structure of domination of the oppressors and have become resigned to it. In order to overcome the oppression, the oppressed must work together. Freire points out that the oppressed “prefer the security of conformity” (p. 48) over the action needed to pursue liberation. That is where the need for pedagogy—learning a new strategy to overcome the injustices frequented upon them and others like them—is necessary. However, the caution of the oppressed of becoming oppressors is emphasized by Freire in that oppression is what has been modeled for them as a structural situation. Identifying with those who keep them subjugated, the oppressed risk not changing the structure of the situation for all oppressed but working to liberate only themselves. This individualistic focus will do nothing to change the cycle of oppression.

Where to begin to liberate the oppressed

Freire’s text offers some aspects of what should occur in order to free the oppressed. He stresses that a pedagogy must be forged with the oppressed and not for them. According to Freire, the central problem is that the oppressed must participate in the development of the pedagogy of their own liberation. As long as the oppressed view the process of liberation through the structure of how their situation is currently organized, they cannot contribute to the pedagogy of change.There are two stages to this humanist and libertarian pedagogy in which the oppressed must participate. The first is to recognize the structure and its components of oppression and to commit to the transformation of the structure. So as not to maintain the model for which the structure has been originally created by oppressors, the oppressed must confront their perception of their world. They must surmount their fear of freedom and begin to be proactive about changing the components of oppression for all, not just individuals. The second stage, once the reality of oppression has been transformed, involves relinquishing the pedagogy so that it becomes a pedagogy for all people in the process of permanent liberation. Once the “expulsion of the myths created and developed in the old order” (p. 55) has been enacted, the oppressed can begin to embrace freedom. These two stages are essential to Freire’s theory because “as long as the oppressed remain unaware of the cause of their condition, they fatalistically ‘accept’ their exploitation” (p. 64). Freire details how the development of pedagogy should progress. He states that reflection is essential to action. One must first reflect upon and ponder the circumstances in which one finds him or her self. The action taken must be carefully considered for all people who will be impacted by this pedagogy. The progress should involve dialogue and avoid violence in any fashion. Action and dialogue must come from the oppressed with consideration of oppressors who may recognize and align themselves with the pedagogy. Again, there must be proceedings in which liberation is the focus and not the possibility of the oppressed becoming the oppressors.

Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm

The Mike Wallace Interview: Erich Fromm (1958-05-25)

The Sane Society And Beyond

Bill Warren Revisits Fromm's "Sane Society" and ventures beyond that Society as seen by Fromm in his article below:

"... Fromm provides some ‘markers’ of the sanity, or otherwise, of society, prefacing his discussion with the acknowledgement that we, in the West at least, have greater material wealth than any other society in human history. Yet, and he is writing in 1956, we still have wars which kill millions of people, as well as an intense suspicion of other cultures (characterised once as a ‘cold war’). We have an economic system which pays farmers to not grow crops in order to ‘stabilise the market’ in their zone of economic activity while millions starve in another, an economic system that is significantly dependent on the production of weapons of war; the so-called ‘military-industrial complex’. We have a ninety percent (90%) literacy rate but the media in relation to which we exercise our literacy skills “fills the minds of men with the cheapest trash, lacking in any sense of reality, with sadistic phantasies which a halfway cultured person would be embarrassed to entertain” (p. 5). We have reduced the average number of working hours from a century previous, but we do not know how to use the free time made available to us. Or, as contemporary critics of the dominance of advanced technology such as Marcuse (1964) would say, our leisure time itself has been invaded by the mindless media offerings of the type just noted by Fromm. Further, Fromm cites some figures, albeit figures he acknowledges to be ‘rough’, concerning the then increasing number of admissions to psychiatric hospitals. Related to his statistic here is another; that some eighteen percent (18%) of ‘rejects’ from conscription in the USA (for WWII) were for reasons of mental illness, this suggested to be saying something about the society that produces those draftees. He also identifies some comparative data that he feels provides a further estimation of the health of society; that is, statistics on suicide, homicide,and alcoholism. Fromm’s figures show the then highest rates of suicide, homicide, and alcoholism in the Scandinavian countries, and in the United States. His general conclusion, though, having noted the correlation between suicide, alcoholism, and homicide in these last countries, is that the most democratic, peaceful and prosperous countries in Europe, and the most prosperous in the world (the USA), show the most severe symptoms of mental disturbance as indicated by these three behaviours.

Fromm’s substantive thesis is that mental health is shown not in the fact that people generally have adjusted to a particular social order (a “folie a millions” he calls this), but by the extent to which a particular social order corresponds or does not correspond to the needs of human beings. That is, not their felt needs, but their objectively ascertained needs, and he contrasts these needs with their opposites. Thus, he discusses relatedness versus narcissism; transcendence-creativenessversus destructiveness; rootedness-brotherliness versus incest; sense of identity-individuality versus herd conformity; reason versus irrationality. (As an aside, it is useful to say that these constructs are not merely arbitrarily ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when in operation in our social life, but can be shown to lead to a more harmonious social life and to more optimal psychological functioning in individuals. It is difficult to imagine how far blind conformity or irrationality, for example, would take us in terms of increasing our understanding of the world and of ourselves. Moreover, and at the risk of opening a much bigger debate drawn from the philosophy of science, it is arguable that they contribute to a progressive, rather than a degenerating research program (or programme; Lakatos, 1970) in regard to our understanding of at least our psychological and social life.)

In essence, Fromm describes a condition of individuals’ chararacterised by a defect of spontaneity and individuality the origins of which are in their cultural circumstances, which culture, paradoxically, “provides patterns which enable them to live with a defect without becoming ill” (Fromm, 191956/1963, p. 16). He suggests that Spinoza, in his Ethics (1677/1967), Chapter IV, Proposition 44, best formulated the problem of “the socially patterned defect”, and Fromm brings Spinoza’s description up to date:

"Today we come across a person who acts and feels like an automaton; who never experiences anything which is really his; who experiences himself entirely as the person he thinks he is supposed to be; whose artificial smile has replaced genuine laughter; whose meaningless chatter has replaced communicative speech; whose dull despair has taken the place of genuine pain." (p. 16)

Spinoza was a philosopher who more than any other argued how the classic separation of ‘thinking’, feeling, and ‘willing’ was mistaken, and this error is not repeated in PCP and was specifically rejected by Kelly (1955/1991). Rather, as Warren (1990, 1998) attempted to show, Kelly did not accept the tripartite distinction between ‘reason’, ‘emotion’ and ‘volition’ and his views are highly consistent with Spinoza’s account of mind. Thus, in the present discussion, any reference to ‘reasoning’ (thinking) trumping ‘feeling’ (emotion) is a misunderstanding; it is always a matter of balance.


Fromm was an early writer to raise the question of the sanity of our social arrangements, shortly following a period in which Europe, and then most of the rest of the West had ‘gone mad’. Rereading Fromm at this distance from the times he was describing, one is impressed by just how equally apt is his analysis to our present times. This is daily evident from even a passing attention to the popular media, but equally in the more sober, formal analyses that appear in scholarly journals and monographs. We could cite many such analyses, most painting but more detail into the broader canvas on which Fromm had sketched his outline, but a few will suffice. Chomsky (1989, 2003), for example, has been a consistent critic of the demise of real democracy in North America and in its exercise of its foreign policy, challenging “the United States to apply to its own actions the moral standards it demands of others” (Chomsky, 2003, p. 142). Hertz (2002) describes the consequences of the silent conversion of the world to a ‘global business civilisation’ which effectively corrupts and diminishes democracy (echoing Chomsky, 1989). Saul (2001) stresses how only by reclaiming a balance, an ‘equilibrium’ between the common qualities that all peoples share, can we keep the excesses of any one of these qualities in check and use them as positive forces in individual and group life. Given that both Saul and Fromm share the humanist perspective, Saul’s list of qualities is similar to Fromm’s. Saul’s six qualities, which he gives in alphabetical order so as not to privilege any particular one, are: Common Sense, Ethics, Imagination, Intuition, Memory, and Reason. Thus, he offers some hope for a resurgence of our humanity, and he has gone on to enlarge that hope (Saul, 2005). In this last work his argument is that the phenomenon that is ‘globalisation’ might have within it the seeds of its own destruction, just as the taken for granted non-resistant malleability of the human being might be a significant oversight to assume. These analyses were made before the so called ‘global financial crisis’ and the havoc generated by that crisis need not be catalogued, nor the particular economic efforts to fix it revisited in order to strengthen the point here. That said, and given our focus here is on mental health, we might note James (1988, 2007) who analyses well the negative psychological consequences of our ‘capture’ by consumerist demands, and Wilkinson and Pickett’s (2009) notion of a virus that leads one to adopt values and pursue goals that give us ‘affluenza’ – a mental condition that is tantamount to insanity – which refers to an addiction to a work-ethic that generates the resources that allow us to achieve more and more growth in our/our social group’s material wealth, to a point where ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ becomes an end in itself and despite the patent waste of resources – material and personal – and the futility of such a life.

It can be argued that these last writers chart particular dimensions of a more general phenomenon that is the growth of society governed by advanced technology. While the focus in that work is mainly ‘the west’, the phenomenon is no less a concern to ‘the east’ and, indeed, to ‘the world’, as non-western countries aspire to ‘western ways’ and globalisation creates ‘one world’; ‘the east’, however, is not directly germane here. Warren (2002) considered some ideas that have been developed within that field that is Philosophy of Technology, there in regard to PCP as an ‘applied psychology’. The Philosophy of Technology is a broad field encompassing various different perspectives. Feenberg (1991) differentiated three theories of technology: the instrumental, the substantive, and the critical. The first regards technology as simply the expression of humankind’s capacity to use the environment and as an activity that is under the control of the common ‘brakes’ on social forces that are composed of politics and culture. The second considers, rather, that technology has become an autonomous force that is ‘self-augmenting’ and essentially beyond the capacity of human beings – who are mere ‘cogs in its wheels’ – to influence. The third, drawing on the work of the Frankfurt School, is both less sanguine that the impacts of technology are benign, and less resigned to the inescapable negative outcomes. Critical theory of technology requires that we construe the situation as one in which the real struggle is about the control of technology and the democratisation of it. Thus, there is, again, some hope, and Feenberg (1991) sees this lying within the possibilities technology itself makes available. This might be seen, for example, in the possibilities for organising and the dissemination of information and ideas ‘outside’ the parameters set by the dominant hegemony.

These ideas noted, it must be accepted that any attempt to assess the general quality of social life is obviously fraught with difficulties; a major one is the operation of ideology, and of the analyst’s own particular ideology. What one person construes in positive terms of being financially secure and ‘comfortably off’, another construes as one having put selfishness ahead of principle in that others must be poor to allow that selfishness. What one sees as a ‘terrorist’ another sees as a ‘freedom fighter’, and the so-called ‘evil ones’ perceive those who so label them as such, to be themselves the doers of greater evil. Nonetheless the answers to the question of which constructions are ‘more true’ – or are more progressive and more conducive to co-operation and peace, love, and enquiry, and also, from a different perspective as previously noted, contribute to a progressive as differentiated from degeneratingresearch program – are not beyond human reason (‘reason’ as Spinoza conceives it to be, that is as a composite of thinking, feeling, willing).

Fromm, then, is an interesting early thinker who offers some challenges for the idea of mental health, linking it to the realm of ‘the social’, writ large and writ deep. It predates and is prescient for more embracing critiques of our contemporary social life, as given in a wide ranging literature in Philosophy of Technology, and in more specifically focused analyses exemplified in such thinkers as Chomsky, Hertz, and Saul, as well as James and Wilkinson and Pickett, to note but a few.

Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Education For Condition and the Production-Lines Mindset

This reading is from: PEDAGOGY OF THE OPPRESSED by Paulo Freire. New York: Continuum Books, 1993.

A careful analysis of the teacher-student relationship at any level, inside or outside the school, reveals its fundamentally narrative character. This relationship involves a narrating Subject (the teacher) and patient listening objects (the students). The contents, whether values or empirical dimensions of reality, tend in the process of being narrated to become lifeless and petrified. Education is suffering from narration sickness.

The teacher talks about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. Or else he expounds on a topic completely alien to the existential experience of the students. His task is to "fill" the students with the contents of his narration -- contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity.

The outstanding characteristic of this narrative education, then, is the sonority of words, not their transforming power. "Four times four is sixteen; the capital of Para is Belem." The student records, memorizes, and repeats these phrases without perceiving what four times four really means, or realizing the true significance of "capital" in the affirmation "the capital of Para is Belem," that is, what Belem means for Para and what Para means for Brazil.

Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated account. Worse yet, it turns them into "containers," into "receptacles" to be "filled" by the teachers. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teachers she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are.

Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the "banking' concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits. They do, it is true, have the opportunity to become collectors or cataloguers of the things they store. But in the last analysis, it is the people themselves who are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.

In the banking concept of education, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing. Projecting an absolute ignorance onto others, a characteristic of the ideology of oppression, negates education and knowledge as processes of inquiry. The teacher presents himself to his students as their necessary opposite; by considering their ignorance absolute, he justifies his own existence. The students, alienated like the slave in the Hegelian dialectic, accept their ignorance as justifying the teachers existence -- but unlike the slave, they never discover that they educate the teacher.

The raison d'etre of libertarian education, on the other hand, lies in its drive towards reconciliation. Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students.

This solution is not (nor can it be) found in the banking concept. On the contrary, banking education maintains and even stimulates the contradiction through the following attitudes and practices, which mirror oppressive society as a whole:

  • the teacher teaches and the students are taught;
  • the teacher knows everything and the students know nothing;
  • the teacher thinks and the students are thought about;
  • the teacher talks and the students listen -- meekly;
  • the teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined;
  • the teacher chooses and enforces his choice, and the students comply;
  • the teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher;
  • the teacher chooses the program content, and the students (who were not consulted) adapt to it;
  • the teacher confuses the authority of knowledge with his or her own professional authority, which she and he sets in opposition to the freedom of the students;
  • the teacher is the Subject of the learning process, while the pupils are mere objects.

It is not surprising that the banking concept of education regards men as adaptable, manageable beings. The more students work at storing the deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world. The more completely they accept the passive role imposed on them, the more they tend simply to adapt to the world as it is and to the fragmented view of reality deposited in them.

The capability of banking education to minimize or annul the student's creative power and to stimulate their credulity serves the interests of the oppressors, who care neither to have the world revealed nor to see it transformed. The oppressors use their "humanitarianism" to preserve a profitable situation. Thus they react almost instinctively against any experiment in education which stimulates the critical faculties and is not content with a partial view of reality always seeks out the ties which link one point to another and one problem to another.

Indeed, the interests of the oppressors lie in "changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them," (1) for the more the oppressed can be led to adapt to that situation, the more easily they can be dominated. To achieve this the oppressors use the banking concept of education in conjunction with a paternalistic social action apparatus, within which the oppressed receive the euphemistic title of "welfare recipients." They are treated as individual cases, as marginal persons who deviate from the general configuration of a "good, organized and just" society. The oppressed are regarded as the pathology of the healthy society which must therefore adjust these "incompetent and lazy" folk to its own patterns by changing their mentality. These marginals need to be "integrated," "incorporated" into the healthy society that they have "forsaken."

[Footnote #1: Simone de Beauvoir. La Pensee de Droite, Aujord'hui (Paris); ST, El Pensamiento politico de la Derecha (Buenos Aires, 1963), p. 34.

The truth is, however, that the oppressed are not "marginals," are not living "outside" society. They have always been "inside" the structure which made them "beings for others." The solution is not to 'integrate" them into the structure of oppression, but to transform that structure so that they can become "beings for themselves." Such transformation, of course, would undermine the oppressors' purposes; hence their utilization of the banking concept of education to avoid the threat of student conscientizacao.

The banking approach to adult education, for example, will never propose to students that they critically consider reality. It will deal instead with such vital questions as whether Roger gave green grass to the goat, and insist upon the importance of learning that, on the contrary, Roger gave green grass to the rabbit. The "humanism" of the banking approach masks the effort to turn women and men into automatons -- the very negation of their ontological vocation to be more fully human.

Those who use the banking approach, knowingly or unknowingly (for there are innumerable well-intentioned bank-clerk teachers who do not realize that they are serving only to dehumanize), fail to perceive that the deposits themselves contain contradictions about reality. But sooner or later, these contradictions may lead formerly passive students to turn against their domestication and the attempt to domesticate reality. They may discover through existential experience that their present way of life is irreconcilable with their vocation to become fully human. They may perceive through their relations with reality that reality is really a process, undergoing constant transformation. If men and women are searchers and their ontological vocation is humanization, sooner or later they may perceive the contradiction in which banking education seeks to maintain them, and then engage themselves in the struggle for their liberation.

But the humanist revolutionary educator cannot wait for this possibility to materialize. From the outset, her efforts must coincide with those of the students to engage in critical thinking and the quest for mutual humanization. His efforts must be imbued with a profound trust in people and their creative power. To achieve this, they must be partners of the students in their relations with them.

The banking concept does not admit to such partnership -- and necessarily so. To resolve the teacher-student contradiction, to exchange the role of depositor, prescriber, domesticator, for the role of student among students would be to undermine the power of oppression and serve the cause of liberation.

Implicit in the banking concept is the assumption of a dichotomy between human beings and the world: a person is merely in the world, not with the world or with others; the individual is spectator, not re-creator. In this view, the person is not a conscious being (corpo consciente); he or she is rather the possessor of a consciousness: an empty "mind" passively open to the reception of deposits of reality from the world outside. For example, my desk, my books, my coffee cup, all the objects before me, -- as bits of the world which surround me -- would be "inside" me, exactly as I am inside my study right now. This view makes no distinction between being accessible to consciousness and entering consciousness. The distinction, however, is essential: the objects which surround me are simply accessible to my consciousness, not located within it. I am aware of them, but they are not inside me.

It follows logically from the banking notion of consciousness that the educator's role is to regulate the way the world "enters into" the students. The teacher's task is to organize a process which already occurs spontaneously, to "fill" the students by making deposits of information which he of she considers to constitute true knowledge. (2) And since people "receive" the world as passive entities, education should make them more passive still, and adapt them to the world. The educated individual is the adapted person, because she or he is better 'fit" for the world. Translated into practice, this concept is well suited for the purposes of the oppressors, whose tranquility rests on how well people fit the world the oppressors have created and how little they question it.

[Footnote #2: This concept corresponds to what Sartre calls the 'digestive' or 'nutritive' in which knowledge is 'fed' by the teacher to the students to "fill them out." See Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Une idee fundamentals de la phenomenologie de Husserl: L'intentionalite," Situations I (Paris, 1947).]

The more completely the majority adapt to the purposes which the dominant majority prescribe for them (thereby depriving them of the right to their own purposes), the more easily the minority can continue to prescribe. The theory and practice of banking education serve this end quite efficiently. Verbalistic lessons, reading requirements, (3) the methods for evaluating "knowledge," the distance between the teacher and the taught, the criteria for promotion: everything in this ready-to-wear approach serves to obviate thinking.

{Footnote #3: For example, some professors specify in their reading lists that a book should be read from pages 10 to 15 -- and do this to 'help' their students!]

The bank-clerk educator does not realize that there is no true security in his hypertrophied role, that one must seek to live with others in solidarity. One cannot impose oneself, nor even merely co-exist with one's students. Solidarity requires true communication, and the concept by which such an educator is guided fears and proscribes communication.

Yet only through communication can human life hold meaning. The teacher's thinking is authenticated only by the authenticity of the students' thinking. The teacher cannot think for her students, nor can she impose her thought on them. Authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned about reality, does not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication. If it is true that thought has meaning only when generated by action upon the world, the subordination of students to teachers becomes impossible.

Because banking education begins with a false understanding of men and women as objects, it cannot promote the development of what Fromm calls "biophily," but instead produces its opposite: "necrophily."

While life is characterized by growth in a structured functional manner, the necrophilous person loves all that does not grow, all that is mechanical. The necrophilous person is driven by the desire to transform the organic into the inorganic, to approach life mechanically, as if all living persons were things. . . . Memory, rather than experience; having, rather than being, is what counts' The necrophilous person can relate to an object -- a flower or a person -- only if he possesses it; hence a threat to his possession is a threat to himself, if he loses possession he loses contact with the world. . . . He loves control, and in the act of controlling he kills life. (4)

[Footnote #4: Fromm, op. cit. p. 41.]

Oppression --overwhelming control -- is necrophilic; it is nourished by love of death, not life. The banking concept of education, which serves the interests of oppression, is also necrophilic. Based on a mechanistic, static, naturalistic, spatialized view of consciousness, it transforms students into receiving objects. It attempts to control thinking and action, leads women and men to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power.

When their efforts to act responsibly are frustrated, when they find themselves unable to use their faculties, people suffer. "This suffering due to impotence is rooted in the very fact that the human has been disturbed." (5) But the inability to act which people's anguish also causes them to reject their impotence, by attempting

. . . .to restore [their] capacity to act. But can [they], and how? One way is to submit to and identify with a person or group having power. By this symbolic participation in another person's life, (men have] the illusion of acting, when in reality [they] only submit to and become a part of those who act. (6)

[Footnote #5: Ibid., p 31.]

[Footnote #6: Ibid. 7.]

Populist manifestations perhaps best exemplify this type of behavior by the oppressed, who, by identifying with charismatic leaders, come to feel that they themselves are active and effective. The rebellion they express as they emerge in the historical process is motivated by that desire to act effectively. The dominant elites consider the remedy to be more domination and repression, carried out in the name of freedom, order, and social peace (that is, the peace of the elites). Thus they can condemn -- logically, from their point of view -- "the violence of a strike by workers and [can] call upon the state in the same breath to use violence in putting down the strike." (7)

[Footnote #7: Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society (New York, 1960), p. 130. ]

Education as the exercise of domination stimulates the credulity of students, with the ideological intent (often not perceived by educators) of indoctrinating them to adapt to the world of oppression. This accusation is not made in the naive hope that the dominant elites will thereby simply abandon the practice. Its objective is to call the attention of true humanists to the fact that they cannot use banking educational methods in the pursuit of liberation, for they would only negate that very pursuit. Nor may a revolutionary society inherit these methods from an oppressor society. The revolutionary society which practices banking education is either misguided or mistrusting of people. In either event, it is threatened by the specter of reaction.

