Appreciating Education Category Explained:

From birth, parents are the real teachers. Then we get shipped off to delegated authorities.

I have chosen articles for this section from writers who agree with me, such as:

“Instead of using a ‘McChild’-care center, leave your child with a responsible neighbor interested in earning some extra money.”

What Kills Creativity?

Many American writers fear that standardized testing could be destroying our children. They might be right.

Daniel Luzer
Nov 4, 2013

More than 120 American writers, including Judy Blume, Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Donald Crews, as well as National Book Award winners Kathryn Erskine and Phillip Hoose sent an open letter to the White House warning President Obama that the increasing use of standardized tests in American schools are destroying creativity and undermining “children’s love of reading and literature.” As they wrote: "We are alarmed at the negative impact of excessive school testing mandates, including your Administration’s own initiatives, on children’s love of reading and literature. … requirements to evaluate teachers based on student test scores impose more standardized exams and crowd out exploration."

American children are spending too much time on test prep and “too little time curling up with books that fire their imaginations,” the writers concluded.

This Fleeting World - A Short History of Humanity

"At the moment, the most powerful marker, the feature that distinguishes our species most decisively from closely related species, appears to be symbolic language. Many animals can communicate with each other and share information in rudimentary ways. But humans are the only creatures who can communicate using symbolic language: a system of arbitrary symbols that can be linked by formal grammars to create a nearly limitless variety of precise utterances. Symbolic language greatly enhanced the precision of human communication and the range of ideas that humans can exchange. Symbolic language allowed people for the first time to talk about entities that were not immediately present (including experiences and events in the past and future) as well as entities whose existence was not certain (such as souls, demons, and dreams).

"The result of this sudden increase in the precision, efficiency, and range of human communication systems was that people could share much more of what they learned with others; thus, knowledge began to accumulate more rapidly than it was lost. Instead of dying with each person or generation, the insights of individuals could be preserved for future generations.

The Trouble with Distance

Richard D. Kahlenberg
June 3, 2010

Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning
by Paul E. Peterson


In the 1990s, Harvard government professor Paul E. Peterson became the nation’s most outspoken academic supporter of private school vouchers. His battles—with teachers unions and other researchers—were vicious. One ugly dispute with a University of Wisconsin professor over the results of Milwaukee’s experimental voucher program landed him on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. Now, in the twilight of his career, Peterson has partially backed away from vouchers and in his new book, Saving Schools, he explains his new enthusiasm: online learning in elementary and secondary education.

In making the case for a novel education reform, Saving Schools embraces a familiar framework, with a twist. He begins, as many education books do, with an extended explanation of why he thinks nothing else has worked to improve learning, but he chooses an interesting lens: the lives of six giants in American education. Peterson includes chapters on Horace Mann and the rise of public education; John Dewey and the use of progressive teaching approaches; Martin Luther King, Jr. and efforts to desegregate public schools; Albert Shanker and the advent of collective bargaining for teachers; William Bennett and efforts to make schools accountable; and sociologist James Colman and the benefits of Catholic education and private school vouchers.

We Are Industrializing Our Minds

The internet flattens our intelligence into artificial intelligence. At least if you believe what Nicholas Carr has to say. He sat down with Florian Guckelsberger to talk about the effects of the internet on our brain and the cultural developments that loom ahead.

“The Shallows – What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”, was published by Karl Blessing in 2010.
This article is very meaningful.In Vietnam, my homeland, the development of information technology is very powerful and the percentage who understand and work with it daily also increased dramatically. with Nicholas Carr

Nov 11, 2010

Nicholas Carr achieved worldwide attention for his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”. He studied English and American Literature at Harvard University, and later served as the Executive Director of the Harvard Business Review. His latest book “The Shallows – What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”, was published by Karl Blessing in 2010.
The European: Mr Carr, when was the last time you read a book?

Carr: I just finished reading Douglas Coupland’s new biography of Marshall McLuhan.

