Posts Tagged ‘Education

More Free Knowledge and Entertainment

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As a kid, one of the few things almost as exciting as getting a new toy was rediscovering an old one.  Little has change now that I’m an adult.  This evening I rediscovered Learn Out’s free audio library.  Check it out.  You will find a wealth of great books available to download for free.


Written by Aaron Nee

April 3, 2010 at 1:03 am

The Real Adam Smith and Public Education As Propaganda

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No diet of reading is complete without a little Chomsky sprinkled in there. I recently came across an interview in which he gives a “soundbite” presentation of some of the ideas that he has repeatedly covered.

In particular, the interview touches on Chomsky’s assertion that the popular understanding of Adam Smith is a blatent distortion of what the author of Wealth Of Nations really believed. “Everybody reads the first paragraph of The Wealth of Nations where he talks about how wonderful the division of labor is. But not many people get to the point hundreds of pages later, where he says that division of labor will destroy human beings and turn people into creatures as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be. And therefore in any civilized society the government is going to have to take some measures to prevent division of labor from proceeding to its limits.”

In the last third of the interview, Chomsky shares his views on mass education and its propaganda aims. “Mass education was designed to turn independent farmers into docile, passive tools of production… Emerson once said something about how we’re educating them to keep them from our throats. If you don’t educate them, what we call “education,” they’re going to take control — “they” being what Alexander Hamilton called the “great beast,” namely the people. The anti-democratic thrust of opinion in what are called democratic societies is really ferocious. And for good reason. Because the freer the society gets, the more dangerous the great beast becomes and the more you have to be careful to cage it somehow.”

So, if you are in the mood for some poking and prodding at established norms, check out the rest of the interview.

Written by Aaron Nee

March 10, 2010 at 2:32 am

John Taylor Gatto- modern ed./ unschooling

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I discovered JTG a few weeks ago and have been reading his work pretty consistently since.  He’s written extensively on the history of education in America and on the contemporary approach and ideas behind our public education institution. 

John Taylor Gatto[1] (born December 15, 1935[2]) is an American retired school teacher for 29 years and 8 months and author of several books on education. He is an activist critical of compulsory schooling and of what he characterizes as the hegemonic nature of discourse on education and the education professions. (Wikipedia)

This is his speech upon accepting the 1990 NYC teacher of the year award:

And here is his website:



Written by blairsligar

November 13, 2008 at 10:59 am

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