Unfortunately, those who espouse the cause of liberation are themselves surrounded and influenced by the climate which generates the banking concept, and often do not perceive its true significance or its dehumanizing power. Paradoxically, then, they utilize this same instrument of alienation in what they consider an effort to liberate. Indeed, some "revolutionaries" brand as "innocents," "dreamers," or even "reactionaries" those who would challenge this educational practice. But one does not liberate people by alienating them. Authentic liberation-the process of humanization-is not another deposit to be made in men. Liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it.

Those truly committed to liberation must reject the banking concept in its entirety, adopting instead a concept of women and men as conscious beings, and consciousness as consciousness intent upon the world. They must abandon the educational goal of deposit-making and replace it with the posing of the problems of human beings in their relations with the world. "Problem-posing" education, responding to the essence of consciousness --intentionality -- rejects communiques and embodies communication. It epitomizes the special characteristic of consciousness: being conscious of, not only as intent on objects but as turned in upon itself in a Jasperian split" --consciousness as consciousness of consciousness.

Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferals of information. It is a learning situation in which the cognizable object (far from being the end of the cognitive act) intermediates the cognitive actors -- teacher on the one hand and students on the other. Accordingly, the practice of problem-posing education entails at the outset that the teacher-student contradiction to be resolved. Dialogical relations -- indispensable to the capacity of cognitive actors to cooperate in perceiving the same cognizable object --are otherwise impossible.

Indeed problem-posing education, which breaks with the vertical characteristic of banking education, can fulfill its function of freedom only if it can overcome the above contradiction. Through dialogue, the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-student with students-teachers. The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow. In this process, arguments based on "authority" are no longer valid; in order to function authority must be on the side of freedom, not against it. Here, no one teaches another, nor is anyone self-taught. People teach each other, mediated by the world, by the cognizable objects which in banking education are "owned" by the teacher.

The banking concept (with its tendency to dichotomize everything) distinguishes two stages in the action of the educator. During the first he cognizes a cognizable object while he prepares his lessons in his study or his laboratory; during the second, he expounds to his students about that object. The students are not called upon to know, but to memorize the contents narrated by the teacher. Nor do the students practice any act of cognition, since the object towards which that act should be directed is the property of the teacher rather than a medium evoking the critical reflection of both teacher and students. Hence in the name of the "preservation of and knowledge" we have a system which achieves neither true knowledge nor true culture.

The problem-posing method does not dichotomize the activity of teacher-student: she is not "cognitive" at one point and "narrative" at another. She is always "cognitive," whether preparing a project or engaging in dialogue with the students. He does not regard objects as his private property, but as the object of reflection by himself and his students. In this way, the problem-posing educator constantly re-forms his reflections in the reflection of the students. The students -- no longer docile listeners -- are now--critical co-investigators in dialogue with the teacher. The teacher presents the material to the students for their consideration, and re-considers her earlier considerations as the students express their own. The role of the problem-posing educator is to create, together with the students, the conditions under which knowledge at the level of the doxa is superseded by true knowledge at the level of the logos. Whereas banking education anesthetizes and inhibits creative power, problem-posing education involves a constant unveiling of reality. The former attempts to maintain the submersion of consciousness; the latter strives for the emergence of consciousness and critical intervention in reality.

Students, as they are increasingly posed with problems relating to themselves in the world and with the world, will feel increasingly challenged and obliged to respond to that challenge. Because they apprehend the challenge as interrelated to other problems within a total context not as a theoretical question, the resulting comprehension tends to be increasingly critical and thus constantly less alienated. Their response to the challenge evokes new challenges, followed by new understandings; and gradually the students come to regard themselves as committed.

Education as the practice of freedom -- as opposed to education as the practice of domination -- denies that man is abstract, isolated, independent and unattached to the world; it also denies that the world exists as a reality apart from people. Authentic reflection considers neither abstract man nor the world without people, but people in their relations with the world. In these relations consciousness and world are simultaneous: consciousness neither precedes the world nor follows it.

La conscience et le monde sont dormes dun meme coup: exterieur par essence a la conscience, le monde est, par essence relatif a elle. (8)

[Footnote #8: Sartre, op. cit., p. 32.]

In one of our culture circles in Chile, the group was discussing (based on a codification) the anthropological concept of culture. In the midst of the discussion, a peasant who by banking standards was completely ignorant said: "Now I see that without man there is no world." When the educator responded: "Let's say, for the sake of argument, that all the men on earth were to die, but that the earth remained, together with trees, birds, animals, rivers, seas, the stars. . . wouldn't all this be a world?" "Oh no," the peasant replied . "There would be no one to say: 'This is a world'."

The peasant wished to express the idea that there would be lacking the consciousness of the world which necessarily implies the world of consciousness. I cannot exist without a non-I. In turn, the not-I depends on that existence. The world which brings consciousness into existence becomes the world of that consciousness. Hence, the previously cited affirmation of Sartre: "La conscience et le monde sont dormes d'un meme coup."

As women and men, simultaneously reflecting on themselves and world, increase the scope of their perception, they begin to direct their observations towards previously inconspicuous phenomena:

In perception properly so-called, as an explicit awareness [Gewahren], I am turned towards the object, to the paper, for instance. I apprehend it as being this here and now. The apprehension is a singling out, every object having a background in experience. Around and about the paper lie books, pencils, inkwell and so forth, and these in a certain sense are also "perceived," perceptually there, in the "field of intuition"; but whilst I was turned towards the paper there was no turning in their direction, nor any apprehending of them, not even in a secondary sense. They appeared and yet were not singled out, were posited on their own account. Every perception of a thing has such a zone of background intuitions or background awareness, if "intuiting" already includes the state of being turned towards, and this also is a "conscious experience", or more briefly a "consciousness of" all indeed that in point of fact lies in the co-perceived objective background. (10)

[Footnote #10: Edmund Husserl, Ideas-General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology (London, 1969), pp. 105-106.]

That which had existed objectively but had not been perceived in its deeper implications (if indeed it was perceived at all) begins to "stand out," assuming the character of a problem and therefore of challenge. Thus, men and women begin to single out elements from their "background awareness" and to reflect upon them. These elements are now objects of their consideration, and, as such, objects of their action and cognition.

In problem-posing education, people develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation. Although the dialectical relations of women and men with the world exist independently of how these relations are perceived (or whether or not they are perceived at all), it is also true that the form of action they adopt is to a large extent a function of how they perceive themselves in the world. Hence, the teacher-student and the students-teachers reflect simultaneously on themselves and the world without dichotomizing this reflection from action, and thus establish an authentic form of thought and action.

Once again, the two educational concepts and practices under analysis come into conflict. Banking education (for obvious reasons) attempts, by mythicizing reality, to conceal certain facts which explain the way human beings exist in the world; problem-posing education sets itself the task of demythologizing. Banking education resists dialogue; problem-posing education regards dialogue as indispensable to the act of cognition which unveils reality. Banking education treats students as objects of assistance; problem-posing education makes them critical thinkers. Banking education inhibits creativity and domesticates (although it cannot completely destroy) the intentionality of consciousness by isolating consciousness from the world, thereby denying people their ontological and historical vocation of becoming more fully human. Problem-posing education bases itself on creativity and stimulates true reflection and action upon reality, thereby responding to the vocation of persons as beings only when engaged in inquiry and creative transformation. In sum: banking theory and practice, as immobilizing and fixating forces, fail to acknowledge men and women as historical beings; problem-posing theory and practice take the people's historicity as their starting point.

Problem-posing education affirms men and women as beings the process of becoming -- as unfinished, uncompleted beings in and with a likewise unfinished reality. Indeed, in contrast to other animals who are unfinished, but not historical, people know themselves to be unfinished; they are aware of their incompletion. In this incompletion and this awareness lie the very roots of education as an human manifestation. The unfinished character of human beings and the transformational character of reality necessitate that education be an ongoing activity.

Education is thus constantly remade in the praxis. In order to be, it must become. Its "duration" (in the Bergsonian meaning of the word) is found in the interplay of the opposites permanence and change. The banking method emphasizes permanence and becomes problem-posing education -- which accepts neither a "well-behaved" present nor a predetermined future -- roots itself in the dynamic present and becomes revolutionary.

Problem-posing education is revolutionary futurity. Hence it is prophetic (and as such, hopeful). Hence, it corresponds to the historical nature of humankind. Hence, it affirms women and men as who transcend themselves, who move forward and look ahead, for whom immobility represents a fatal threat for whom looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future. Hence, it identifies with the movement which engages people as beings aware of their incompletion -- an historical movement which has its point of departure, its Subjects and its objective.

The point of departure of the movement lies in the people themselves. But since people do not exist apart from the world, apart from reality, the movement must begin with the human-world relationship. Accordingly, the point of departure must always be with men and women in the "here and now," which constitutes the situation within which they are submerged, from which they emerge, and in which they intervene. Only by starting from this situation -- which determines their perception of it -- can they begin to move. To do this authentically they must perceive their state not as fated and unalterable, but merely as limiting - and therefore challenging.

Whereas the banking method directly or indirectly reinforces men's fatalistic perception of their situation, the problem-posing method presents this very situation to them as a problem. As the situation becomes the object of their cognition, the naive or magical perception which produced their fatalism gives way to perception which is able to perceive itself even as it perceives reality, and can thus be critically objective about that reality.

A deepened consciousness of their situation leads people to apprehend that situation as an historical reality susceptible of transformation. Resignation gives way to the drive for transformation and inquiry, over which men feel themselves to be in control. If people, as historical beings necessarily engaged with other people in a movement of inquiry, did not control that movement, it would be (and is) a violation of their humanity. Any situation in which some individuals prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence. The means used are not important; to alienate human beings from their own decision-making is to change them into objects.

This movement of inquiry must be directed towards humanization -- the people's historical vocation. The pursuit of full humanity, however, cannot be carried out in isolation or individualism, but only in fellowship and solidarity; therefore it cannot unfold in the antagonistic relations between oppressors and oppressed. No one can be authentically human while he prevents others from being so. Attempting to be more human, individualistically, leads to having more, egotistically, a form of dehumanization. Not that it is not fundamental to have in order to be human. Precisely because it is necessary, some men's having must not be allowed to constitute an obstacle to others' having, must not consolidate the power of the former to crush the latter.

Problem-posing education, as a humanist and liberating praxis, posits as fundamental that the people subjected to domination must fight for their emancipation. To that end, it enables teachers and students to become Subjects of the educational process by overcoming authoritarianism and an alienating intellectualism; it also enables people to overcome their false perception of reality. The world -- no longer something to be described with deceptive words -- becomes the object of that transforming action by men and women which results in their humanization.

Problem-posing education does not and cannot serve the interests of the oppressor. No oppressive order could permit the oppressed to begin to question: Why? While only a revolutionary society can carry out this education in systematic terms, the revolutionary leaders need not take full power before they can employ the method. In the revolutionary process, the leaders cannot utilize the banking method as an interim measure, justified on grounds of expediency, with intention of later behaving in a genuinely revolutionary fashion. They must be revolutionary -- that is to say, dialogical -- from the outset."

Internet Maarketing Education

Internet Maarketing Education

Internet Education: Books and computer muse 3d

Internet Education: Books and computer muse 3d

Bridging the gap: Students talk about connecting online learning to real-world workplaces

Bridging the gap: Students talk about connecting online learning to real-world workplaces

Whilst we might be sternly focused on the old forms of schooling, there is now Internet Schooling which is called "Market Education" viral. We learn from Seth Alexander that:

'Internet marketing' education refers to the education of advertisement, marketing and proliferation methods and policies of any business, product or service online, just the way experts and agencies do. Real practitioners do tutoring in a prearranged and planned environment to educate you with the fundamentals of internet marketing. Internet marketing education has gained popularity since the fundamentals and theories can help your business bloom and subsist through all economic downturns. New marketers should avail themselves to internet marketing education instead of struggling through the competitive market.

In order to know the importance of having an internet marketing education, it is very important to orient one as to what internet marketing is all about and why it is the need of the hour? Promotion efforts done solely on the internet by using methods like PPC, targeted emails, banner ads etc is called internet marketing. Google & Yahoo have benefited the most from this new beacon of marketing. The internet connects billions of individuals at the global level thus forwarding your business to all corporate markets worldwide, all of that with the expenditure of not much money on advertisements. An internet marketing education equips its students with this expertise and competence. Web analytics and cost- volume- profit analysis implementations can be put to use for evaluating your campaigns efficacy but it also demands you learn many features of internet marketing.

There are many internet marketing training sites online. They teach things like domain registration, creation of sales funnels, advertising, pay per click, making money online or on eBay, YouTube and making Super Affiliate Commissions. These are some of initial areas incorporated in internet marketing education programs. Directing traffic of audiences is the crucial, most taught task under experts. Generating leads and methodologies of both search engine marketing (SEM) & search engine optimization (SEO) are thoroughly taught to marketing students. To reach the anticipated success heights, it’s important to lay down a strong foothold in the comprehension and awareness of these key ideas and basic rules.

Approaches of the renowned marketers are analyzed in internet marketing education programs to realize their tactics, follow in their footsteps and make a big name for oneself in the sales industry. Relevant information regarding internet marketing and related subjects is delivered in a demonstrative manner to ensure understanding. Videos and graphic media is used to train the beginners how to market & manage their corporate agenda online through the internet. In addition, how to acquire a number of clients or lead generation is also taught extensively. Tools like mp3s, webinars, practical worksheets, templates, videos, transcripts, marketing models, guides and outlines are used for an effective internet marketing education.

Over the past decade, digital & online marketing has taken over. The higher education institutions are still under-adapted to the appropriate marketing curriculums that fit well into the changing industry. Today’s college graduates not only need general education but practical skills also. Unfortunately, internet marketing education institutions are not endowing graduates with the functional skills employers demand. Traditional higher education does not teach best practices for internet marketing. However, by improvising and modernizing the educational slant, individuals apt for contemporary internet marketing can be developed. Practical implementation of theoretical knowledge in a formal educational environment is the chief motto of internet marketing education. Textbook knowledge & orthodox ideologies of marketing are irrelevant at workplaces now. Creative and innovative assignments, demonstrations and presentations demanded by educators can make the students shine in internet marketing!

What is your internet marketing education?

There is definitely one internet marketing education system that rises above the rest. It takes all the problems someone would have while marketing online and provides internet marketing education in a step by step method. The My Lead System Pro Biz Builder Academy is the only internet marketing education program I can with a clear conscious endorse. Not only will you learn everything you need to know, you will be mentored directly by 6 and 7 figure earners, get access to exclusive members only content, and develop your online business to a level you never dreamed possible. Check out the free 29 minute movie that will stop the bleeding and the pain, save you years of wasted time, and save you thousands of wasted dollars at the Biz Builder Academy now before it’s taken down. Make sure you choose the Internet marketing education of the pros and join me, see you on the other side. Thanks again for reading my internet marketing blog.

Have you received your internet marketing education from somewhere besides MLSP? Let me know in the comments!

Some favorite videos by Suli Breaks on education follow. Not specifically on internet marketing education but I think they apply to everyone in this industry.

Students on Linking Online Learning With real Workplace

Last month, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies launched an innovative pilot class called Online Experiential Learning for Working Professionals. The class—a first of its kind—gives working graduate students who are pursuing their degrees online to directly translate what they learn in class to the workplace. How? By giving them the chance to craft and complete a relevant project that addresses an identified business need for their current employer.

As CPS dean John LaBrie said in his recent blog post on online experiential learning:

The romantic notion that adults come back to higher education for personal enrichment and self-directed intellectual pursuits does not hold water. …the vast majority are in it for a better life, which almost always translates to enhanced career outcomes.

The majority of online students at CPS are employed. This new pilot is designed to equip these students to further their education and grow their skills while attending classes online and putting their knowledge into practice—on the job. (For an overview of the concept behind the class, check out this recent post by Ellen Stoddard, who is coordinating the pilot program.)

So what do the students think of the concept? Below are comments from some who are taking part in the pilot on why they chose this unique class.

[My] project could help leadership identify critical business issues which will aid in the process of making the decisions necessary to remain a stable and viable company in the future.

Another student sees the benefits of online participation:

Being exclusively an online student, I regularly seek to find the connections between my work toward my Nonprofit Management degree and my personal and professional life. …Participating in this experiential learning program [gives] me the opportunity to both enhance my learning and bring added resources to [my role].

“Real-world experience” means just that—and the student group represents a lot of parts of the world: Geographically, the students hail from down the street in Boston down to North Carolina and Florida, and as far away as Dubai.

The diversity of the group reflects the broad potential for the pilot’s applications. One student is working on his project at a name-brand plant in Ohio; another is employed full-time at a New England law firm. Two of the participants intend to apply their newly developed skills to nonprofit work.

As Dean LaBrie puts it, “…incorporating experiential learning into online and hybrid learning programs is not only a crucial step toward these goals—it’s an inevitable one.” This pilot is an example of taking that step; we’ll continue to share results as the pilot progresses over the next several months.

I barged into my son’s room on Wednesday afternoon to ask him when he wanted dinner, and discovered him watching a Khan Academu Video to help with his chemistry homework. And I thought: that story I’ve been working on about the backlash against MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses)? Why am I even bothering? The war is already over. Debating the value of online education at the current moment in history makes about as much sense as questioning the tactics of the losing Roman generals in the great third century B.C. battle of Cannae. Perhaps of some interest to academics, but moot. Hannibal kicked ass. End of story.

I am not arguing that we shouldn’t be looking long and hard at exactly how online courses are “disrupting” education, with special attention devoted to who plans to profit from new delivery models and how taxpayers will inevitably get screwed. What I’m saying is we have to start from the position that the tidal wave is already here. Indignation, however righteous, is beside the point. The kids who are cutting their teeth on Khan Academy videos for help with their chemistry and calculus homework will grow up correctly assuming that there will always be low-cost or free educational opportunities available to them online in virtually any field of inquiry. They will naturally migrate to the best stuff and be less and less willing to pay for crap. This will cause a lot of trauma for the educational establishment, but that’s not the problem of the next generation that wants to learn.

A friend of my son taught himself how to play the ukulele from YouTube videos last summer. Perhaps that doesn’t sound like a threat to the college education status quo, but it should. Because the principle at work is irresistible: The Internet vastly decreases the costs of distribution of anything that can be digitized, whether you want ukulele lessons or Artificial Intelligence for robotics. We can’t help but take advantage of this fact. Right now, if you want to learn remedial algebra or study the ancient Greek idea of the hero, as taught by a Harvard classics professor, you can, for free (or at the very least, for vastly less than what it would cost at a brick-and-mortar-and-ivy campus). Tomorrow, there will only be more options.

Internet Degree on the iPod

Internet Degree on the iPod

Education As We Know It Might Be Ending

We will use an article by Nathan Harden on this part in which he has written:


n fifty years, if not much sooner, half of the roughly 4,500 colleges and universities now operating in the United States will have ceased to exist. The technology driving this change is already at work, and nothing can stop it. The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million students.

We’ve all heard plenty about the “college bubble” in recent years. Student loan debt is at an all-time high—an average of more than $23,000 per graduate by some counts—and tuition costs continue to rise at a rate far outpacing inflation, as they have for decades. Credential inflation is devaluing the college degree, making graduate degrees, and the greater debt required to pay for them, increasingly necessary for many people to maintain the standard of living they experienced growing up in their parents’ homes. Students are defaulting on their loans at an unprecedented rate, too, partly a function of an economy short on entry-level professional positions. Yet, as with all bubbles, there’s a persistent public belief in the value of something, and that faith in the college degree has kept demand high.

The figures are alarming, the anecdotes downright depressing. But the real story of the American higher-education bubble has little to do with individual students and their debts or employment problems. The most important part of the college bubble story—the one we will soon be hearing much more about—concerns the impending financial collapse of numerous private colleges and universities and the likely shrinkage of many public ones. And when that bubble bursts, it will end a system of higher education that, for all of its history, has been steeped in a culture of exclusivity. Then we’ll see the birth of something entirely new as we accept one central and unavoidable fact: The college classroom is about to go virtual.


e are all aware that the IT revolution is having an impact on education, but we tend to appreciate the changes in isolation, and at the margins. Very few have been able to exercise their imaginations to the point that they can perceive the systemic and structural changes ahead, and what they portend for the business models and social scripts that sustain the status quo. That is partly because the changes are threatening to many vested interests, but also partly because the human mind resists surrender to upheaval and the anxiety that tends to go with it. But resist or not, major change is coming. The live lecture will be replaced by streaming video. The administration of exams and exchange of coursework over the internet will become the norm. The push and pull of academic exchange will take place mainly in interactive online spaces, occupied by a new generation of tablet-toting, hyper-connected youth who already spend much of their lives online. Universities will extend their reach to students around the world, unbounded by geography or even by time zones. All of this will be on offer, too, at a fraction of the cost of a traditional college education.

How do I know this will happen? Because recent history shows us that the internet is a great destroyer of any traditional business that relies on the sale of information. The internet destroyed the livelihoods of traditional stock brokers and bonds salesmen by throwing open to everyone access to the proprietary information they used to sell. The same technology enabled bankers and financiers to develop new products and methods, but, as it turned out, the experience necessary to manage it all did not keep up. Prior to the Wall Street meltdown, it seemed absurd to think that storied financial institutions like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers could disappear seemingly overnight. Until it happened, almost no one believed such a thing was possible. Well, get ready to see the same thing happen to a university near you, and not for entirely dissimilar reasons.

