Rick Stansberger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sun, 12 Nov 2000 19:56:06 -0700
Bruce, I think we basically agree.
Bruce Smith wrote:
> > I also get nervous in the presence of either-or thinking. It's been my
> >experience that there's >just about never only two choices.
> Fair enough. Still, I was only trying to say that I don't believe one
> person can be both reformer and revolutionary (especially in this case,
> since real reform is impossible).
> >Also what about the millions of kids who are still stuck in trad school? Don't
> >tell me it does no good for them to see a teacher who's "way out" and who
> >exposes the foolishness of the system, because I know it does do good.
> Of course it does. I'd like to think I see shades of gray as well as the
> next person. My argument, again, is simply that an individual's work within
> that system also does harm, because you _can't_ always be the nice guy, and
> you _are_ prolonging its existence (longer than if you could/would leave).
> And prolonging its existence prolongs the misery for many more than you
> could ever help.
> >The irony is that these teachers are treated as outcasts or crazies by their
> >own colleagues, and many of their students take up the cry.
> It is unfair that people whose hearts are in the right place should get
> flak from all sides. But what else do you expect?
> >And I disagree with you on another point. They don't keep the old order
> >running. They continually weaken it with questions and challenges.
> Yeah, it's real weak, isn't it? A couple more years and it oughta be
> history. In all seriousness, though, while those questions and challenges
> are valuable, how effective are they, really, in bringing about a broad,
> drastic transformation of public education?
> >The ones
> >who keep the old order running are the unquestioning, incurious, humorless
> >functionaries in classrooms and offices -- AND the parents and kids who trust
> >and obey them. Save your ammo for the enemy, my friend.
> My enemy is that system, and ignorance of its true nature. Where they're
> concerned, I prefer not to spare the ammo. Anyway, the truly despicable and
> unquestioning people you describe are easy targets who aren't likely to be
> persuaded by any argument.
> >I can't find it in my heart to condemn anyone who stays in trad school to help
> >the kids.
> I'm doing my best to keep this simple: I am not interested in condeming
> people, but those who remain in the system are doing harm, despite their
> good intentions and laudable efforts, simply by remaining there. They
> *have* to do some harm -- it's part of the job! While it is their right to
> make that choice, and they may have very good reasons for remaining, that
> doesn't negate the fact that the system would collapse much sooner if more
> caring and thoughtful individuals could give it the boot.
-- "Weirdness abounds and shatters our illusion of order. Heh-heh. All the dust is being blown out from under the carpet. Wonderful stuff!"
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