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Re: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act

I realized that the "deep psychological factors" was from Suppes, Martin,
but the major point of my remarks (Suppes was married to a
psychoanalyst at the time and actually wrote on the topic-- he has written
on everything it seems!!) was that there are deep social-structural issues
in the ways in which aggregation of people in complex, large, groups like
the city states of the ancient mid-east or in China and other places that
appears to "force" a form of hierarchy and transmission education, related I
suspect to certain rationales for
"efficiency" that are VERY difficult to break on a mass scale.

If we look at the contradictions in mass schooling, it seems to me, going
back to 1800 BC at least, that the role of school as producer of cultural
education and as factory for failure has been endemic to the enterprise from
the get go. Failure to appreciate this then leads to
rationales for the sorting, like IQ (remember Binet's great intentions that
the testing was to provide extra help to prevent failure- and how wrong he
was in the event and subsequently) or other "deep psychological factors."

Suppes currently is very involved in a quite wide scale, computer based,
super high end education for the educationally gifted. I am told that it is
quite successful but have no first hand knowledge.

(That's me you see in the distance, pushing a big rock up this hill of sand
--- and, i suspect, a lot of members of xmca, yourself included of

On Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 5:46 AM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:

> Mike,
> The reference to "deep psychological factors" was in Suppes' article, I
> believe. I should probably explain that I came across Siegfried Bernfeld's
> work while trying to identify the Bernfeld to whom LSV gives credit for the
> proposal that after birth the neonate is an "exoparasite." I'm not certain
> whether or not this is the same person, but it's quite likely, since
> Siegfried Bernfeld (1892-1953), born in the Ukraine, was a psychologist
> influenced both by Marx and by Freud. What first struck me in his account of
> education was this:
> "Children must learn to love the bourgeoisie, and their love must be so
> deeply ingrained in them that a whole life of want and slavery cannot
> extinguish it. What in fact is forced exploitation must be made to appear to
> them as a voluntary and sacrificial offering of love. They have to produce
> surplus value, but they must do it gladly, as if compelled by love, much as
> a lover waits upon his beloved or a religious believer in his god."
> (Bernfeld, 1973, p. 70)
> [Cited here: <
> http://www.wwwords.co.uk/pdf/freetoview.asp?j=pfie&vol=3&issue=2&year=2005&article=6_Sunker_PFIE_3_2_web
> >]
> These words remind me of Paul Willis' powerful analysis in his book
> Learning to Labor; they hint at the cultural production within the schools
> that serves and feeds into persistent networks of social reproduction and
> then economic production. It seems to me that few of us manage to articulate
> the paradoxes and contradictions of the educational system and its links to
> these networks, but it is these that prevent change. Suppes concludes that a
> rational solution to problems in education can never be achieved, for its
> central conflicts cannot be solved, they must be negotiated.
> Martin
> > the relation of this social condition to "deep
> > psychological factors" I take to be the matter of some dispute.
> >
> > mike
> >
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