The higher-ed business is in for a lot of pain as a new era of creative destruction produces a merciless shakeout of those institutions that adapt and prosper from those that stall and die. Meanwhile, students themselves are in for a golden age, characterized by near-universal access to the highest quality teaching and scholarship at a minimal cost. The changes ahead will ultimately bring about the most beneficial, most efficient and most equitable access to education that the world has ever seen. There is much to be gained. We may lose the gothic arches, the bespectacled lecturers, dusty books lining the walls of labyrinthine libraries—wonderful images from higher education’s past. But nostalgia won’t stop the unsentimental beast of progress from wreaking havoc on old ways of doing things. If a faster, cheaper way of sharing information emerges, history shows us that it will quickly supplant what came before. People will not continue to pay tens of thousands of dollars for what technology allows them to get for free.

Technology will also bring future students an array of new choices about how to build and customize their educations. Power is shifting away from selective university admissions officers into the hands of educational consumers, who will soon have their choice of attending virtually any university in the world online. This will dramatically increase competition among universities. Prestigious institutions, especially those few extremely well-endowed ones with money to buffer and finance change, will be in a position to dominate this virtual, global educational marketplace. The bottom feeders—the for-profit colleges and low-level public and non-profit colleges—will disappear or turn into the equivalent of vocational training institutes. Universities of all ranks below the very top will engage each other in an all-out war of survival. In this war, big-budget universities carrying large transactional costs stand to lose the most. Smaller, more nimble institutions with sound leadership will do best.


his past spring, Harvard and MIT got the attention of everyone in the higher ed business when they announced a new online education venture called edX. The new venture will make online versions of the universities’ courses available to a virtually unlimited number of enrollees around the world. Think of the ramifications: Now anyone in the world with an internet connection can access the kind of high-level teaching and scholarship previously available only to a select group of the best and most privileged students. It’s all part of a new breed of online courses known as “massive open online courses” (MOOCs), which are poised to forever change the way students learn and universities teach.

One of the biggest barriers to the mainstreaming of online education is the common assumption that students don’t learn as well with computer-based instruction as they do with in-person instruction. There’s nothing like the personal touch of being in a classroom with an actual professor, says the conventional wisdom, and that’s true to some extent. Clearly, online education can’t be superior in all respects to the in-person experience. Nor is there any point pretending that information is the same as knowledge, and that access to information is the same as the teaching function instrumental to turning the former into the latter. But researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative, who’ve been experimenting with computer-based learning for years, have found that when machine-guided learning is combined with traditional classroom instruction, students can learn material in half the time. Researchers at Ithaka S+R studied two groups of students—one group that received all instruction in person, and another group that received a mixture of traditional and computer-based instruction. The two groups did equally well on tests, but those who received the computer instruction were able to learn the same amount of material in 25 percent less time.

The real value of MOOCs is their scalability. Andrew Ng, a Stanford computer science professor and co-founder of an open-source web platform called Coursera (a for-profit version of edX), got into the MOOC business after he discovered that thousands of people were following his free Stanford courses online. He wanted to capitalize on the intense demand for high-quality, open-source online courses. A normal class Ng teaches at Stanford might enroll, at most, several hundred students. But in the fall of 2011 his online course in machine learning enrolled 100,000. “To reach that many students before”, Ng explained to Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, “I would have had to teach my normal Stanford class for 250 years.”

Based on the popularity of the MOOC offerings online so far, we know that open-source courses at elite universities have the potential to serve enormous “classes.” An early MIT online course called “Circuits and Electronics” has attracted 120,000 registrants. Top schools like Yale, MIT and Stanford have been making streaming videos and podcasts of their courses available online for years, but MOOCs go beyond this to offer a full-blown interactive experience. Students can intermingle with faculty and with each other over a kind of higher-ed social network. Streaming lectures may be accompanied by short auto-graded quizzes. Students can post questions about course material to discuss with other students. These discussions unfold across time zones, 24 hours a day. In extremely large courses, students can vote questions up or down, so that the best questions rise to the top. It’s like an educational amalgam of YouTube, Wikipedia and Facebook.

Among the chattering classes in higher ed, there is an increasing sense that we have reached a tipping point where new interactive web technology, coupled with widespread access to broadband internet service and increased student comfort interacting online, will send online education mainstream. It’s easy to forget that only ten years ago Facebook didn’t exist. Teens now approaching college age are members of the first generation to have grown up conducting a major part of their social lives online. They are prepared to engage with professors and students online in a way their predecessors weren’t, and as time passes more and more professors are comfortable with the technology, too.

In the future, the primary platform for higher education may be a third-party website, not the university itself. What is emerging is a global marketplace where courses from numerous universities are available on a single website. Students can pick and choose the best offerings from each school; the university simply uploads the content. Coursera, for example, has formed agreements with Penn, Princeton, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan to manage these schools’ forays into online education. On the non-profit side, MIT has been the nation’s leader in pioneering open-source online education through its MITx platform, which launched last December and serves as the basis for the new edX platform.


old on there a minute, you might object. Just as information is not the same as knowledge, and auto-access is not necessarily auto-didactics, so taking a bunch of random courses does not a coherent university education make. Mere exposure, too, doesn’t guarantee that knowledge has been learned. In other words, what about the justifiable function of majors and credentials?

MIT is the first elite university to offer a credential for students who complete its free, open-source online courses. (The certificate of completion requires a small fee.) For the first time, students can do more than simply watch free lectures; they can gain a marketable credential—something that could help secure a raise or a better job. While edX won’t offer traditional academic credits, Harvard and MIT have announced that “certificates of mastery” will be available for those who complete the online courses and can demonstrate knowledge of course material. The arrival of credentials, backed by respected universities, eliminates one of the last remaining obstacles to the widespread adoption of low-cost online education. Since edX is open source, Harvard and MIT expect other universities to adopt the same platform and contribute their own courses. And the two universities have put $60 million of their own money behind the project, making edX the most promising MOOC venture out there right now.

Anant Agarwal, an MIT computer science professor and edX’s first president, told the Los Angeles Times, “MIT’s and Harvard’s mission is to provide affordable education to anybody who wants it.” That’s a very different mission than elite schools like Harvard and MIT have had for most of their existence. These schools have long focused on educating the elite—the smartest and, often, the wealthiest students in the world. But Agarwal’s statement is an indication that, at some level, these institutions realize that the scalability and economic efficiency of online education allow for a new kind of mission for elite universities. Online education is forcing elite schools to re-examine their priorities. In the future, they will educate the masses as well as the select few. The leaders of Harvard and MIT have founded edX, undoubtedly, because they realize that these changes are afoot, even if they may not yet grasp just how profound those changes will be.

And what about the social experience that is so important to college? Students can learn as much from their peers in informal settings as they do from their professors in formal ones. After college, networking with fellow alumni can lead to valuable career opportunities. Perhaps that is why, after the launch of edX, the presidents of both Harvard and MIT emphasized that their focus would remain on the traditional residential experience. “Online education is not an enemy of residential education”, said MIT president Susan Hockfield.

Yet Hockfield’s statement doesn’t hold true for most less wealthy universities. Harvard and MIT’s multi-billion dollar endowments enable them to support a residential college system alongside the virtually free online platforms of the future, but for other universities online education poses a real threat to the residential model. Why, after all, would someone pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend Nowhere State University when he or she can attend an online version of MIT or Harvard practically for free?

This is why those middle-tier universities that have spent the past few decades spending tens or even hundreds of millions to offer students the Disneyland for Geeks experience are going to find themselves in real trouble. Along with luxury dorms and dining halls, vast athletic facilities, state of the art game rooms, theaters and student centers have come layers of staff and non-teaching administrators, all of which drives up the cost of the college degree without enhancing student learning. The biggest mistake a non-ultra-elite university could make today is to spend lavishly to expand its physical space. Buying large swaths of land and erecting vast new buildings is an investment in the past, not the future. Smart universities should be investing in online technology and positioning themselves as leaders in the new frontier of open-source education. Creating the world’s premier, credentialed open online education platform would be a major achievement for any university, and it would probably cost much less than building a new luxury dorm.

Even some elite universities may find themselves in trouble in this regard, despite their capacity, as noted, to retain the residential norm. In 2007 Princeton completed construction on a new $136 million luxury dormitory for its students—all part of an effort to expand its undergraduate enrollment. Last year Yale finalized plans to build new residential dormitories at a combined cost of $600 million. The expansion will increase the size of Yale’s undergraduate population by about 1,000. The project is so expensive that Yale could actually buy a three-bedroom home in New Haven for every new student it is bringing in and still save $100 million. In New York City, Columbia stirred up controversy by seizing entire blocks of Harlem by force of eminent domain for a project with a $6.3 billion price tag. Not to be outdone, Columbia’s downtown neighbor, NYU, announced plans to buy up six million square feet of debt-leveraged space in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, at an estimated cost of $6 billion. The University of Pennsylvania has for years been expanding all over West Philadelphia like an amoeba gone real-estate insane. What these universities are doing is pure folly, akin to building a compact disc factory in the late 1990s. They are investing in a model that is on its way to obsolescence. If these universities understood the changes that lie ahead, they would be selling off real estate, not buying it—unless they prefer being landlords to being educators.

Now, because the demand for college degrees is so high (whether for good reasons or not is not the question for the moment), and because students and the parents who love them are willing to take on massive debt in order to obtain those degrees, and because the government has been eager to make student loans easier to come by, these universities and others have, so far, been able to keep on building and raising prices. But what happens when a limited supply of a sought-after commodity suddenly becomes unlimited? Prices fall. Yet here, on the cusp of a new era of online education, that is a financial reality that few American universities are prepared to face.

The era of online education presents universities with a conflict of interests—the goal of educating the public on one hand, and the goal of making money on the other. As Burck Smith, CEO of the distance-learning company StraighterLine, has written, universities have “a public-sector mandate” but “a private-sector business model.” In other words, raising revenues often trumps the interests of students. Most universities charge as much for their online courses as they do for their traditional classroom courses. They treat the savings of online education as a way to boost profit margins; they don’t pass those savings along to students.

One potential source of cost savings for lower-rung colleges would be to draw from open-source courses offered by elite universities. Community colleges, for instance, could effectively outsource many of their courses via MOOCs, becoming, in effect, partial downstream aggregators of others’ creations, more or less like newspapers have used wire services to make up for a decline in the number of reporters. They could then serve more students with fewer faculty, saving money for themselves and students. At a time when many public universities are facing stiff budget cuts and families are struggling to pay for their kids’ educations, open-source online education looks like a promising way to reduce costs and increase the quality of instruction. Unfortunately, few college administrators are keen on slashing budgets, downsizing departments or taking other difficult steps to reduce costs. The past thirty years of constant tuition hikes at U.S. universities has shown us that much.

The biggest obstacle to the rapid adoption of low-cost, open-source education in America is that many of the stakeholders make a very handsome living off the system as is. In 2009, 36 college presidents made more than $1 million. That’s in the middle of a recession, when most campuses were facing severe budget cuts. This makes them rather conservative when it comes to the politics of higher education, in sharp contrast to their usual leftwing political bias in other areas. Reforming themselves out of business by rushing to provide low- and middle-income students credentials for free via open-source courses must be the last thing on those presidents’ minds.

Nevertheless, competitive online offerings from other schools will eventually force these “non-profit” institutions to embrace the online model, even if the public interest alone won’t. And state governments will put pressure on public institutions to adopt the new open-source model, once politicians become aware of the comparable quality, broad access and low cost it offers.


onsidering the greater interactivity and global connectivity that future technology will afford, the gap between the online experience and the in-person experience will continue to close. For a long time now, the largest division within Harvard University has been the little-known Harvard Extension School, a degree-granting division within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences with minimal admissions standards and very low tuition that currently enrolls 13,000 students. The Extension School was founded for the egalitarian purpose of making the Harvard education available to the masses. Nevertheless, Harvard took measures to protect the exclusivity of its brand. The undergraduate degrees offered by the Extension School (Bachelor of Liberal Arts) are distinguished by name from the degrees the university awards through Harvard College (Bachelor of Arts). This model—one university, two types of degrees—offers a good template for Harvard’s future, in which the old residential college model will operate parallel to the new online open-source model. The Extension School already offers more than 200 online courses for full academic credit.

Prestigious private institutions and flagship public universities will thrive in the open-source market, where students will be drawn to the schools with bigger names. This means, paradoxically, that prestigious universities, which will have the easiest time holding on to the old residential model, also have the most to gain under the new model. Elite universities that are among the first to offer robust academic programs online, with real credentials behind them, will be the winners in the coming higher-ed revolution.

There is, of course, the question of prestige, which implies selectivity. It’s the primary way elite universities have distinguished themselves in the past. The harder it is to get in, the more prestigious a university appears. But limiting admissions to a select few makes little sense in the world of online education, where enrollment is no longer bounded by the number of seats in a classroom or the number of available dorm rooms. In the online world, the only concern is having enough faculty and staff on hand to review essays, or grade the tests that aren’t automated, or to answer questions and monitor student progress online.

Certain valuable experiences will be lost in this new online era, as already noted. My own experience at Yale furnishes some specifics. Through its “Open Yale” initiative, Yale has been recording its lecture courses for several years now, making them available to the public free of charge. Anyone with an internet connection can go online and watch some of the same lectures I attended as a Yale undergrad. But that person won’t get the social life, the long chats in the dinning hall, the feeling of collegiality, the trips around Long Island sound with the sailing team, the concerts, the iron-sharpens-iron debates around the seminar table, the rare book library, or the famous guest lecturers (although some of those events are streamed online, too). On the other hand, you can watch me and my fellow students take the stage to demonstrate a Hoplite phalanx in Donald Kagan’s class on ancient Greek history. You can take a virtual seat next to me in one of Giuseppe Mazzota’s unforgettable lectures on The Divine Comedy.

So while it can never duplicate the experience of a student with the good fortune to get into Yale, this is an historically significant development. Anyone who can access the internet—at a public library, for instance—no matter how poor or disadvantaged or isolated or uneducated he or she may be, can access the teachings of some of the greatest scholars of our time through open course portals. Technology is a great equalizer. Not everyone is willing or capable of taking advantage of these kinds of resources, but for those who are, the opportunity is there. As a society, we are experiencing a broadening of access to education equal in significance to the invention of the printing press, the public library or the public school.


nline education is like using online dating websites—fifteen years ago it was considered a poor substitute for the real thing, even creepy; now it’s ubiquitous. Online education used to have a stigma, as if it were inherently less rigorous or less effective. Eventually for-profit colleges and public universities, which had less to lose in terms of snob appeal, led the charge in bringing online education into the mainstream. It’s very common today for public universities to offer a menu of online courses to supplement traditional courses. Students can be enrolled in both types of courses simultaneously, and can sometimes even be enrolled in traditional classes at one university while taking an online course at another.

The open-source marketplace promises to offer students additional choices in the way they build their credentials. Colleges have long placed numerous restrictions on the number of credits a student can transfer in from an outside institution. In many cases, these restrictions appear useful for little more than protecting the university’s bottom line. The open-source model will offer much more flexibility, though still maintain the structure of a major en route to obtaining a credential. Students who aren’t interested in pursuing a traditional four-year degree, or in having any major at all, will be able to earn meaningful credentials one class at a time.

To borrow an analogy from the music industry, universities have previously sold education in an “album” package—the four-year bachelor’s degree in a certain major, usually coupled with a core curriculum. The trend for the future will be more compact, targeted educational certificates and credits, which students will be able to pick and choose from to create their own academic portfolios. Take a math class from MIT, an engineering class from Purdue, perhaps with a course in environmental law from Yale, and create interdisciplinary education targeted to one’s own interests and career goals. Employers will be able to identify students who have done well in specific courses that match their needs. When people submit résumés to potential employers, they could include a list of these individual courses, and their achievement in them, rather than simply reference a degree and overall GPA. The legitimacy of MOOCs in the eyes of employers will grow, then, as respected universities take the lead in offering open courses with meaningful credentials.

MOOCs will also be a great remedy to the increasing need for continuing education. It’s worth noting that while the four-year residential experience is what many of us picture when we think of “college”, the residential college experience has already become an experience only a minority of the nation’s students enjoy. Adult returning students now make up a large mass of those attending university. Non-traditional students make up 40 percent of all college students. Together with commuting students, or others taking classes online, they show that the traditional residential college experience is something many students either can’t afford or don't want. The for-profit colleges, which often cater to working adult students with a combination of night and weekend classes and online coursework, have tapped into the massive demand for practical and customized education. It’s a sign of what is to come.


hat about the destruction these changes will cause? Think again of the music industry analogy. Today, when you drive down music row in Nashville, a street formerly dominated by the offices of record labels and music publishing companies, you see a lot of empty buildings and rental signs. The contraction in the music industry has been relentless since the Mp3 and the iPod emerged. This isn’t just because piracy is easier now; it’s also because consumers have been given, for the first time, the opportunity to break the album down into individual songs. They can purchase the one or two songs they want and leave the rest. Higher education is about to become like that.

For nearly a thousand years the university system has looked just about the same: professors, classrooms, students in chairs. The lecture and the library have been at the center of it all. At its best, traditional classroom education offers the chance for intelligent and enthusiastic students to engage a professor and one another in debate and dialogue. But typical American college education rarely lives up to this ideal. Deep engagement with texts and passionate learning aren’t the prevailing characteristics of most college classrooms today anyway. More common are grade inflation, poor student discipline, and apathetic teachers rubber-stamping students just to keep them paying tuition for one more term.

If you ask students what they value most about the residential college experience, they’ll often speak of the unique social experience it provides: the chance to live among one’s peers and practice being independent in a sheltered environment, where many of life’s daily necessities like cooking and cleaning are taken care of. It’s not unlike what summer camp does at an earlier age. For some, college offers the chance to form meaningful friendships and explore unique extracurricular activities. Then, of course, there are the Animal House parties and hookups, which do take their toll: In their research for their book Academically Adrift, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa found that 45 percent of the students they surveyed said they had no significant gains in knowledge after two years of college. Consider the possibility that, for the average student, traditional in-classroom university education has proven so ineffective that an online setting could scarcely be worse. But to recognize that would require unvarnished honesty about the present state of play. That’s highly unlikely, especially coming from present university incumbents.

The open-source educational marketplace will give everyone access to the best universities in the world. This will inevitably spell disaster for colleges and universities that are perceived as second rate. Likewise, the most popular professors will enjoy massive influence as they teach vast global courses with registrants numbering in the hundreds of thousands (even though “most popular” may well equate to most entertaining rather than to most rigorous). Meanwhile, professors who are less popular, even if they are better but more demanding instructors, will be squeezed out. Fair or not, a reduction in the number of faculty needed to teach the world’s students will result. For this reason, pursuing a Ph.D. in the liberal arts is one of the riskiest career moves one could make today. Because much of the teaching work can be scaled, automated or even duplicated by recording and replaying the same lecture over and over again on video, demand for instructors will decline.

Who, then, will do all the research that we rely on universities to do if campuses shrink and the number of full-time faculty diminishes? And how will important research be funded? The news here is not necessarily bad, either: Large numbers of very intelligent and well-trained people may be freed up from teaching to do more of their own research and writing. A lot of top-notch research scientists and mathematicians are terrible teachers anyway. Grant-givers and universities with large endowments will bear a special responsibility to make sure important research continues, but the new environment in higher ed should actually help them to do that. Clearly some kinds of education, such as training heart surgeons, will always require a significant amount of in-person instruction.

Big changes are coming, and old attitudes and business models are set to collapse as new ones rise. Few who will be affected by the changes ahead are aware of what’s coming. Severe financial contraction in the higher-ed industry is on the way, and for many this will spell hard times both financially and personally. But if our goal is educating as many students as possible, as well as possible, as affordably as possible, then the end of the university as we know it is nothing to fear. Indeed, it’s something to celebrate.

 Close Look At the e-revolution going on in higher education

Close Look At the e-revolution going on in higher education

Are Online Courses The Future Of Learning Or Overhyped"

Jon Marcus writes this article to give us a head-up on the reality of Online Education:


After barely a year in business, online learning rivals edX and Coursera have become two of the biggest higher-education organizations in the world, with a combined six million registered users.

And why not? The so-called MOOCs, or massive open online courses, offered by the two behemoths based at MIT and Harvard (edX) and spun off by Stanford in the case of Coursera, combine free classes ranging from genome theory to introductory guitar with the convenience of learning at any time or place.

It has seemed the perfect marriage, leading to pronouncements by everyone from journalists to bond-rating agencies that MOOCs will mean the end of conventional universities and skyrocketing tuition, and even proposals by state legislators to substitute online courses for the in-person kind at public universities.

But the honeymoon may be coming to an end, with even advocates for MOOCs conceding that expectations have gotten out ahead of them.

What limited research has been done into the effectiveness of online learning has found that it has much higher dropout rates and lower grades than the conventional kind. Proponents of conventional education, who at first seemed unsure of how to respond to the MOOCs craze, now are publicly questioning them at conferences with titles such as, “MOOCs: Revolution or Just Passing Fad?” and “Will MOOCs Pass the Test?” and speakers including prominent education scholars. Employers say they are more likely to hire applicants with traditional rather than online education, according to a new poll.

Don't like MOOCs? Try a "SPOC"

People have to be more patient, says Anant Agarwal, the president of edX, who acknowledges some of these very shortcomings.

“We need to give it time. There’s still a long way to go,” says Agarwal, whose job has thrust the MIT computer-science professor into the pop-culture limelight with appearances on The Colbert Report, and who likens the evolution of MOOCs to the 25-year span it took to get from early web-search engines to Google.

Even as MOOCs remain wildly popular—enrollment in all online courses is up 29 percent since 2010, during a time when the number of students in conventional university courses has declined according to the Babson Survey Research Group—their purpose remains misunderstood, Agarwal and others say.

