Are Your Children Likely to Make More Money than You?


No. The statistics are clear.  The ability to change class to move upward is very, very limited. Most people on average and most commonly will make about the same money as their parents.

Why are we in this situation? Well, education is no longer a likely venue to higher income. The privileged have access to Ivy League schools and privately educate their children from the nursery to college. Currently we have what is essentially two education systems in the United States, one for the upper class and public education for everyone else. God help anyone self-educated like Abraham Lincoln. People like that aren’t even in the ball game.

What else? Well there’s hiring practices. The upper middle class reassured by such books as “Emotional Intelligence” hire on the basis of comfort. And comfort by and large means hiring your own social class. It diminishes the importance of ability and makes skilled work annoying to others.

Contacts are another critical factor. I’ve heard many people say, “It’s not what you can do, it’s who you know.” I don’t think that knowing the plant manager is that big a deal down in the lower class where I dwell. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about access to Congressmen and Governors. I’m talking about the heads of corporations and the deans of business schools. I’m talking about knowing the players in the financial sector, of knowing where the levers are when it comes to getting loans, jobs and influence. Those are the contacts that make a difference.

Tell me, what’s all A’s at state U, compared to Harvard or Georgetown? What is raw ability when you don’t golf, wear the right clothes or speak the language of the upper class? What is your chance of moving up in the world when maybe you know a state representative and the other guy has a letter from the White House?

We can do better.

Ability should be the measure of success. Social class shouldn’t be a burden borne only by the workers. The cozy club atmosphere of the privileged should be open to all comers.

James Pilant

Here is the article title and a paragraph explaining the numbers behind my claims.

The Rise and Consequences of Inequality in the United States
Alan B. Krueger
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
January 12, 2012

More research has been done on intergenerational income mobility. Studies find that your
parent’s income is a good predictor of your subsequent income. Studies that use income data
averaged over longer periods of time for parents and children tend to find higher correlations
between parental and children’s income. A reasonable summary is that the correlation between
parents’ and their children’s income is around 0.50. This is remarkably similar to the correlation
that Sir Francis Galton found between parents’ height and their children’s height over 100 years
ago. This fact helps to put in context what a correlation of 0.50 implies. The chance of a person
who was born to a family in the bottom 10 percent of the income distribution rising to the top 10
percent as an adult is about the same as the chance that a dad who is 5’6” tall having a son who
grows up to be over 6’1” tall. It happens, but not often.

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America’s government shutdown: No way to run a country


Pablo Picasso, 1937, Guernica, protest against...
Pablo Picasso, 1937, Guernica, protest against Fascism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I was going to quote a paragraph from this. And then after reading it a while, I decided to quote four paragraphs. And then, I just decided this is just excellent writing and quoting a piece out of it was like slicing up a Picasso.
James Pilant

 

 

 

Dewayne-Net Archives

[Note:  This item comes from friend Mike Cheponis.  DLH]

From: Michael Cheponis <michael.cheponis@gmail.com>
Subject: America’s government shutdown: No way to run a country | The Economist
Date: October 4, 2013 4:46:01 PM PDT

No way to run a country
The Land of the Free is starting to look ungovernable. Enough is enough
Oct 5 2013
<http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21587211-land-free-starting-look-ungovernable-enough-enough-no-way-run-country>

AS MIDNIGHT on September 30th approached, everybody on Capitol Hill blamed everybody else for the imminent shutdown of America’s government. To a wondering world, the recriminations missed the point. When you are brawling on the edge of a cliff, the big question is not “Who is right?”, but “What the hell are you doing on the edge of a cliff?”

The shutdown itself is tiresome but bearable. The security services will remain on duty, pensioners will still receive their cheques and the astronauts on the International Space Station will still…

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Exploitation More and More Prevalent in Higher Education


English: Graduate School
English: Graduate School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve heard this same story several times. Being highly educated and a vital part of an educational institution is no guarantee of job security or a significant salary. it’s driving good people from the field and diminishing the value of higher education.

Increasingly society is viewed through a Neoliberal prism where immediate results and marketization are valued over long term success and more traditional value systems. The church, the school and the press are being increasingly infected with the idea of measurable profit over more difficult to measure values. I would argue that intellectual inquisitiveness, love, honor, culture, and an inclination toward an intelligent development of public policy might have values in a civilized society but my voice in increasingly being shouted down by the fine print in budget statements geared toward the short term and quite often the counterproductive.

