“Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby "schooled" to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is "schooled" to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question. ”—Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society (1973: 9)
“When we are dealing with police as an institution, we are not dealing with individuals acting on their personal judgments , but rather, with functionaries who have agreed to put their personal opinions aside and instead act as obedient agents of the state. Thus, no, "the police" as an institution are not on our side, but are protectors of government power.”—David Graden, PhD, JD
Government: Napolitano, New Institutions And Political Behavior ! http://newish.info/203860-government-napolitano-new-institutions-and-political-behavior
“Many men are quick to protest that the family is the most important of all social institutions-next to which "men's work" is second best. Women, they say, should feel privileged to call the family their turf. Although the family should be among the most important of all institutions, if we judge from how resources and rewards are distributed and what men in particular choose as their own priorities, the family clearly ranks well down the list. Consider, for example, the tolerance of widespread violence and abuse in families, the fact that children are more likely to live in poverty than any other age group, the nationwide child-care crisis, men's routine lack of concern for taking responsibility for contraception and, therefore, the consequences of unprotected sex, and the steadfast mainstream refusal of most husbands and fathers to see themselves as equally responsible for the domestic labor that makes up family life. All these examples highlight the gulf between public rhetoric and sentimentality, on the one hand, and the reality of family life and its place in the larger society, on the other.”—Allan G. Johnson
Attending lectures at fancy universities
When I first moved to New York, there was not yet a Platform for Pedagogy or Nonsense List for fun events and lectures. However, there was a very nice university nearby that my husband attended. I found out that they had open wifi access throughout the campus, lectures that were free to the public, a library that was fairly cheap to access, and generally relaxed security. I started sitting in on large lecture hall classes that I found out about through their online registrar and even buying the books for the classes from their book store. In the end, I enrolled as a student there for a year, but this always struck me as an amazing way to have access to an ivy league education (for what that is worth to you) for little or nothing.
There were of course drawbacks to this system:
- I could never let my guard down enough to socialize with the other students lest I be discover. This is a huge disadvantage as I found that learning is a very social process for me. It hindered me from really enjoying the lectures.
- Although I attended large lectures where there were always empty seats, I didn’t feel totally comfortable not compensating the professor for their labor. So, I ended up buying their books, promoting their research, and taking classes with them later. Finally, contribute to overall good energy of and appropriate participation in the class. As a teacher, I would take a secret student that is engaged with the material over a sleeping, paying student any day.
- This system still privileges universities as the site for a “proper” education, thereby perpetuating the hegemony of these institutions. This is a general problem in education and it’s important to always be critical about it.
If you want to try this strategy:
Do your research. Go to the school and scope out the security and the other students there. See if you can blend. See what you have legitimate access to (events, lectures, etc), and have a good reason to crash a course.
Don’t be rude. Respect the teacher and students there. Don’t be late and don’t go to small classes where it will be obvious that you are just popping in.
IHL Board extends contract for MSU President
(Mississippi State University): www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=5332
Mississippi State University President Dr. Mark Keenum received a great vote of confidence from the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning when they voted unanimously to extend his contract for four more years. The extension follows a careful review that included meetings with stakeholders across each campus. Since Dr. Keenum’s appointment in 2009, Mississippi State University has enjoyed record enrollment and achievements in all facets of the university.
“Dr. Keenum has proven himself to be a dedicated leader with a vision for the future of Mississippi State University,” said Trustee Robin Robinson of Laurel, president, Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. “He appreciates the role that students, faculty, alumni and the community play in the success of the university and has brought all of them together to help MSU to excel.”
Dr. Mark E. Keenum became the 19th president of Mississippi State University in January 2009. Very early in his tenure, Dr. Keenum realized that Mississippi and its universities were facing the biggest financial challenges, perhaps, since the Great Depression. MSU experienced significant budget cuts in FY 10 and FY 11. Thanks to decisive leadership by President Keenum, Mississippi State took immediate steps to seek out efficiencies and cost savings while protecting core academic functions. As a result, MSU is on solid financial footing.
“Despite very challenging financial times, Dr. Keenum has guided the university with a steady hand and sound decision-making,” said Trustee Ed Blakeslee of Gulfport. “By engaging the campus community and forming a strong team, Dr. Keenum has met the challenges and put the university on a path to an even brighter future.”
“China‘s policies on property rights, subsidies, finance, the exchange rate and many other areas have so flagrantly departed from the conventional rulebook that if the country were an economic basket case instead of the powerhouse that it has become, it would be almost as easy to account for it. (18)”—Dani Rodrik, The Future of Economic Convergence
Dani speaks the truth. One of the biggest problems with discussions revolving around development is that usually analysis is based on the “dependent variable”, that is to say, that the sample, or outcomes, explain the causes in an erroneous fashion.
The purpose is to hypothesize the causes and see if they cause the outcomes. Instead of asking if institution x leads to growth throughout a wide sample, many economists argue that since country z has institution x, and is successful, while country f does not have x, or not enough of x, it is not successful. However, if one were to include a historical and geographically large sample, one would begin to see that these factors that supposedly explain outcomes do not have universal effects, but rather their efficacy is determined by contingent and historically determined factors (path dependence). For example, if institutions were as important as economists claim they are, then China shouldn’t be as successful as it is and Brazil should be more than it is. Choosing on the dependent variable is helpful in explaining the causal mechanisms, specific to the case being studied, but it does not give us valuable explanations.