The European: You state that the internet undermines our ability to understand complex information because our brain is flooded with too much information at once. If true, what would that do to our understanding of culture and society in the long term?

The Case for Working With Your Hands

…The character of work doesn’t figure much in political debate. Labor unions address important concerns like workplace safety and family leave, and management looks for greater efficiency, but on the nature of the job itself, the dominant political and economic paradigms are mute. Yet work forms us, and deforms us, with broad public consequences….

May 21, 2009

The television show “Deadliest Catch” depicts commercial crab fishermen in the Bering Sea. Another, “Dirty Jobs,” shows all kinds of grueling work; one episode featured a guy who inseminates turkeys for a living. The weird fascination of these shows must lie partly in the fact that such confrontations with material reality have become exotically unfamiliar. Many of us do work that feels more surreal than real. Working in an office, you often find it difficult to see any tangible result from your efforts. What exactly have you accomplished at the end of any given day? Where the chain of cause and effect is opaque and responsibility diffuse, the experience of individual agency can be elusive. “Dilbert,” “The Office” and similar portrayals of cubicle life attest to the dark absurdism with which many Americans have come to view their white-collar jobs.

Is there a more “real” alternative (short of inseminating turkeys)?

The case against e-readers: Why reading paper books is better for your mind.

Over 92 percent of those I surveyed said they concentrate best when reading a hard copy. The explanation is hardly rocket science. When a digital device has an Internet connection, it’s hard to resist the temptation to jump ship: I’ll just respond to that text I heard come in, check the headlines, order those boots that are on sale.

By Naomi S. Baron
January 12, 2015

Naomi S. Baron is author of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World. She is professor of linguistics and Executive Director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning at American University.

You got an e-reader over the holidays. What should you load it up with?

Beach reads? Sure. “Ulysses”? Probably not.

We know a lot about the pros and cons of reading a hard-copy book vs. reading electronically. The problem is, many of us refuse to listen.

Don’t get me wrong: Digital reading has some real advantages. Ask people what they like most about reading on digital screens (a question I’ve put to several hundred university students in the United States, Germany, Japan and Slovakia), and you hear over and again about convenience: “easy to carry” and “compact.” We also know electronic texts (especially when they are open-access or donated) are vital for democratizing learning opportunities. Just look at projects like the Digital Public Library of America or Worldreader.

Teachers - Will We Ever Learn?

NY Times Op-ed
April 12, 2013


IN April 1983, a federal commission warned in a famous report, “A Nation at Risk,” that American education was a “rising tide of mediocrity.” The alarm it sounded about declining competitiveness touched off a tidal wave of reforms: state standards, charter schools, alternative teacher-certification programs, more money, more test-based “accountability” and, since 2001, two big federal programs, No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.

But while there have been pockets of improvement, particularly among children in elementary school, America’s overall performance in K-12 education remains stubbornly mediocre.

Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.

Sept 26, 2015

COLLEGE students tell me they know how to look someone in the eye and type on their phones at the same time, their split attention undetected. They say it’s a skill they mastered in middle school when they wanted to text in class without getting caught. Now they use it when they want to be both with their friends and, as some put it, “elsewhere.”

These days, we feel less of a need to hide the fact that we are dividing our attention. In a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, 89 percent of cellphone owners said they had used their phones during the last social gathering they attended. But they weren’t happy about it; 82 percent of adults felt that the way they used their phones in social settings hurt the conversation.

Ignorance Vs. Reason in the War on Education

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar @kaj33

Sept 23, 2015

TIME columnist Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA champion and league Most Valuable Player. He is also a celebrated author, filmmaker and education ambassador whose life and career are the subject of Minority of One, a new documentary on HBO Sports.

