Saturday, February 27, 2016

Target practice...

High up above a lark was singing joyfully.

I sat there in the bunker feeling rather smug, smoking.

Not only I had got out of games but I was being paid to do so.



We hardly noticed the 'tac, tac, tac' above our heads.

Suddenly a flag was raised and we raced up the butts to reposition the targets.

The ammunition was live.

The target practice goes on...

In 2001, in the UK,  40,509 kids were receiving military training, including weapons training while at school.

The Ministry of Defence funds a 'youth organisation' whose aim is to:

 "provide a disciplined organisation in a school so that pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance". 

but it acknowledges that one of its objectives is:

"to encourage those who have an interest in the services to become Officers of the Regular or Reserve Forces"

Source http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Combined_Cadet_Force

I remember going to see Peter Brook's film version of Lord of the Flies at school.



How relieved we were to be saved from our own savagery...


Whose targets?

In whose interests are 'our' 'educational targets' set?

EDUCATION-INDUSTRIAL-MILITARY-COMPLEX

Is education preparation for war?

Who are we fighting for?

Whose targets?

In whose interests are 'our' 'education targets' set?

WHY EDUCATION PUBLISHING IS BIG BUSINESS

REPORT: BIG EDUCATION FIRMS SPEND MILLIONS LOBBYING FOR PRO-TESTING POLICIES

NO PROFIT LEFT BEHIND

HIGHER ED's OBSCENE PROFIT SCHEME: SCHOOLS, BANKS, AND THE GOVERNMENT WIN - YOU DROWN IN DEBT.

HERE'S A BIG REASON WHY AMERICANS HAVE $1.16 TRILLION IN STUDENT DEBT.

Is education a market for companies to profit from our children?

Who are we endebted to?

Whose targets?

In whose interests are 'our' 'education targets' set?

PISA 2012: HAPPINESS OR PERFORMANCE?

Is education preparation for performance?

Who are we performing for?

Resetting targets.

What if we were to reset 'our education targets'?

What if we were better informed as to how these 'our education targets' are currently set?

What if we were to do some research...

  • Who actually is in favour of war?
  • Who actually is in favour of standardised testing?
  • Who actually is in favour of massive student debt?
  • Who actually is in favour of massive inequality?


What if we hypothesise that more people are in favour of peace than war?

What if we spent more money on research into solutions for peace rather than on preparations for war?

What if we spent more time encouraging cooperation rather than competition?

What if we looked to improve happiness more than to develop performance?

I thought about the United Nations Conference COP 21.

I looked at the list of ongoing conflicts on Wikipedia.

I thought of the massive demonstrations in the streets of Paris

I thought of the work of Daniel Bassill in Chicago.

I thought of Terry Elliott blogging on budget cuts in education in Kentucky.

Targeting Peace.

"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war."
Maria Montessori

It so happens that I fell upon a report on French TV late last night into the concept of Altruism.

It highlighted an educational program which sought to reduce violence between kids at school through mindfulness training.

It featured an American academic Richard Davidson from Wisconsin.




It featured a French academic-become-buddhist-monk Matthieu Ricard.





If education is 'the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world' (Nelson Mandela) it is also a battlefield.

There are forces who have massive financial interests in maintaining education in its present state.

There are forces who have massive financial interests in maintaining violent conflict between people.

How can we counter greed?

How can we strive for peace?

Economists are not all convinced in the sustainability or desirability of current exchange systems.

“To put it bluntly, the discipline of economics has yet to get over its childish passion for mathematics and for purely theoretical and often highly ideological speculation, at the expense of historical research and collaboration with the other social sciences.” 
― Thomas PikettyCapital in the Twenty-First Century



I am convinced that we can not remain indifferent to the use of weapons in our societies...




I hear much talk about 'accountability' in education.

I am not against some form of accountability.

There is 'numeric accountability'.

There is 'moral accountability.'













5 comments:

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