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Kelly Boushell

LIBERTY! - The American Revolution - 66 views

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    The Liberty! Teacher's Guide is designed to fully engage students in the drama and rich educational information presented in the six-part PBS series Liberty! THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
Michael Sheehan

Learning Never Stops: World War II Posters and the Statue of Liberty - 4 views

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    Digital copies of World War II poster that can be downloaded and printed! Plus, an excellent photo blog about the Statue of Liberty.
Richard Bradshaw

Liberty Equality and Democracy - 28 views

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    This essay interested me, because it attempts to synthesize the relationship between spirituality and politics.
GP withMdmLin

Abortion laws cannot hinge on when life 'begins' - 15 views

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    In his letter, "Arguments that should be aborted" (April 3), Mr Devathas Satianathan states that it is unclear how Associate Professor Tan Seow Hon's religious view is relevant. From Edwin Dai Weiyun - 03 April In his letter, "Arguments that should be aborted" (April 3), Mr Devathas Satianathan states that it is unclear how Associate Professor Tan Seow Hon's religious view is relevant. However, I would ask if her premise is that life begins at six weeks from conception, or possibly earlier, an interpretation that would be informed by her religious views. To say that her view on this has no bearing on her commentary is intellectual dishonesty. She also cited recent legislative developments in North Dakota, a Bible Belt state. Mr Jason Cheng responded, in "Let pregnant women make their own moral choices" (April 2), that six weeks is insufficient time for women to detect their pregnancy, which basically results in a de facto ban on abortion. Mr Devathas argues that, in the balance between preserving a baby's life and a mother's choice, Mr Cheng fails to acknowledge the former. Ironically, Mr Devathas fails to acknowledge the latter. Where he discusses a valid point is in the question: When does life begin? Answers to such a question, though, are varied across society and influenced by the religious views, or a lack thereof, of the individual. It is unwise and unconstitutional for the State to legislate or endorse the moral views of any religious group over other members of society. People who hold strong pro-life views are free to bring their babies to full term. The same liberty should be accorded to people who hold pro-choice views."
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    This does not seems to be educational but maybe I misunderstood what would be fed to me through diigo. In any event since it come through, I pose this philosophical non-religious question: If you were 2 weeks pregnant and I punched you in the stomach which in turn killed the fetus, it would definitely be assault on you, but should I be criminally responsible for the fetus? If so, why?
Peter Beens

Daniel Pink on Drive, Motivation, and Incentives | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty - 44 views

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    Daniel Pink, author of Drive, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about drive, motivation, compensation, and incentives. Pink discusses the implications of using monetary rewards as compensation in business and in education. Much of the conversation focuses on the research underlying the book, Drive, research from behavioral psychology that challenges traditional claims by economists on the power of monetary and other types of incentive. The last part of the conversation turns toward education and the role of incentives in motivating or demotivating students.
D. S. Koelling

Shared Governance Is a Myth - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 14 views

  • It takes years of rank and the bitter­sweet experience of extensive committee service to realize that faculty influence on the operation of the university is an illusion, and that shared governance is a myth.
  • Committees report to administrative officers who are at liberty to accept, reject, or substantially alter faculty recommendations.
  • One would think that faculty senates exercise jurisdiction over a range of college life and policy. In reality, the right of many senates does not extend beyond making recommendations to the president, who is under no obligation to accept them.
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  • A more probable source of this way of doing business is the residue of an old ideal of the university. Such survivals of previous practices are not unusual in social life. Physicians, for example, experience a struggle between two competing understandings of their field: the prevalent view that treating patients is a business, and the residue of the old ideal that it is a calling. Ministers live the same ambiguity. Faculty committees constitute the respect that today's university pays to the old notion that it is a community of students and scholars. The impotence of the committees is acknowledgment that at this time in history, institutions of higher education are business ventures, in certain ways similar to factories.
  • If education is primarily a business, managers hire the faculty. If universities are communities of students and scholars, faculty members hire the managers.
  • The growing disempowerment of the faculty is accelerated by the distance of governing boards from campus processes.
Janine Campbell

1 Enlightenment, liberty and revolution - French Revolution - OpenLearn - The Open University - 8 views

    • Janine Campbell
       
      Social distinction was evident in France and America. Something connected to a time period rather than a particular country.
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    Catherine the Great of Russia, once the darling of two of those leading figures, Voltaire and Diderot, was by 1794 voicing the suspicion 'that the aim of the philosophes was to overturn all thrones, and that the Encyclopédie was written with no other end in view than to destroy all kings and all religions'
Kate Pok

Southern Hospitality? Not for Immigrants - NYTimes.com - 43 views

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    Good article illustrating the fluid definitions of race.
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    Except that those ridiculous portions of the law, including the transport part, are now in the process of being repealed. As embarrassing as this all is, one should still do her homework.
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    Many thanks for your comments. As far as I can tell, there's been a lot of debate about rescinding parts of the bill and there's certainly been support to change parts of it, but I haven't found anything that says that's definitely happening. At any rate, I was planning to use the article as an example of how racial categories tend to change based on circumstances rather than set in stone. Again, thanks for reminding me to double check details.
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    You are right, racial categories do tend to change based on the times as history shows us, but I'll point you to two articles in The Birmingham News which show a little more than just debate about rescinding parts of that bill. http://blog.al.com/breaking/2011/09/federal_judge_throws_out_xxxx.html http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/11/immigration_law_amendments_in.html The fringe parts of this law are embarrassing to me as a native of Alabama, so I'd love to have our lawmakers' second thoughts on this seen as part of what's going on with this law.....Thanks, not meaning to nit-pick!
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    @Elaine, for some reason your message hasn't shown up and I wanted to make sure I responded. I absolutely agree with you that the there are plenty of wonderful Alabamans who are embarrassed by the fringe parts of the law and I certainly don't mean any disrespect by posting this article. In fact, I think this article actually points to the generosity of spirit and kindness I remember most about growing up in the south. I'm also glad to see that there's quite a bit of protest about the worst parts of this law and agree that the protests should also be part of the conversation so I'm including the links you sent me here: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2011/09/federal_judge_throws_out_xxxx.html and http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/11/immigration_law_amendments_in.html The articles do report that quite a few legislators and many immigrant rights activists are advocating revisions to the law and I look forward to seeing the repeals. That said, the articles also note that the bulk "of the new law is in effect despite a federal court challenge to it brought by the U.S. Justice Department, church groups and state and national civil liberties groups " and a "federal judge [Blackburn] this afternoon again upheld most sections of Alabama's tough new immigration law." In short, the fight for repeals is just beginning. Once more, I stress that I do NOT mean to offend anyone; rather, I think it's important to discuss the circumstances under which such a restrictive law could be passed as well as the reactions that have mobilized in response to it. I think it's a wonderful "teaching moment" about politics, economics, civic engagement, global economy, etc. Sincerest regards.
Andrew McCluskey

