December 9, 2004

Pity the Children: Voices of Edu-Moonbats

Professor Plum has gone hunting for the wild edu-moonbat-cliché, and assembled a collection of mission-statement-educratese from ed schools around the country. Read the prose and weep for our children. What's amazing is some schools do as well as they seem to.

Here's a sample, with plummy comments in brackets:

Ed school in California

“(W)e commit ourselves to work actively for the establishment of a just and equitable society… (W)e also aim to nurture transformative structures, practices, and discourses that actively promote greater equity. This commitment challenges us to think with a global perspective, to embrace the notion of a preferential option for the poor, and to act with a conviction of equity.”

[They "work actively."  That's good to know.  Otherwise, we might have thought, mistakenly, that they worked passively.  Laying around the office or slumped over on the desks.  How exactly do you embrace a notion?  "Come here, and let me give you a hug."  Nurture a transformative perspective?  And that means...?  What do you do, feed it mashed potatoes and keep it warm--adding fertilizer every week?  How does discourse--which no doubt is real different from talking--promote greater equity?]

Ed school in Minnesota

The Department of Human Relations and Multicultural Education provides education in self awareness and skills essential for living and working in a pluralistic, democratic society. Human relations is a multi/interdisciplinary applied field in the study and practice of social responsibility within western and non-western cultures. The department is committed to addressing the serious questions of survival, equity and quality of life facing people around the world. The curriculum presents the voices and perspectives of groups which have historically been excluded from the western canon. Investigative and critical thinking skills are taught in which mainstream and alternative viewpoints are examined for values and veracity.

“Human Relations courses examine the impact of power, resources, cultural standards, and institutional policies and practices on various groups in our society and develop active citizenship skills for participatory democracy. Specifically, the department addresses issues of social and environmental justice within a global context related to race, gender, class, age, religion, disability, physical appearance, sexual/affectional orientation and nationality/ culture...”

[Wow!  They have A LOT on their plate!  I wonder if they prepare teachers to teach anything.  They probably run out of time--what with solving all the world's problems--while poor kids down the street from this school of EDUCATION can't read or write, and probably have pretty crummy self-esteem.  But, hey, faculty and students feel good about themselves as world change agents.  What exactly is an "affectional orientation?"  I hope they aren't excluding pedophiles--I mean, THEY have been excluded from the "western canon."  And it's just not fair!!] 

It's impossible not to wonder if Step 1 for school reform is to close all the schools of education!

I know, I'm becoming a crank and wingnut in my old age, but read this stuff aloud and listen to it, if you can stand it.

There's a lot more. Worth reading, if you have the stomach for the examples. As Leonard Pinth-Garnell used to say, "It's delightfully bad".

HT: the indefatigable Gerard.

No comments: