Sunday, December 13, 2009
Alan Singer on Bill Gates
In a column that resembles an old Bracey gem, Alan Singer takes Bill Gates to school regarding the billionaire's decision to abandon small schools in favor of the market-friendly (and anti-union) charter schools that are set to expand across the country. No, these aren't the mom and pop variety that were originally envisioned as rough experiments in alternative forms of education that regular public schools could learn from - we're talking the Wal-Martization of public schools looking to replace our public education system.
Additionally, Gates will try to find the best teachers and then spread their abilities amongst the masses through digital lectures, which neglects to recognize that students and teachers have, uh, a connection between each other that's more than digital: it's a human connection, when done correctly, and recognizes students are not (and should not be) passive consumers of information but active participants engaged in dialogue and construction of knowledge both with their teachers and peers. Technotwits like Gates and his philanthro-capitalist pals do not understand this concept.
Here's a snippet from the essay, which is a must-read: