Sunday, December 28, 2014

Learning or Theorizing

Hugh Pavletich (471 comments) says: 

Importance: High
A lengthy … and essential read …
… extract … concluding …
The Black American teacher Marva
Collins, achieving highly rewarding
academic results for her disadvantaged,
impoverished children, became famous
for successfully applying classical
education methods. Many of her pupils
had previously been formerly categorized
as learning-disabled.
Her constant argument was that it
was the new teaching standards and
methods which were, and are, the
problem – not the old ones. She once
wrote, “I have discovered few learning disabled
students in my three decades
of teaching. I have, however, discovered
many, many victims of teaching inabilities.”
She insisted that it was not the old
teaching theory that was to blame, but
the new theorizing. The consequences
today support her conclusions.
Far from our schools offering the
opportunity for academic excellence to
our children and now, even their children,
a whole world of genuine learning
has been and is being withheld
during those precious years when an
appetite to learn everything provides
an unparalleled opportunity to open
doors to other worlds – to the history
of the Western, the history of the world
itself, to discovery, to the key moments
and events which have brought us
today – and to the stories of those who
made and shaped us.
To begin to claim back what we have
lost will need the courage and persistence
of so-called ordinary parents,
refusing to comply with the politicized
agenda issuing from the ministry,
and it’s obviously largely ignorant and
politicized minister, who is apparently,
as usual, captured by its bureaucracy.
Only determined, well-informed parents
are in a position to being able to refuse
being fobbed off, and to demand
genuine accountability from the schools.
The alternative? To do nothing?
Amy Brooke Information …

… THERE IS HOPE HOWEVER … ( we can console ourselves students are rarely as stupid as their indoctrinated and institutionalized teachers … entrepreneurs dodge them like the plague ) as there is a shift underway … both within New Zealand and internationally … to (in the broad sense) conservative values ( what works) …
The shift to conservative values … with the young too … | Hugh Pavletich| Scoop News
… noting within the above the words of the esteemed Hoover Institution economist Dr Thomas Sowell “We have spent the past few decades replacing what works, with what feels good.”
further on comments also on the article

Surviving Secularists

Lucia Maria (2,683 comments) says: 

I was going to recommend Remi Brague on what Western Civilisation is (because of Shawn’s 2;26pm comment ), and got distracted by this compelling piece: The Impossibility of Secular Society
A secularist is a person the inner logic of whose position compels him to act as if mankind were not to last longer than one century. And even: A secularist is a person whose behavior, if universalized, would make it so that mankind would in fact not last more than one century.
To speak of the Christian heritage of Europe bothers me. And for even greater reason, speaking of “Christian civilization.” Christianity was founded by people who could not have cared less about “Christian civilization.” What interested them was Christ, and the reverberations of his coming on the whole of human existence. Christians believed in Christ, not in Christianity itself; they were Christians, not “Christianists.”
Onto Western Civilisation, finally, from another interview with Remi:
… Europe’s luck was its initial poverty. For a very long time, Europe remained far removed from the existing cultural centers in Asia. Europeans were barbarians, inhabiting distant, freezing northern shores. And they knew this about themselves. Studying classical languages, and thereby imbibing a civilization wholly different from their own, made them conscious of the fact that they were stinking barbarians, who needed to wash themselves with the soap of higher civilizations. The Romans were well aware that they were culturally inferior to the Greeks. But they also had the courage to admit it. And that is precisely what gave them the strength to absorb the Hellenic civilization, and spread it to the lands they conquered. The essential characteristic of European culture is that it is ex-centric. Not in the sense of an Englishman who takes a bath wearing his bowler hat, but in the sense that the two sources of her civilization, Athens and Jerusalem, lie outside the geographical area of Europe itself. European culture is based on the recognition that we are barbarians who civilized ourselves by internalizing ‘strange’ cultural sources.
And that’s unique to Europe?
Yes, Western civilization is something very strange and unusual. Most civilizations have only one centre. Islam has Mecca. Ancient Egypt had Memphis. Babylon had Babylon. But Western civilization had two sources, Athens and Jerusalem—the Jewish and later Christian tradition and that of pagan antiquity—often described as being in dynamic conflict. This opposition is founded on the opposition of Jew and Greek, borrowed from Saint Paul, which was then systemized in different ways: Hellenism versus Hebraism, the religion of beauty versus the religion of obedience, reason versus faith, aesthetics versus ethics, etc. The curious thing is that one was never swallowed by the other. Europe is neither Jewish nor Greek. In “Rome” in Christianity (e.g., the Roman Catholic Church), Jerusalem and Athens are simultaneously joined and kept apart.
With the coming of Christianity the preceding cultures were not destroyed, but a new civilization was formed. As the Romans recognized that their culture was “secondary” to that of the Greeks, the Christians recognized that Judaism preceded Christianity. This understanding gave European civilization a unique openness and humility towards the enormous cultural achievements of the past.
This humility has been a great strength. It fosters the awareness that you cannot simply inherit a civilizing tradition, but that you must work very hard to obtain it—to control the barbarian inside. This has given European culture the possibility of renaissances: a renewed appreciation of the sources of our culture, to correct what has gone wrong.
So, what have we lost, we Westerners? 1) Christ, and 2) this humility which allowed us in the past to become civilised. We’re becoming more and more secularised, which means that we won’t necessarily last that much longer.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Liberals intelligence verses experience

