Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dominant Culture

I am completely out of step with the society in which I live.

I work at a local Public Radio station, allegedly a bastion of progressive thought. Today we aired a program about education, interviewing an "innovative" teacher who has become very popular because he teaches "relevant" subjects that address the "needs" of his students.

This teacher uses "money" in the classroom, having the students apply for "jobs" for which they are "paid." They "rent" their desks, and can save up money to buy other students' desks, for which they charge "rent." Status in the classroom is based on how much each student "owns."

The program made me so angry, I had to go outside for a walk.

No wonder we can never break the stranglehold of the dominant, capitalist, owner culture when it is constantly reinforced, by the state, in our children. How do we teach alternatives as effectively and as meaningfully as the status quo?

It's all about money. Teachers don't get as much money as CEOs, so teachers are valued less (chicken and egg). So teachers teach "relevant" subjects, to be more popular, to get more money.

It's a downward spiral.