Download Lying About the Wolf: Essays in Culture and Education by David Solway PDF

By David Solway

Addressing many of the significant modern matters in schooling, fairly illiteracy and the turning out to be mediocrity in educational functionality, this paintings argues that the present scenario in schooling is the outcome no longer easily of negative education in undemanding tuition or the disappearance of grammatical research from the general curriculum yet of a bigger cultural challenge. The paintings means that scholars within the Nineteen Nineties, raised in a non-historical and iconic surroundings, don't reside in time as an emergent, non-stop medium during which the complexities of expertise are parsed and arranged. It claims that their mental global is essentially without syntax - of causal, differential, and temporal kinfolk among occasions. the end result, it argues, is a cultural international characterised via an enormous subpopulation of younger (and no longer so younger) humans for whom the prior is an unsubstantiated hearsay and the longer term an unacknowledged accountability. The publication claims also that modern educators became cultural speculators who overlook a simple fact approximately how the brain develops, particularly that it has to be grounded actually and time.

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Evans Pritchard PHD (later signalized as "excellent" by the martinet headmaster) recommends as a test of relative merit a kind of trigonometric manipulation whereby a sonnet of Shakespeare can be measured against and rated superior to one by Byron. 34 Lying about the Wolf The crassest instrumentalism triumphs in the teaching of literature, a point that excites disbelief and indignation in the heart of even the most sceptical viewer. It is immediately clear that we have come upon a telling and pervasive symbol, the modus operandi of the introduction suggesting an attitude to the educational transaction that considers it as essentially a quantifying procedure, every unit of instruction bearing, as it were, a price tag, a list of ingredients, and a specific weight establishing its status as a marketable commodity.

But this is a terrible mistake. The motive itself behind the new mediaoriented pedagogy, invoking the potential of television as a model or template for "deep processing of thought," is both understandable and even laudable: the desire to find ways of teaching a distressingly non-teachable student population by drawing on the electronic paradigm currently in place rather than on the humanistic encyclopedia of knowledge and methodology in order to create a responsive environment. But the problem here is that it simply doesn't work, regardless of how advanced and enlightened the new procedure may appear.

It provides an instance of first-level decodability that does not invite the viewer to subject its protocols, functions, and techniques to second-level analysis unless the viewer has already profited by continuous exposure to the procedures of a symbolic, differential, rigorously coded, non-iconic, linguistic, and transformative educational structure. To put it differently, we cannot expect to see what seeing involves unless we have first learned to write and converse. Thus television, video, and film, when we succumb to the temptations of indiscriminate and unfiltered enjoyment they proffer, are directly respon- Grammatical Fictions 27 sible for the diffusions of attention and thought that make education a nearunworkable proposition today.

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