:bibliography annotations

Additional Annotations:






The Great Good Place: Cafes, coffee shops, community centers, beauty parlors, general stores, bars, hangouts, and how theyget you through the day
Contributor: Eric Crump

Illich & Holt & others talk about what productive and enriching and powerful learning looks like and how schools either fail to support or actively resist good learning. Oldenburg doesn't refer to either of Illich or Holt (near as I can tell), but he describes the kind of place where their kind of learning happens as a matter of course, places where conversation and comradery are the norm, credentials left at the door. What's interesting to consider and explore is the extent to which 'third places' naturally form and can be cultivated on the net.

Tradition and Revolution
Contributor: Eric Crump

A collection of essays based on the Frank Gerstein Lecture series. Authors include Ivan Illich, C.S. Holling, George Grant, Robert Lifton, Harold Taylor, and Jacob Bronowski, with an introduction by Rubinoff.

Much of the book may seem a bit dated by its authors' references to the then-current counterculture movements, but that's understandable since lectures, unlike most print-based essays, are more explicitly situated in particular times & places.

Probably the most interesting text (to me, anyway) was Rubinoff's intro: "The Crisis of Modernity: The Implicit Barbarism of Technology" and that's because he comes up with one of those ideas that is so contrary to common sense that it makes sense: an apo logy for barbarism.

The structure of barbarism is ambivalent. In its most pathological form it marks a regressive return to the 'war of all with all'.... On some occasions, however, it arises as a necessary stge in the dialectic of self-recovery. That is to say, there are ti mes when barbarism can be comprehended as a way back to sanity, as an experience through which society seeks to recover its lost integrity and virtue.
...which reminds me of the oscillations between order and disorder that chaos theory talks about.

It Takes a Village
Contributor: John McLaughlin

Appeared in the Fall of 1996, a summary of the arguments in favor of the Clintons' educational proposals, containing brief, readable summaries of Howard Gardner's "multiple intelligences" theory, etc. Liable to be an important guide to Clinton policy in this term.

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
Contributor: John McLaughlin

A restatement, on a number of levels, of the importance of emotional content of thinking, in coming to rational decisions, and on ability to interact with with other human beings. Lotsa commonsense "daily living" tips.

Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice: A reader
Contributor: John McLaughlin

Closely-argued discussions for running schools along lines which accept and take into account in curriculum planning etc Gardner's earlier developed theory (1983) of multiple intelligences, to go beyond the verbal and numerical reasoning abilities normally signified or measured by standard IQ testing.

The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think & How Schools Should Teach
Contributor: John McLaughlin

A tribute, not only in its title, to John Holt's work in introducing Piaget into classroom practice, but going beyond it to discuss how schools might look if, for instance, artistic endeavor was accepted as central to school work, given multiple intelligences.

'I Won't Learn From You' And Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment
Contributor: John McLaughlin

A series of essays on bad teaching and bad schools, in defense of rebellious kids who don't surrender to the system. Exhausting account of thre courage it takes to try to stay within and work thro the system.

Horace's School: Redesigning the American High School
Contributor: John McLaughlin

A fictive discussion of the role of a committee charged with fundamental redesign of an American high school; Horace is a teacher on the committee, so of course it's recognized as not solely his school. The book gave A Family of Artists the courage to demand of local school authorities that they accept periodic gallery showings as a legitimate method of assessment of our outcomes.

Generation X Goes to College
Contributor: Larry Jeffryes

A critical look at Generation X and what postmodern culture roots

A Post-Modern Perpecive on Curriculum
Contributor: Larry Jeffryes

Playing the Future
Contributor: Larry Jeffryes

The End of Education
Contributor: Larry Jeffryes

Desctartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain
Contributor: John McLaughlin

Based on Damasio's neurological practice with brain-damaged patients, it discusses clinical evidence that the absence of emotion interferes with rational decision making.

Genesis: A New Translation of the Classic Biblical Stories
Contributor: John McLaughlin

Prepared to accompany his involvement in the PBS series on the topic, by the translator of *Tao Te Ching* and *The Book of Job,* this translation separate out the various authors of the first book of The Bible, and discusses the effect of this methodology on his reading of The book.

Genesis: A Living Conversation
Contributor: John McLaughlin

The companion to the PBS series now running on better TV sets everywhere, this contains not only transcripts of the discussions, edited after the fact to expand their context, but also color plates drawn from a variety of sources -- illuminated manuscripts, postmodern paintings, the art of Wm Blake, etc-- to enrich the reading of The Book.

Free to Learn: Unlocking and Ungrading American Education
Contributor: Eric Crump

A programmatic blueprint for enacting a learner-centered education system, sort of like translating Holt's and Illich's approaches into an institutional model. And that's the strength and weakness of their plan.

