2007-07-18

Free like a Fish

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    Where suspicion fills the air and holds scholars in line for fear
    of their jobs, there can be no exercise of the free intellect. . . .
    A problem can no longer be pursued with impunity to its edges. Fear
    stalks the classroom. The teacher is no longer a stimulant to adventurous
    thinking; she becomes instead a pipe line for safe and sound information.
    A deadening dogma takes the place of free inquiry. Instruction tends to
    become sterile; pursuit of knowledge is discouraged; discussion often
    leaves off where it should begin.
      Justice William O. Douglas,
      United States Supreme Court:
      Adler v. Board of Education, 1951

5 comments:

  1. So are you conservative or liberal?

    ;)

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  2. So what's your take on this? It's interesting because up until like the 70s & 80s we were kicking some booty internationally (meaning our students outranked every other country). We have slowly slipped, and now we're ranked in the 20s. Sad. The progressives took over and look what we've become. Anyways, I could go on.

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  3. .

    It's so funny you both ask that because it never even occurred to me that this issue could be politicized. I guess because red or blue, everyone wants to dictate what teachers teach. In my opinion, whether "liberal" or "conservative", both are conservative in the sense that they want their dogma preserved and propagated and their so-called enemies' notions dismissed.

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  4. I guess that makes you a true liberal, Th, instead of a "blue" liberal.

    What he says about teachers becoming a pipeline of safe information rings true, yes... it has the ring of truth.

    The role of the teacher is slowly (not very slowly, but... slow) changing toward the likeness a living text book. Some teachers get away with being more fluid with the ideas taught than others, but not for long.

    It has become, and I think will continue to be the case, such that to find new ideas or "free intellect" you have to look outside the school's boundaries.

    I don't really disagree with this either, as newer ideas need to be created and molded by few people, rather than many, because the more outside feedback you receive the more "Normalized" the idea becomes.
    Ergo, the idea becomes less and less original.

    Maybe this is the way that things have been for a long time, and we are only now feeling the reigns being tightened.

    I have to say though, that you can't let those hippies run free with your kid's intellectual futures... we all know hippies are unbelievably unsanitary!

    (now the gears are turning again, and I won't be able to sleep)

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  5. .

    That's what hippie grease can do....

    Nice comment.

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