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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

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Maybe We Should Start Something
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Trar Away
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Post: #61
Maybe We Should Start Something

I think a wiki is the most fluid way to assemble information, but I may be wrong. We could always use alternate avenues, though. I said I recalled seeing an off-site wiki that looked more like Wikipedia a while back. Perhaps we should use that if it's still around.

I foresee differences in opinion when it comes to talking about changing public education. We'll have to debate civilly above all else and find common ground. I'd talk about the differences in Gates' and Ravitch's opinions more, but it's late and I got GED stuff tomorrow. Shouldn't be even on SS but go figure Razz Honestly I'm more on Ravitch's side, but when it comes to government-mandated education Gates may have a point on making sure it's not shitty. I say this because I believe the government can and should still teach the absolute basics, more or less.
(This post was last modified: 12-16-2013 03:14 PM by Trar.)
12-16-2013 03:11 PM
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James Comey Away
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Post: #62
Maybe We Should Start Something

Could you link to the said wiki?

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12-16-2013 03:17 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #63
RE: Maybe We Should Start Something

(12-16-2013 03:11 PM)Trar Wrote:  I think a wiki is the most fluid way to assemble information, but I may be wrong. We could always use alternate avenues, though. I said I recalled seeing an off-site wiki that looked more like Wikipedia a while back. Perhaps we should use that if it's still around.

I've been working with Rizzoma... its live-text ability and forum-like threading make it very useful. It's somewhat wiki-like as well. PM me for threads... you can login with a Google account. It's very useful for collaboration, and could be a staging area toward making a wiki geared at the public.

Re: wikis, I found a number of wikis that thematically relate, but they're not School Survival (despite using those keywords):

https://nmstips.wikispaces.com/
http://teacherssurvivalguide.wikispaces.com/
http://freshmanseminarbirney.wikispaces....IGH+SCHOOL
http://twentyfirstcenturytransition.wikispaces.com/
http://shs.wikia.com/wiki/Surviving_High_School_Wiki (this is a phone app game)
http://nickelodeon.wikia.com/wiki/Ned%27...ival_Guide (the show that sparked a discussion here...)

...and google even came up with the one here... Smile

http://www.school-survival.net/wiki/Main_Page

(12-16-2013 03:11 PM)Trar Wrote:  I foresee differences in opinion when it comes to talking about changing public education. We'll have to debate civilly above all else and find common ground. I'd talk about the differences in Gates' and Ravitch's opinions more, but it's late and I got GED stuff tomorrow. Shouldn't be even on SS but go figure Razz Honestly I'm more on Ravitch's side, but when it comes to government-mandated education Gates may have a point on making sure it's not shitty. I say this because I believe the government can and should still teach the absolute basics, more or less.

One issue with Ravitch is that she's expressed opposition to homeschooling/unschooling, and self-directed learning. She seems to support the notion that all teacher requires formally credentialed "teachers."

I see a major problem with that, especially for the many people who do suffer in those schools, and feel like they aren't learning much.

For example, Lisa Nielsen, who works in public education but supports the option of homeschooling (and other alternative models), wrote this post a year ago, regarding a post Ravitch made where she linked to an article that's worth reading to get a better sense of this:

Tell Diane Ravitch that bashing homeschooling & online learning is not a gift

There are more pieces to this whole education ecosystem... and so much of it is now in the form of online exchanges like this, or conversations that at least some people blog about.

Another player in all this, on the government side, is Arne Duncan, the current US Secretary of Education. A number of teachers, especially those aligned with Ravitch and the large Facebook group Badass Teachers Association, see Duncan, Gates, and others as out to destroy public education. However, I think there's more to the picture than that.

Nikhil Goyal, another person in this edu-talk-ecosystem (whose talks I've linked here before) wrote an article criticizing Duncan a while back. Here's a G+ share from George Station, an active G+ user who works higher ed: https://plus.google.com/103316555196135859733/posts/2brv4xoZhsW

However, even Duncan supports the idea that a lot has to be done in specific schools and learning situations -- top-down mandates can only go so far. No matter who became Secretary of Education, there's so much more to it these days than just the regulations that get passed, or the funding that gets assigned (though those are important topics as well.)