While edX and others will continue to offer their immensely popular standalone online courses, the broader idea, they say, is to use them as vast educational laboratories—to find ways of using the technology to improve the quality of teaching on campuses in what’s known as blended learning. They say that’s one of the main reasons MIT and Harvard are investing $60 million in edX.

“The public perception of MOOCs is that they are courses taken by millions of learners all over the world,” Agarwal says. “But at edX, we’ve been saying all along that we want to take the learning in the large and apply it in the small, on campus.”

This work is in its early stages, with large-scale research just getting under way and professors who teach MOOCs importing some of the technology—archived lectures, for examples, that students can watch, restart, and watch again—into their real-world brick-and-mortar classrooms.

This combination of MOOC-style advances with conventional teaching has an acronym of its own, a geeky inside joke that may become as ubiquitous as “MOOC”: the small private online course, or SPOC.

Work has only just begun to determine whether this will help students learn more. But what real-world experience exists so far is raising doubts.

That’s because online learning requires more self-discipline and motivation than traditional higher education taught in person by professors who can answer questions and hold office hours, says Amin Saberi, cofounder of another Stanford spinoff called NovoEd.

“A lot of the courses coming online are focused on the most boring parts of education: the talking head and multiple-choice questions,” says Saberi, who says that even he has started and dropped out of other people’s MOOCs after losing interest. “Because of this, for the student, they create a very lonely experience.”

In a new twist on MOOCs, NovoEd offers massive online courses but also organizes online and in-person study groups and requires students to work on real-life, hands-on projects or find living, breathing mentors. Some in a technology entrepreneurship course started their own companies, for instance.

“Education is not just transfer of content,” Saberi says. “We need to bring the students in, motivate them, and create an environment where they can go farther.”

"The jury is still out"

Yet most MOOCs “are basically another form of ‘chalk and talk’ teaching, only online and at a distance,” says Thierry Karsenti, a professor of education at the University of Montreal, which organized an international conference about them.

“Can these enormous numbers really be taught all at once? When there is no actual communication with the students, is it still teaching?” Thierry asks.

It’s too early to say, Agarwal insists. He says MOOCs are accomplishing their objectives of widening access to education and allowing educators to do research into how students learn—what times they like to watch the lectures, where they move forward or get stuck, and other precise details the technology can track. As for their third goal, of improving the quality of learning, that will come with time.

“The challenges of education are so large that our entire community has been seeking a solution, and online learning and MOOCs are seen as a potential silver bullet,” Agarwal says. “Everybody really gets excited about it. But the jury is still out in terms of whether and to what extent purely online education is effective.”

And even their critics say MOOCs have accomplished a lot in their short lives.

“MOOCs have started a conversation that, look, we have huge problems in higher education, and about how online technology can help students on and off campus," Saberi said. "That doesn’t mean the current MOOCs can solve these problems. They’re a stepping stone, not a solution.”

There's still some ongoing discourse as to whether Online Degrees is effective than face-to-face-learning

There's still some ongoing discourse as to whether Online Degrees is effective than face-to-face-learning

"If you care about college costs and educational quality, you should care about MOOCs, or “massive open online courses,” which deliver college courses digitally and just might revolutionize higher education. With MOOCs, a lecture course that draws a couple hundred students on campus can be converted to something that draws tens of thousands from around the globe. A seminar for 40 on campus can be reorganized to teach 800 when each on-campus student is deputized to be a virtual seminar leader for 20.

Whether for good or ill, MOOCs augur a disruption of the relationships among students, colleges and trade schools, and the credentials those schools offer — a relationship that has stabilized higher education for at least a century. Yet if done right — a big if, as recent events at San Jose State and Colorado State universities have shown — they may help address the quality and cost of higher education.

What’s the nature of the disruption?

For the moment, providers of MOOCs make their courses available to anyone. There is no admissions process. As in a video game, anyone can start, but you have to master levels that can include very difficult work. For the 10 percent who get to the end, the learning is real.

The range of subjects that might become available to everyone through MOOCs is potentially as broad as the array of specialties represented throughout the professoriate at all institutions. Already some of the most successful MOOCs involve not science and technology but rather Greek mythology and modern poetry.

The hard work involved in creating high-quality opportunities for interactive learning online is generating important pedagogic payoffs. To create a good MOOC, the faculty member and support staff need to understand how people learn. A body of scholarly literature called “learning theory” has explored this for some time, and the world of MOOCs draws heavily on that research. What’s more, the data generated by students’ participation in MOOCs promise to dramatically expand our capacity to understand diverse learning styles and to tailor pedagogy to the individual student.

These features show the limits of educational institutions as they presently exist.

At present, no college can offer every conceivable course. Schools implicitly acknowledge this by permitting students to do independent study. The student picks a subject and finds the faculty member best — though usually only partially — equipped for it; that faculty member agrees to stretch, and the pair proceeds. With MOOCs, a student can find an expert instructor on a broad range of specialized arts and sciences subjects, well beyond those previously offered in distance education.

Today, no college can tailor a student’s curriculum to her learning style. Perhaps one student learns math well in the digital environment but needs small, in-person interaction for copyright law; another can learn to build data visualizations through an online course but needs an intimate space for discussions of novels tackling difficult questions of psychology and identity. With MOOCs, a student could mix and match on-campus and online courses to best support her learning style, and schools could focus on what they do best without students needing to forfeit other kinds of learning.

Most colleges bundle different types of learning — general education and liberal arts learning on the one hand, and vocational learning on the other — into a single package with one “tuition” price. But the delivery costs of different courses can vary significantly. Maybe for some of one’s learning ambitions a person needs the more expensive, in-person, hands-on, campus-based learning, while for other goals the cheaper (but not free) digital space is better. With MOOCs, a student who chooses a vocational program — say, a film school or technical institute — might build an online liberal arts wraparound, or vice versa. In so doing, students would personalize not only their learning but also its costs to them.

When students realize that by using MOOCs they can personalize their education in this way, they will seek academic credit for their MOOC certificates, just as they get credit for Advanced Placement, independent study and study-abroad courses.

And what grounds will colleges have to say no? Most institutions have pursued for decades something much closer to an open curriculum than a core curriculum, with loose distribution requirements at the general education level followed by a major that often tilts in a vocational direction. And can four years of residential experience still be justified? For generations, Oxford and Cambridge universities have thought that three years was adequate for the specific benefits provided by collocation.

It is possible to envision substantial structural change in higher education, but that change is likely to emerge slowly. Colorado State’s Global Campus advertised last year that it would give credit to enrolled students who passed a MOOC in computer science. This would cost students $89 instead of the $1,050 for a comparable course. There were no takers. Seven additional institutions are set to make similar offerings in the coming year. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, they expect only hundreds, not thousands, of takers.

The questions before us are whether top-ranked colleges and universities will use MOOCs to enhance their educational offerings and whether decisions to give credit for them — when they are made — will be driven by pedagogic aspirations and considerations. The future of college costs and quality turn on these questions. The goal should be to bring excellence and affordability together.

Study Challenges Conclusions of Online Education Report

A new study has found that online learning in higher education is no more effective than face-to-face learning.

The report, which was authored by the Community College Research Center, challenged the findings of a well-known Department of Education meta-analysis which concluded that students performed better learning online than those who received face-to-face instruction.

Shanna Smith Jaggars, lead author of the CCRC paper and a senior research associate at the Columbia University center, told Inside Higher Education that the Education Department study "continues to be cited frequently by people as evidence that online learning can be superior. We just wanted to make sure that we were injecting a note of caution into how people were interpreting what they were seeing."

Indeed, online education is being embraced by institutions throughout the nation as a cost-effective, more flexible means of higher education. The The San Francisco Chronicle reports, for example, that the University of California Board of Regents endorsed a pilot program this week to test a fully online undergraduate degree program which they plan to develop. Christopher Edley, UC Berkeley's Law School Dean, told the regents that expanding online would cost less than expanding campuses, and would allow the university to enroll more students.

"We can't treat UC as a precious little box," he was quoted as saying by the San Francisco Chronicle. "Demand is growing."

But the effectiveness of online education is debatable. The CCRC study cited several flaws in the Department of Education's meta-analysis, and concluded there were truly only seven online courses studied--out of 51 cited--which accurately reflected fully-online learning in a college or university setting.

These seven studies, said the report, "showed no strong advantage or disadvantage in terms of learning outcomes among the samples of students under study."

Jaggars also questioned whether online courses were beneficial for low-income students, particularly since such students are less likely to have access to high-speed Internet.

"[Online learning] is being seen as a general solution and a lot of people are saying that it should and could help that population" of low-income students, Jaggars told Inside Higher Ed. "It has a lot of potential in helping students, but we need to be aware that it's not a panacea, and it's not going to automatically fix things if we just put these courses online."

This is not the first study to question the conclusions of the Department of Education's meta-analysis. Last month, a report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that students who watch course lectures online instead of in-person perform slightly worse overall.

In-Class Learning-Obsolete? Is there really a substitute for face-to-face learning in higher education?

In-Class Learning-Obsolete? Is there really a substitute for face-to-face learning in higher education?

Tripping On Education Today

A much more detailed analysis of the failure or successes of Ohline-vs-In-class learning is somewhat addressed inthe article below by James Vernon:

"These days there are plenty of prophets preaching hi-tech and digital solutions to the problems of expanding access to knowledge and higher education. Barely a week goes by without some new hymn to education technology, open-source software or open-access publishing. In the US, the growing chorus for online education through massive open online courses, or moocs, has been deafening. But in Britain, it has barely registered. Last December, the commercial launch of the Open University's mooc platform, FutureLearn, attracted the participation of a dozen universities and the support of David Willetts, but little response from Britain's beleaguered academics. No wonder that last month Sir Michael Barber, the chief education adviser of Pearson, the world's largest profit-making education provider, proclaimed that universities were powerless to stop the online avalanche.

Across the Atlantic, the debate about online courses and their potential to restructure higher education has been raging for some time. New companies and consortia of universities with hi-tech names such as Udacity, edX and Coursera are competing to provide rival mooc platforms. These moocs are available free to anyone, but they do not earn you any credits towards a degree or diploma. No one has yet figured out how to make money from them. Nowhere has this been more evident than at the University of California, where UCOnline, set up with a $7m (£4.5m) loan in 2011, has spectacularly failed to pay for itself, let alone generate income.

Historically, the University of California has often proved a weathervane for global trends in higher education. It was at the forefront of creating a mass public higher education system in the 1960s, and disinvestment from the 1980s onward generated dramatic fee increases, layoffs, protests and occupations that subsequently spread around the world. So when Californian politicians (led by Governor Jerry Brown, who has pledged $37m for online initiatives) and university administrators still believe online platforms are a golden bullet that promises to expand access while reducing costs and students' time to degree, we have to take them seriously. It is not often that the interests of vote-hungry politicians, resource-starved administrators and academics entranced by the democratic potential of open online courses all converge.

And yet when a Californian senator outlined a bill that would allow students in the state to take online classes from a private provider for credit, it unleashed a storm of criticism. A UC faculty petitioncollected more than 1,000 signatures in 48 hours. As news spread across the US, condemnation came from the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education and a New York times editorial.

Those who teach in California's system of higher education are not luddites. Neither were they simply alarmed at the attempts to bypass established mechanisms of peer review and quality control of classes. In the face of the uproar, these have now been dropped. But the stakes are far greater than faculty control and oversight.

If private providers are allowed to run classes for credit in California's public system, it will accelerate privatisation. It will solve the conundrum of how to make profits out of moocs by providing private providers with a revenue stream from public funds. This type of back-door privatisation, rather than the likes of Pearson taking over a whole campus, seems a real and present danger in the English and Welsh system.

Private online providers have long been criticised in the US for profiting on the back of federal-funded loans to disadvantaged students, who rarely complete their classes. While online providers have proved remarkably reticent about making this type of data available, two studies from Columbia University researchers have shown the uneven effects of online classes. In Washingto and Virginia they found that underachieving, minority and disadvantaged students fared particularly badly when they took online classes. The promise of moocs to improve access and democratise knowledge is a chimera.

The bottom line is that there really is no replacement for face-to-face interaction between academics and students. Digital and online methods can enrich those interactions, but it seems unlikely they can replace them in anything other than a greatly impoverished way without the investment of considerable resources. No wonder 72% of those who have taught moocs over the past three years believe students who took their classes had not done sufficient work to deserve credit from their institution.

This might just be one avalanche that gets stopped – events in California may well be the test of that.

Viral Education

The Internet facilitates for all information, and we imbibe it without let-up. There is surely a change in how information and knowledge is being disseminated or taught to students both on Line and in in-class learning. There are problems with the new ways of learning because they are not institutional learning centers with traditional classrooms and teachers and student intra-interactions. Education has changed becuase of the emergence of new technologies and techniques splurged virally. I would like to think a bit of Old School and Online learning has to be utilized, and emphasis should be placed on those ways old schools use discipline and learn, and use the access that is enabled by the web. With that, I will be elongating this discourse as it evolves over time.

To Respond To Propaganda Is Exposing It Through Our Independent And Citizens Media

For example, with colleges and universities in desperate need for fund as a result of budget cuts from state government, they are willing to turn to concentrated corporate wealth to set up think tanks in their university, give it an academic sounding

For example, with colleges and universities in desperate need for fund as a result of budget cuts from state government, they are willing to turn to concentrated corporate wealth to set up think tanks in their university, give it an academic sounding

The Dream Of A Social Justice Media Network

Jack Balkwill wrote the following article:

Horrors are committed by a National Security State each day unreported by a mass media working for Forces of Greed (FOG). The corporate mass media news is nothing more than a very sophisticated propaganda system which works against the public interest.

Nothing will improve in progressive issues until there is an independent public interest mass media source in the USA. In my dream there is such a public interest media network, called the Social Justice Network.

Each morning we get up to scan the Internet for news and opinion censored by the US corporate media and put out what we call LUV News. We never ask for money at LUV News for anything we do and ask people who want to contribute to instead help the web sites that are putting out public interest stories each day, like Intrepid Report, or to help other worthy causes. To join and get the daily email one need only go here.

We have long stated our goal at LUV News is to go out of business, and that will be possible when a mass media source opens which allows important censored facts to get to the public. About 500 people currently help get LUV News out to friends, family, work colleagues and Internet groups.

There is currently no public interest network existing. PBS and NPR are a joke, taking the corporate money and doing their bidding. I have a standing offer to PBS NewsHour and NPR Morning Edition to take on their big news programs any day of the year and show them their bias going against the public interest . They have so far refused to take me up on it, because I have asked for an hour of time should I prove my point, while bringing them a hundred new or renewed members should I not be able to find such bias any day of the year. I am convinced they know they would lose the bet.

American citizens walk around in a fog because of the pathetic news they get from the controlling Forces of Greed. Ignorant people are controlled people, which is why we never have a government which represents the public will.

Polling tells us the public want the wars ended, yet our government expands them. The public want government health care, yet our government comes up with plans to transfer more health dollars to the seven-figure salaries of corporate executives and billions in profit to descendants of robber barons for denying health care.

To address this problem, progressives must eventually put together an independent network, ideally a TV network, which would address the major problems of the people of the nation and planet, combined with public interest solutions.

The Social Justice Network (SJN) of my dream would fill this void. With the more than a hundred TV channels existing on cable, nothing like this is allowed by our corporate masters today. It would fill in where only propaganda exists today.

In my dream, the following are some of the programs one could view on SJN.

Healing the Planet

An environmental program which is truly an environmental program. No selling out on behalf of donors or sponsors, as do so many of the environmental groups existing. Companies poisoning our air and water would be identified.

Eighty percent of Americans call themselves environmentalists, and such a program, if well done, would be extremely popular. Sponsors might include leading environmental organizations.

Labor Unleashed

The tradition in corporate mass media is to emphasize business owner viewpoints while attacking the workers who produce the profit, particularly when they are on strike. This one would give the censored worker viewpoint. Sponsors might be labor unions.

Beyond Horror

A program about human rights violations in the world, emphasizing those committed by the world’s leader, the USA. Nothing is being done about this because most Americans are completely ignorant about it. Sponsors may include the leading human rights organizations in the world.

Feminism Forum

Beyond all the propaganda terms like “pro-life,” whose movement is made up of people who are nearly all for the death penalty and war. This program would emphasize news stories which are ignored by the mass media, like when fundamentalist religious fathers murder their daughters after finding they are pregnant, a thing which happens every year in this country. It would point out ways that equality has not been achieved for women, and emphasize actions to correct this in time. Sponsors could include NOW and like organizations.

Beyond War

Views of the peace community, which are as highly censored in the mass media as anything. In a leadup to war, such as the illegal invasion of Iraq, the world’s foremost experts on Iraqi weapons would have had a forum here, as they did in LUV News, where we featured the UN’s Iraq Weapons expert Hans Blix and the US Iraq weapons expert Scott Ritter saying there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Unlike the corporate media, where for weeks leading up to the war an invasion was called for by liberals Scott Simon of NPR, Tom Friedman of the NY Times, and Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, echoing their conservative columnist friends. Blix and Ritter were ridiculed in the corporate media, and the masses were mislead into war.

Peace groups and religious groups interested in piece could sponsor this one.

Leftist Comedy Hour

This program would lighten things up and round out the network somewhat. There are a number of liberal and leftist comedians who could make this into a very popular show. It could make fun of corporations that cheat taxpayers, pollute the environment and commit other crimes without fear of the loss of corporate sponsors, since they would be banned from this network.

Social Justice Review

The status of poverty in America, which has more homeless and hungry people per capita than any other major industrialized nation. It would take viewers inside of Americas largest prison system in the world and show why our economy cannot function without millions in prison. It would give objective information about medical care, in a country with the most people per capita doing without among all industrialized nations.

Beyond Racism

I vision someone like the magnificent Glen Ford hosting such a program to bring out the many problems and solutions for people of color not addressed in corporate media, where only Uncle Toms and Aunt Jamimas need apply.

The People’s News

Here I can imagine something like the wonderful Amy Goodman doing her Democracy Now. I watch it online and would love to see it on my TV, knowing that it would change America if it had an audience the size it deserves. The shameful corporate media monopoly does not allow it to be seen by most citizens, other than those who can receive Free Speech TV, despite over a hundred TV channels.

Consumer Warning

Here I see someone like Ralph Nader doing a weekly program which tells the public what they desperately want to hear about the corporations that are cheating them, poisoning them, and controlling their government.

Your Health

Americans are very concerned with this issue, but corporate media will not allow citizens to hear about anything that doesn’t please their advertisers, board members and owners, who are heavily invested in a medical mafia made up of Big Pharma, private hospitals, and insurance companies.

Thousands of people die in this system annually, merely because they visit a hospital. Had they not done that, they would have lived, so dangerous are our hospitals. Thousands more die because they take dangerous pharmaceuticals which are unnecessary. Thousands more die simply from a lack of preventive care. Thousands more die because they have no health care program.

We have the lowest life expectancy and the highest infant mortality among major industrialized nations, while paying the highest cost for health care by far.

Class War Politics

This program would be a public response to the class war waged against America’s working class and poor by the ruling Forces of Greed. Political candidates not allowed to be seen in the corporate media, representing the Green Party, Socialists, or other public interest candidates would be given a forum.


Even in my wildest dreams I cannot imagine the Social Justice Network operating at a profit. Like PBS and NPR, there would have to be fundraising programs from time to time. Hopefully big stars who are progressives could be enticed to donate time for such fundraisers, people like the magnificent Sean Penn who rowed a boat to save people in Katrina’s New Orleans aftermath, and visited Iraq to oppose the war through flack from the corporate media.


There are massive obstacles to starting such a network. The powerful cable industry would do all it can to prevent such a channel from being added to their monopoly control in most cities today. But if we let this stop us from trying, there is no hope.

A tiny handful of giant transnational corporations have purchased and controlled the news because they cannot keep democracy from breaking out if there is an informed public.

An ignorant public is a controlled public, and that is what we live with today. Americans walk around like zombies, mumbling the propaganda that is all they know about so much of what is happening. The solution is Social Justice Network, and you can help an old man with his dream by joining LUV News. Our readers are the ones who get the word out to the masses by the tens of thousands every day.

When those numbers become millions, the force of public outcries will create the Social Justice Network, and the world will change because of it. Candidates who represent the people will begin to win elections. The environment will be cleaned up. Human rights violations will slow. Wars based on lies will not occur. Women will achieve equality. Racism will be a thing of the past. Citizens will be healthier, and the future will be something we eagerly anticipate in such a world.

Altering and Radicalizing Our Perceptions Of Space Biased Media

Space-Biased Media   As the definition of ‘time’ is different form the Webster’s dictionary definition, so is that of the term ‘space.’  In a physical sense, space may represent on open area with room for one to fill with a given material or substanc

Space-Biased Media As the definition of ‘time’ is different form the Webster’s dictionary definition, so is that of the term ‘space.’ In a physical sense, space may represent on open area with room for one to fill with a given material or substanc

Time Biased = Stone

Time-Biased Media   The definition of time in terms of Media Ecology is quite different from that which is found in Webster's dictionary definition.  When speaking of time in a physical sense, one may think of a linear advancement of an event, or the

Time-Biased Media The definition of time in terms of Media Ecology is quite different from that which is found in Webster's dictionary definition. When speaking of time in a physical sense, one may think of a linear advancement of an event, or the

Racially Biased Search Engine: Google

Camille Bautista writes

Googling a new acquaintance is second nature, whether it's a date or potential employee. A huge disadvantage, however, is having your name automatically associated with arrest, even if you've never had a record.

One study by a Harvard professor says some of Google's ads discriminate, linking "racially associated" names to a possible criminal background. Government and 'technology' professor Latanya Sweeney searched 2184 full names on Google and Reuters.com, which uses Google AdWords advertisements. She found that "black identifying" names were more likely to show ads suggesting arrest, as compared to "white identifying" names.

