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Re: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act

Hi Cathrene,

I wrote about these issues when, more than a decade ago, the kinds of reform that later became NCLB began to infect schools, and I fully agree with you about their importance. I tried to write in an accessible style, and the book sells reasonably well by academic standards, but one of my frustrations has been that it has largely remained invisible outside academia, even when I have sent it to people with power and influence. If you (or anyone else) has the time to take a quick look and tell me how I could have communicated more effectively I would welcome the feedback. The link below is to a general description. I think my web pages have a link somewhere to a PDF of the book manuscript, but right now I'm not finding it. There is a link to a free copy of the Introduction from the publisher's web site. But I can send a copy to anyone interested.



On Dec 14, 2009, at 11:44 AM, <cconnery@ithaca.edu> <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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