Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Rebellion Is On

Thinking out loud...

Science! True daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?

The movement was characterized by emphasis on the self and by a profound expression of emotion in rebellion to the dawning industrial age and the Enlightenment. In a time when the ego was threatened by the advance of the machine and the depersonalizing influence of an urban environment, the Romantic pushed for the elevation of the spirit.

In much of the reading we've been exposed to in this class, I can't help but make some comparison between today's educational inquiries and the Romantics. Much of what I've read in my recent class seems to point toward the self. It's student-centered and a sharp contrast to the corporate demand for outcome based and standards based education. The trend toward expression and creativity, the idea that deeper thinking should penetrate over rote memorization and drills.

While we are past looking at Industrialization, one can argue that Globalization has produced a rebellion in American culture that seeks to resist the emergence of an educational and cultural system that embraces corporate needs and wants. The Neo-Romantics see change and try and put their imprint on it, to somehow help guide it to be more humane, more people-centered. In a time when American culture is reactionary and increasing jingoistic and xenophobic, the push is to look for commonalties while embracing differences with a synergistic eye.

Again, just thinking out loud..writing helps me think about things.


Jon said...


SQT said...

I just got a book called Truancy that seems to fit in with your thinking. It's billed at teenage fiction and was written by a Japanese teenager.

I'm drawn to it because I went to school in Japan and they're school system is totally geared toward producing a productive, conforming workforce. The book is a small rebellion against that.

I remember wondering while I was living there how long the system was going to hold up and when the younger generation might start rebelling. I don't know that they necessarily have but maybe the book is an early sign of discontent.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Sorry Jon, I have been rather preoccupied with educational material. To put the post in a different perspective, educational inquiry is a way of looking at learning in and out of school and exploring ways to make the learning experience a more rewarding one. As I said in the post, I've noticed that much of the work done today, apart from the likes of Hirsch and his ilk, is decidedly student-centered as opposed to outcome oriented, or standards based, a movement that has come in the last several years in an attempt to satisfy corporate needs and the change from a manufacturing community to a service and IT oriented community.

I think there is a rebellion building. You're right, SQT. We all know that No Child Left Behind and the Republican agenda toward privitization has been a miserable failure. I hope the reaction that arrives isn't extreme. I understand that education moves like waves, but I like it when things are well thought out and not knee jerk.

Travis said...

I've always thought that dates and facts are important but worthless without some understanding of the events that go with them.

How do we expect to have great minds if we're not teaching children to think, and encouraging them to be creative?

Mark Rainey said...

There was a piece on the radio just the other day about the record numbers of high school dropouts in North Carolina. I should think it's no wonder, given that every teacher I know (which is a pretty fair number), not to mention many that I don't know, lament the fact that just about all creativity has been sucked out of teaching by the implementation of NCLB and the proliferation of standardized testing. One of my former high school teachers (quite an excellent one, I might add) recently said, "I'm so glad I've retired -- I couldn't teach in the environment the bureaucrats have crafted." I guess it's no wonder so many kids are dropping out, when school becomes a zombie factory.

Thank you so much, f'ing bureaucrats.