Occupy Your Brain - 111 views

  • One of the most profound changes that occurs when modern schooling is introduced into traditional societies around the world is a radical shift in the locus of power and control over learning from children, families, and communities to ever more centralized systems of authority.
  • Once learning is institutionalized under a central authority, both freedom for the individual and respect for the local are radically curtailed.  The child in a classroom generally finds herself in a situation where she may not move, speak, laugh, sing, eat, drink, read, think her own thoughts, or even  use the toilet without explicit permission from an authority figure.
  • In what should be considered a chilling development, there are murmurings of the idea of creating global standards for education – in other words, the creation of a single centralized authority dictating what every child on the planet must learn.
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  • In “developed” societies, we are so accustomed to centralized control over learning that it has become functionally invisible to us, and most people accept it as natural, inevitable, and consistent with the principles of freedom and democracy.   We assume that this central authority, because it is associated with something that seems like an unequivocal good – “education” – must itself be fundamentally good, a sort of benevolent dictatorship of the intellect. 
  • We endorse strict legal codes which render this process compulsory, and in a truly Orwellian twist, many of us now view it as a fundamental human right to be legally compelled to learn what a higher authority tells us to learn.
  • And yet the idea of centrally-controlled education is as problematic as the idea of centrally-controlled media – and for exactly the same reasons.
  • The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect all forms of communication, information-sharing, knowledge, opinion and belief – what the Supreme Court has termed “the sphere of intellect and spirit” – from government control.
  • by the mid-19th century, with Indians still to conquer and waves of immigrants to assimilate, the temptation to find a way to manage the minds of an increasingly diverse and independent-minded population became too great to resist, and the idea of the Common School was born.
  • We would keep our freedom of speech and press, but first we would all be well-schooled by those in power.
  • A deeply democratic idea — the free and equal education of every child — was wedded to a deeply anti-democratic idea — that this education would be controlled from the top down by state-appointed educrats.
  • The fundamental point of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that the apparatus of democratic government has been completely bought and paid for by a tiny number of grotesquely wealthy individuals, corporations, and lobbying groups.  Our votes no longer matter.  Our wishes no longer count.  Our power as citizens has been sold to the highest bidder.
  • Our kids are so drowned in disconnected information that it becomes quite random what they do and don’t remember, and they’re so overburdened with endless homework and tests that they have little time or energy to pay attention to what’s happening in the world around them.
  • If in ten years we can create Wikipedia out of thin air, what could we create if we trusted our children, our teachers, our parents, our neighbors, to generate community learning webs that are open, alive, and responsive to individual needs and aspirations?  What could we create if instead of trying to “scale up” every innovation into a monolithic bureaucracy we “scaled down” to allow local and individual control, freedom, experimentation, and diversity?
  • The most academically “gifted” students excel at obedience, instinctively shaping their thinking to the prescribed curriculum and unconsciously framing out of their awareness ideas that won’t earn the praise of their superiors.  Those who resist sitting still for this process are marginalized, labeled as less intelligent or even as mildly brain-damaged, and, increasingly, drugged into compliance.
  • the very root, the very essence, of any theory of democratic liberty is a basic trust in the fundamental intelligence of the ordinary person.   Democracy rests on the premise that the ordinary person — the waitress, the carpenter, the shopkeeper — is competent to make her own judgments about matters of domestic policy, international affairs, taxes, justice, peace, and war, and that the government must abide by the decisions of ordinary people, not vice versa.  Of course that’s not the way our system really works, and never has been.   But most of us recall at some deep level of our beings that any vision of a just world relies on this fundamental respect for the common sense of the ordinary human being.
  • This is what we spend our childhood in school unlearning. 
  • If before we reach the age of majority we must submit our brains for twelve years of evaluation and control by government experts, are we then truly free to exercise our vote according to the dictates of our own common sense and conscience?  Do we even know what our own common sense is anymore?
  • We live in a country where a serious candidate for the Presidency is unaware that China has nuclear weapons, where half the population does not understand that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, where nobody pays attention as Congress dismantles the securities regulations that limit the power of the banks, where 45% of American high school students graduate without knowing that the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press.   At what point do we begin to ask ourselves if we are trying to control quality in the wrong way?
  • Human beings, collaborating with one another in voluntary relationships, communicating and checking and counter-checking and elaborating and expanding on one another’s knowledge and intelligence, have created a collective public resource more vast and more alive than anything that has ever existed on the planet.
  • But this is not a paeon to technology; this is about what human intelligence is capable of when people are free to interact in open, horizontal, non-hierarchical networks of communication and collaboration.
  • Positive social change has occurred not through top-down, hierarchically controlled organizations, but through what the Berkana Institute calls “emergence,” where people begin networking and forming voluntary communities of practice. When the goal is to maximize the functioning of human intelligence, you need to activate the unique skills, talents, and knowledge bases of diverse individuals, not put everybody through a uniform mill to produce uniform results. 
  • You need a non-punitive structure that encourages collaboration rather than competition, risk-taking rather than mistake-avoidance, and innovation rather than repetition of known quantities.
  • if we really want to return power to the 99% in a lasting, stable, sustainable way, we need to begin the work of creating open, egalitarian, horizontal networks of learning in our communities.
  • They are taught to focus on competing with each other and gaming the system rather than on gaining a deep understanding of the way power flows through their world.
  • And what could we create, what ecological problems could we solve, what despair might we alleviate, if instead of imposing our rigid curriculum and the destructive economy it serves on the entire world, we embraced as part of our vast collective intelligence the wisdom and knowledge of the world’s thousands of sustainable indigenous cultures?
  • They knew this about their situation: nobody was on their side.  Certainly not the moneyed classes and the economic system, and not the government, either.  So if they were going to change anything, it had to come out of themselves.
  • As our climate heats up, as mountaintops are removed from Orissa to West Virginia, as the oceans fill with plastic and soils become too contaminated to grow food, as the economy crumbles and children go hungry and the 0.001% grows so concentrated, so powerful, so wealthy that democracy becomes impossible, it’s time to ask ourselves; who’s educating us?  To what end?  The Adivasis are occupying their forests and mountains as our children are occupying our cities and parks.  But they understand that the first thing they must take back is their common sense. 
  • They must occupy their brains.
  • Isn’t it time for us to do the same?
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    Carol Black, creator of the documentary, "Schooling the World" discusses the conflicting ideas of centralized control of education and standardization against the so-called freedom to think independently--"what the Supreme Court has termed 'the sphere of intellect and spirit" (Black, 2012). Root questions: "who's educating us? to what end?" (Black, 2012).
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    This is a must read. Carol Black echoes here many of the ideas of Paulo Freire, John Taylor Gatto and the like.
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