Names more commonly associated with black people, such as DeShawn, Darnell and Jermaine, suggested criminal ads in 81 to 86 per cent of searches on one site, and up to 95 per cent on the other. Names such as Geoffrey, Jill and Emma, more typically associated with white people, resulted in these types of ads 23 to 29 per cent of the time on one site and 0 to 60 per cent on the other, Sweeney's 'study says.'

Searching "Latonya Evans" resulted in ads saying, "Latonya Evans, Arrested?" while the name Laurie Ryan gave a result of "Background of Laurie Ryan".

InstantCheckmate, the website whose ads dominated studied results, told Sweeney the company gave the same ad text to Google for groups of last names. In response, Google says they don't conduct racial profiling.

"AdWords does not conduct any racial profiling," they said in a 'statement to ABC News. "We also have a policy which states that we will not allow ads that advocate against an organization, person or group of people. It is up to individual advertisers to decide which keywords they want to choose to trigger their ads."

Sweeney says more research is needed and the study is only a starting point, but suggests possible blame on Google's 'algorithm' and financial interests with advertisers.

Google search results 'show racial bias', says study

A Google search for a person's name, such as “Trevon Jones”, may yield a personalized ad for public records about Trevon that may be neutral, such as “Looking for Trevon Jones? ...”, or may be suggestive of an arrest record, such as “Trevon Jones, Ar

A Google search for a person's name, such as “Trevon Jones”, may yield a personalized ad for public records about Trevon that may be neutral, such as “Looking for Trevon Jones? ...”, or may be suggestive of an arrest record, such as “Trevon Jones, Ar

We are further informed by Latanya Sweeney that:

Have you ever been arrested? Imagine the question appearing in the solitude off your thoughts as you read this paper, but appearing explicitly whenever someone queries your name in a search engine. Perhaps you are in competition for an award, an appointment, promotion or a new job, or maybe you are in a position of trust, such as a professor, a physician, a banker, a judge, a manager, or a volunteer, or perhaps you are completing a rental application, selling goods, applying for a loan, joining a social club, making new friends, dating, or engaged in any one of hundreds circumstance for which an online searcher seeks to learn more about you. Appearing alongside your list of accomplishments is an advertisement implying you many have a criminal record, whether you actually have one or not. Worse, ads don't appear for your competitors.

A person’s criminal record begins when he is arrested for a crime. Job applications frequently include questions such as:

  • "Have you ever been arrested?"
  • "Have you ever been charged with a crime?"
  • "Other than a traffic ticket, have you been convicted of a crime?"

    Advantages of knowing such information when hiring or engaging with a person relate to trustworthiness. Because others often equate a criminal record with not being reliable or honest, protections exist for those having criminal records.

    If someone is falsely accused of a crime, pleads not guilty, and charges are dismissed, in the U.S., he may file suit against the person who brought the charges. For example, if a private citizen files a false criminal charge against you, or falsely makes a complaint to a police officer that results in your arrest, and if no conviction results, you may be able to sue the accuser for malicious prosecution.

    If an employer disqualifies a job applicant based solely upon information indicating an arrest record, the company may face legal consequences. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") is the federal agency charged with enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a law in the United States which applies to most employers, prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and through guidance issuance in 1973, extended to persons having criminal records [1,2]. Title VII does not prohibit employers from obtaining criminal background information. However, certain uses of criminal information, such as a blanket policy or practice of excluding applicants or disqualifying employees based solely upon information indicating an arrest record, can result in a charge of discrimination. To make a determination, the EEOC uses an “adverse impact test,” which measures whether practices, intentional or not, have a disproportionate effect. If the ratio of the effect on groups is less than 80%, the employer may be held responsible for discrimination [3].

    So what about online ads suggesting someone with your name has an arrest record, even when no one with your name has ever been arrested? The malicious prosecution approach does not apply. Title VII does not apply either, unless you have an arrest record and can prove the potential employer used the ad or information from the company sponsoring the ad.

    Further, the advertiser may argue that the ads are commercial free speech –a constitutional right to display the ad associated with your name. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects advertising, as granted under the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of New York, Supreme Court of the United States, 447 U.S. 557 (1980). In Central Hudson, the Supreme Court sets out a four-part test for assessing government restrictions on commercial speech, which begins by determining whether the speech is misleading. Are online ads suggesting the existence of an arrest record misleading if no one having the name has an arrest record?

    Assume the ads are free speech: what happens when these ads appear more often for one racial group than another? Not everyone is being equally affected by the free speech. Is that free speech or is it racial discrimination?

    Racism is “any attitude, action or institutional structure which subordinates a person or group because of their color . . . Racism is not just a matter of attitudes; actions and institutional structures can also be a form of racism” [4]. Racial discrimination results when a person or group of people is treated differently based on their racial origins [5]. Power is a necessary precondition, for it depends on the ability to give or withhold benefits, facilities, services, opportunities etc., from someone who should be entitled to them, and are denied on the basis of race. Institutional or structural racism is a system of procedures/patterns whose effect is to foster discriminatory outcomes or give preferences to members of one group over another [6].

    Notice that racism can result, even if not intentional and that online activity may be so ubiquitous and intimately entwined with technology design that technologists may now have to think about societal consequences like structural racism in the technology they design. Such considerations are beyond this paper, but they frame the relevant legal, societal and technical landscape in which this work resides.

    The investigation, chronicled in this writing, reports on an observed phenomenon, that some online ads suggestive of arrest records appear more often for one racial group than another among a sample of racially associated names. Because online ad delivery is a socio-technical construct, its study requires blending sociology and computer science, and so this writing presents such a blend.

Privateizing Schools Does Not Make Students Commodities And Customers


Barbarians at the Gates: Authoritarianism and the Assault on Public Education

I would like to post at this juncture a very deep and serious article about the state of education and why it is the way it is today. It is also important to upgrade the persepcvtives nd viewes above concerning Education today and how far we have come, and are still going. It is at this juncture that I would like to cite an article from Henry Giroux about how Public Education is being attacked, today.

In 2015 both the US Senate and House of Representatives will be controlled by the Republican Party, one of the most extremist political parties in US history.[Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein] Coupled with the empty centrism of the Democratic Party, their ascendency does not bode well for public education or a host of other important social issues. Nor does it bode well for democracy. If we conjured up George Orwell and his fear of state surveillance, Hannah Arendt and her claim that thoughtlessness was the foundation of totalitarianism, and Franz Kafka whose characters embodied the death of agency and the “helplessness of the living,”[2] it would be difficult for these dystopian works of literary and philosophical imagination to compete with the material realization of the assault on public education and public values in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century.

These are dangerous times. Compromise and compassion are now viewed as a pathology, a blight on the very meaning of politics. Moreover, in a society controlled by financial monsters, the political order is no longer sustained by a faith in reason, critical thought and care for the other. As any vestige of critical education, thought and dissent are disparaged, the assault on reason gives way to both a crisis in agency and politics. The right-wing Republican Party and their Democratic Party counterparts, along with their corporate supporters, despise public schools as much as they disdain taxation, institutions that enable critical thinking, and any call for providing social provisions that would benefit the public good. Not only are both parties attempting to privatize much of public education in order to make schools vehicles for increasing the profits of investors, they are also destroying the critical infrastructures that sustain schools as democratic public spheres.

"Teachers have been deskilled. Losing much of their autonomy to be creative in the classroom, they have been relegated to technicians whose sole objective appears to be enforcing a deadening instrumental rationality in which teaching to the test becomes the primary model of teaching and learning. Moreover, they are being demonized by the claim that the major problem with public education is lack of teacher accountability. The hidden order of politics here is that larger political and economic considerations such as crushing poverty, mammoth inequality, a brutalizing racism and iniquitous modes of financing public education all disappear from the problems facing schooling in the United States. Teachers also serve as an easy target for the (un)reformers to weaken unions, bash organized labor, discredit public servants, and “argue that education can be improved if taxpayer money is funneled away from the public school system’s priorities (hiring teachers, training teachers, reducing class size etc.) and into the private sector (replacing teachers with computers, replacing public schools with privately run charter schools etc.).

"These policies and practices echo the principles of casino capitalism or neoliberalism and are designed to enforce a pedagogy of repression, one that kills the imagination, sanctions a deadening mode of memorization and instills in students the discipline necessary for them to accommodate willingly to existing power relations at the expense of developing their capacity to be critical and engaged agents. In this case, the aim of this pedagogy of repression mimics Hannah Arendt’s claim that “The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.”[Arendt] Public schools are also being defunded as states increasingly develop policies that drain state budgets by giving corporations substantial tax breaks. Diane Ravitch elaborates on the right-wing agenda to destroy public education, which consists of a range of groups ranging from right-wing politicians to shadowy groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). She is worth quoting in full:

Since the 2010 elections, when Republicans took control of many states, there has been an explosion of legislation advancing privatization of public schools and stripping teachers of job protections and collective bargaining rights. Even some Democratic governors, seeing the strong rightward drift of our politics, have jumped on the right-wing bandwagon, seeking to remove any protection for academic freedom from public school teachers. This outburst of anti-public school, anti-teacher legislation is no accident. It is the work of a shadowy group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Founded in 1973, ALEC is an organization of nearly 2,000 conservative state legislators. Its hallmark is promotion of privatization and corporate interests in every sphere, not only education, but healthcare, the environment, the economy, voting laws, public safety, etc. It drafts model legislation that conservative legislators take back to their states and introduce as their own “reform” ideas. ALEC is the guiding force behind state-level efforts to privatize public education and to turn teachers into at-will employees who may be fired for any reason. The ALEC agenda is today the “reform” agenda for education.[Diane Ravitch]

"The educational needs of students for many Republican and Democratic Party members, pundits, lobbying groups and politicians rank low next to the financial needs of hedge fund managers; the ultra-rich such as Bill Gates, the Walton family and the Koch brothers; the legislators who make up ALEC; and any number of major corporations. Individual achievement is invoked to justify education as a private right rather than as a public good. The discourses of empiricism and standardized testing become the ultimate measures of achievement just as pedagogical matters concerning civic responsibility, engaged citizenship, thoughtfulness and critical thought disappear from the vocabulary of educational reform.

"Under the regime of neoliberalism, community and working together are viewed as a burden because they are at odds with the neoliberal celebration of a survival-of-the-fittest ethos. Paul Buchheit goes even further arguing that “Privatizers believe that any form of working together as a community is anti-American.”[Paul Buchheit] In this instance, the labeling of community and caring for the other as anti-American has deeper political roots. As Robert Hunsiker observes, “As for neoliberalism, its dictate of ‘survival of the fittest economics’ is really ‘bottom-feeder economics’ whereby the rich accumulate more and more and more at the expense of lower and lower and lower wages, less benefits, and crushed self-esteem. What could be worse?”[Robert Hunziker]

"Defunding for public education has gotten so out of control that, as Aaron Kase reports, one public school in Philadelphia asked parents to “chip in $613 per student just so they can open with adequate services, which if it becomes the norm, effectively defeats the purpose of equitable public education, and is entirely unreasonable to expect from the city’s poorer neighborhoods.”[Aaron Kase] Equality, justice and the search for truth no longer define the mission of public education. Economic policies that benefit the bankers, corporations and the financial elite result in massive inequities in wealth, income and power and increasingly determine how the US public views both public education and the needs of young people. As market economies are transformed into market societies, the investment in human capital such as young people has been replaced by an overdetermined emphasis on investing in economic capital. Unchecked market fundamentalism now eats its own children while destroying any viable hope they may have for being included in the social and political infrastructure of democracy and a future that benefits them.[Roger Cohen]

"Moreover, the rights of teachers and children are more difficult to protect as unions are either dismantled or weakened by the apostles of neoliberalism and privatization. Secondary education is no longer a right but an entitlement designed mostly to benefit the children of the rich who either flee from public schools to wealthy private schools or attend public schools in wealthy communities that more often than not resemble private schools in terms of how they segregate by class and race, cater to the whims of the rich and enshrine values that are consistent with the market. Schooling for poor people and people of color defined by the school-to-prison-pipeline has come to represent an appendage of the carceral state. This is not only an attack on public education, but an attack on democracy itself. The infrastructure of education has been under assault since the 1980s with the advent of market fundamentalism in the United States and the growing disdain for the welfare state, the public good and public values. By infrastructure, I am referring to the material, financial and intellectual resources necessary for public schools to be able to function in ways that protect teacher autonomy, encourage viable unions, create a curricula that is both critical and meaningful, and produce modes of critical pedagogy that truly embrace education as the practice of freedom and young people as critical agents and engaged citizens necessary for making democracy meaningful and substantive.

"The shadow of Orwell now haunts public education and democracy itself as the political defenders of torture and state surveillance take control of Congress. As lawlessness and moral depravity infect all modes of governance, the push toward treating public schools, especially in low-income neighborhoods, as prisons, and students as objects of surveillance and control has become more widespread. The presence of police, guards, cameras, and a host of surveillance and security apparatuses has turned schools into incubators for creating students willing to surrender their freedoms to the national security state. The ghost of Kafka disturbs any vision of democratic education as fear becomes the operative principle in organizing public education, especially for schools largely inhabited by poor people and people of color. For the underserved, education is designed not to inspire and energize, nor is it designed to get students to think, reflect or question. On the contrary, such schools disable the capacities of students to become knowledgeable, informed speaking agents. Instead, it relegates them to the dreary pedagogical tasks of mastering low-level skills such as memorization, a willingness to conform and a refusal to question authority. This is more than a pedagogy of repression; it is a pedagogy of helplessness that infantilizes students while dethroning any relationship between learning and social change.

"Schools have become punishing factories subjecting students to zero-tolerance policies that three decades ago were only tolerated in prisons.[William Ayers; Bernardine Dohrn; Rick Ayers] Security has been turned into a police matter rather than a term that points to pedagogies, classroom policies, emotional support and modes of administration that provide spaces that dignify students, invest in their welfare, encourage them to expand their capacities for learning and embrace pedagogies that are meaningful, critical and transformative. Schools no longer are viewed as places that create dreams of greatness, extend the horizons of the imagination or point to a future that refuses to mimic the present. On the contrary, they are increasingly held hostage both to the market values embraced by the corporate and financial elite and the fundamentalist ideologies of religious conservatives. It gets worse.

"Orwell’s premonition about state induced surveillance and Kafka’s understanding of the danger of powerlessness encouraged by regimes of fear are now matched by Arendt’s warning that human subjectivity is the foundation of politics and that any threat to critical thought, especially through a culture that directs desire into the most trivial of pursuits and anti-intellectual modes of learning, is as dangerous to democracy as the heavy hand of state repression. While Arendt did not use the phrase “radical imagination” to bring home her warning about the crisis and death of critical agency, that is exactly what is being destroyed in the testing factories and penal warehouses replacing public education. As the imagination no longer becomes the subject and object of learning, thoughtlessness expands, as does the foundation for creating students more suited for a totalitarian regime than for a flourishing democracy. Totalitarian governments believe that thinking is dangerous and rightly so. As Arendt points out,

Everything which happens in thinking is subject to a critical examination of whatever there is. That is, there are no dangerous thoughts for the simple reason that thinking itself is such a dangerous enterprise. So how I can convince . . . I think, nonthinking is even more dangerous. I don’t deny that thinking is dangerous, but I would say not thinking, ne pas reflechir c’est plus dangereux encore [not thinking is even more dangerous].[Hannah Arendt]

"In the new Gilded Age with its growing economic divisions, vast punishing state, criminalization of social behaviors, and war on youth, poor people and people of color, public education is being destroyed. Against the prevailing anti-democratic reforms of the economic and religious fundamentalists, the noble belief in schools as democratic public spheres and in schooling as the center of critical thinking and learning needs to be reclaimed, struggled over and taken up as part of a larger social movement for the defense of the public good, public values and the democratic commons. It is precisely this fear of education as a building block for both critically engaged youth and a broader public and for a radical politics that inspires a great deal of fear in the billionaire, anti-public (un)reformers.[Michael Yates]

"Within the next decade the new extremists who now control the commanding institutions of culture, politics and economics will do everything they can to replace a weakly implemented ideal of democracy with the economic and social principles of a ruthless mode of casino capitalism, which constitutes a new form of authoritarianism. Public spheres that provide a challenge to market-driven fundamentalisms that “promote selfishness and thereby corrode both society and the moral character of individuals” will be under further assault and run the risk of disappearing altogether.[Anita Biressi and Heather Nunn] As selfishness and the amassing of great wealth and power are transformed by the new extremists into a civic virtue, agency itself withers, trapped within the orbits of an inward looking, privatized world.

"But there is more at stake here than the collapse of public values and the destruction of a comprehensive vision of politics, largely under assault by the ongoing predatory market forces of commodification, privatization and an unchecked celebration of self-interests as the cornerstone of human agency. Racist killings, the loss of privacy, the rise of the surveillance state, growing poverty and widening inequality, the increasing corporatization of public goods, and the depleting of resources that serve the commons all point to something more than the mounting privatization and atomizing of everyday life, along with the growing militarization, spying, xenophobia, racism and other anti-democratic practices in US society.

"What unites all of these disparate issues is a growing threat of authoritarianism – or what might be otherwise called totalitarianism with elections. Neoliberal societies embrace elections because they “exclude and alienate most people from political power” and thus provide a kind of magical defense for the authoritarian project of depoliticizing the public while removing all obstacles to its goal of defending massive inequities in power, wealth and the accumulation of capital.[Lorenzo Del Savio and Matteo Mameli] It is impossible to understand the current assault on public education without coming to grips with the project of neoliberalism and its devaluation of the social, critical agency and informed thinking as part of its attempt to consolidate class power in the hands of a largely white financial and corporate elite.

"The struggle for public education as a crucial civic resource and public good must continue through the large-scale organizing of teachers and labor unions, students and groups outside of education who are also struggling against a range of injustices. The struggle over public education cannot be removed from wider struggles against student debt, funding for public goods, the elimination of massive inequalities in wealth and power, the elimination of the military-industrial-security state, the abolition of police brutality, and the eradication of the punishing-mass incarceration state, among other struggles. These struggles all share underlying interests in restoring and reclaiming a notion of radical democracy that puts power in the hands of the people rather than in the hands of the ruling elites. They also intersect around the need to elevate social needs over the narrow interests of the market and those elites who benefit from the financialization of society.

"As the ruthlessness and misery produced by neoliberalism is made clear, the state resorts to increased levels of violence, often with impunity, particularly when it comes to attacking peaceful student protesters, and assaulting and often killing unarmed black men.[Robin Kelley] At the present moment, large-scale protests are taking place throughout the United States making clear that the public will no longer tolerate the indiscriminate killing of black men, the enforcement of racist policies across a wide social landscape, unrestrained police brutality and the continuing of widespread lawlessness that corrupts every institution – and schools in particular – that have been privatized and organized according to the narrow, if not savage and anti-democratic, interests of the market.

"The ongoing protests in response to the killing of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York City, and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, and the non-indictments of police officers who killed them, must intersect with protests over the defunding of public schools, the attack on welfare state institutions and services, the movement to save the environment, the anti-nuclear movements and a host of other isolated movements that need to join together in a new political formation capable of challenging the financial elite who have taken over the US government and all the commanding institutions of US society. The “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “I Can’t Breathe” protests must overlap and connect with the struggle over public and higher education and the broader struggle for reclaiming a democracy that fulfills both its most radical ideals and its commitment to the common good, public values and a capacious notion of justice.

"The best hope for reforming public education resides in the emergence of what Stanley Aronowitz calls “disruptive social movements that operate outside of the two-party system.”[Stanley Aronowitz] Young people, single women, gays, students, union members, and other left groups no longer believe in either the Democratic Party or the two-party system. How else to explain their massive refusal to vote in the 2014 elections, which had the lowest voter turnout since 1943? As Aronowitz points out, for the last few decades, the Democratic Party has been particularly beholden to big money, wealthy donors and the Pentagon, and has pursued “centrist politics that allow them to follow the Republicans ever further to the right.”[Stanley Aronowitz] President Obama personifies the political and moral cowardice of the Democratic Party given his violation of civil liberties and civil institutions, the development of a foreign policy that amounts to a doctrine of perpetual war, and his backing of “corporate-friendly economic policies.”[Stanley Aronowitz] Moreover, the Obama administration’s educational policies have been more conservative than that of his predecessor George W. Bush and are based on accountability schemes that reproduce the worst of the testing craze along with an aggressive approach to promoting charter schools, an attack on unions and the privatization of public education.

"The current “disruptive social movements” emerging all over the country have not only opened up a national conversation about police brutality; they have also challenged the “conventional wisdom about what is possible” politically, and if these continue they could produce more far-reaching changes.[Stanley Aronowitz] Both the movements against police brutality and the now largely defunct Occupy movement have provided new discursive signposts for acknowledging important social issues such as racially based police brutality and massive inequality in wealth, income and power. Central to these movements is the recognition of the educative nature of politics and the need to harness the rage of the public to points of identification that move people and indicate to them that they have the power collectively to challenge and transform the current corrupt regime of neoliberal capitalism.

"These movements have created new ideological and affective spaces in which to assert the radical imagination and develop a project and politics of educated hope. Making education and the symbols of culture central to their tactics they have engaged in a war in which representations, affect, struggle and the need to produce new desires, identities, and modes of consciousness and agency matter. But they have done something more. These emerging movements are taking risks in not only confronting the raw power of state repression; they are also putting forth bold new and controversial issues such as gay marriage, the legalization of marijuana, the call for a social wage, single-payer universal health care, a shorter work week, the dismantling of the surveillance state, a new Marshall Plan for job development, free education, subsidized child care and racial justice.