I think business ethics are tied in with the higher values of Western Civilization. Once those values are thrown away by crass economic doctrine, there will be a decline of society to a system based on power and wealth until the inevitable turn of the wheel and an new society is born.

James Pilant

“Exploitation should not be a rite of passage” | Sarah Kendzior

http://sarahkendzior.com/2013/10/09/exploitation-should-not-be-a-rite-of-passage/

I went into academia for the reasons you mentioned – I love to write and do research. I enjoyed having the freedom to study topics that interest me, such as the politics of authoritarian states. I never cared about prestige or making a lot of money. But I care about earning a stable income and providing for my children.

In my final year in graduate school, I realized that my ability to stay on the job market and pursue an academic career was dependent on financial resources that I didn’t have. I was a successful academic – I am well-published, in top journals, with strong teaching evaluations and a solid reputation in my field. But this was irrelevant when it came to finding a job in this economy. I was expected to adjunct, subsisting on poverty wages, until a tenure-track job came along.

Money, not merit, is the critical factor to staying in academia in the United States. Most recent PhDs are either living in poverty, in massive debt, or surviving off family wealth. The former two categories tend to drop out, while the latter pay to play.

In the end, I am glad I left, because what I am doing now is more interesting. I didn’t plan to work as a writer – I was recruited once I started writing for the public. Al Jazeera English contacted me after reading my work on website called Registan.net, where I had been blogging about Central Asia during my last year of graduate school. My Al Jazeera articles often go viral. Over time, other publications asked me to write for them as well.

I love to write so I am happy about how this turned out. But I know my story is not typical. That is one of the reasons I write about barriers to entry in journalism, because talented writers are being locked out because they cannot afford unpaid internships or expensive credentials. Journalism is structured in a similar way to academia, where pre-existing wealth is a de facto requirement for entry.

Everyone benefits from a more diverse and even playing field, so I try to draw attention to unfair labor practices in these professions. Exploitation should not be a rite of passage.

via “Exploitation should not be a rite of passage” | Sarah Kendzior.

From around the web.

From the web site, This Ain’t Livin.

http://meloukhia.net/2012/01/the_exploitation_of_adjunct_faculty.html

Increasingly, adjunct faculty are doing the teaching in the US education system, particularly at the community college level. This is because they are cheap. Much, much cheaper than tenured faculty. They are often paid by the unit, instead of receiving a salary, and don’t get benefits. It’s cheaper to higher multiple adjunct faculty members than one tenured professor. Some community colleges don’t even have a full time faculty member supervising some departments. The entire English department, for example, may be part timers.

Some people enjoy working as adjunct faculty. The work is a lot more flexible, and you can choose whether to renew contracts between semesters, or move on to something else. There’s less pressure to publish, to perform, to establish yourself. You have more time to work directly with students because you don’t have to do administrative work. Some institutions are very open to suggestions for classes, so you get an opportunity to teach courses that interest you and engage with students who genuinely want to learn. Adjunct faculty have a lot to add to academic environments and are an important part of the academic community.

But the exploitation of adjunct faculty is another matter altogether. Many undergraduate students are not aware of the byzantine workings of college administration. They may not know, for example, that administrators tend to make the highest salaries, and that even star faculty may not receive very much from teaching. Their income is from grants, which need to be continually renewed, or awards, not the university directly. Star researchers are informed that they need to fund themselves, and their graduate students. The university is happy to share in the glory, but it doesn’t want to incur any of the expenses.

Hong Kong’s Monster Parents


SVG map of Hong Kong's administrative districts.
SVG map of Hong Kong’s administrative districts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

I think something similar has been happening here for some time. It’s because of neoliberalism, the doctrine that education is a good to be purchased like a car or a vacation house. We, Americans, strive for an education to get and keep a job forgetting that education has other vital purposes like the creation of whole and vital human beings. The Chinese in Hong Kong also pursue an education for a job but also for social status, and, of course, their system of high school ends in a test that determines who goes to college and who does not. Less than half will qualify. Our testing regime is hideous beyond words but it does not carry that penalty, at least not yet.

