@anderscj Paulo Freire always inspires me.
@thinkict he inspires & depresses me at the same time.
@anderscj I very much enjoy that book especially when read in conjunction with bell hooks
"Dialogue with the people is radically necessary to every authentic revolution. This is what makes it a (cont) http://tl.gd/3coarh
"It is when the majorities are denied their right to participate in history as Subjects that they become dominated & alienated." Freire
This makes me think of all the cuts that have been made in public schools of programs that do not fit as obviously into objective accountability systems. There is no standardized test for art, drama, or music. When a school does not meet AYP under NCLB and they are forced to focus more energy on areas of math, science, & reading the arts are usually the first sacrificed at the altar. Followed to it's conclusion, if we remove these items from subjects of study then we deny their history will continue. Thus, the tradition of arts education will die as will every other tradition whose value is best measured subjectively. If, then, the majority finds value in the arts and other subjectively evaluated traditions and they are cut because they are not easily objectified and thus ending the tradition, the majority's values are denied the right to participate in the history that carries forth. The history that is passed on will be one that objectifies. Thus, objectifying the people who are denied their own history turning themselves into objects of oppression.
"Revolutionary leaders cannot think without the people, nor for the people, but only with the people." Freire
@KristianStill Freire would say that all leadership that is not revolutionary is reactionary & all reactionary leadership is oppressive.
@KristianStill it is a dichotomy between leadership done with or to a group. Reactionary leadership done within a group is false generosity.
@anderscj I wud suggest that's a v narrow continuum. Do all Leadership opportunities only permit two approaches / solutions.
@KristianStill can you provide an example of one which does not fall within this dichotomy?
@anderscj in some teaching situations I try to uncover leaders. A style of leadership to reveal qualities in others. To enable leaders.
@KristianStill so, in those situations, how do you prevent your own authority from passing on it's own biases & prejudices?
@KristianStill isn't this no more than simply anointing heirs to the dilemma of oppression?
@KristianStill Agreed. For most of our conversation I have been playing devils advocate. Trying to wrap my brain around Paulo Freire.
@KristianStill I think this whole argument is a paradox of sorts. To some extent, might we have to come to terms w some forms of oppression?
"The conqueror imposes his objectives on the vanquished, and makes of them his possession." Freire
"the oppressors develop a series of methods precluding any presentation of the world as a problem and (cont) http://tl.gd/3d7k90
"In ancient Rome, the dominant elites spoke of the need to give 'bread and circus' to the people in order (cont) http://tl.gd/3d7mks
Pacify and distract. Sounds a lot like modern life.
"As the oppressor minority subordinates and dominates the majority, it must divide it and keep it divided...to remain in power." Freire
I worked for an alternative school a couple of years ago. We were largely a teacher-run school. We the teachers grew to become very much like a family. We trusted and helped each other and together built a program that was student-centered, responsive, and welcoming. Our program grew fast. As students were passed around from district to district because they did not fit in or their needs were not being served elsewhere they tended to end up with us an stay with us. Of course we still had some student mobility but on average most of our students, once enrolled, stayed with our program. We even managed to draw a fairly high number of students who had already dropped out of school back to school through our program. We all felt our work, while very challenging, was worthwhile and made a real difference in the community. However, as we brought in more and more students who did not perform well academically as measured by standardized tests our program was largely a drag on the district's overall numbers.
Giving our now high enrollment numbers as an excuse, the district administration decided to hire a full-time principal to run our school. Doing this, it took the agency away from the practitioners. Not understanding the value of some of the critical decisions our group had made that contributed to the success of our program our new principal made the administrative decision to undo much of what we had done. He broke apart our shared office space and marked out what we had all considered to be shared instructional space into spaces for us. Imposing the ownership of what had previously been a shared resource and breaking up our family traditions he effectively divided our staff. Additionally, we were told that we had to make some cuts at the end of the year if we did not increase our student enrollment by more than the same rate we had the previous year. We were asked to make our cases for and justify how our programs added value to the school. Effectively this pitted us against each other. In the end, the effect was not an increase in enrollment but a profound drop. The next year the program served only half the number of students we had at our height and over half the staff, including me, were let go. But, the district did see a momentary rise in test score averages.