"Some progressives believe that one response to the extremism of the Republican Party can be found in pushing the Democratic Party to embrace more radical reforms such as gay marriage and a call for raising the minimum wage. The notion that real political, economic and social reform can be realized within the Democratic Party is more than pure fantasy; it also suffers from a form of historical amnesia that refuses to recognize that the only “reform the Democratic Party has implemented is to move more and more to the right, all in the name of a safe centrism that has marked its legacy for the last fifty years.”[Scot Galindez]

"What Orwell, Arendt and Kafka have taught us is that when power is decoupled from accountability and responsibility, thoughtlessness prevails, repression increases and fear becomes the organizing principle of totalitarian societies, whatever form they may take. The legacy of fear and the lawlessness it inspires runs deep in the United States and its destructive effects are spreading into every public sphere capable of offering critical reflection on the nature of power in a society. The collapse of education into training, the loss of autonomy by teachers, the removal of the conditions that enable students to be critical and engaged citizens all speak to the character of a society in which independent thought is debased; creativity, stifled; and dissent, squelched.

We live in an age dominated by financial barbarians who are more than willing to place the vast majority of Americans in strangulating debt, low paying jobs, devastating poverty and spheres of life-threatening abjection, or, even worse, in “criminogenic ghettoes” and penal gulags. Under such circumstances, the rich commit crimes with impunity while the poor are put in jail in record numbers. Depravity and illegality feed each other as torture is defended by the political leadership as a reasonable tactic to extract crucial information from prisoners. All that stands between state terrorism and mass induced fear are informed citizens, critically educated agents and political formations willing to act with the courage necessary to think politics anew while developing innovative strategies, institutions and organizations that make it possible. Such struggles will not happen in the name of reform alone. Mass resistance to the authoritarian financial state must take place and its goal must be the dismantling of the current corrupt political system that has little to do with democracy and a great deal to do with the values, practices and policies of authoritarianism. Liberal reforms constitute a form of political regression and lack a powerful vision for challenging the corrupt and lifeless political vision produced by the regime of neoliberalism.

At the same time, the democratic institutions in which education is defined as the practice of freedom, critical learning and civic responsibility may be under siege by the lobbyists, hedge fund managers and the billionaires club, but the radical spirit of education is too powerful to be contained under state and corporate repression. The promise of educated citizens along with the enduring character of critical reflection and the search for economic, political and racial justice lives on in the demonstrations of workers, unions and young people all across the United States who are not just protesting police brutality, but also marching in order to have their voices heard as part of the promise of a radical democracy along with the arrangements that give it and them a meaningful and just life. At its best, education is dangerous because it offers young people and other actors the promise of racial and economic justice, a future in which democracy becomes inclusive and a dream in which all lives matter. Ursula K. Le Guin who was recently honored at the National Book Awards speaks about the power of books, words and artists who believe in the power of freedom, but I think her words also apply to education and other public intellectuals as well. She writes:

Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art – the art of words. I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries – the realists of a larger reality.[Ursula Le Guin]

"Le Guin’s words remind us of the power of education and point indirectly to the need to resist all forms of miseducation. Miseducation breeds isolated consumerism, ignorance, militarism, a hatred of the other and indifference to the public good, and feeds a logic of disposability embraced by those who view justice and democracy as a liberal burden, if not a pathology. At its best, the critical and humane spirit of public education lives on in the future of social movements and militant labor unions willing to unify into a third party, create a new language of politics, defend those civic principles that are incompatible with casino capitalism and recognize that the most important investment a country can make is in its youth and educational institutions. The war on public education is part of the war on democracy and it is, in part, born of the legitimate fear that the emergence of larger radical social movements will depend on the development of a formative educational culture and modes of subjectivity that enable the agents for such movements. That is a concern worth nurturing and a struggle worth waging, and time is running out.

Active And Smart Thinking


As The World Turns: Intellectual Synergy

Reading the article above provides an update of the preset state of schooling; Teachers and unions and public schools being degraded and left to run down. This can be found on the book written by Jonathan Kozol "Savage Inequalities", wherein the reader can have a better glimpse of what this article is elaborating from.

The ascendancy of the GOP into being in charge of the two houses of government is a curse and not good for the poor. The GOP is supposed to be governing, but what is the reality is that they are continuing to keep on perpetuating the policies of tryig to enrich the billionaires, as in their recently passed Pipeline Oil project that Obama promised to override/veto should they send him the proposed Bill.[Apparently he did veto the Bill-and this left the GOP incinsed, and they bowed to bring it back again].

At the same time, they still want to take whatever programs are left for the poor, scrap them, and give more tax breaks to the rich. It is also sad to see the in the crushing poverty, their attempts to repeal Obama's health law, 'their disdain for taxation', appeasing their corporate donors, and their attempts to privatize education to increase more money for their corporate partners, degrading the worth of teachers, and blaming them after they strip them of their autononomy, the rising racism since the coming into power of Obama, along with the increase of racist groups in the US Europe an throughout the world; the wars by the Muslimg terrorists who are in fact killing a lot of innocent journalists and Aid workers; that in the end they end up talking of replacing teachers with computers, that the coming in of the GOP, does not bode well well for the poor and devastated Middle Class.

As noted in the article above, regarding the GOP and their destruction of Public education, the author writes:

"These policies and practices echo the principles of casino capitalism or neoliberalism and are designed to enforce a pedagogy of repression, one that kills the imagination, sanctions a deadening mode of memorization and instills in students the discipline necessary for them to accommodate willingly to existing power relations at the expense of developing their capacity to be critical and engaged agents. In this case, the aim of this pedagogy of repression mimics Hannah Arendt’s claim that “The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.”[Arendt] Public schools are also being defunded as states increasingly develop policies that drain state budgets by giving corporations substantial tax breaks."

Defunding Public Schools, and trying to suppress and decommission teachers, all this is done, as I have noted above, in the interests of the rich. The rise of the right wing organization, calls for reforming of the education[social] institutions, as noted above by Ravitch.. as the ' market economies are transformed into market economies into markert society", I cite again the posted piece above:

"the investment in human capital such as young people has been replaced by an overdetermined emphasis on investing in economic capital. Unchecked market fundamentalism now eats its own children while destroying any viable hope they may have for being included in the social and political infrastructure of democracy and a future that benefits them."

The destruction of a democracy is not only denying the right to vote for the American poor by the GOP, but the selling off of schools to corporate investors, who have other plans either than democracy and building of the American societies, this is not being done for the benefit of the poor, as has been barely noted above, but for Big Capital, as duly observed. This has had a dumbing down effect and affect on the American collective. The consistent effeorts by the GOP to destroy the American society, is having some real and damning, negative outcomes.

Destroying Unions has guaranteed a carte blanche atttitude and action from the GOP. This is what Giroux says:

"As lawlessness and moral depravity infect all modes of governance, the push toward treating public schools, especially in low-income neighborhoods, as prisons, and students as objects of surveillance and control has become more widespread. The presence of police, guards, cameras, and a host of surveillance and security apparatuses has turned schools into incubators for creating students willing to surrender their freedoms to the national security state." These practices have now been implemented and applied in the society as a whole, in which technology is used to monitor, control, and then some, the society, today.

Assailing education, unions, social programs, health care laws and society at large, is really having some serious and deleterious affects and effects on the whole American civilization-and Africa. the so-called Third world, in toto., as I prefer to call it. Grioux further states:

"Schools no longer are viewed as places that create dreams of greatness, extend the horizons of the imagination or point to a future that refuses to mimic the present. On the contrary, they are increasingly held hostage both to the market values embraced by the corporate and financial elite and the fundamentalist ideologies of religious conservatives. It gets worse."

These actions and sustained attacks of many institutions of American/African societies, have and are creating poor nations that are less cared for by the government. On the other hand, the present take-over of the House and Senate, by the GOP, through being put in power by the voters in the Mid-term elections, in the States, is begining to bring to the attention of these voters the mistake they have brought upon themselves.

They hate and dislike for Obama, his being the American President, an African person of descent, and having been born in Hawaii[one of the 50 something States of the USA, father being from Kenya, and Mother White(who is never talked about much, nor attacked as is Obamam's father); also, in the mix, the oppostion to all what Obama is trying to do, becomes what I end up saying, with the GOP being firmly in cotrol of the government, the 'chickens have come home to roost', literally, for the American people.

Dysfunction and lack of proper governance of the American society has become, and is now the norm and constant reality, so long as Obama is still the President. The hate for Obama, because of his mixed origins, and his half of being African is attacked, for if one were to study the history of slavery, the American people are still under the slavocracy grip that saw the case of Dred Scott Decision, by Judge Taney, come to light[That the white Person In the States, Does Not Have To respect Anything, Rights that The Black Man has].

It is this perspective and perception of African people that can be found to be rooted and ingrained from. This is the fact that White America, is not commpelled nor expected to respect any rights of African slaves.or African Americans here in the US. This is real, and can be seen manifested in contemporary American Real politik and psyche today.

If one were to talk about the present burgeoning surveilance of the American society which can viewed as being on steroids, this is another disturbing factor of the present American nightmare and dream, perpertuated by the NSA, FBI and other such agencies. The rise in Police Brutality, and the notation made by the FBI director, now in February, that the policing of people of Color in America is racially based and motivated. He, the FBI Director, in his much publicized speech, could not have been further from the truth. This has sent some shockwaves throughout the whole of America, for this is a radical shift in view and operational policy by the FBI.

Now recently, Holder, of the Justic Department, released a hundred a-and-something page report on Ferguson that the police Departmnt act illegally and with racist intent against the African American Public in that city. See Video below

Eric Holder on Ferguson civil rights report

Do Good; Humanize The People

The topic may be about education, but lso educating the public that school desegregation/Apartheid, is also a logical extention of social segregation/Apartheid. They exist side by side and together within the lives and domicile of the peoples above. As i have noted about Obama, his story, and history, is of a people who were made slaves in the US, and the White enslavers believed that Africans sslaves in America have nothing that could be repected by Whites, the Holder Video magnifies this problem as it exists today.

It should also be remembered that unlearning old school means unlearning old habits, which die hard. One cannot divorcee school learning for social learning. Learning in school can be or translates into real life school, and vice versa. The problems delineated by Holder above, ar e such things I am discussing, of race relations being translated into unlearning the old ways/thinking of racist ideas and ways, to learning the new ways of policing and communitntiy collabarotion and cohesion with the cops. This is one subject that needs to be brought to the fore.

Removing racism and Apartheid will take several gerations to eradicate completely from the cosnciousneess and psyche of the present-day generations. Creating a blanced and equitable sociaaety and humane social relations is still a tad way off our present state When it was said that Civil Rights Act will end the Jim Crow racism and segregation, in so doing, White and Black spaces were created. When it comes to Africans in America, it is qute clear that the Civil Rights Act did not ameliorate the embedded racial moorings that were centuries old. So that, they persisted and existed next to the New Civil Rights Laws, and only morphed in certain ways they used to present themselves, and now we end up with cases like Ferguson, in 2015, for that matter.

The most reccent murders, the ignoring of complaining victims of various cirmes for varius reason in South Africa, are the theme that some of us saw during Apartheid, and segregation in the south of America in the 1950s and 1960s. Education has to change, policing has to be adjusted, the whole social ethos needs some revamping, and usually, the USA, sets these social trends in motion, and here's to hoping that this Hub attempts to do just that.. do good for the whole human good.

It would be interesting to listen to the speech by James Corney, FBI Firector, On Matters Of race..

We Can Glean A Lot On What And How To Learn From The Followoing Article by David Mack of BuzzFeed:

What We Know So Far

  • The Justice Department on Wednesday released the results of two civil rights investigations, one into the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and one into the Ferguson police department.
  • Investigators concluded there was not enough evidence to charge Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Brown, a black teenager who was unarmed.
  • Justice Department officials did find a widespread pattern of unconstitutional abuse committed by the Ferguson police department, including the use of unreasonable stops and force on minority members of the community.
  • Michael Brown’s parents said Wednesday they were “saddened” and “disappointed” by the decision.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder said about not charging officer Darren Wilson, “I…know these findings may not be consistent with some people’s expectations.”
  • Three city employees have been placed on administrative leave, including one who was fired, after the DOJ found racist emails.

The Mayor Of Ferguson

Ferguson Mayor James W. Knowles leaves a news conference after reading a statement on Wednesday.

Ferguson Mayor James W. Knowles leaves a news conference after reading a statement on Wednesday.

The Innards Of The Feguson Police

Two Ferguson city employees have been placed on administrative leave and another was fired after the Department of Justice found racist work emails, Mayor James Knowles said Wednesday.

“This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department or any other department,” Knowles said at a news conference following the release of the Department of Justice report.
Noticeably absent from the news conference was Police Chief Tom Jackson, whose department was found to have use unconstitutional tactics in dealing with the city’s African-American population.
City leaders were told by the DOJ on Tuesday about the racist emails exchanged by city employees, and placed three workers on administrative leave. One was fired, and two are part of an internal investigation, Knowles said.
The mayor also listed some of the actions the city has taken since unrest shook the city following the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, including hiring more African-Americans and instituting a police explorer program to diversify the department’s racial makeup. Officials have also stepped up outreach to the city’s predominantly African-American population, Knowles said.
In addition, a civilian oversight board has been established, and a consultant was hired to study the police department’s staffing and deployment.
Officials were also looking at deleting and reviewing fees that were highlighted in the DOJ report, suggesting the city’s police department was more focused on generating revenue that community safety.
Revenue generated by legal fees, such as court fines and traffic tickets, would be capped at 15% of the city’s total budget, Knowles said.
Knowles took no questions from reporters after delivering his statement.
Also on Wednesday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon issued a statement condemning the practices outlined in the DOJ report.
Reforms that would affect municipal courts are currently being reviewed by the state’s General Assembly, Nixon said.
“Facts exposed in the Department of Justice’s report on the Ferguson Police Department are deeply disturbing,” Nixon said. “Discrimination has no place in our justice system and no place in a democratic society.”

Holder - Head Of The Department of Justice


This Is Jim Crow Today As Experienced By Africans In America

I would like to post some vignettes about the Holder Report as written by David Mack Of BuzzFeed:

The Department of Justice on Wednesday released its long-awaited report on the Ferguson Police Department, a blistering review that found entrenched racial biases within a force more concerned with generating revenue rather than maintaining public order.
The Department of Justice on Wednesday released its long-awaited report on the Ferguson Police Department, a blistering review that found entrenched racial biases within a force more concerned with generating revenue rather than maintaining public order.
Scott Olson / Getty Images
The report was deeply critical of the Ferguson police, the municipal court, and city council.

“Ferguson’s harmful court and police practices are due, at least in part, to intentional discrimination, as demonstrated by direct evidence of racial bias and stereotyping about African Americans by certain Ferguson police and municipal court officials,” the DOJ said.
“As detailed in our report, this investigation found a community that was deeply polarized, and where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.

Here are the most shocking excerpts from the 102-page report:
Michael B. Thomas / Getty Images
City officials were in express contact with Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson about issuing more citations in order to raise city revenues:

In March 2010, for instance, the City Finance Director wrote to Chief Jackson that “unless ticket writing ramps up significantly before the end of the year, it will be hard to significantly raise collections next year… . Given that we are looking at a substantial sales tax shortfall, it’s not an insignificant issue.”
Similarly, in March 2013, the Finance Director wrote to the City Manager: “Court fees are anticipated to rise about 7.5%. I did ask the Chief if he thought the PD could deliver 10% increase. He indicated they could try.”
As such, the DOJ found “insufficient thought” was given to whether such revenue-focused policing actually “promote[s] public safety or unnecessarily undermine[s] community trust and cooperation.”
Investigators also found that police officers viewed African Americans as “sources of revenue”:
Partly as a consequence of City and FPD priorities, many officers appear to see some residents, especially those who live in Ferguson’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.
The DOJ added that “city, police, and court officials for years have worked in concert to maximize revenue at every stage of the enforcement process.”

Federal officials also said the Ferguson Municipal Court — a judicial body that hears charges brought under the municipal code but that is still part of the police department — was complicit in the revenue-raising:

The municipal court does not act as a neutral arbiter of the law or a check on unlawful police conduct. Instead, the court primarily uses its judicial authority as the means to compel the payment of fines and fees that advance the City’s financial interests.
The court operates “not with the primary goal of administering justice or protecting the rights of the accused, but of maximizing revenue,” the DOJ found.
The report found that the court “almost always” imposes a fine payable to the city, but also issues arrest warrants for those who do not appear in court or fail to pay their fines.
“As a result, violations that would normally not result in a penalty of imprisonment can, and frequently do, lead to municipal warrants, arrests, and jail time,” the report stated.
Additionally, far more people appear in the Ferguson Municipal Court than is required under Missouri law, the DOJ found. Consequently, more arrest warrants and fines are issued in turn.
The number of cases before the municipal court has also substantially increased in recent years:

…at the end of fiscal year 2009, the municipal court had roughly 24,000 traffic cases and 28,000 non-traffic cases pending. As of October 31, 2014, both of those figures had roughly doubled to 53,000 and 50,000 cases, respectively. In fiscal year 2009, 16,178 new cases were filed, and 8,727 were resolved. In 2014, by contrast, 24,256 new offenses were filed, and 10,975 offenses were resolved.

Not surprisingly, the total fees collected also skyrocketed:
Of the $11.07 million in general fund revenue the City collected in fiscal year 2010, $1.38 million came from fines and fees collected by the court; similarly, in fiscal year 2011, the City’s general fund revenue of $11.44 million included $1.41 million from fines and fees. In its budget for fiscal year 2012, however, the City predicted that revenue from municipal fines and fees would increase over 30% from the previous year’s amount to $1.92 million; the court exceeded that target, collecting $2.11 million. In its budget for fiscal year 2013, the City budgeted for fines and fees to yield $2.11 million; the court exceeded that target as well, collecting $2.46 million.

More than 9,000 arrest warrants were issued by the municipal court in the 2013 fiscal year alone. “Ferguson uses its police department in large part as a collection agency for its municipal court,” the report found. “Ferguson’s municipal court issues arrest warrants at a rate that police officials have called, in internal emails, ‘staggering.’”

In a lengthy section on racial bias within the Ferguson Police Department, the DOJ highlighted some staggering statistics, some of which we have put in bold:

Ferguson’s law enforcement practices overwhelmingly impact African Americans. Data collected by the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 shows that African Americans account for 85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67% of Ferguson’s population.

African Americans are more than twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during vehicle stops even after controlling for non-race based variables such as the reason the vehicle stop was initiated, but are found in possession of contraband 26% less often than white drivers, suggesting officers are impermissibly considering race as a factor when determining whether to search.

African Americans are more likely to be cited and arrested following a stop regardless of why the stop was initiated and are more likely to receive multiple citations during a single incident.
From 2012 to 2014, FPD issued four or more citations to African Americans on 73 occasions, but issued four or more citations to non-African Americans only twice.

FPD appears to bring certain offenses almost exclusively against African Americans. For example, from 2011 to 2013, African Americans accounted for 95% of Manner of Walking in Roadway charges, and 94% of all Failure to Comply charges.

These disparities are also present in FPD’s use of force. Nearly 90% of documented force used by FPD officers was used against African Americans. In every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the person bitten was African American.

DOJ officials also expressly rejected the argument that Ferguson’s black residents feature more prominently in crime statistics because they are more prone to breaking the law.

Our investigation indicates that this disproportionate burden on African Americans cannot be explained by any difference in the rate at which people of different races violate the law. Rather, our investigation has revealed that these disparities occur, at least in part, because of unlawful bias against and stereotypes about African Americans. We have found substantial evidence of racial bias among police and court staff in Ferguson.

They also included this example:
…we discovered emails circulated by police supervisors and court staff that stereotype racial minorities as criminals, including one email that joked about an abortion by an African-American woman being a means of crime control.
The department found Ferguson officers, 94% of who are white, sent emails to their official addresses during work hours that were “derogatory, dehumanizing, and demonstrative of impermissible bias,” including the following:

*A November 2008 email stated that President Barack Obama would not be President for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”

*A March 2010 email mocked African Americans through speech and familial stereotypes, using a story involving child support. One line from the email read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”

*An April 2011 email depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.

*A May 2011 email stated: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’”

*A June 2011 email described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”

*An October 2011 email included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”

*A December 2011 email included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.

The DOJ did not find any indication that any official who engaged in sending or sharing the emails was ever disciplined. “Nor did we see a single instance in which a police or court recipient of such an email asked that the sender refrain from sending such emails, or any indication that these emails were reported as inappropriate,” the DOJ wrote. “Instead, the emails were usually forwarded along to others.”

The report included this anecdote of a black man who lost his job after he encountered Ferguson police in an incident the DOJ described as a violation of his rights:

…in the summer of 2012, a 32-year-old African-American man sat in his car cooling off after playing basketball in a Ferguson public park. An officer pulled up behind the man’s car, blocking him in, and demanded the man’s Social Security number and identification.
Without any cause, the officer accused the man of being a pedophile, referring to the presence of children in the park, and ordered the man out of his car for a pat-down, although the officer had no reason to believe the man was armed.

The officer also asked to search the man’s car. The man objected, citing his constitutional rights.

In response, the officer arrested the man, reportedly at gunpoint, charging him with eight violations of Ferguson’s municipal code.
One charge, Making a False Declaration, was for initially providing the short form of his first name (e.g., “Mike” instead of “Michael”), and an address which, although legitimate, was different from the one on his driver’s license. Another charge was for not wearing a seat belt, even though he was seated in a parked car.

The officer also charged the man both with having an expired operator’s license, and with having no operator’s license in his possession.
The man told us that, because of these charges, he lost his job as a contractor with the federal government that he had held for years.

It also found several instances in which police violated the Fourth Amendment rights of citizens by searching or detaining people without reasonable suspicion:

For example, in July 2013 police encountered an African-American man in a parking lot while on their way to arrest someone else at an apartment building. Police knew that the encountered man was not the person they had come to arrest.