 

I have a lot of sympathy for Monster parents. There is unfairness for some students. One of my son’s high school teachers told him that he would never go to college. Since my wife (now ex-wife) and I have two degrees apiece, we thought he probably would go to college (he’s attending one now). I let the matter blow over but there is a part of me that wanted confrontation, a confrontation that teacher would not have forgotten.

 

Still, however sympathetic I may be, I can’t see putting a child through a childhood absent play and solitude.

 

James Pilant 

 

 

The Existential Angst of Hong Kong’s ‘Monster Parents’ | Yuen Chan

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yuen-chan/hong-kong-monster-parents_b_4058306.html

 

For a story about the pressures of early childhood in Hong Kong, my students recently interviewed the mother of a four-year-old who has soccer class on Mondays, piano and violin on Thursdays, extra English and maths on Thursdays and Fridays and music on Saturdays. She was also considering Mandarin and swimming, and all this on top of kindergarten. This may be an extreme case, but there is constant pressure for parents to put their kids on the treadmill and a lucrative industry to promote it.

 

Unsurprisingly, there was much hand-wringing when a survey published by a local university found Hong Kong\’s school children scored higher than those in the United States, Britain and Australia in a questionnaire that detects antisocial traits. Researchers warned that monster parents were creating a generation of over-confident, spoilt brats with a tendency towards aggression and violence to get their way.

 

But it seems too easy to point the finger at parents, simultaneously accused of fostering cowering, over-dependent children and violent narcissists. Parents are trapped in a pressure cooker — an education system that emphasizes academic achievement, as measured in test results, above all else, a culture that deems those without university degrees as failures.

 

What\’s worse, more and more students are attaining the minimum grades needed to qualify to study …(Please visit the web site and read the whole article. jp)

 

via The Existential Angst of Hong Kong’s ‘Monster Parents’ | Yuen Chan.

 

From around the web.

 

From the web site, Education in Japan Community Blog.

 

http://educationinjapan.wordpress.com/parenting-potpourri/monster-parents-and-monster-kids/

 

These days, in Japan at least, there is a great hoo-hah over the

issue of Monster Parents, on the heels of an earlier debate over the

overindulged, selfish and adrift youngsters.

 

These issues are of course not confined to Japan. A quick google on

the internet and you will see that the Monster Parents in India, in the

USA, and the issue of overindulged kids surfaces often in China where

the one-child government policy has resulted in children so precious,

and thus overindulged by society at large. If you ever manage to catch

Super Nanny the British (virtual TV of sorts) series, it’s good for a

jolting confrontation with screaming brats and yelling dads, etc.

 

Nor is the issue as many experts say it is, a phenomenon of our

times. Catching up on a Jane Austen fest on cable TV, and rereading many

Victorian (Regency) classics in the past two weeks, I realized that

“monster parents” and spoilt brats were very much shown up in nearly

every book and often caricatured in ways totally recognizable to us.

 

The Victorian classics were written by young women like Jane Austen

or Charlotte Bronte, who were, being from slightly reduced financial

circumstances, forced to be sensible and to move in the circles of the

clergyhood or governnesses. As such they were highly attuned to the

idiosyncracies, selfish behavioral displays, highhandedness,

snobbishness, vulgarity even, of privileged parents of Victorian high

society…as opposed to the necessary humility, down-to-earthness of the

working or servant classes.

 

Law School Can Work


img165Law School Can Work

Political Animal – Why Law School Doesn’t Work Anymore

The supply of lawyers has made the quality of a legal jobs dramatically worse. Graduates of lower-tier law schools often now toil in contract positions as document reviewers, “who sit in horrible little basement rooms. They are performing mindless work in Dickensian conditions, stuck in there” explains one law professor with whom Stevens spoke. These jobs are dead-end ones, with no potential for career advancement; they merely pay the bills. And the bills are really high. The average student loan burden of new law school graduates is $125,000.

I’ve written about this problem before but I admit that when I’ve addressed this I’ve probably focused too much on the education debt part of this, and the way law schools keep churning out more lawyers despite knowing that the career prospects for most of them aren’t very good.

One thing I’ve missed is how actual law firms operate in this system. I assumed that the problem was simply that many of these lawyers couldn’t get jobs. What Harper emphasizes is that the supply of lawyers means even graduates of good law schools who have jobs at the top firms aren’t doing as well.