I still hear about many of my former students who left our school when we were divided and crushed. Many of them dropped back out of school. Every once in a while I see in the paper that one of them has been arrested or has been sentenced to time in prison. I worry about the ones most who I have not heard from or about. Did they find another school? How many more times did they get passed around the system? So much for leaving no child behind.
"the more alienated people are, the easier it is to divide them and keep them divided." Freire
"As soon as they complete their [leadership course] and return to the community with resources they did not (cont) http://tl.gd/3d7tqv
How many school administrators say that they were identified early as teachers and invited into a school leadership program? How many of these teachers would have been revolutionary leaders had they remained in the classroom?
"The oppressors do not favor promoting the community as a whole, but rather selected leaders." Freire
I am wary every time I am given an award. I have receive a few awards for my work as a teacher over the past ten years and every time I am it seems to be followed by a swift kick out the door. I see this with others as well. Most of the time, when you hear of a teacher winning an award bestowed by their administrators they are either shortly promoted to a new position or sent out in search of a new job armed with a nice resume booster. But, they rarely are allowed to continue doing that for which they were recognized.
"Class conflict is another concept which upsets the oppressors, since they do not wish to consider themselves an oppressive class." Freire
"Although [elites] may diverge and upon occasion even clash over group interests, they unite immediately at a threat to the class." Freire
"If for a person to be in the world of work is to be totally dependent, insecure, & permanently (cont) http://tl.gd/3d84fe
"to divide and confuse the people, the destroyers call themselves builders, and accuse the true builders of being destructive." Freire
"In a situation of manipulation, the Left is almost always tempted by a 'quick return to power,' forgets (cont) http://tl.gd/3d8dga
This statement completely explains our current situation politically in the U.S. Obama was thought by many who elected him to be a populist leader. Hope an Change are words commonly associated with liberation. However, the continual forging of relationships with Wall Street, the insurance companies, and other powerful interest groups in the process of negotiating this Change has led many in the populous to feel betrayed. This perceived betrayal, in part, is what led to conditions which allowed for the formation, growth, and manipulation of the Tea Party. I suspect if the way the Obama Administration handled the health care reform bill and economic reforms had been more bold and in line with what the populous felt they needed there would not be enough people sympathizing with the Tea Party movement.
"One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success." Freire
"Internalizing paternal authority through the rigid relationship structure emphasized by the school, these (cont) http://tl.gd/3doce2
"Whatever the specialty that brings them into contact with the people, they are almost unshakably convinced t (cont) http://tl.gd/3doea3
"They do not listen to the people, but instead plan to teach them how to 'cast off the laziness which creates underdevelopment." Freire
"facing a concrete situation as a problem, the participants begin to realize that if their analysis of the (cont) http://tl.gd/3doii7
"It is essential not to confuse modernization with development." Freire
"any apparent dialogue or communication between the elites and the masses is really the depositing of (cont) http://tl.gd/3coig8
"Those who steal the words of others develop a deep doubt in the abilities of others and consider them incompetent." Freire
"counter-revolution is carried out by revolutionaries who become reactionary." Freire
I believe that this is often what happens with teachers who are invited by their administrators become administrators through special leadership programs.
@anderscj He is describing a style of management that Phillip Crosby also described, I think you would like his books.
"the leaders...do not own the people and have no right to steer the people blindly towards their salvation." Freire
"for the oppressed to unite, they must first cut the umbilical cord of magic and myth which binds them to the world of oppression" Freire
"in dialogical action manipulation is superseded by authentic organization." Freire
"Organization is, rather, a highly educational process in which leaders and people together experience true (cont) http://tl.gd/3emien
"Knowledge of the alienated culture leads to transforming action resulting in a culture which is being freed from alienation." Freire
This is why I continually talk about the kids who our schools pass around. The fact that some alternative school students have been to six or more high schools within their own city should sound an alarm. Problem is, those kids who get passed around so much are not around long enough in one place to be seen. Once a kid has been enrolled in a school for two or three weeks and then transfers we are quick to forget them and only see those in front of us who have stuck around. The teenagers who are left behind by NCLB have been through a process of alienation and oppression. Isn't it about time they were liberated?