Aion says
That is the problem with liberals, they think they know more about everything from their time spending “A Short Introduction to …” or from what they’ve been told by spokes people from organizations, without analyzing what and why they may say what they are saying. They think they know more about subjects than those who are most intimately knowledgeable about them, because they are so sure they are right, more intelligent than everyone else and better simply by deciding they are rather than developing real knowledge and credentials.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ferguson,, trying to understand

Fergusons in Perpetuity

Thoughts on the Unfixable

November 27, 2014
Two questions, methinks, arise from Ferguson's latest outburst. The first, political, is "Why does the country tolerate it?" The second, more anthropologically interesting, is "Why the eerie incapacity of underclass blacks to understand evidence, or law, or much of anything?" Of the countless explanations given for the poor performance and poor behavior of blacks in the US, one of them dares not speak its name: Low intelligence.
Yet it fits all the evidence. It explains why Africa never built cities, why it did not invent writing, why there was no African Fifth-Century Athens. It explains why Rhodesia, prosperous and an exporter of food when run by whites, fell immediately into hunger and barbarism when whites left. It explains the dysfunction of black societies from Africa to Haiti to Detroit. It explains why blacks invariably score far below whites and Asians on tests of IQ, on the SATs, GREs, on entrance and promotion exams for fire and police departments.
It explains the need for affirmative action and for departments of Black Studies in universities when black students can’t handle real courses. It explains why the gap in academic achievement never closes. It explains the criminality, the violence, the poor impulse control, the dependency on welfare, the unemployment, and the inability to integrate themselves into a high-tech society. It explains the constant scandals involving teachers in black schools giving students the answers on standardized tests.
Further, it explains why none of the programs intended to raise performance of blacks in the schools ever work. Head Start didn’t work. Integrated schools didn’t work, nor segregated schools, nor black schools with white teachers nor black schools with black teachers. Expensive laboratories and free computers didn't work. Schools run entirely by blacks with very high per-student expenditure (Washington, DC for example) didn’t work. There is no indication that anything at all will ever work. Low intelligence is the obvious explanation. There is precious little counterevidence.
Endless evasions seek to avoid the unavoidable. Tests are biased, all tests without exception. Africa is primitive because of colonialism, or for geographic reasons, or because the natives liked hunting and gathering. Detroit is largely illiterate because of slavery, or low self-esteem, or  institutional racism, which seems to mean undetectable racism. On and on.
 If the consequences didn’t affect others, it would be needless, even cruel, to mention cognitive deficits. But they do affect society, very damagingly.