Political Animal – Why Law School Doesn’t Work Anymore

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Executives Have Vivid Imaginations


Executives Have Vivid Imaginations

American Workers Lack Common Sense Skills, Executives Say

 

Workers lack communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creative skills executives say, according to a recent survey by the American Management Association. Turns out, bosses aren’t too excited about their underlings’ abilities, a prospect they’re getting more worried about considering such skills will be more important amid a changing business landscape, they say.

The number of executives rating their employees as below average increased across all four areas since the survey was last taken in 2010. Almost 20 percent of workers lack at least average creative skills, according to executives.

American Workers Lack Common Sense Skills, Executives Say

img156Yes, there has been a collapse in worker capabilities since that grand old time of American capability: 2010! That’s right. According to these executives (experts?), in the last three years, workers have become more incompetent. At a time, when the pool of available workers desperate for employment has been the highest since the great depression and they having the pick of the litter, the workers just aren’t as good.

Do you know what this means? It means these executive get together, talk a lot and gripe, then they take surveys. Next year, they may decide the food is bad or they don’t like the weather or they’ll go back to complaining about, that old favorite, “economic uncertainty.”

The idea that educational and judgment standards have dropped across the board in this country in three short years is simple nonsense. There is no change in the educational system, in hiring, or anything else, that would explain such a change. It’s just imagination, a particularly vivid imagination. What’s worse is that some people take this kind of survey nonsense seriously.

I tell you what, let’s ask the workers if their bosses have become less competent over the last three years. In fact let’s survey the workers the same way we do “executives” about basic skills and who has them. Then we could compare. That would be interesting statistics.

James Pilant

From around the web –

From the web site, Ideagency:

Obviously, the notion that Americans aren’t hard-working isn’t supported by the statistics.  Beyond the numbers, however, my experience working with my own clients support Begala’s argument.  The people I meet – whether they work in finance, manufacturing, retail, technology or health care – are not lazy.  Far from it.  Despite the lack of raises, bonuses, and other perks that have been severely cut back (or eliminated), the vast majority of employees I encounter are diligent, industrious, and proud of the work they do.  I would imagine this holds true for most workers.

From the web site, Irregular Times Diaries:

Yesterday, Senator John McCain was giving a political speech in front of the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department, when he blasted American workers as lazy, ungrateful people incapable of doing a good day’s work

Senator McCain said it was necessary for farmers to employ illegal aliens because American workers are too lazy and wimpy. McCain thought that he was being clever when he rhetorically offered to pay anyone in the audience 50 dollars an hour to pick lettuce.

And from the web site, Understanding China, One Blog at a Time:

A commenter recently called me a malingerer, surprised by such harsh words, I rushed to m-w.com to see just what the word meant— malingerer “to pretend or exaggerate incapacity or illness (as to avoid duty or work)” Reflecting on those harsh words, as I scanned the interweb aimlessly, I came across the following photos. And although I would not say that I am a malingerer (in terms of feigning illness) one could argue that I am currently not devoting all of my neurons to the task of making money for any one company , thus the word loafer may be more appropriate..

 

 

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Ants and Lions in Entrepreneurship


Ants and Lions in Entrepreneurship

What They Don’t Teach in Business School about Entrepreneurship – YouTube

This is from the Stanford School of Business, a panel discussion from the 2010 Conference on Entrepreneurship. This video is deliciously titled “What they don’t teach you in Business School about Entrepreneurship.”
The discussion about “ants and lions” comes along about thirty minutes in. Don’t miss it. It’s perceptive. The panelists are Mike Cassidy, Chuck Holloway, and Nazila Alasti.
James Pilant
From around the web –
The Lion?
The Lion?

From the web site, Center for Entrepreneurship:

The previous blog  introduced two important questions any time-management process starts with. Here are a few tricks I found useful when aligning our time investments to our core objectives and principal goals.

But, the challenge of an entrepreneur and change leader is she is pulled in all different directions at the same time, which makes it extremely difficult to continually create success. Instead of racing and gaining, the entrepreneur lies on her back and is trampled by ants.  Every day is filled with tens and hundreds of actions and activities all of which seem important somehow, but together nearly immobilize her. Like with so many, the passion slowly drains out of the entrepreneur, and her goals start fading. Instead of looking to the big goals, moving forward, the small things in life take over.

