(Click on the title to read the full post.) My last post, The The Foundational Cause of Our American Discontent offered an analogy: the American Liberty and Equality tribes are like two competing clans of Central American Howler Monkeys yelling at one another from the safety of their respective treetops...
(Click on title to read the complete post.) How many of us realize that we are talking out of both sides of our mouth when we praise America as a country that champions Liberty and Equality?
(Click on title to read the complete post.) Intrinsic motivation is that which causes you or me to engage in a behavior that arises from within us because it is naturally satisfying to us. Self Determination Theory or SDT provides a complex and thorough understanding of why we do what we do, but for educators, a subset of SDT explains that intrinsic motivation is influenced by three things: having an opportunity to feel as though one has some control over one’s life, being connected in a meaningful way to others, and being provided with opportunities to feel competent. Unfortunately, (according to my non-scientific sample of one) too few American educators are familiar with something that is generally accepted motivational theory among educators around the world.
Human systems also follow the Second Law of Thermodynamics—not scientifically but conceptually. Families, classrooms, schools, communities and nations move in the direction of disorder and termination without the input of energy.
(Click on title to read the entire post.) The single greatest challenge to contemporary society, in my opinion, is the failure of Americans to create an effective public education system that provides every American child with a reasonable foundation of knowledge and skills needed to pursue happiness. Note that I am not suggesting America has an obligation to provide happiness, just the obligation to provide the knowledge and skills needed to pursue it. Universal Public Education is how America has attempted to provide the foundation for over a century, but it is now the canary in the American coal mine of equality, and if Conservatives—the Army of Liberty—have their way, the canary will soon be breathing its last breath.
(Click on the title to read the entire post) I should note that I am as white as white can be. My hair is white, my eyes are blue, my skin is pink except for when I've had a second glass of red wine or when I discover I have written something really stupid in my blog—then my skin flushes red; further, my ethnic background is "suburban," and I have been known to say "holy cow” and the like on occasion. Imagine my surprise when, during a session of “Courageous Conversations about Race,” I found myself totally at a loss to answer this question: What does it mean to be White in America?
This post continues the theme of an earlier post and is a response to "Make Public Education a Market Economy—Not a Socialist One" by Gary Wolfram, a professor at Hillsdale College, a small Christian institution that is a significant beneficiary of the largess of the DeVos Family. (Click on title to access the full post)