Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some thoughts on Rick Ayers' "An Inconvenient Superman"

"[S]ome charters are known to discourage less academically inclined students from enrolling." — Los Angeles Times

California Charter Schools Association Charlatans are a vehicle for vouchers
Rick Ayers' excellent essay entitled An Inconvenient Superman: Davis Guggenheim's New Film Hijacks School Reform
points out Guggenheim's embrace of the banking concept of pedagogy. This is first pointed out on Fred Klonsky's blog:

Waiting for Superman accepts a theory of learning that is embarrassing in its stupidity. In one of its many little cartoon segments, it purports to show how kids learn. The top of a child's head is cut open and a jumble of factoids is poured in. Ouch! Oh, and then the evil teacher union and regulations stop this productive pouring project. The film-makers betray no understanding of how people actually learn, the active and agentive participation of students in the learning process. They ignore the social construction of knowledge, the difference between deep learning and rote memorization. The film unquestioningly bows down to standardized tests as the measure of student knowledge, school success.

Here were my comments on Davis Guggenheim and this hideous portrayal of how human beings learn:

"Problem posing education does not and cannot serve the interests of the oppressor" — Paulo Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed

But the banking system of education does, and that's why the film depicts "The top of a child's head is cut open and a jumble of factoids is poured in."

Broad, Gates, Tilson, Hastings, Fischer, and all the other nefarious funders of school privatization believe wholeheartedly in the banking system of pedagogy -- for working people of course. One of the telling symptoms of these late stages of neoliberalism is that these rulers now treat their own working class as colonial subjects.

The smug Davis Guggenheim looks down at all of us with the condescending banking notion. Smart rich white male saviors like himself will liberate us from evil teachers who might challenge us to develop critical thinking skills.

Later, when a winger tries to attribute Davis' disgusting film to white guilt, I have this to say:

My original comment had little to do with so-called white guilt, and everything to do with paternalism. Namely, what Freire calls the "the false generosity of paternalism," which the oppressor often extends to the colonized as a means of maintaining their roles.

The charter-voucher industry and their propagandists might put on an occasional liberal veneer, but underneath they're free market worshiping snake oil salesman who are making a killing gorging at the trough of pubic funds.


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