From the web site, Arnonuemann – Thought Leadership: (I highlighted the text beneath the pretty graph and the graph came with it. It looks nice, so I’m keeping it but if there is a problem, let me know and I’ll pull it immediately. jp)

Lessons from the ants : all for one ( mission ) and one is there for all ….

“But ants aren’t nature’s only high-functioning teams. Packs of wolfs, pods of dolphins, and prides of lions all share remarkable strategies in terms of leadership, connectivity, execution and organization. For nature’s teams, mission matters most. Bioteams are the physical manifestation of a mission. They organize on the fly, adjust strategies in real-time and redefine membership based on environmental demands. Just Google “unicoloniality” to learn more about how some of nature’s teams inherently understand what many human teams essentially do not: membership is a function of achieving the mission and not the other way around.”

And finally from the web site, IllimunationZZ:
There is so much confusion in the air. A lot of people do not even know what they want in Nigeria and you can’t really blame them! Do people have ambitions any longer or they just want to work and get salaries on pay day? Are there counselors aiding, guiding, and moulding the interests of young students in primary and secondary schools; and in Universities? Are parents interested in, and supportive of their children’s ambitions or they just want to bask in the vicarious “glory” of those big names (Engr, Esq, Dr, Pharm, Arch…) for their own ego fulfillment? Are there still career fairs in our secondary schools and tertiary institutions? The system is so dysfunctional that we are busy struggling to accept anything slapped on us simply because there is a salary. Each time I watch National Geographic Channel, the question I keep asking myself is: “how is it that a human being dedicate his / her life time to studying butterflies, ants, birds, lions etc if not passion?” Let s/he who has a passion to bake cakes go on to become a brand; let s/he who loves flowers go on to become a brand florist; let s/he who loves to bake bread go on to become a household baker; let s/he who wants to be a great restaurateur go on to cook great meals; let s/he who sees a niche in mobile toilets go on to fill the void, let s/he who wants to be a great photographer go on to capture the memories etc. That will be Entrepreneurship and it won’t matter if you have chains of degrees or not. Passion would be the catalyst but certainly not running to grab a steering out of frustration from not getting relevant jobs.
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Teaching with Purpose


Francis Bacon - Teaching with Purpose
Francis Bacon – Teaching with Purpose
Teaching with purpose

I’m one of the NRA’s “bad guys” – Salon.com

Why do I do this? I teach creative nonfiction. More importantly, I teach critical thinking skills, which, if Wayne LaPierre is any example, are in short supply in this country. I insist that students read books about difficult topics precisely because I want students to understand how to pick apart a difficult argument and how to see through the eyes of someone else, or because I simply want to see if my students’ vision of life squares up with those that they read. Sometimes, they are able to see themselves depicted in those pages, and sometimes they are able to examine their own prejudices (be they class, gender, race or education level) by being forced to look at the world through the eyes of the other.

I’m one of the NRA’s “bad guys” – Salon.com

I, too, teach critical thinking skills. It’s an uphill battle. My students having endured years of NCLB testing are superb factual test takers but have little experience with expressing an informed opinion. Quite often, a request for an opinion results not in an informed opinion based on any kind of fact or thinking but a reiteration of the worst elements of talk radio and 24 hours “news.” Simple tests where opinions and facts are listed and the student asked to identify which is which are routinely failed even by good students.

Business ethics and business law both demand higher level thinking skills. Deciding what should be done when there are ethical questions can well depend on religious beliefs, philosophical perceptions, life experience and practical considerations all at once. Critical thinking is key to making intelligent business decisions both routine and ethical.

James Pilant

From across the web –

From, http://izygekev.wordpress.com/

Critical thinking refers to a process of judgment taken after an analytical evaluation of a problem. It can be developed through the practice of intentional analyzing of every situation in life. Critical thinking skills can be developed by inculcating a habit of analytical and strategic thinking. If you can get yourself into the habit of analyzing every situation critically, you will gradually acquire critical thinking skills.

