- Capitalism and Alternatives -

More books!

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on June 29, 1999 at 16:45:56:

In Reply to: Learning. posted by Red Deathy on June 29, 1999 at 15:08:26:

: : Its addressing your dichotomoy between 'innocent children' and changing the system which would necessitate a lowering for some of those children which you must consider appropriate and which those very many parents would not.

: The point is to level up not down, most higher class schools do not give a quantiively 'better' education,

SDF: Actually, working in a set of "lower class schools" as I do, I can say with some degree of certaintly that the higher class schools give in one sense a quantitatively 'better' education. THERE ARE MORE BOOKS IN THE UPPER CLASS CLASSROOMS. This makes an important difference for students between the ages of five and nine, who are often trying to learn how to read. Professor Stephen Krashen of USC argues, rather persuasively I might add, that no strategy for teaching reading works as well as allowing children access to a wide variety of literatures and giving them free time to select and read books. Schooling doesn't inaugurate this strategy when the school will not purchase enough books.

The solution IMHO is obvious. Everyone benefits with a society of widespread literacy, there's always something interesting to read in a society where everyone can write well, as opposed to for instance Latin American societies before the beginning of the 19th century, which achieved less than maybe 5% literacy and produced no important literature to speak of. The enormous waste of capitalist society needs to be harnessed into producing books for lower-class schools. Here in America it could mean channeling away a mere trickle of the enormous wealth going to military production. For me, personally, it means getting a salaried position as a full-time elementary school teacher so that I can afford more books for my own personal classroom, rather than merely having a satchel of books which I carry from room to room, school to school.

: what they instead give is the relevent social networks and specific identifying markers and skills, to allow someone to function as a member of the higher class.

SDF: Or, more specifically, and what amounts to the same thing, upper-class schools validate the parenting strategies of parents who have more books at home to share with their children.

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