Nonetheless, without even reasonable suspicion, they handcuffed the man, placed him in the back of a patrol car, and ran his record. It turned out he was the intended arrestee’s landlord.
The landlord went on to help the police enter the person’s unit to effect the arrest, but he later filed a complaint alleging racial discrimination and unlawful detention.

Ignoring the central fact that they had handcuffed a man and put him in a police car despite having no reason to believe he had done anything wrong, a sergeant vigorously defended FPD’s actions, characterizing the detention as “minimal” and pointing out that the car was air conditioned.
Another African-American man recalled this experience with Ferguson police.

In October 2012, police officers pulled over an African-American man who had lived in Ferguson for 16 years, claiming that his passenger-side brake light was broken.

The driver happened to have replaced the light recently and knew it to be functioning properly. Nonetheless, according to the man’s written complaint, one officer stated, “let’s see how many tickets you’re going to get,” while a second officer tapped his Electronic Control Weapon (“ECW”) on the roof of the man’s car.

The officers wrote the man a citation for “tail light/reflector/license plate light out.” They refused to let the man show them that his car’s equipment was in order, warning him, “don’t you get out of that car until you get to your house.”
The man, who believed he had been racially profiled, was so upset that he went to the police station that night to show a sergeant that his brakes and license plate light worked.

Scott Olson / Getty Images
The department was also highly critical of officers making baseless arrests that do not meet the required elements of a criminal offense, including this example:

…in November 2013, an officer approached five African-American young people listening to music in a car. Claiming to have smelled marijuana, the officer placed them under arrest for disorderly conduct based on their “gathering in a group for the purposes of committing illegal activity.”

The young people were detained and charged—some taken to jail, others delivered to their parents — despite the officer finding no marijuana, even after conducting an inventory search of the car.
Similarly, in February 2012, an officer wrote an arrest notification ticket for Peace Disturbance for “loud music” coming from a car. The arrest ticket appears unlawful as the officer did not assert, and there is no other indication, that a third party was disturbed by the music — an element of the offense.

Officials also blasted the Ferguson Police Department for routinely charging people with “failure to comply” offenses, even when it is not a crime for a person to refuse an officer’s request.

The report found that officers — whom the DOJ described as “quick to overreact to challenges and verbal slights” — will “frequently make enforcement decisions based on what subjects say, or how they say it.”

For example, in July 2012, a police officer arrested a business owner on charges of Interfering in Police Business and Misuse of 911 because she objected to the officer’s detention of her employee.
The officer had stopped the employee for “walking unsafely in the street” as he returned to work from the bank. According to FPD records, the owner “became verbally involved,” came out of her shop three times after being asked to stay inside, and called 911 to complain to the Police Chief.

The officer characterized her protestations as interference and arrested her inside her shop. The arrest violated the First Amendment, which “does not allow such speech to be made a crime.” Hill, 482 U.S. at 462.
Indeed, the officer’s decision to arrest the woman after she tried to contact the Police Chief suggests that he may have been retaliating against her for reporting his conduct.

The report also criticized officers for violating people’s rights to free speech under the First Amendment.

Officers in Ferguson also use their arrest power to retaliate against individuals for using language that, while disrespectful, is protected by the Constitution.

For example, one afternoon in September 2012, an officer stopped a 20-year-old African-American man for dancing in the middle of a residential street. The officer obtained the man’s identification and ran his name for warrants. Finding none, he told the man he was free to go.

The man responded with profanities. When the officer told him to watch his language and reminded him that he was not being arrested, the man continued using profanity and was arrested for Manner of Walking in Roadway.

The report also found several incidents in which police officers arrested people for videotaping their encounters with the authorities:

In May 2014, an officer pulled over an African-American woman who was driving with her two sons. During the traffic stop, the woman’s 16-year-old son began recording with his cell phone. The officer ordered him to put down the phone and refrain from using it for the remainder of the stop. The officer claimed this was “for safety reasons.”

The situation escalated, apparently due to the officer’s rudeness and the woman’s response. According to the 16 year old, he began recording again, leading the officer to wrestle the phone from him.
Additional officers arrived and used force to arrest all three civilians under disputed circumstances that could have been clarified by a video recording.

… In June 2014, an African-American couple who had taken their children to play at the park allowed their small children to urinate in the bushes next to their parked car. An officer stopped them, threatened to cite them for allowing the children to “expose themselves,” and checked the father for warrants.

When the mother asked if the officer had to detain the father in front of the children, the officer turned to the father and said, “you’re going to jail because your wife keeps running her mouth.”
The mother then began recording the officer on her cell phone. The officer became irate, declaring, “you don’t videotape me!”

As the officer drove away with the father in custody for “parental neglect,” the mother drove after them, continuing to record. The officer then pulled over and arrested her for traffic violations.
When the father asked the officer to show mercy, he responded, “no more mercy, since she wanted to videotape,” and declared “nobody videotapes me.”

The officer then took the phone, which the couple’s daughter was holding. After posting bond, the couple found that the video had been deleted.
A month later, the same officer pulled over a truck hauling a trailer that did not have operating tail lights. The officer asked for identification from all three people inside, including a 54-year-old white man in the passenger seat who asked why.

“You have to have a reason. This is a violation of my Fourth Amendment rights,” he asserted.
The officer, who characterized the man’s reaction as “suspicious,” responded, “the reason is, if you don’t hand it to me, I’ll arrest you.” The man provided his identification.

The officer then asked the man to move his cell phone from his lap to the dashboard, “for my safety.”
The man said, “okay, but I’m going to record this.”

Due to nervousness, he could not open the recording application and quickly placed the phone on the dash. The officer then announced that the man was under arrest for Failure to Comply.
At the end of the traffic stop, the officer gave the driver a traffic citation, indicated at the other man, and said, “you’re getting this ticket because of him.”

Upon bringing that man to the jail, someone asked the officer what offense the man had committed. The officer responded, “he’s one of those guys who watches CNBC too much about his rights.”

The man did not say anything else, fearing what else the officer might be capable of doing.
He later told us, “I never dreamed I could end up in jail for this. I’m scared of driving through Ferguson now.”

Officials also questioned the tactics of Ferguson police used as frequently as last month:

Despite these lawsuits, it appears that FPD continues to interfere with individuals’ rights to protest and record police activities.
On February 9, 2015, several individuals were protesting outside the Ferguson police station on the six-month anniversary of Michael Brown’s death.

According to protesters, and consistent with several video recordings from that evening, the protesters stood peacefully in the police department’s parking lot, on the sidewalks in front of it, and across the street.
Video footage shows that two FPD vehicles abruptly accelerated from the police parking lot into the street. An officer announced, “everybody here’s going to jail,” causing the protesters to run.

Video shows that as one man recorded the police arresting others, he was arrested for interfering with police action. Officers pushed him to the ground, began handcuffing him, and announced, “stop resisting or you’re going to get tased.”

It appears from the video, however, that the man was neither interfering nor resisting. A protester in a wheelchair who was live streaming the protest was also arrested. Another officer moved several people with cameras away from the scene of the arrests, warning them against interfering and urging them to back up or else be arrested for Failure to Obey.

The sergeant shouted at those filming that they would be arrested for Manner of Walking if they did not back away out of the street, even though it appears from the video recordings that the protesters and those recording were on the sidewalk at most, if not all, times.

Six people were arrested during this incident. It appears that officers’ escalation of this incident was unnecessary and in response to derogatory comments written in chalk on the FPD parking lot asphalt and on a police vehicle.

The report also highlighted the “excessive” use of electronic control weapons, or tasers, by some officers.

FPD’s pattern of excessive force includes using ECWs in a manner that is unconstitutional, abusive, and unsafe. For example, in August 2010, a lieutenant used an ECW in drive-stun mode against an African-American woman in the Ferguson City Jail because she had refused to remove her bracelets.18 The lieutenant resorted to his ECW even though there were five officers present and the woman posed no physical threat.

…In September 2012, an officer drive-stunned an African- American woman who he had placed in the back of his patrol car but who had stretched out her leg to block him from closing the door. The woman was in handcuffs.

In May 2013, officers drive-stunned a handcuffed African-American man who verbally refused to get out of the back seat of a police car once it had arrived at the jail. The man did not physically resist arrest or attempt to assault the officers.

According to the man, he was also punched in the face and head. That allegation was neither reported by the involved officers nor investigated by their supervisor, who dismissed it.

The report found that Ferguson police often take “punitive” action against citizens, using force in response to behavior that is “distasteful but does not pose a threat.”

“The punitive use of force by officers is unconstitutional and, in many cases, criminal,” the report stated.

Officials also said that police officers, not citizens, would routinely be responsible for “escalating” a situation, giving the following example:
In January 2013, a patrol sergeant stopped an African-American man after he saw the man talk to an individual in a truck and then walk away. The sergeant detained the man, although he did not articulate any reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot.

When the man declined to answer questions or submit to a frisk — which the sergeant sought to execute despite articulating no reason to believe the man was armed — the sergeant grabbed the man by the belt, drew his ECW, and ordered the man to comply. The man crossed his arms and objected that he had not done anything wrong.

Video captured by the ECW’s built-in camera shows that the man made no aggressive movement toward the officer. The sergeant fired the ECW, applying a five-second cycle of electricity and causing the man to fall to the ground. The sergeant almost immediately applied the ECW again, which he later justified in his report by claiming that the man tried to stand up.

The video makes clear, however, that the man never tried to stand — he only writhed in pain on the ground. The video also shows that the sergeant applied the ECW nearly continuously for 20 seconds, longer than represented in his report.
The man was charged with Failure to Comply and Resisting Arrest, but no independent criminal violation.

Scott Olson / Getty Images
The report also dismissed out of hand the notion that black Ferguson residents lack of “personal responsibility” causes them to feature so prominently in the city’s crime statistics.

Several Ferguson officials told us during our investigation that it is a lack of “personal responsibility” among African-American members of the Ferguson community that causes African Americans to experience disproportionate harm under Ferguson’s approach to law enforcement.

Our investigation suggests that this explanation is at odd with the facts.
While there are people of all races who may lack personal responsibility, the harm of Ferguson’s approach to law enforcement is largely due to the myriad systemic deficiencies discussed above.

Our investigation revealed African Americans making extraordinary efforts to pay off expensive tickets for minor, often unfairly charged, violations, despite systemic obstacles to resolving those tickets.

While our investigation did not indicate that African Americans are disproportionately irresponsible, it did reveal that, as the above emails reflect, some Ferguson decision makers hold negative stereotypes about African Americans, and lack of personal responsibility is one of them.

Moreover, the DOJ found city officials would advance the so-called “personal responsibility” argument, while assisting white friends and colleagues in eliminating citations and fines.

It found one instance where the head of the municipal court, Judge Ronald Brockmeyer, agreed to “take care” of a failure to appear notice issued by the city of Breckenridge, where Brockmeyer also serves.

Brockmeyer also directly emailed the city’s prosecuting attorney requesting a red light camera ticket against him be dismissed, which was then done.
The prosecuting attorney also dismissed tickets for a police patrol supervisor’s relative and an employee of a day camp for which the city’s mayor volunteers.

“City officials’ application of the stereotype that African Americans lack “personal responsibility” to explain why Ferguson’s practices harm African Americans, even as these same City officials exhibit a lack of personal—and professional—responsibility in handling their own and their friends’ code violations, is further evidence of discriminatory bias on the part of decision makers central to the direction of law enforcement in Ferguson,” the DOJ found.

Director Comey Discusses Race and Law Enforcement

How Do We Teach An Old Dog New Tricks: Search Me

Unlearning Racism is still and will remain a problem for my generation, the younger one and those in the future. For instance, the students who were shown singing racist lyrics in a bus on the way fro their sorority outing, these charged say they are sorry and also, that, they were taught to sing that song. That says a lot about their carrying-on as they did, and also the fact that they had to learn it from their Sorority chapter. The way I look at it, some of these young Kids, White Kids, are culturally comatose. They live in a world that is increasing in touch with one another, and they also live a life where their families and societies carry on racist talk and actions like it is a normal thing.

We may talk about education being the middle ground where people's biases are curbed a tad bit. But this incident took place in a University, which leaves a bitter taste and puzzlement to those observing this saga. In this Hub, I talk about unlearning old ways of education, because there is the insertion of technologies in the education system, and the society too, is totally wired.

But, if the society is recalcitrant about change or unwilling to unlearn old ways, this makes education irrelevant and incapable of helping its charges rise above the racist fray. To me, then, it also means there's a lot of lack of cultural diversity pedagogy going on, or, it is simply a 'course' in school, but life is the final arbiter of their racist behavior, which they find to be normal. Also, watching the Talking Heads on TV, trying to deflect the impact of racism upon and onto Africans in America, along with their African American lackeys, working assiduously very hard to say that Race is not the issue… This discourages me to find any pathway that's going to be possible to address the issues of race and racism in the US and around the world.

I always cite the Dred Scot Decision and wherein Judge Taney announced that the White man has no compunction to respect any rights that African slave have, that, this is still the case today. The respect accorded other races either than African, is different and it has been so from the past centuries of Colonialism and present-imperialism-that is, how to treat and regard African people, as opposed as to how to relate and accept other nations, either than the Africans and Africans in America. For the present generation from World War I and II, up to the Afghanistan wWar veterans generation, this change and unlearning of old ways, is not in sight.

One can read or watch the reviews or movie "Sniper," wherein the Sniper says he was doing the killing in order to save his fellow Marines. Well and good, but it is the killing and the words used against the enemy they went to Iraq to topple their leader and govern, brought along with the Awesome bombing called "Shock and Awe", broke down the Iranian society and people, and now come back, Hollywood-Style, justifying their Bombing and destroying Iraq, and their soldiers dehumanizing the people they were killing in Iraq, and projecting the American intrusion as Noble.

In Afghanistan too, the Movie, "Restrepo" presents and projects an American justification of going to fight in some outpost in some remote mountains of Afghanistan, and finally having to leave it for it was an unsustainable outpost, and much was not being achieved. Somewhere on the Web, I read that the USA is in Afghanistan because there is natural mineral they are after that is used in Cell phones. The wars of the US around the world have always been for the cheap labor of the inhabitants, and the securing of those countries natural minerals, and in the process, dehumanize the people they are killing for all those reasons.

Now, my schtick is that, how can we expect that the American society unlearn Old School, whilst not even unlearning that Old School within their own Higher or major educational institutions, where they still perpetuate racial stereotypes, kill African people or those they deem inhuman, and still expect that there will be any resolving of the racial crisis in America and the World? It really does not pass the smell test.

Right now, The Iraq forces, with the help of Iran, are driving ISIS out of Tikrmt. Now, the War is progressing, but the fight in America is about Obama negotiating with Iran. 47 Senators wrote to the Ayatollah telling them that they're negotiating with Obama holds no sway and is not legit, because, in the end, they the Senators, have the final say, and Obama has no power. Tis comes on the heels of the invitation of Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, but Obama Hating GOP, to come and address the Congress. Many Democrats denounced this, and now, after Netanyahu's visit, wherein he attacked and put down Obama as being ignorant of the Middle East saturation, and wrong to negotiate with Iran, we find the kafawfaw that the GOP congress has bungled into.

The USF GOP hates Obama, and they made it clear, after his inauguration that they are gong to make him a one term President, and will make sure he does not govern well, and that he will not leave a legacy of his Presidency worth talking about or noting. Racism in America, since the coming into power of Power, has ramped up, and it is now normal to attack, undermine, disregard, and disrespect Obama in ways that has never been done on any White Presidents in the History of the American Presidency.

This is the gist of the letter the Senators sent to Iran:

A group of 47 US Republican senators Monday warned Tehran that a nuclear deal with the current US administration could last only until a new presidential term begins in 2017. Lawmakers reacted to the letter on social media and in television appearances."

The US Senate Historian's Office has been unable to find another example in history like the GOP's Iran Letter. David Goldstein writes:

The US Senate Historian’s Office has so far been unable to find another example in the chamber’s history where one political party openly tried to deal with a foreign power against a presidential policy, as Republicans have attempted in their open letter to Iran this week

The letter sent by 47 Republican senators sets out to instruct Iranian leaders about how the US Constitution works. They wrote that the deal currently being negotiated with their government by the US and western allies, to limit Iran’s nuclear expansion could be undone by Congress.

“We haven’t found a precedent,” said Senate Historian Donald Ritchie. “That doesn’t mean there isn’t a precedent. After 200 years, It’s hard to find anything that unprecedented.”

In the past, Ritchie said, “What usually happened is a senator would sign a ‘round robin’ letter or a sense of the Senate resolution, or write a letter to the president or secretary of State voicing objections to some particular policy."

Individual senators have also on occasion met with the foreign leaders on policy issues, Ritchie said. In this case, he said his office conducted a general search on disarmament issues to see if an episode similar to the Iran letter could be found.

“We really didn’t find anything,” Ritchie said.

Alan K. Henrikson, director of Diplomatic Studies and a professor of diplomatic history at Tufts University, said the Republicans’ letter “undercuts” how America conducts international diplomacy.

“Neither the Senate nor the House has sought to interfere with actual conduct of negotiations by writing an open letter to the leadership of a country with which the US is negotiating,” said Henrikson, who teaches at Tufts’ Fletcher School of international affairs

Republicans have dismissed the response from Democrats and the White House, which view the letter as a not-so-veiled attempt to torpedo the talks, as over the top. “A little hysterical,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

But Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told National Journal, “I can't even imagine the uproar if Democratic senators [had been] writing to Saddam Hussein in the lead up to the Iraq War.”

Seven Republican senators did not sign the letter, including Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The others were: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Dan Coates of Indiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska."

Now, in so doing, and sending this letter to Iran and trying to embarrass and ignore Obama's power, the GOP, as has been pointed out by others, has violated the Logan Act of 1799, which as explained a bit in Wikipedia reads:

In the late 1790s, a French trade embargo and jailing of US seamen created animosity and unstable conditions between the United States and France. Logan sailed to France in the hope of presenting options to its government to improve relations with the United States and quell the growing anti-French sentiment in theUnited States. France responded by lifting the embargo and releasing the captives.Logan's return to the United States was marked by Republican praise and Federalist scorn. To prevent US citizens from interfering with negotiations between the UnitedStates and foreign governments in the future, the Adams administration quickly introduced the bill that would become the Logan Act.

The Logan Act has remained almost unchanged and unused since its passage. The act is short and reads as follows:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with theUnited States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.(Wikipedia)

My piece above is about how can society unlearn Old ways of dealing with other races, when we expect failing schools to do so.Society is not yet ready to deal with the vicissitudes visited upon African are wreaking in their mist. Many White people hate and dislike Obama, that this is not a secret. So, then, is a wonder that a junior Freshman Senator was instructed, and sacrificed by the Old Timers in their Party, to ignore their own Law, and do exactly what it forbids? The Morbid hatred for Obama Knows no bounds.

The shooting and murder of African Kids in America by the Cops is one other way which shows that Race and racism against Africans in America has even worsened in the Obama Era. Many white talking heads on TV are trying to go-over what African people are telling them. They're living and existing in their White Spaces inhibits them from even understanding, let alone listening to what the African cohorts are saying about race and racism in their lives. It's not that they cannot see it, nor know it, but they live with it for it entrenches their White privilege, and anyway, African people are not to be trusted. One can found the basis of this belief from the days of Slavery. It is uncanny and eye-opening to see the attitudes of Whites against Africans, during slavery, and those of Whites, today, in the Age of the Internet and Social Media.

The issues of Race and racism are out there for all to see and read. But what is galling is the deliberate ignorance displayed by White people as if this is an anomaly, knowing fully well that is rubbish and a lie, and they know that there is a lot of truth in what Africans in America are talking about. One can look into the Department of Justice report regarding policing in Ferguson-how African people were targeted ticketed to raise more funds for the police and city, the racism that the Africans suffered there in Ferguson was palpable and in plain sight for all to see. Now, with the killing of Brown, this has come to light.

The White people's talking heads on TV have started the denial part of this truth. So that, this brings me back to my assertions, that if we expect schools to be unlearning Old school, what is the whole American society supposed to be taught how to Unlearn the Old ways of dealing with and communicating with Africans in America? If anything then, these statistics released by the Department of Justice about Ferguson, might make my point. The DOJ called it "Unlawful" Bias.

The Department Of Justice Statics In The Ferguson Report.


Racism Is Alive And Well In 2015 America

To sum-up the stated issues above, I would like to utilize an interview of Dean Christopher A. Bracey below to establish the fact and point the unlearning of Old social Ways is of prime importance and addressed in this Hub.

The Department of Justice released a scathing report on the Ferguson, Mo., police department, alleging systemic racial disenfranchisement and unconstitutional police behavior. The Ferguson department has been under national scrutiny for civil rights violations since the fatal shooting last summer of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by white police Officer Darren Wilson. In an interview with George Washington Today, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor at the George Washington University Law School Dean Christopher A. Bracey explained the details of the finding and what’s at stake.

Q: The Justice Department found that the Ferguson Police Department routinely engaged in a number of unconstitutional practices, including illegal stops and arrests. What does the Fourth Amendment require of arresting officers?

A: The Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unlawful searches and seizures. An officer must have what is called reasonable or “articulable” suspicion that a crime has occurred—what you might call a “hunch” based upon specific and articulable facts—in order to make a stop. An officer must have probable cause—a somewhat stronger suspicion, again grounded upon specific facts, that a crime has occurred—in order to make an arrest or secure a warrant for an arrest. The Department of Justice investigators found that Ferguson police officers often stopped, detained and arrested individuals under circumstances where there was little or no reason to think that there was any criminal activity afoot.

The excessive use of force by a police officer may also violate the Fourth Amendment. DOJ investigators identified a number of instances in which Ferguson police offers used excessive force when no force at all seemed to be required (for example, the unnecessary use of a Taser to “subdue” an observably compliant suspect). Investigators also found that the excessive use of force frequently occurred during a stop or arrest that itself was unlawful—a double violation of the Fourth Amendment, so to speak.

