Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ira Shor on education "God-words"

I'd go as far as saying that there is no such thing as 'a sound education,' just as there are no such things as 'basic education,' 'basic skills,' or 'basic writing.' In addition, I'd add my disagreement with the notion of a 'core curriculum' or 'general education.' My sense is that these phrases are code words to disguise or to deny that all education is politics, that all pedagogies are ideological, that all curricular choices are value-laden, and that stunningly different outcomes emerge from schooling based on the income of a student's family. Angelic or neutral terms like 'basic,' 'sound,' and 'general' are God-words that rhetorically disguise the inequities and ideologies of the status quo. If something is labeled as 'sound' or 'basic,' then it lays claim to the status of the inevitable and the unarguable. But, I propose that all forms of education are socially constructed and that none can be neutral.

Source: Shor, I. (2006). War, lies, and pedagogy: Teaching in fearful times. Radical teacher 77, pp. 30-5.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The true size of Africa

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"UBC study finds happy smiling men least sexually attractive to women"

Happy smiling men are consistently rated least attractive by women when compared to proud or brooding men, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.

The finding, published today (Tuesday) in the journal Emotion, goes a long way toward explaining the sexual allure of dark characters such as the brooding Twilight vampire Edward Cullen or the tortured and shamed Jim Stark in James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause.

1. Full article

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Campbell's Law

"The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor."

—Donald T. Campbell

Dr. Berliner discusses some examples of Campbell's law:

Friday, May 6, 2011

"A Diminished Thing" by Rachel Contreni Flynn

We could make a meal
of what’s left in this box:
potato, onion, rind of cheese,
elderly egg. We could make
another baby without much
fear, at our age. Name her
Rosa and set her in the yard
with us, pulling weeds,
listening to the birds dusting
their wings in the drive. We
could instead just hold each other
here in the cold house,
and say enough, enough.

"Poem" by Ted Kooser

Get your tongue
of my mouth;
I’m kissing you

Monday, May 2, 2011

Victory... therefore pornography.

A friend of mine just posted this on facebook, speculating that Bin Laden's recent death may have had a similar effect:

Title: Pornography-seeking behaviors following midterm political elections in the United States: A replication of the challenge hypothesis

Authors: Patrick and Charlotte Markey

Published in: Computers in Human Behavior
Volume 27 Issue 3, May, 2011

Abstract: The current study examined a prediction derived from the challenge hypothesis; individuals who viciously win a competition of rank order will seek out pornography relatively more often than individuals who viciously lose a competition. By examining Google keyword searches during the 2006 and 2010 midterm elections in the United States, the relative popularity of various pornography keyword searches was computed for each state and the District of Columbia the week after each midterm election. Consistent with previous research examining presidential elections and the challenge hypothesis, individuals located in traditionally Republican states tended to search for pornography keywords relatively more often after the 2010 midterm election (a Republican victory) than after the 2006 midterm election (a Democratic victory). Conversely, individuals located in traditionally Democratic states tended to search for pornography relatively less often following the 2010 midterm election than they did following the 2006 midterm election.