Your educational background plays a major role in the development of your thinking skills. Education that requires you to think analytically, the education that instills in you the principles of analytical thinking and reasoning leads you to become a critical thinker. The development of problem solving and reasoning skills since an early age is an excellent way of developing critical thinking skills. Fields that require you to acquire and evaluate information before reaching a conclusion indeed help in the development of critical thinking skills. Exposing yourself to questions that stimulate thinking can develop critical thinking skills.

From the web site, vive la internet

No one always acts purely objectively and rationally. We connive for selfish interests. We gossip, boast, exaggerate, and equivocate. It is “only human” to wish to validate our prior knowledge, to vindicate our prior decisions, or to sustain our earlier beliefs. In the process of satisfying our ego, however, we can often deny ourselves intellectual growth and opportunity. We may not always want to apply critical thinking skills, but we should have those skills available to be employed when needed.
Critical thinking includes a complex combination of skills. Among the main characteristics are the following:

Rationality
We are thinking critically when we
• rely on reason rather than emotion,
• require evidence, ignore no known evidence, and follow evidence where it leads, and
• are concerned more with finding the best explanation than being right analyzing apparent confusion and asking questions.

From the web site, Rliberni’s Blog, Radical Language

How do we focus on the teaching of Critical Thinking skills in a standardized test focused curriculum?
What a fun topic for me this week (per usual for edchat).  I actually almost missed it as I was running late from a meeting.  Don’t tell my superintendent, but I may have pushed the speed limit a bit in a school vehicle to get to my computer.  
As an administrator for the past 9 years, I have wrestled with this question often.  I feel horrible about focusing so much on the test when I know that focusing on the test probably isn’t what is what our kids need for being better thinkers.   

Many strong opinions were shared during this amazing fast paced hour of learning.  It is hard to argue that critical thinking skills are vital to be taught and what we SHOULD be teaching.  However, it is scary for teachers and administrators to deviate from not teaching to the tests when the system is currently set up with sanctions and penalties for those schools that do not do well on the tests.  It was agreed by many, including me, that great teaching that includes teaching students how to think, rather than what to think, while ultimately produce strong results. 

 

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Students United, the International Student Movement


international student movement

International Joint Statement | International Student Movement

International Joint Statement

Around the world over the past decade students, pupils, teachers, parents and employees have been protesting against the increasing commercialization and privatization of public education, and fighting for free and emancipatory education.

Many of us use the International Student Movement as a self-managed platform initiated to exchange information, to network and to co-ordinate protests at both the international and the global levels. Since the ISM platform was initiated in November 2008 various global days and weeks of action were coordinated.
We strive for structures based on direct participation and non-hierarchical organization through collective discussion and action. Anyone who identifies with the struggle against the privatization of public education, and for free and emancipatory education can join and participate on as well as shape the platform!

The following aims unite us worldwide:

What are we struggling against?

  • The effects of the current economic system on people and education systems:
    → tuition fees or any form of fees which exclude people from accessing and equally participating in education
    → student debt
    → public education aligned to serve the (labour) market;

    The so called Bologna-Process (as with its counterparts around the world) is aimed at implementing education systems that primarily train people in skills serving the labour market. It promotes the reduction of costs for training a person, shortens the length of time spent studying, and produces underqualified workforces.

    → turning education into a commodity as part of the commodification of all aspects of life
    → the significant and increasing influence of business interests on basic budgets for public education
    → the significant and increasing budget cuts on public education worldwide
    → the privatisation of public funds through the subsidisation of private educational institutions
    → the commodification and exploitation of labor within educational institutions

  • We stand against discrimination and exclusion within any educational institution based on:
    → socio-economic background, for instance by charging fees so that people with less money can’t participate equally
    → nationality
    → performance and academic record
    → political ideologies and activities
    → gender
    → sexual orientation
    → religion
    → ethnic background
    → skin colour
  • We stand against the prioritisation of research towards commercially valuable patents rather than open knowledge freely available to all
    → Public educational institutions are increasingly forced to compete for private sponsorships to do (basic) research; at the same time private funds tend to be invested into research promising to be profitable, leading to a decline in funding for areas of research which may be important but not deemed economically lucrative. Educational institutions and participants are evaluated on the basis of economic profitability and often compete to receive additional public funding based on this criteria.
  • We stand against the prioritisation of income-generating research grants ahead of education and basic research
  • Activities for the army within educational institutions:
    → no research specifically for military purposes
    → no recruiting and advertising activities for the army

What are we struggling for?