Q: The report states that law enforcement efforts are “focused on generating revenue”—officers were told to ramp up ticket collection to make up for tax shortfalls, for example. How does this focus violate the Constitution?

A: Every jurisdiction derives revenue from ticket collection. The problem in Ferguson is one of selective enforcement. DOJ investigators found that African Americans were disproportionately targeted and ticketed for petty offenses. For instance, African Americans comprised 92 percent of persons charged with “Peace Disturbance,” 94 percent of persons charged with “Failure to Comply” and 95 percent of persons charged with “Manner of Walking in Roadway.” Racially discriminatory policing of this sort is arguably a violation of the 14th Amendment as well as federal and state civil rights laws. The revelation of Ferguson’s activities in this regard are also a reminder of the economic impact that racial discrimination can have on minorities: African American residents, already disproportionately poor, were further financially burdened by unnecessary fines and court fees.

Q: Law enforcement practices were found to be “shaped and perpetuated by racial bias” in violation of federal law. What is the standard for constitutionality in racial bias?

A: The 14th Amendment prohibits the government from discriminating on the basis of race unless its use of race is narrowly tailored to meet a compelling government objective. Courts will scrutinize the use of race very closely. In cases where the use of race expressly disfavors a racial minority, the court will almost always conclude that a constitutional violation has occurred. The problem is that, in most cases, it is far from clear whether the person accused of racial discrimination was “motivated” to take action for purposes of engaging in racial discrimination. This is what DOJ investigators concluded with respect to Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson. By contrast, federal civil rights laws impose an even stricter standard, where a pattern or practice of racial bias or disparity in law enforcement alone may prove to be a sufficient basis upon which to impose civil liability.

Q: Among the behaviors exhibited by police was excessive use of force—“Supervisors seem to believe that any level of resistance justifies any level of force”—which was found to be constitutionally unjustifiable. Yet, the Justice Department cleared Officer Wilson, who shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown, in their separate civil rights probe. How can those two findings be reconciled?

A: Investigators found that the evidence gathered in connection with the grand jury investigation corroborated Darren Wilson’s account: that Michael Brown attempted to grab his gun and subsequently moved toward him in a menacing matter. Officer Wilson perceived Michael Brown to pose a threat sufficient to warrant the use of deadly force. In order to successfully prosecute Officer Wilson, the DOJ would have had to prove that Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown with the purpose and intent to violate the law. DOJ investigators must have believed that the evidence in this case would not support this particular charge against Darren Wilson, but that there were circumstances involving other officers and other victims that may very well support charges against those other officers or perhaps against the Ferguson police department more generally.

Q: The DOJ provided a list of improvements and changes that need to be made in Ferguson’s Police Department and court system. What are the next steps for the Ferguson municipal government and police? How will those improvements be carried out?

A: At this point, the ball appears to be squarely in the hands of Ferguson government officials. They can choose to adopt proactive measures on their own, negotiate a set of arrangements with DOJ or risk being sued.

Racism 21st Century Style


Systemic Racism Or Jim Crowism - 21st Century -Style

I would like, at this juncture, just to give some sense of what the Department of Justice in America had to do to investigate the Ferguson Police Department(FPD). This will shed some light about the scale of this Jim Crowism in the 21st Century USA. The cited information below was culled from the Department of Justice Report on the Ferguson, Mo. Police Departments' Summary.

"This investigation has revealed a pattern of or practice of unlawful conduct within the Ferguson police Department that violates the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and Federal Law.

"Over the course of he investigation, we interviewed City Officials, inclMunicipaluding City Manager John Shaw, Mayor James Knowles, Chief of the Police Thomas Jackson, Municipal Judge Ronald Bricklayer, The Municipal Court Clerk, Ferguson's Finance Director, half of FPD's sworn officers, and others. We spent, collectively, approximately 100 person-days onsite in Ferguson

"We participated in ride-alongs with on-duty officers, reviewed over 35,000 pages of police records as well as thousands of e-mails and other electronic materials provided by the police department. Enlisting the assistance of statistical experts, we analyzed FPD's data on stops, searches, citations, arrests, as well as data collected by the municipal court.

"We observed four separate sessions of Ferguson Municipal Court, interviewing dozens of people charged with local offenses, and we reviewed third-party studies regarding municipal court practices Ferguson and St. Louis County more broadly.

"As in all of our investigations, we sought to engage the local community, conducting hundreds of in-person and telephone interviews of individuals who reside in Ferguson or who have had interactions with the police department.

"We contacted ten neighborhood associations and met with each group that responded to us, as well as several other community groups and advocacy organizations. Throughout the investigation we relied on two police chiefs who accompanied us to Ferguson, and who themselves interviewed City and police officials, spoke with community members and reviewed FPD policies and incident reports."

I just wanted to cite the methodology, part of it, that went into the writing of this DOJ's report, and this is important for us to get some information our local cable TVs and Internet media does not necessarily zero-in on. In my pieces above, I was decrying the lack of change that is needed to unlearn the old racist and hard core segregator forms of social interaction between different races that needs to taken care of, immediately. This Hub is about a need for a miseducated people to unlearn Old school. I am looking forward and hoping that this Hub does try to focus that type of discourse and maybe later will offer some cogent solutions.

Time For The Truth - Racism Must Go..

The citation above shows that there's a dire need to try and work with and within the African American communities; breaking them down to their many constituent parts, empowering and giving recognition to htse groups, that they do matter and they provide valuable intelligence and information; the vetting and close srtiny be given to those White institutions like courts, the police, social workers, sociologists, , comparing and contrasting them with theose that are in the form of community acitvists, churches, schools, citizens in the county-within other larger counties, to better get a better picture and grasp of the situation on the gorund of these African communities, and everything about them.

In order for people to unlearn Old Ways, new Ways have to be implemented and plied throughout all the segments of the different American ethnically diverse communities, evenly, in a just way, and equally. The corruption of the whole Police Department of Fergusson has been exposed abusing and illegally arresting and tasing the citizens of Ferguson, issuing out unnecessary and many tickets to the inhabitants of the county who compose 67% of the African community, and the whole police Department of Fergusson is lily-white. This has been going on for decades, and it blew up becasue of the shooting of Brown, and the Department of Justice intervened, and issued their report of the sitution and relities of Ferguson.

There's a lot of fake reaction as if all is aghast at these revelation. Many are and have been saying that this is nationwide in the US. And they also point out that the intellectual acuity as to the existence of these racist practices, was a fait accompli-it was known, and it was treated as benign-nothing to it. I have also cited The Dred Scott Decision as the historical antecendant of such attitudes amongst the White people. They know that African people have been complaining and trying to point out thse police abuses that were targerting the.Nobody listend and their protestations have been poopoed as inconsequentioal, but the muttering of lazy, won't work, drug-addicted,food-stamped government-assisted layaabouts and baby makers whocannot even hold a job for four years. This was one of the emails that were revealed about Ferguson when deriding Obama

Changing the old ways seems impossible in this time and era for these sniping snide remarks are part of the cultural lore amongst White people, it's just that, in this age of Smartphones, they are being laid bare, and hurled into the viral stream, that what Africans have been saying, if falsely reacted to as being something new, unknown and aberration. The creation and existence of Black, White, Yellow, and other racialized colorized Apartheidized American reality, is treated as if it's non-existence-But the new Technologies are showing and projecting a true and oppositie reality and situation.

Maybe, as the technolgies become more sophisticated, these other Hidden Agendas" orf racial bias, superirioty and priviledge that is going to have to be addressed, serioulsy nd consistently. The changes we might wonder if they are possible in shifting the present generattions and those coming, that in effect, as Sobukwe once proclaimed, we are all on one human race. This still does not and cannot resonate so long as there are and will be people who riject change, paradigm shifts and laternatiive realities as part of the human nature and relaity, we are not going to move on ahead any faster than we are doing now-Hurrying Up Slowly.

Unlearning means learning something different and new. It is in learning the new ways that social movements today are employing. The police are hard-pressed to, to unlearn their old ways of placing-where they are going to have camera;s on their vest on their hests to record everything they do-Big Brother Will Be Watching Them-Or Will Big Brother Be Watching? Technology is now being foisted upon the "Blue Wall Of Silence", as in the case of New York Cops, that even in demonstration, the social movements today apply a sophisticated version o-non-violence', and they are assisted in doing so by their Social Meida". The Cops have to move from being luddidites into be trying to keep up with the "Technological Natives", and they have as yet to reach the stage of being Technological "Immigrants"[I have discussed this pehemomenon in one of my publised Hugbs here on HubPages.

This also applied to countries like South Africa. The main problem here in Mzatnsi is poverty, post-apartheid-milieu, globalization, low wges, strikes, corruption, cronyism, nepotism, cabals, exiles, inziles(those who never left the country), massive armies of the unemployemt, miss and ill-edicated hordes of poor Africans, drugs, alcoholism, family break-up, anomie and the whole dysfunctional reality that composes the present-day people of Mzatnsi. The police work and exist in such an enviroment, and 'bribery' is their modus operandi, complicateed by local politics and talking point, ingornace and a host of many other issues that will need a Hub unto itself about the policing tactics of contemporary Police Department of Mzantsi.

Many Whites of Fergusson ar just like the people of Germany who said they did not know anything about the Concentration Camps in their backyards, that we find today, in the US, White people who readily say that they were not aware that there was so much 'unhappiness' and terrible things around them. This is the the nub of the problem. White Privilege Matters, And Black Lives Do Not Matter.. Nothing has changed and the above statement and slogan by the new and emerging Social Movements, point out precisley to what is actually happening here in America-Change is inevitable and imminent..

This is a short report as to what has happened in the US to African youth and how, when things are said to change, that is the more so they remain the same. I am posting this article written by Nina Strochlic:

We Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest Until It Comes..(SHOTRock)..

African Youth Under Siege... From Emmett Till To Who?.. Today...

This is important to really post here, and it is important that the members of this Wall pay close attention to what is happening in the USA to Young African American Boys in the hands of the White police. This is reminiscent of the Apartheid BOSS and South Afircan Police, what they did to us.

Today, It is increasingly happening and affecting the African American Communities theoughout the States, and I would be amiss not posting something on it. I plan to write my own expose, but for now, I will utilizze some spost already done or posted on the Web.

Like Sweet Honey On the Rockd Sand:
"We Who Believe Cannot rest until it comes
"Until the killing of black men black mother's son
"Is as important as the kikking of white men, white mother's son
"We who believe in freedom cannot rest..

"The older I get the better I know...
"Young people come first, they have the courage where we fail..

This song's lyrics I am going to repost above this intial post on this Timeline, and that as we grow older, the years add-up, birthdays come and go for us who live, we are still going to have to dig in deeper on our heels, use this Facebook Social edia as an educational and propagating tool of wha twe would like to know, in all ints depth and breadth, issue that effect and affect us in our decrepit live as we live them throughout our Caves, Ramshacle-Corrugated houses, Ghettoes, slums, Mansions, Street And Open Velds(Open Field Spaces)-As Our Homes and Domicile, with all the poverty, misery and whatever we conjure up about ourselves on the negative side of the ledgee of life-We have to remember that those of us who Believe In Freeeom, Never Rest, then, and now....

"We Who Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest Until It Comes.."
This song of Swweet Honey is apt, spot on and very relevant and resonants with the events that are taking palce and happening to African people Globally. Time we took stock and account, and use the Social Media to trmpet, loudly,Our Struggle and the belief tha twe have in freedom, and that we are not going to rest until it comes.. Fully and authentically and autonomously...

The Real And True Freedom from all this social miasma and murdering of our people, and then some... PLease Listen[To The Posted Sweet Honey's Song] As Much You Can Posted On This Link For It is Choc-Full and Packed with "SHOTRock's" Music for Inspiration, lest we fall, falter, and forget... But "We Shall Rise," as the Youth Post-Ferguson is Chanting... Today.

One can see the article I have posted below the vidoe of Weet Honey, below.

Sweet Honey In The Rock - Ella's Song

African Youth Rising...


"We Who Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest Until Its Done" (SHOTRock)

The 14 Teens Killed by Cops Since Michael Brown

Since Ferguson, police have killed more than a dozen teenagers, half of them black. Some did nothing more than carry a BB gun.

Michael Brown’s death on August 9 was a nationwide wake-up call to the death-by-cop of young minority men at the hands of law enforcement. According to data stretching from 1999 to 2011, African Americans have comprised 26 percent of all police-shooting victims. Overall, young African Americans are killed by cops 4.5 times more often than people of other races and ages.

Since Brown’s death, at least 14 other teenagers—at least six of them African-American—have been killed by law enforcement in a variety of circumstances.

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice wasn’t yet a teenager when he was killed on November 22 in a Cleveland, Ohio park. The 12-year-old boy was shot by a police officer after brandishing what turned out to be a BB gun. A call made to police beforehand described Rice as “a guy with a pistol” on a swing set, but said it was “probably fake.” When officers arrived at the scene, they say Rice reached for his toy, though did not point it at them, prompting a first-year policeman to fire two shots at Rice from a short distance.

On Monday night, as the Brown indictment verdict was announced, a local councilor summed these up without getting tangled in blame and legalities:

"Perhaps, after our analysis, we learn that the police officer really did fear for his life and did everything right under the circumstances,” City Councilman Jeffrey Johnson said at a meeting. “But there is something fundamentally broken in our system when a young man can have a legal BB gun, and by the end of that day be killed by a Cleveland police officer.”

Cameron Tillman

On the evening of September 21, police were called to check on reports of trespassers with weapons going into an abandoned home in Terrebonne, Louisiana. Cameron Tillman, a 14-year-old boy was shot dead on the scene by a sheriff’s deputy. His brother, who was there, said he was shot opening the door and was unarmed, but the police said he was armed and that a gun was recovered near his body. It was later reported that the weapon was a BB gun that appeared to be a .45-caliber pistol. The cop was not named, but was identified as an African-American veteran of the division with no prior infractions.

Overall, young African Americans are killed by cops 4.5 times more often than people of other races and ages.
VonDerrit Myers Jr.

VonDerrit Myers Jr. was shot in the head in early October not far from where Michael Brown died two months earlier. The 18-year-old was shot six or seven times in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis after an off-duty police officer fired at him 17 times. Police say Myers charged at the policeman, they wrestled, and then he shot at least three bullets before his gun jammed. Myers had been out on bail in a gun case, but his family claimed he was unarmed and holding only a sandwich in his hand. That night, a crowd of 300 gathered at the scene, and violence broke out: gunshots echoed and police vehicles were damaged. The officer who shot Myers was identified as Jason Flanery, a 32-year-old white patrolman.

Laquan McDonald

After a tire-puncturing spree in late October, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot dead by a police officer in Chicago. Officers reported to a call about someone breaking into cars in the Archer Heights neighborhood. The teen refused to drop his knife, according to officers, fixed them with “a 100-yard stare,” and walked toward them. That’s when a cop fired at McDonald, killing him.

Carey Smith-Viramontes

Few details have been revealed about the shooting of an 18-year-old girl in Long Beach, California last week. Officers were responding to a report of a missing juvenile girl, and found her in the house of Carey Smith-Viramontes. According to police, Smith-Viramontes was armed with a knife and was shot dead by an officer on the scene.

Jeffrey Holden

An 18-year-old was killed by police officers after opening fire on a cop with two guns in Kansas City in late October. Jeffrey Holden had reportedly been shooting at houses and passersby before the authorities arrived at the scene. he was listed as a missing person and had two outstanding warrants.

Qusean Whitten

Two armed robbers were killed after holding up a Dollar General Store in Columbus, Ohio in October. Eighteen-year-old Qusean Whitten had jumped from the car he was using to flee the scene and started running when police opened fire.

Miguel Benton

In early October, 19-year-old Miguel Benton managed to steal an officer’s gun and shoot him twice. Two cops were transporting Benton and another inmate to jail on drug and robbery charges in Georgia when the incident occurred. Another officer shot and killed Benton.

Dillon McGee

Eighteen-year-old Dillon McGee of Jackson, Tennessee, died after being shot by police officers who claim he was attempting to run them over in a car. On September 26, officers were targeted after approaching a car, driven by McGee, and fired at the driver. McGee was the father of a one-month-old son.

Levi Weaver

A man welding a baseball bat and a kitchen knife lunged at police officers in his home in Georgia, and was fatally shot in late September. According to the sheriff, 18-year-old Levi Weaver begged the officer to shoot him, and then leapt at him. The officer shot Weaver twice.

Karen Cifuentes

A 19-year-old woman was killed in September after an undercover police watched a drug deal go down in Oklahoma City. One of the suspects got in a car driven by Karen Cifuentes and took off, apparently hitting one of the officers who fired then opened fire and killed her.

Sergio Ramos

In August, an 18-year-old was shot and killed by a Dallas police officer after a car crash in a parking lot near a Walmart store. According to police, Sergio Ramos had just robbed a killed an associate when he was confronted by an off-duty cop, reached for the gun in his shorts, and was shot multiple times.

Roshad McIntosh

Some 500 anti-police protesters took to Chicago’s streets after a 19-year-old man’s death at the hands of police. On August 24, Roshad McIntosh was being questioned by cops when he began running. Police say he pulled a gun on them, but his family claimed that McIntosh was kneeling on the ground with his hands in the air. Nearly a month later, his mother brought another protest to city hall, demanding answers in her son’s killing.

Diana Showman

A mentally ill woman brandishing a power drill was shot dead by an officer after she called 911 and told San Jose dispatchers she had an Uzi. Diana Showman, 19, had come out of her house, ignored demands to put down the weapon, and was shot once. Showman’s parents criticized the officer’s response, saying that the police needed to be better equip to handle mental health issues.

Some White American Are Speaking against White Supremacy, albeit using a Colorful language

A self-described "redneck" is taking the Internet by storm with his call for white Americans to stand up against racism, take responsibility for it and acknowledge that they've benefitted from it whether they've wanted to or not.

"This country was built for white people and it's time us Americans -- us white Americans -- came to terms with that and realize we're benefitting from that," the man who goes by the pseudonym Dixon White says in the clips, which contains some "NSFW language." [So, no offense meant by my posting this Video on my Hub, just to amke a point, I have tried to edit the curse words, but the message in the video is not lost]

"We created a culture and a system of white supremacy that has benefitted us for 400 years," White says with a thick southern drawl in a clip recorded from the cab of his Ford pickup truck. "I think maybe it's about time we stop being lazy as white people and take some serious responsibility."

In the video titled, "I'm a redneck and I love America," he says:

"There's a new south and a new America and it's called white racial responsibility and it's time we all took some y'all. Let's take a little bit of white racial responsibility. Let's start by standing up against it, let's recognize that in every American institution, in education, financial, healthcare, justice -- for God's sake it's in justice -- in the police departments and our police officers, many of them.
And when I talk I'm not talking about all. I'm ain't saying all white people are bad I'm saying we've got an evil called white supremacy in this culture. Stop being defensive. Get off your behind and do something about it. Speak up, don't ever ignore racism. If you hear something racist, fucking stand as a white American, take some f*cking responsibility. It's the inaction that has always destroyed other people and other nations."
Dixon says in the clip that he was once a white supremacist himself.

"Yeah I'm redneck. I always have been -- but this redneck's reformed," says White, who wrote on Facebook that he has a white mother and Cuban father. "Many years I was a racist and I didn't like blacks, used to call 'em the 'N' word and what not."

White told The Root that going to college, where he had a black roommate, helped to change his point of view. So did suffering from abuse due to prejudice.

"Once I understood (prejudice), it made me open to not being a product of it and not participating in it," he told the website. "I learned through suffering that I was going to fight against racism. I made an oath to myself and God that I would fight against racism and put it behind me."

White said he had written some articles, but when they didn't get as much attention as he hoped he turned to video. Now he's getting attention in a big way. In less than 10 days, his most popular video has received some 800,000 views on YouTube and has been shared across social media.

The actor and filmmaker, who hopes to make a movie about white supremacy, has since released a few more clips, including a call for others to join him. White is asking Americans to post their own clips "owning up to and taking responsibility racially." He wants the videos to "address our culture and systems of white supremacy without a 'but' in it and without denial and defense of it."

Already a number of people -- white and black -- have answered the call. And on Facebook, Dixon said he's hoping a celebrity will join the movement and record a video.

Despite all the attention, one thing hasn't changed: White is still a redneck, a label he wears as a badge of honor.

"I'm still a redneck. I boat, fish, hunt, whatever the f*ck I want to do. I drink a beer, I eat too much pork, barbecue, you can tell looking at me. My point is yeah you can call me fat and I don't care."

I'm a redneck and I love America

Why Most White People Don't Speak Out Against Racism

Tim Wise: On White Privilege (Clip)

PIONEER SX-1980 & Friends


Unlearning Old School can be looked at in various ways as has been attempted in this Hub above. In many ways, technology has been a sort of advancement for the modern man, it is also a kind of miseducation for the present-day users of these technologyies, use a rearview mindset and ways of seeing whenever using these new technologies and their techniques. Many people are stuck in the world of analog, and this, they try to utilize in their using digital technologies. This has caused a lag and many people are are constatntly playing catch-up.

For instance, remember the days before cable television when someone in the family would assume the job of antenna contortionist? To improve that ephemeral picture to a viewable standard, they would skillfully adjust the alignment, length, and altitude of the antenna to get the best possible picture. But sometimes the picture would still show a foggy double image or ghostly images from the next channel. All these problems are caused by the weak signals from distant or blocked transmitters.

A basic natural law that our technology can't overcome is the weakening of television signals as they travel away from the transmitter and around or through objects. Both analog and digital signals get weaker with distance. However, while the picture on an analog TV slowly gets worse for more distant receivers, a picture on a digital set will stay perfect until