[Marxism] good essay on education

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 10 00:00:53 MDT 2011

Well Manuel of course interesting - very- again.  I intend to re-read the
Foster piece and try and put up a response.  This is all in the middle of
endeavouring to work out what is exactly happening in Australian education.
But the Owl of Minerva does indeed take flight at dusk and all we can do is
to paint grey on grey.  Not for the first time I wish that wonderful
Hegelian thinker, Mark Jones, was still alive to make sense of what is going

Now re de-schooling I had in mind the old libertarian notion of a rejection
of the public education system.  There were lots of de-schoolers around in
the  60s & 70s heavily influenced by A. S. Neill and all that.  I think I
still have some of their literature somewhere. The fact is that I tend to
think that a dose of left wing libertarian thought is essential to any
emancipatory project. So to speculate about your thought having an element
of de-schooling in it, is not a criticism at all. the trick is to get the
correct balance.  If you have dealt with Anarchists you will know how
difficult that is.
I attended a public lecture recently by Charles Leadbeater and what he had
to say about "learning from the extremes" was again interesting.  He
described a process of lots and lots of slum schools springing up in India
because the parents knew that within the state system the teachers did not
come to school. So he seems to be pushing educational innovation outside the
framework of the state system as that system had failed the poor.

Specifically about your use of the term 'post modernist'.  Thank you for the
clarification. I wonder (that word again) if what is going on in your
debates with the social constructionists is not a variation of the structure
-agency debate.  Men make their own history but not as they choose... You
would put the emphasis on structure - gender, class, sexuality - while they
would emphasise the activity or agecny of the learner.  Or is that too
simplistic an interpretation of what you are saying?

Well it's well into Sunday here in Brisbane and a brisk afternoon walk in
the winter air beckons.

comradely regards


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