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Show #108 Radical education

1972460_10152336148211419_301576612_nJaney explores radical education.

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the masters house” Audre Lorde

A show looking at the political function of education in the UK and worldwide and possible alternatives. I’m joined by guests with experience of home-schooling and teaching abroad.

Listen now:

7 responses »

  1. Venus in Scorpio

    Great show, with a nice mix of guests: 1 radical school-teacher, 1 home educator who spent ages fighting for a local council “special needs” statement, and 1 home educator who has had very little (maybe nothing?) to do with either schools or the council.

    Seemed like it was over in a flash because of just how many fruitful, useful and interesting avenues might be explored: how to achieve stuff freely, as well as how to fight oppressive shit. I’ve met loads of people whose kids are getting bullied or coming home in misery every day for other reasons, while disgusting jobsworth-brained “teachers” try to dictate to the parents the terms in which they should think and act. I mean who loves their kids, and who’s just doing a job? Parents and children can feel AMAZINGLY EMPOWERED when they learn that school REALLY ISN’T compulsory and when they meet down-to-earth home educators who haven’t got third homes in Monaco.

    I’ve heard Neil F talk before. He’s brilliant on the idea that we all have enormous potential and I once heard him fly into a *FURIOUS* rage when someone said something polite about Malthus .

    I hope you invite him back and get him to talk about how every toddler who hasn’t got a physical problem can easily learn to read at one or two.

    Every parent I know who’s believed that, or been open to it, has been successful. Not a single exception. I.e. he’s right. It doesn’t involve forcing children to do anything. It’s something that everybody SHOULD try at home. The big thing is bloody well be OPEN to how your child is learning and how they see the world from their point of view. Your littluns are brighter than you, because they learn faster. WATCH and ADMIRE and ENCOURAGE. You’re an adult, so you won’t fully understand, but just TRY to understand a LITTLE. Neil taught me that you can’t expect what you learn in this regard to be easily expressible in ‘adult’ words.

    Reading at two only appears “amazing” because of these terribly repressive dark ages we live in. The more you think about it, the more terrible these times are: rather than live, we just survive. How our minds are kept down! School-teachers just DON’T GET IT – unless they reject the whole of what school is all about, which most find very hard to do. Recognition would bring capitalism tumbling down around our ears in five minutes flat, because everyone would think “For fuck’s sake, what shit we’ve been told for decades, and it’s obvious why”.

    Not surprising that there are big barriers in the way, then. The representation of education opposes itself to education. The idea just gets laughed at or treated as if it’s DANGEROUS by the spineless who want everyone else to be the same – and there’s so much of that about!

    (I hope you’re reading this, Neil! We last saw each other at the celebration party in Brixton after your famous acquittal when you avoided getting chucked in jail for 4-5 years after the poll tax riot. A lot of us thought you’d go down. How you kept your pecker up, I don’t know!! I also remember the evenings we spent trying to shut down Murdoch’s plant at Wapping a few years before! Some great times we had during the miners’ strike too. You’ll know who I am by now!)

  2. I think that cartoon would be open to misinterpretation by right-wing types who think people are born with different talents and potentials, all genetically determined!

    • Well the right wing are mental.

      • Unfortunately if thinking people are born with different talents and potentials, all genetically determines, is right wing, which it is, then 99% of the population are right wing 😦

      • I’ve had this argument before. My view is Ppl are not born with talents. We are blank when we are babies. I’ve had one. No one is born with super genes. Some peoples economic privilege means those children can develop their interests and become professionals. However in an ideal economic world all kids would have all the love and support they need to be healthy individuals and fulfil their passion as much as possible. As an anarchist I would like that passion to centre around what would benefit humanity and planet earth. Don’t take the pic so seriously. Most ppl are not right wing. Most ppl are indifferent. But the pic was trying to express that there is no true one intelligence so therefore no test would be adequate to determine the one strict standard form of intelligence.

  3. I totally agree with you Yodet, whether we are the majority or whether there are only two of us.

    You know what they say – “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”!

    Maybe I shouldn’t have said “most people”. But the idea that people are mostly genetically determined to be at certain levels in society is one of the fundamental ‘beliefs’ of those who stand above us – from the ruling elite right the way down to the lower middle class.

    I put ‘beliefs’ in inverted commas because a lot of people think it without ever having thought much about it.

    Neil F and Venus in S are both 100% right that every child can learn to read at one or two.

    We should be totally in the FACES of the ruling class and their middle class minions on this. They keep us down almost from the moment we are born – and then they tell us we deserve to be kept down because either we’re genetically inferior or we’re feckless.

    Funny how they don’t tend to make many impassioned speeches to large audiences in favour of what their real religion is: the holy and divine nature of inherited wealth. I mean how much fucking skill and superiority does it take to inherit loads of money?

    • I 100% angry with what you say. Also I’d go a step further and claim that in order to maintain serfs u must have a class of ppl with no to little options. Why would u want 2 year olds from working class families be able to read? Why not keep them having as little power as possible? The system is designed as such. And liberals are in denial.


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