Clearly we are serious when it comes to educating our young, but how we do so and what we teach them are problems

When I started playing basketball as a freshman at UCLA, coach John Wooden told us a bunch of crazy ideas about useless drills we should do and half-baked plays we should run. Naturally, because I had just graduated from high school, I immediately knew that his unfamiliar methods were silly — possibly even unpatriotic — so I refused to follow the ridiculous directives. I suggested we start every practice by sitting in a circle discussing our favorite jazz musicians, leading to a group hug and affirmations that we were special to the universe. Coach Wooden later thanked me, tears in his eyes, for making him a better coach — and a better human being. The rest is basketball history.

Yeah, right.

How Social Media Silences Debate

Claire Cain Miller
Aug 26, 2014

The Internet might be a useful tool for activists and organizers, in episodes from the Arab Spring to the Ice Bucket Challenge. But over all, it has diminished rather than enhanced political participation, according to new data.

Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, has the effect of tamping down diversity of opinion and stifling debate about public affairs. It makes people less likely to voice opinions, particularly when they think their views differ from those of their friends, according to a report published Tuesday by researchers at Pew Research Center and Rutgers University.

The researchers also found that those who use social media regularly are more reluctant to express dissenting views in the offline world.

How PowerPoint is killing critical thought

Bored students is the least of it – the bullet point-ization of information is making us stupid and irresponsible

Andrew Smith
September 2015

I still remember the best lecture I ever attended. It was part of a joint series offered by the English and philosophy departments in my first term at university and, given that the subject was Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, should have been the dullest event in Christendom that night. But it wasn’t. The lecturer, Thomas Baldwin, had a deceptively simple style: he would write a proposition on the blackboard facing us and gaze at it for a moment, like a medium beckoning a spirit. Then he would turn and smile, and start to explain.

Baldwin paced the room – but slowly. On occasion he would stop altogether, appearing lost, a moment in which all the world’s logic seemed at stake, before somehow refinding his path to a second thrilling proposition.

Efficiency Can Cause Insanity

Allyson Zedah

October 1, 2013

It started off innocently and with the desire to be efficient. Before I had kids, efficiency was kind of my thing and, to be honest, sometimes I miss it in my life with three kids under 5.

So I decided to be efficient with back to school checkups and our baby’s 4-month well-child exam. Therefore, I scheduled all three kids with back-to-back appointments so I would only have to go to the doctor’s office once.

Those of you that are experienced can stop reading now. If you don’t know where this story is headed, then keep reading.

It’s a train wreck.

So, this appointment. Each kid got their own designated 30 minute time with the doctor: the 5-year-old, the 3-year-old and the 4-month-old. The baby was asleep when the appointment was to start so I took the big kids and loaded up. My husband waited while the baby finished her nap and met us there later.

Thank God I had the sense to schedule this when my husband was available to be there with me.

The Effect of Education on Efficiency in Consumption

Robert T. Michael.
Occasional Paper 116 from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Distributed by Columbia University Press

New York
ISBN 0870142429

Page 88

The principal data source was the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 1960-61 consumer expenditures survey. Chapter 4 used these data at a fairly broad level of aggregation to study the shifts in expenditure patterns over slightly more than a dozen consumption categories, as well as the shifts between the two broad categories of goods and services. For the goods-services dichotomy the evidence, interpreted by the model developed here, suggests that the effect of education on nonmarket productivity is a positive one.

That is, the income elasticities indicate that, other things held constant including education, households with higher levels of income spend proportionately more of their total expenditure on services and that, other things held constant including money income, households with higher levels of education also spend proportionately more of their fixed total expenditure on services.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

10th Anniversary Edition
John Taylor Gatto
New Society Publishers,
Copyright 2005

Pages: 67, 61, 16, 22, 12, 30, 33

It appears to me as a schoolteacher that schools are already a major cause of weak families and weak com­munities. They separate parents and children from vital interaction with each other and from true curiosity about each other's lives. Schools stifle family originality by appropriating the critical time needed for any sound idea of family to develop -- then they blame the family for its failure to be a family. ...

Why, then, are we locking kids up in an involuntary network with strangers for twelve years? ...

