Sunday, June 26, 2011

What is an education for, anyway?

This top documentary is a pretty good answer to the USA dilemma where grade competition and test scores have left our children full of need.

"Children Full of Life" should be a staple of teacher education, is it? Please take a few minutes out of your day to view this very moving and informative work that applies to anyone who has ever been a child or who plans on bringing one into the world.

"Mr. Kanamori, a teacher of a 4th grade class, teaches his students not only how to be students, but how to live. He gives them lessons on teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying." (from the Top Documentary website, retrieved 6/19/11)

Thank you Robin, for bringing this to my attention.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Urban Wildlife

We share the planet with other living things. Living things provide valuable services that maintain life throughout ecosystems, big and small. As our species has gone on a resource grabbing binge enabled by policies and practices developed from myopic elitism, materialism and ego imbalance, we are in a sense "eating ourselves to death." We are told this creates jobs and economic growth. And yes, this provides jobs and pushes consumerism, but is it really the best we can do. Is this the highest goal of humankind?

I think not!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Adjusting "Family Values" or Phoenix Rising

In the book, The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (2003) there are many passages that highlight women in civic and social movements throughout the nation’s history. The laundry workers marches for better pay, the infamous sweat shop fire that brought attention to the inhumane treatment of thousands, the women involved in the civil rights movement, more. Many of these women had children and families that they were either helping to support or they were the sole support. In this history of bonding and uniting to make changes in systems bent on usury, they stood together. And as the military, industrial (corporate), government complex pushes for more power; women are coming together to question and counter these forces once again. Is this a new kind of feminism, a new movement or a radical change in paradigm?

After several decades of shifting family values, women are adjusting to the changes and speaking up in new ways. Acknowledging that what was won through the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960’s was less satisfying than expected; there is a questioning of goals and values. In the gap, attempts to reestablish conservative more traditional expectations and roles, cloaked as a return to “family values” are being launched in the media by various groups seeking to stabilize their institutions. (Churches, far right conservatives etc.) This may appeal to some but others are seeking to go forward, into new territory.

In this shuffle, a new feminine archetype is emerging. With a sense of purpose and urgency, women are seeking to take the lessons learned from the past and combining them as a means to inform a new balance between the individual and the cultural psyche.

More at "Sustainable Fashion-the Papers"