||"Dante-Gabryell Monson" [ profile ]
Re: [PerspectivesonEducation] From Moderator
Jun 1st, 2004 - 06:03:33
Hello dear Taking IT Global friends, Hello Selene,
I'm Dante http://profiles.takingitglobal.org/dantemonson / Here are some of
my replies and perspectives relating to the questions Selene raised in one
of her last e-mails:
> 1. What does "Education" mean to you? How can you
> define it?
"Education" for me can mean environments, tools, interactions, that may
contribute to acquiring skills usefull in living emancipating and self
empowered lives, trough for example:
easing the developpement of broad perspectives about different realities;
easing and promoting developement of critical and creative approaches
towards our world and the construction and managment of this world;
supporting values of understanding;
supporting the process of confidence building;
easing development of creative expression and communication;
easing access and use of tools and opportunities for the development of
skills relating to initiative taking, knowledge building, efficient action
and interaction towards intrinsically motivated, meaningfull, and
But "education" as it is defined and applied currently in my society does
not meet this view.
In my society, at current times, "education" is defined as molding
individuals ( or should I say, "the masses"?) to reproduce behaviors and
structures in the interests of the stability and reproduction of current
structures and dominances. Wich, currently, means making them able to
operate productively on specific tasks. In my society, productivity
depending more and more on the application of technical knowledge, it is
expected to be able to develop specific skills related to the application
and reproduction of such technical knowledge.
> 2. What problems is your country facing in this field?
Lack of flexibility and alternatives within education systems, education
system based on following orders and although system has been generally
reformed and modernised, these reforms stayed linear within a culture and
basis of oppression and punishment oriented motivation ( the system incites
motivation to be based on getting good grades ---> if you do not follow and
conform yourself to expectations, you are punished and oppressed by not
getting satisfying grades and getting excluded ).
This oppression based motivation towards meeting certain limited
expectations is oriented towards a certain conformity, and "judges our
value" on our capability to reproduce current and often obsolete needs,
patterns and discourses in favor of the current structures of the
environment on wich the schools and the dominances that may be leading these
structures are dependent.
Structure of the system does not tend towards a goal of self-emporement and
but rather towards the development of a culture of conformity, acceptance of
being dominated and oppressed (trough brainwashing, and the imposition and
acceptance of perceptions of reality in favor of the manipulating
dominances ), and acting trough external motivation such as material
> 3. What about the relationship private/public
Education (in the sense of molding behaviours and technical skills into
individuals in favour of the stability and reproduction of current
structures and dominances ) is supposed to be accessible to all. Current
education system almost excusively publicly financed. Education ressources
are potentially satisfactory, although a better managment and understanding
of it's needs, and further investments and alternative initiatives are
interesting and probably necessary paths.
I am not against privatisation of education as long as it encourages higher
quality and diversity of alternatives, and as long as by law and in practice
everyone has access to learning environments and tools of it's choice and of
very high quality ( it must be free ), regardless of it's personal financial
means, trough for example full public coverage of individuals education
costs, with no precondition, and for a unlimited time.
> 4. Describe Access to Education in your country:
> infrastructure, girls education, Millennium
> Development Goals
By law, everyone has access to education. Education system of my country
seem to be considered by many as high standard. But current education system
is, to my view, innapropriate to current and future needs of society. To my
view, current structures still promote a system of oppression and
conformisation related to the needs of a industrial society;
instead of promoting intrinsic motivation, curiosity, and passion. - that
may lead to more efficient learning, better quality of life, potential for
more emancipation, and more productivity and creativeness necessary for a
healthy information/post-industrial society.
> 5. What do you think about Informal Education? And
> life-long education?
Need for further development and access to alternatives.
Often, education is used as a way to mold conditionning of individuals in
favor of the interests of dominances. If dominances want to impose the
obligation of life long education and emprisonment to the conditionning and
updating of individuals in a way ressembling that of reprogramming robots,
I'm not interested in contributing to it.
On the other hand, I'm interested in providing more opportunities and
incentives for people to live varieties of experiences, discover, and feel
Give people the time , freedom , and available ressources to live
comfortably with a guarantee of basic ressources and even travel while being
able to focus ( if they want ) on learning and enriching themselves with
what may contribute to their interests, interact and share with people
locally and internationally, and naturally contribute to enriching the world
and developping new pathways, new ideas, new solutions, initiatives, that
can make peoples lives better.
I understand that the current knowledge and technologies used within the
developped world provide sufficient surplus production to make this model
perfectly viable. I can also argument that , depending on the way
it is managed, it is more efficient and can be more cost effective then
"traditional programming and re-programming structures of current dominant
education systems". The biggest obstacle being a cultural one. Most people
do not seem to be used to manage their own learning. Most people seem to
have linked the perception of learning with that of current dominant
traditional education, and often percieve that learning is oppressing,
forgetting sometimes that that they can feel intrinsically motivated for the
joy and passion of understanding
and empowering oneself.
> 6. How effective is distance-education?
Distance "LEARNING" is one of the many "tools" for learning.
What concerns the formatting and molding of people trough the use of ict, I
argument it may look similar but can be very different to intrinsically
motivated passion for understanding, learning, discovering, thinking,
creating, interacting, and initiating.
> Please, keep in mind that there are many other topics
> you might want to explore, so, share your perspectives
> with others!
> Looking forward to your ideas,
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> Selene Biffi
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