Here's a clip from Duncan promoting a campaign to raise awareness of "Open Education Resources" like Khan Academy and the like:



Watch on YouTube

It takes a while to become familiar with all the people, arguments, and narratives out there. I'm not sure what the best way to introduce all I've found is... but these walls of content I post are a start.

One group to consider is Badass Teachers Association, which started as a Facebook group started by college professor Mark Naison and unschooling mom Priscilla Sanstead. I got to know Priscilla in 2012 through another Facebook group called UnCollege Network, and we talked quite a bit about the question of how to help facilitate conversations between parents and their kids, and help people figure out educational decisions... particularly with her blog College Reality Chat and still-active FB group College Reality Chat.

Badass Teachers, or "BATs", are oriented around being a support and activist community for teachers... specifically defending teachers and public education against attacks, including by what they see as those out to destroy public education, which they see as Gates, Duncan, the Common Core, Teach For America, and so on.

Their Facebook group has over 34,000 members, helped in part by some press articles and posts by Ravitch. This post by Ravitch, re-posted on the BAT blog, is provides a good explanation of some of what's driving all this:

Message of Support from Diane Ravitch to the Badass Teachers Association

There's a huge amount of activity and very long discussion threads in their FB group... it's a challenge to even begin to make sense of it all. There's been a variety of controversy within the group, over the name as well as views. There are so many different kinds of teachers, and things like charter schools are seen as a bad thing by many who seek to defend mainstream public education. (In practice, some are good and some are bad... but that's a whole topic to explore.)

The BATs actually are doing "actions" to protest things, but I'm still wondering how the voices of learners themselves can fit into all of this... especially those who are trapped in what they feel are "prison-like conditions" that eat up all their time, while the world is full of information, content, choices, and paths... more so than ever given the connectivity explosion of the past few years.

At some point, it comes down to the question of what each person is going to do... how they're going to figure out life, earn a living, find others to work, play, and live with, and all of that.

Are single-subject classrooms with desks in rows and learning measured by "time spent sitting in a seat" and bubble-fill standardized tests? Probably not. But there is the question of how to measure learning when governments and organizations see education as a good thing, and are spending a LOT of money on it.

Student Voice is one group advocating for the voices of students, at least within schools themselves... but student choice is the next level of this... not just about which school, but about how they use their time.

And speaking of time... I've gotta go earn some money, and this wall of text is already quite long... a burden on your time (especially if you click and read all the links... and the links they lead too...)

But that's what learning takes, some kind of investment in engaging with some kind of material and experiences. How can that process be made more interesting and compelling? That question is one place to start.

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12-17-2013 03:09 AM
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Trar Away
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Post: #64
Maybe We Should Start Something

"How can that process be made more interesting and compelling?"

I think we at SS have some good leads on how to answer that Razz

As for connecting to the BATs? Explaining to them that the students need more agency and that to progress with education transformation may not mean every teacher who has a job now will have it in the future would be a good start. I think a neutral-ground discussion area would be best, like G+.
12-21-2013 03:09 AM
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Post: #65
RE: Maybe We Should Start Something

(11-16-2012 11:07 AM)SubCulture Wrote:  I don't know. I just think we should stop complaining and start reforming. The thing is, WE ARE SO CLOSE. And yet, so far. Pretty much EVERYONE that's in school hates it, but they've been told all their lives that school is good. It terrible!! Maybe i'm being too optimistic, but I think we can DO SOMETHING to get the ball rolling. Just one little thing; a boycott, a protest, a damn FACEBOOK POST can erupt into a revolution. Maybe I'm crazy, but it isn't hopeless. We just need to do something.


11/17- Wow. Someone put this as important? Thank you!!!


There is more to that. There's already fighting. There's rebeling. There's war. There's cyber-war. They're Anonymous.

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03-02-2014 12:32 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: Maybe We Should Start Something

(03-02-2014 12:32 AM)iChaosDevice Wrote:  
(11-16-2012 11:07 AM)SubCulture Wrote:  I don't know. I just think we should stop complaining and start reforming. The thing is, WE ARE SO CLOSE. And yet, so far. Pretty much EVERYONE that's in school hates it, but they've been told all their lives that school is good. It terrible!! Maybe i'm being too optimistic, but I think we can DO SOMETHING to get the ball rolling. Just one little thing; a boycott, a protest, a damn FACEBOOK POST can erupt into a revolution. Maybe I'm crazy, but it isn't hopeless. We just need to do something.


