Monthly Archives: October 2013

Education For Meaning in a Culture of Consumption


We often forget that our educational efforts are always tied to a larger context. (Of course, with all of the political interest in education these days, it is much more difficult to forget that we are swimming in the waves of a corporate model of education.) What is “public” and the goals of and for the “public” are always up for dispute. With this said, it is blatantly obvious to me that the corporate reform movement’s effects are to cannibalize children for the sake of profit. The public is shifting to the private, simply, it seems, because more money is to be made there. As Michael Higgins argues, the economic unmoored from its social context is running rampant and quickly undermining the historical understanding of the common good.

Here is Gerald Coles on the subject.

“That economic system, one that pervades every aspect of American culture including our foundational democratic…

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Interview With Paul Thomas

A post from a while ago that’s , unfortutantely, just as relevant as ever.


Paul Thomas is a professor of teacher education at Furman University in South Carolina.  I just heard a fantastic interview with Paul by Bob Maxfield and Linda Tyson of Leaderful Schools.  Leaderful Schools does a wonderful job of interviewing a variety of people who are doing excellent work in education.  (And, as a self-serving plug, you can hear their interview with yours truly in Volume 4, Episode 4.)  In this interview, Paul touches on a number of concerns he has with the effects of the corporate education reform movement on children.

The “No Excuses” approach to school reform vs. the “Social Context” approach to school reform.  Paul explains that the No Excusers are led by those who are outside of the school community- they tend to be business leaders and politicians- no educational experience at all, while the Social Contexters  tend to be educators and researchers.  Because they lack the…

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Connecting Empathy and Prosperity

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, points out the polarization in America is a divide between those who see beyond their private wants, and those who don’t.

We do have a divided society. But the division is not…between freeloaders and the rest. Rather, it is between those (including many members of the 1 percent) who see America as a community and recognize that the only way to achieve sustained prosperity is to have shared prosperity, and those who don’t; between those who have some empathy for those who are less fortunate than themselves, and those who don’t.

From pgs. xxi-xxii in The Price of Inequality