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Re: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act

My apologies for incorrectly spelling your name, Cathrene.

And I explicitly stated I was happy to engage in this discussion, too.
However, other than expressions of indignation, how would you have us act?
In her brief note, Kris said that these matters are under discussion and
urged that arguments for alternative approaches be
put forward.

Put forward to whom and how?

Since Kris, as head of AERA and currently spending a lot of time in DC with
many of the people involved is also a member of XMCA, it seems that
funneling suggestions through her is one effective strategy, and if not
that, then what?

I am happy to follow, I do not know how to lead such an effort. So I am
asking for those who feel they know how to act effectively so share their
knowledge and help mobilize those like myself who do not.

My own efforts, funneled through Kris, as I indicated, are focused
on the kinds of mixed university-community partnerships we have worked on
for a long time and which appear to have considerable
untapped potential. This does not address a lot of what others appear to
think are priorities.

What concerted action are you suggesting, Cathrene? Michael?
Tony? Others?


On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 8:44 AM, <cconnery@ithaca.edu> wrote:

> Hi all,
> First, I do need to state that my name is Cathrene, not Catherine.
> (Culturally-historically, there's a big difference between Irish and English
> descent.)
> Second, I never stated that I have all the answers to our dilemma or
> suggested we drop all other lines of discussion. However, I certainly think
> it is about time that we call attention to the travesty unfolding (yet
> again!) in our educational system. As I see it, recent legislation is a
> perfect example of conceptualizing mind in society at best.
> Third, we are all busy.....with many graduate students, grades to turn in,
> and papers, myself included. However,the sentiment that there are more
> important / better things to do than than consider / act on how we raise &
> socialize our children only serves to reproduce the sad state of affairs. I
> was under the impression that, as developmentalists, a cultural-historical
> framework was intimately concerned with the marginalization of and
> discrimination against human beings. How could it be otherwise?
> That being said, David is exactly correct that the language we use to
> describe learning can often convolute the discussion about education. If we
> as researchers, educators, psychologists, and social scientists cannot
> inform our civic leaders in a meaningful manner, then who can?
> The only thing more political than how we raise children is how we wage
> war. Hypothetically, when confronted by a potential hostile, we have two
> choices: we can pick up a physical tool of destruction (guns, bombs) or we
> can defer to the psychological tool of language. Yes, Afghanistan is
> important, but whether Mariela is provided with effective literacy
> instruction is directly connected to
> macro level economic and defense issues.
> Chomsky once noted that the language of the post-modern academic had become
> a golden cage of subservience and apathy. We need to clearly articulate and
> communicate what is at stake here with our friends, leaders, and politicans:
> childhood. I am merely suggesting that people begin by speaking out about
> what we know (or even don't know) to be true about the mind, learning,
> creativity, and the fallacy of alleged "research", so children are not
> placed in a behaviorist straight jackets for another 10 years while the rest
> of us sell cupcakes at bake sales. Obama is a very intelligent man! Isn't
> our role supposed to be to inform him?
> Cathrene
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