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[xmca] Re: Human Sciences Scholar life?

How does the ennui of academia compare to the experiences of public school 

This NYTimes debate comes from the recent report that suggests the US would do 
well to improve the status of the profession of teaching. 

the report: 

the online debate at nytimes:

Potentially, this is an arena for these discussions of the roles of 
schools/schooling, the value of "value added models" of quantifying teacher 
efficacy, the differences(and intrinsic relations) between 
thinking/knowing/understanding/asking...  In so many ways, it seems like this 
should be the time in the US for these thoughtful conversations. 

.....the readers' comments are like roadkill--- fascinating and disturbing.

There's something cultural about valuing learning as distinct from having 
Is it that the commodification of knowledge makes teaching merely a vehicle, and 
thus not worthy of respect? 

And its economic inefficiency is an affront to this model of what is important, 
making it somehow threatening in its continued centrality in socialization?

I was thrilled to see this report come out and naively thought, "Yeah- NOW The 
Man will finally see!!!"
...as my mother says, "It must be hard to see with his head where it is."

   1. Re: Human Sciences Scholar life? (Jenna McWilliams)
  2. Re: lsv "sketching the future" -- From tool and sign?
      (Larry Purss)
  3. Re: Culture of Poverty, not reduxed enough (ERIC.RAMBERG@spps.org)


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 18:25:27 -0400
From: Jenna McWilliams <jennamcjenna@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [xmca] Human Sciences Scholar life?
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Message-ID: <3D8476E0-DC34-49AC-AEF3-67DC69DB6DD5@gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes

Google "Tihomir Petrov AND urinate" and you'll fetch 8,500 results,  
which is more than 100 times the number of Google Scholar results  
attached to Petrov (73). And Peter, I do think Petrov may have had a  
broader (alleged) impact on his students and his field through his  
(alleged) actions than through his scholarly publications.

Recently, a disaffected fellow graduate student told me she wished  
someone had informed her of the high attrition rate for Ph.D. students  
before she decided to pursue graduate study. My response: Someone  
probably did tell her. Someone certainly told me--many people told me-- 
about the long, grim path of academia. We don't listen because of one  
very human characteristic: We think we're special. We think: it must  
be so sad for those students who do drop out before finishing their  
dissertations, for those academics who can't find jobs, for those  
scholars who can't figure out how to balance their priorities.

Hey, at least I'm having a really good time in my toils toward  
obscurity. To borrow a line, I get to visit exotic locales (like  
Scottsdale and Indianapolis!), meet interesting people (like Mike Cole  
and Jay Lemke!) and...well, never mind the rest.


Jenna McWilliams
Learning Sciences Program, Indiana University


On Mar 27, 2011, at 12:00 PM, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:

> Here's one way to make an impact:
> * The Feral Professor:  Tihomir Petrov, 43, a mathematics professor
> at California State University Northridge, was charged in January
> with misdemeanors for allegedly urinating twice on the office door
> of a colleague with whom he had been feuding.  (Petrov was
> identified by a hidden camera installed after the original puddles
> turned up.)  Petrov is the author of several scholarly papers, with
> titles such as "Rationality of Moduli of Elliptic Fibrations With
> Fixed Monodromy." [Los Angeles Daily News-AP, 1-27-2011]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca- 
> bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Wagner Schmit
> Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 5:32 PM
> To: lchcmike@gmail.com
> Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Human Sciences Scholar life?
> Another video, this time "Simpsons" view of Grad Students
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XViCOAu6UC0&NR=1
> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XViCOAu6UC0&NR=1>Wagner
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 6:29 PM, Wagner Schmit <mcfion@gmail.com>  
> wrote:
>> I'm a freshman in academic life... pursuing a PhD and already  
>> working as
>> temporary teacher at University and College. The only thing that  
>> makes me
>> still pursue an academic life is that i try to make my students  
>> think  about
>> the impact of their work in other peoples lifes, and that, i hope, my
>> research will bring something that may help people in their school  
>> life...
>> But it is hard, no time to read, no time to write (the coordinator  
>> of our
>> research group always says "you need to publish"), all "free" time  
>> i have is
>> dedicated to prepare classes and supervision of  trainees. No  
>> weekend,
>> no holiday, no vacation and a very low payment (my students in the  
>> private
>> college i work have a better income than me).
>> But what worries me  most: who really reads what we publish? I see  
>> ideas in
>> the educational field pointed as "innovation", but they were already
>> presented by people like Dewey and Vygotsky decades ago... One of my
>> students, after a meeting with pedagogues of a high school, pointed  
>> out that
>> "all we listen and see is just common sense, where are the  
>> application of
>> all those researches you pointed? where are the educational  
>> theories?"
>> I point out that one of the works of Psychologists in School (since  
>> i give
>> classes to future psychologists) is to rethink school along side  
>> with the
>> school community (teachers, administration, parents, students)...  
>> This helps
>> articulate science and real life, but only in a punctual way (in  
>> the daily
>> life in school)...
>> What about academic life? what can we do to change it? Or, should  
>> it be
>> changed? Where are the academic debates, innovation and  
>> contribution to
>> society?
>> Those things make me sleepless sometimes
>> Wagner Luiz Schmit
>> Londrina State University - Brazil
>> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 5:45 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>  
>> wrote:
>>> I think all of us recognize this scene, Wagner.
>>> At LCHC we are discussing these issues. "We" includes grad students,
>>> post-docs,
>>> old people like me. We are lucky that the interpersonal alienation  
>>> at LCHC
>>> is lower than that depicted (although it is in abundant profusion  
>>> among
>>> those around us). But difficulties for grad students contemplating  
>>> making a
>>> living in academia are pretty grim, especially outside of the  
>>> presumably
>>> "non-ideological" areas of science and technology (where a  
>>> different set of
>>> alienating circumstances are plentiful).
>>> We have no great revelations but we are grateful that we have  
>>> adopted an
>>> intellectual stance that makes the study of human life in cultural  
>>> practices
>>> our grounding. we are trying to work that into an implementable  
>>> strategy for
>>> surviving graduate school and gaining acceptable employment.
>>> What are others doing? What more might we be doing collectively?
>>> mike

End of xmca Digest, Vol 70, Issue 28


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