Friday, December 16, 2005

Borderland - A Northern Attitude

Doug keeps a very thoughtful and deeply interesting blog called Borderland. Right from the tone of its title, down to its blog roll, I can see Doug is a guy I want to be tapped in to.

My trusty friend Jude send me the link to his recent post The line between freedom and authority, because it relates to a recent discussion on the TALO egroup about Internet censorship in our schools.

Maybe its just the profile image and colour scheme of Borderland, but Doug seems to have a lot of patience. Especially in the freedom and authority post, but over all his blog. There aren't emotive calls to action like you might find here on Teach and Learn Online, the voice in it is quiet and humble. There is a zen like consideration in his posts, with valuable links out offering expansion to the perspectives he is considering.

How's this for a quote Doug pulls from Ira Shor, What is Critical Literacy:
The risk and difficulty of democratizing education should be apparent to those who read these lines or to those who have attempted critical literacy, perhaps encountering the awkward position of distributing authority to students who often do not want it or know how to use it….Dewey saw cooperative relations as central to democratizing education and society. To him, any social situation where people could not consult, collaborate, or negotiate was an activity of slaves rather than of a free people. Freedom and liberty are high-profile ‘god-words’ in American life, but, traditionally, teachers are trained and rewarded as unilateral authorities who transmit expert skills and official information, who not only take charge but stay in charge. At the same time, students are trained to be authority-dependent, waiting to be told what things mean and what to do, a position that encourages passive-aggressive submission and sabotage.
Thanks Doug, thanks Jude. Refreshed.

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Jude said...

Leigh I am so glad you enjoyed this blog and thank you for your generosity in sharing your thoughts about it. Thank fully there are a few of you there out there nourishing us!!!

Doug said...

Leigh, it's good to know that I'm connecting with my small effort- from one end of the earth to the other. Thanks for the generous remarks.