  • CONTENT:
    → free and emancipatory education as a human right. Education should primarily work for the emancipation of the individual, which means: being enabled to critically reflect and understand the power structures and environment surrounding him-/herself. Education must not only enable the emancipation of the individual but society as a whole
    → education as a public good serving public interests
    → academic freedom and choice: freedom to pursue any educational discipline
  • ACCESS:
    → free from monetary mechanisms of payment by participants and any kind of discrimination and exclusion and therefore freely accessible to all individuals
    → sufficient funding for all public educational institutions, whether they are deemed profitable or not
  • STRUCTURE:
    → all educational entities/institutions should be democratically structured, meaning direct participation from below as a basis for decision making processes

Why on the local and global level?

The impacts of the current global economic system create struggles worldwide. While applying local pressure to influence our individual local/regional politics and legislation, we must always be aware of the global and structural nature of our problems and learn from each other’s tactics, experiences in organizing, and theoretical knowledge. Short-term changes may be achieved on the local level, but great change will only happen if we unite globally.

Education systems worldwide do what they are intended to do within the economic and state system(s): select for, train and create ignorance and submission. We unite for a different education system and a different life.

We stand united against any sort of repression by governments worldwide directed at people involved in the struggle for free and emancipatory education.

The following groups and individuals support this statement, pledge to spread it, and to get actively involved in efforts to network and unite education activist groups worldwide in the future.

Wish to support this statement by having your (group) name listed below? Just send an e-mail to: united.for.education@gmail.com

~ one world – one struggle ~

International Joint Statement | International Student Movement

Students around the world have many common interests. In many nations, austerity policies are damaging the social fabric including education. That kind of investment in a nation’s future is the last place one should look for broad cuts.

I have watched in horror as our college students are priced out of many educational options, saddled with enormous debts when they do go to college and in a poorly regulated market are often overcharged for degrees with little use.

I believe that education is the bedrock value for a civilized society with a view toward future generations. We must look to our children’s future.

Financing education on the backs of our students is an American innovation. We transfer what used to be a common burden, a common investment, into personal debt. It is a national tragedy.

But also we see a constant drumbeat for an education suited only for the job market. That is only one element of the educational process. We who teach are also in the business of creating critical thinkers, good citizens and human beings who can live full lives with an appreciation of art, culture and history.

In 1841, European student went to the barricades and fought for a more just society. Ever since students have been in the forefront of challenging society to live up to its highest values.

I believe in the future. I believe in it not because of the continuing horror of American politics but because I teach students that I believe in, that I have faith in, and that I am willing to trust the future of this nation with.

James Alan Pilant

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Online Education Maxed?


Have we maxed out on online education? « Kay Steiger

A new survey from Eduventures (the terrible punny name is not my fault) comes via Inside Higher Ed and finds that though the number of adults entering into higher education as non-traditional students continues to increase, the percentage interested in taking all or most classes online has roughly stayed stagnent. The survey found 38 percent were interested in taking all or most of their classes online compared with 37 percent in 2006.

“We feel this is the watershed moment,” said Richard Garrett, vice president and principal analyst for Eduventures and the report’s author told IHE. “After years of endless growth, we’re definitely coming to more of a plateau situation.”

Have we maxed out on online education? « Kay Steiger

This is from Kay Steiger, who has a web site that deals in a thoroughly intelligent manner with education and other issues. She’s clever and often eloquent. I recommend you visit the site.

I find the findings quite interesting. You would think from reading the web and the news that online education is spreading across the nation like some Medieval plague. If the phenomenon has maxed out; if online education maxed, then we have arrived at a balance between online and in-class teaching. This is important to me, for one thing, because I teach both traditional  classes and online. But I have another issue, I love the whole idea of self improvement and higher education. I am delighted by spacious campuses, earnest undergraduates talking about major issues, people trying to think, and, above all, teaching. I like the environment and I believe for many people, it is their opportunity to think new thoughts and become different people, different than the expectation imposed on them by family and high school. Online education has many advantages but it cannot create an environment of hundreds, often thousands of fellow learners trying to understand what is important.

So it would appear from the study that physical campuses still make sense and have a future.

I am very pleased.

James Pilant

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