11/17- Wow. Someone put this as important? Thank you!!!

There is more to that. There's already fighting. There's rebeling. There's war. There's cyber-war. They're Anonymous.

Yeah, but these various things aren't changing some of the fundamental underlying problems with factory-model schools, dysfunctional hopes, people being nasty to each other, and war and fighting itself.

The problem with war, in general, is that it tends to be based on a zero-sum, or "win-lose" set of circumstances. Person A is going to destroy person B and get something they want, or whatever. This differs from a very different way of thinking about the world, and bringing about change: non-zero-sum, or potentially "win-win-win" outcomes.

This means, rather than just bashing dysfunctional, disliked institutions like schools, learn how they work, and figure out new ways of doing what they claim to do... that leave participants energized and improved, rather than drained and beaten down.

It's worth noting that this thread didn't appear years ago here on SS. The idea of change has long been connected here with some kind of far-off dream, personally dropping out of the mess, or through things like protests and rebellion that are all-but-guaranteed to stir up overwhelming resistance.

I think the potential for transformative, positive change is greater than it's been in past years, but there's still a lot of work to do to make it happen, starting with mindsets and skillsets of would-be-transformers.

It's easy to stay stuck in "factory-model thinking," even while trying to reject it, if that's the only thing one has known. And, the results can be a bit uncomfortable, at least at first.

So, what's next in this process of building new learning environments? For one, developing our own methods of doing and demonstrating learning that others can recognize as credible and worth talking about in positive terms.

Thoughts?

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03-02-2014 01:09 AM
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Post: #67
RE: Maybe We Should Start Something

(12-21-2013 03:09 AM)Trar Wrote:  "How can that process be made more interesting and compelling?"

I think we at SS have some good leads on how to answer that Razz

As for connecting to the BATs? Explaining to them that the students need more agency and that to progress with education transformation may not mean every teacher who has a job now will have it in the future would be a good start. I think a neutral-ground discussion area would be best, like G+.

Yes, definitely. I think one step there is getting a bit more coherence and productivity going on our end. We actually need to build and model those new ways of doing teaching and learning, in order for many existing educators, admins, and parents to understand.

I'd like to get more activity going on G+... there are potential allies to SS there, but engaging them requires going on G+, reading their posts, commenting, and plussing them into things.

And... I think it would help a lot to begin doing Hangouts with these various people... too many of these conversations happen in silos. But, practicing things like that can help lead to better results when people from different worlds do end up communicating... and, hopefully, collaborating.

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03-02-2014 01:14 AM
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Post: #68
Maybe We Should Start Something

I apologize for the necro, but xcriteria's post in that thread lead me here. This thread was one of the main reasons for my creating the Abolish Compulsory Schooling movement. Smile

A couple of months ago I lurked through old threads on SS from users that encouraged for a movement, so to speak, to upstart. This thread was a major encouragement for mine.

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11-02-2014 01:58 AM
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Maybe We Should Start Something

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11-02-2014 03:51 AM
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RE: Maybe We Should Start Something

Private schools dont get regulated afaik beyond basic stuff.

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11-02-2014 11:48 AM
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Post: #71
Maybe We Should Start Something

A lot has happened since this thread started, and since the last activity here... it's wonderful to see. But more needs to be done.

Boyinaband/Dave Brown's "Don't Stay In School" video got millions of views, and sparked two follow-up videos and a livestream. The question is, what next?

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One thing everyone can do is start to reach out to our growing number of allies and let them know how you feel, and what you think needs to be done to change things. That tweet is an example of an opportunity... you can view the tweet and reply at https://twitter.com/DavePBrown/status/58...8800586752 -- it's time to go from waiting, to taking action.

I think it would help enormously if he produced the video he mentioned in his last education-related video, about alternatives... as well as addressing the issue of parents not listening, and how to pursue conversations with them. What do you all think?

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