Look again at [what I consider to be] the seven lessons of school teaching: confusion, class position, indifference, emotional and intellectual dependency, conditional self-esteem, and surveillance. All of these lessons are prime training for permanent underclasses, people deprived forever of find­ing the center of their own special genius. And over time this training has shaken loose from its original purpose: to regulate the poor. For since the 1920s the growth of the school bureaucracy as well as the less visible growth of a horde of industries that profit from schooling exact­ly as it is, has enlarged this institution's original grasp to the point that it now seizes the sons and daughters of the middle classes as well. ...

Kleinman, Sharon, editor. The Culture of Efficiency.

2009. New York:

Peter Lang ISBN 9781433104206


Pages 187-88 from “E-tymology of Inefficiency” by Michael Bugeja

The most effective rather than efficient mode of education is to transform our learners intellectually rather than to engage them digitally. The goal is inspire students to make education a lifelong experience and experience lifelong education. Machines calibrate, calculate, and simulate. But they not transform. Teachers do. Teachers also have a moral obligation to instill in learners a sense of commitment rather than engagement, because they will need commitment to meet the challenges of the warring, starving, thirsting, and suffering developing countries that do not require the "One Laptop per Child" program of Nicholas Negroponte, lost in his own technostalgia; they need One Net per Child to prevent malaria. In a few years, Americans, too, will undergo social change on a level not seen before in modern times. There is only so much time before the abundance that has allowed our amusements will deplete, along with oil, food, fuel, and water. The more we focus on engagement, the more we delude ourselves about the state of the world and the global economy.

Balancing Efficiency and Quality in Education


When it comes to education, "efficiency" is always a controversial term. To some, making education more efficient is simply a matter of better budget management and improved allocation of resources. But to many others, speaking in these terms at all when talking about a child's right to learn seems inappropriate.

And even though funding levels matter, the truth is more money doesn't necessarily increase education quality. In Latin America, we know that well. We have regional average spending that is comparable to the OECD average of 5 percent of GDP -- with some individual countries spending over 6 -- yet our test scores are at the very bottom of the major international rankings (such as the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA) and fewer than half of our students are even finishing high school.

Auto Crrect Ths!

August 4, 2012
New York Times

I MENTION a certain writer in an e-mail, and the reply comes back: “Comcast McCarthy??? Phoner novelist???” Did I really type “Comcast”? No. The great god Autocorrect has struck again.

It is an impish god. I try retyping the name on a different device. This time the letters reshuffle themselves into “Format McCarthy.” Welcome to the club, Format. Meet the Danish astronomer Touchpad Brahe and the Franco-American actress Natalie Portmanteau.

In the past, we were responsible for our own typographical errors. Now Autocorrect has taken charge. This is no small matter. It is a step in our evolution — the grafting of silicon into our formerly carbon-based species, in the name of collective intelligence. Or unintelligence as the case may be.

Earlier this year, the police in Hall County, Ga., locked down the West Hall schools for two hours after someone received a text message saying, “gunman be at west hall today.” The texter had typed “gunna,” but Autocorrect had a better idea.

Lane, Robert E. “The Road Not Taken
Maryland: Critical Review Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1994.
ISSN 08913811
from Institute for Philosophy on Public Policy
Page 544

The evidence on the rising incidence of depression in advanced economies seems to confirm the belief that market solutions to the deficit of companionship in modern society have failed. Economic growth is unlikely to be a solution, since precisely those countries that have experienced or are currently experiencing rapid economic growth have the highest incidence of depression.

Ritzer, George. The McDonaldization of Society
an Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life

United States: 1990
ISBN 0803990766
Pages 199 through 203

Avoid classes with short-answer tests graded by computer.

If a computer-graded exam is unavoidable, make extraneous marks and curl the edges of the exam so that the computer cannot deal with it.

Seek out small classes; get to know your professors.

Instead of using a “McChild” -care center, leave your child with a responsible neighbor interested in earning some extra money.