On one hand, this book could be seen as a practical response to skeptics who might say that progressive educators of the 60s had some fine ideas but never got around to figuring out how to implement them. Martin & Harrison attempt to bring Utopian vis ions into the realm of actual practice.

On the other hand, their book is largely a scenario based on ideal circumstances--a kind of 'this-is-what-we-would-do-if-real-life-didn't-get-in-the-way' extended daydream. I found it valuable and compelling nonetheless. Probably because I'm an incurable daydreamer and stubborn optimist (well, most of the time).

I don't usuallly read books clear through, but I read this cover-to-cover, in part because the idealistic scheme was compelling in its own right, in part because I wanted to see if they managed to address economic and political implications. They take a s tab at them at the very end, but never really get into the mess of how their blueprint might be implemented.

This is a good book for revolutionaries and evolutionaries anyway. Treat it as first step, something to use as leverage for a next step.

To Open Minds
Contributor: Eric Crump

This book sheds a new light on Gardner's work developing theories of multiple intelligences by introducing culture as a variable. He introduces his own theories and his own perspective and sensibilities as an American of German-Jewish descent in or der to set the stage for his experiences in China during the 1980s as an exchange scholar studying arts education. The book explores the question of how culture affects conceptions of intelligence and education. Gardner's portrayals of China's pedagogical tendencies in many ways simply confirms western notions (prejudices?) of how rigid and tyrannical Red China is. Gardner, to his credit, fully acknowledges the influence of his position as a westerner on his reading of Chinese pedagogy. That, in fact, is the point of the book.

Revolting Photography?
Contributor: You

Revolutionary Criticism and Campaigning

Leadership and the New Science: Learning About Organization from an Ordery Universe
Contributor: Eric Crump

An unapologetic application of current scientific theory to human-scale phenomena (organizations). Wheatley notes that even some scientists recognize science as essentially metaphoric, and since metaphor is the bread and butter of humanist endeavor, it's upon that bridge that Wheatley totes stuff like chaos and quantum mechanics, translating them into language organzation theoriest and organization managers can easily grok.

I suppose in the process some of the science gets oversimplified, but so it goes. She does a great job of making difficult concepts accessible.

And in the process she does something that's probably more important than scientific precision and thoroughness: She shows the relationship between scientific thought and social movement, how the way we work and how we work together is transforming, not only by dint of these new ideas, but because of new social and economic conditions as well.

Her ideas seem both relevant to and descriptive of Interversity (a new kind of educational organization!). This book could be a kind of conceptual guide for us as we continue to give shape to this project.



The Case Against College
Contributor: Eric Crump

The main theme of this book is that higher education, generally, has become in many ways and for many people, a kind of very expensive extended playpen, a place to stash young people who society deems not ready for the workforce but too unmanageable to keep at home. It's a place for young people to simmer a bit, to age. Bird makes a case that people learn little in the way of substantial and useful information and skills, but mainly bide their time until they can get a degree that helps them get a job, whereupon they begin to learn what they really need to know. Meantime, colleges are in the business of wooing students and persuading their parents to invest large sums of money to support faculty and services that aren't really very useful or essential. A big scam, really, that society foists upon itself by insisting that college is the prerequisite for most of the elite jobs in economy, when in no very substantial way does it prepare people for those jobs. Bird makes no pretense at objectivity. Provocative stuff.

Freedom and Beyond
Contributor: Eric Crump

This book is Holt's answer to Illich's Deschooling Society. In some ways it's a kind of Declaration of Independence from the stultifying effects of education as a bureaucratic institution that has evolved past its original purposes and now exists for its own sake, its own perpetuation, rather than for the people it ostensibly serves. Holt portrays bureaucracy as a veritable tyrany in our midst and with our blessing, a sanctioned limit to freedom to learn. One of my favorite quotes from the book: "One way of defining a bureaucracy might be that it is an organization that has learned so much from the past that it can't learn anything from the present" (45).

Tolstoy's Dictaphone: Technology and the Muse
Contributor: Michelle Rogge

This is a group of essays by literary writers, discussing their reactions to technology.

Minutes of the Lead Pencil Club
Contributor: Alan Rea

It's a collection of writers reacting against technologies. . .

pagan meditations
Contributor: kate scrivener

One of two excellent books from the tradition of archetypal psychology which explores patterns of living display of timeless types of personality (or personnae). Especially helpful in explicating feminine (note -- not necessarily female) types so long obscured by the rational, analytical, light, active principles.

pagan graces
Contributor: kate scrivener

See Pagan Meditations

How children think and how schools should teach
Contributor: John Mc Laughlin

A post-modern perpective on curriculum
Contributor: Larry Jeffryes

Playing the future
Contributor: John Mc Laughlin