Sunday, June 6, 2010

Education Sunday

Day 117 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and today is Education Sunday at my church. My mom and the other Sunday school teachers will speak, and whatever kids are there will be included. Several are on vacation. School's out!!

The mom-in-church thing is one of the reasons I did not make it to Ohio this weekend to visit my alma mater, pun intended, on a reunion weekend. Sigh... I am so not hip in my humor. (I make myself laugh, though. Sometimes through my nose. Anyhoo....! Gesundheit.)

Also, my mom is my real alma mater. She's why I'm a poet. (For college buds, she told me to do The Belle of Amherst as my senior thesis project, so I did, and I have been in love with Emily Dickinson ever since. So that's why I'm weird! And spend a lot of time in my own back yard. Looking at flowers. Again, anyhoo...!)

What was I saying? Oh! Marty is reading The Death and Life of the Great American School System; How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch. Marty teaches theatre at the local community college, and says this is a very good book, based on Ravitch's 40 years of experience observing education, sometimes as historian, sometimes as Assistant Secretary of Education. Ravitch has changed her mind on education issues, seeing both sides politically and all sides realistically, and now understands that standardized testing, as the foundation for learning and funding, does more harm than good. Marty says it took Ravitch this long to figure out because she didn't have kids in the schools, herself, going through it.

Ravitch has written lots of books. Here's her website.

Richard is reading Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, by Jane Bennett and his written about it in his own blog, where he mentions a "blog-chain reading group." Wow, what a great idea! The Bennett book looks really important, presenting a philosophy of "vital materialism." (I don't want to apply my weird punnish humor, but I do want to say "vital.") Looks like Bennett, like Sandra Steingraber, handles all the complexities in environmental issues, their science, their politics. But I'm not sure. If you are reading Jane Bennett, and/or Sandra Steingraber, you tell me!

It's Education Sunday. Go read something.

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