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RE: math for reproduction and domination

just wondering if the perspective that you're writing about, Michael, might not first be found within the positionality of the classroom teacher (in this case, Jane)  -  as well, such a perspective would be found in the teacher's holistic object for teaching -
what do you think?


From: Wolff-Michael Roth [mailto:mroth@uvic.ca]
Sent: Thu 11/11/2004 9:24 AM
To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
Subject: Re: math for reproduction and domination

how can you understand any action outside the particulars of the
historical situation of the activity system. You seem to advocate that
we can understand children's and their teachers' actions just by
looking at a classroom. This is what researchers have done over the
past 50 years, and all our community has produced is new and not even
better mousetraps, and this and that curriculum, but the basic issues
of inequality remain unaddressed. In the 1970s, the US army bombed the
hell out of a neighborhood in Philadelphia, were a group called MOVE
had taken residence. The neighborhoods still look the same--though
right next to it, UPenn has its school of economics where the tuition
fees must by upwards of $60k/year. On the one hand, people able to pay
the fees, and right next to it first graders too hungry in their
bellies to learn, high school students unable to come to school because
they only have 1 outfit and only enough money to launder once a week
and not coming to school because they don't want to smell and be teased
about it.
This kind of analysis is necessary, because it deals with the very
essentials of the first grader's life. It is essential because they
have to eat MacDonald's food and thereby enter the legions of the
obese. It matters because over 60% of your countries citizens are obese
and overweight and elsewhere people starve by the millions. The first
grader is put through the particular routine you are recording and
describing to sustain this situation. And this is why we need to
analyze it.

On 11-Nov-04, at 7:43 AM, Bill Barowy wrote:

> On Thursday 11 November 2004 10:22 am, Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
>> I was struck that in the entire discussion, there was no cultural
>> historical analysis of the situation in which children do these
>> mathematical things not because they are (considered) useful and its
>> outcomes have any relevance to anything but to the reproduction of a
>> society, where, as in the US, 15 to 20 percent of the population live
>> in poverty, and where education is used to systematically exclude
>> parts
>> of the population to share in the wealth that is collectively
>> produced.
> I don't think such an analysis is necessay, Michael.  I think it's
> obvious and
> publications from such people as Bowles and Gintis hammer that point
> home.
> In first grade, this kind of thinking is a long ways off.  I'm not
> even sure
> it's something one could do consistently in high school.  But if a
> student
> takes a course in marxist economics at Umass Amherst, or any other
> univeristy
> for that matter, that point will be well addressed.
> --
> --------
> bb