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RE: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act
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?
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