Category Archives: Activism

Activism

What is a ‘Quality’ Education? (Advice for Policy-Makers on Implementing the New Sustainable Development Goal for Education)


(See the full infographic here)   I love the United Nations's new Global Goals for Sustainable Development (GGSDs). I'm one of those strange people who is always optimistic that a better world is within our reach (perhaps because I spend … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, Thinking

How to Stop Being Stupid (Part 3: Back to Basics)


Back to Basics Part 1 of How to Stop Being Stupid here Part 2 here

Posted in Activism, Advice, Humour, Self-edification | Tagged , , , , ,

The 10 Non-Commandments (For Humanists)


Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true. The scientific method is the most reliable way of … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Atheism, Critical Thinking, Thinking | Tagged , ,

Critical Thinking is Everyone’s Responsibility


There you are: enjoying a nice meal in a nicely priced restaurant. Nothing too fancy, just a basic meal and some good company. And then the squeals begin. And the crying. And the shouting. And the nagging. And the running … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Atheism, Critical Thinking, Intelligence, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Traditional Education is Almost as Dangerous as None at All


  You tell me education will solve all the nation's problems in one fell swoop. Get kids learning you say. The rest follows. I tell you: Traditional education is almost as dangerous as none at all. If you really want … Continue reading

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There’s No Tomorrow (Excerpts from the Movie)


“There’s No Tomorrow” (Excerpts From the Hard-Hitting Animated Documentary.) Catch the movie here: http://www.incubatepictures.com/index.shtml INTRODUCTION It took nature about 5 million years to create the fossil fuels that the world consumes in 1 year. The modern way of life is … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Economics, Environmental | Tagged , , ,

Home (Excerpted Quotes from the Movie by Yann Arthus-Bertrand)


HOME by Yann Arthus-Bertrand (EXCERPTS) Catch the movie here: http://www.yannarthusbertrand.org/en/films-tv/home Today, life, our life, is just a link in a chain of innumerable living beings that have succeeded one another on Earth over nearly four billion years. Our Earth relies … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Economics, EDUCATION, Environmental | Tagged , , , , ,

The Education Revolution vs The Scourge of Standardized Assessment: What Really Matters


Teachers: Let’s be brutally honest shall we: exam results are all that matters in education. Bottom line. Don’t misunderstand: What students can regurgitate and explain and do in a stress-fueled few hours should not be the ultimate end of their … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, EDUCATION | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No, We Are Not Civilized. Or, Why the 21st Century is Still Stuck in the 12th (The Persistence of Middle-Ages Mentality in the Modern Age)


Hans Rosling has shown us that the world is getting better. We have by far the greatest proportion of humanity moving out of absolute poverty that we have ever had. At the same time, Stephen Pinker proves that, remarkably, we … Continue reading

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I Have a Dream: The Future of Education


I have dream that one day students will be more important than syllabi. In the not too distant future, education will be a collaborative enterprise, with teachers and students assuming shifting roles as coaches, mentors and learners.

Posted in Activism, EDUCATION | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Terminal Tailspin (Why We Need a New Economic Order)


Even as the world economy falters, its champions are already predicting that the disease which afflicts it, though malign, is not terminal. They predict an ‘up turn’ within a few years of what is a very expected and ‘natural’ ‘down-turn’. … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Economics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Occupy Education: On Using the Occupy Movements’ Hand Gestures to Stimulate Engagement in Flat Classrooms


Image credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b1/OccupyHandSignals.pdf/page1-1240px-OccupyHandSignals.pdf.jpg Hands up if you’ve heard of the Occupy movements which have sprung up all over the States and elsewhere in the last few years. For the benefit of those who did not raise their hands, here’s what … Continue reading

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The Passing of Greed – The Greatest Speech Ever Given (Transcript)


The following speech comes from a movie called The Great Dictator starring Charlie Chaplin. It is a moving and empassioned plea against greed and cruelty and an exhortation to humanity to create a better world. Sadly, it is as relevant … Continue reading

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What About the Girls?


‘In telling girls they are more compliant and easier to manage, are we not reinforcing the stereotype that women in general need to be this way?’ That is, when we teach girls, most of us note how much more diligent, compliant and measured they are. They study better, are less disruptive and can manage their work and time better.

But what if this view of girls actually socializes them into being this way when they leave school? And what if this kind of gender stereotyping is the worst thing we can do for girls? I have no doubt that we need to be doing more for boys in our classrooms, Continue reading

Posted in Activism, EDUCATION | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Declining National Assessment Standards Hurts Kids


You would think that lowering the standards of final national exams in South Africa would be good news for kids. Easier exams mean more of them pass more easily. And top students can clean up. You would be wrong. Easier … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, South Africa, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Defending Mediocrity: Examiners and their Apologists in South Africa


Excuse me while I rant a bit… In South Africa, there are two alternative examination authorities: those set under the auspices of the Government (the National Senior Certificate – NSC) and those set by an Independent Examinations Board (the IEB). … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, South Africa, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Missing In Our Classrooms?


Providing a more relevant education to young people is one of the key issues we face in building a better world. By now, we are all aware that education must go beyond the rote memorization of disconnected facts, and must … Continue reading

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Why Success Leads to Failure (Steve Jobs & the End of the World)


Let’s talk about Steve Jobs. I think enough time has gone by since his passing that we can move beyond the mystique and be brutally honest. What Jobs teaches us, on a fundamental level, is that to be successful in … Continue reading

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Why Teacher Strikes Are Good for Students


In any democratic country, the rights of workers to engage in industrial action to ensure a fair wage and decent working conditions are protected by law. Whether it is ‘work to rule’ or outright strike action, many of the world’s … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, EDUCATION, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Students to Teachers (Part 2): Education is Supposed to Produce Independent Thinkers, Not Answering Machines.


This is the second in the series of letters to teachers from students. This time, a young man in Grade 12 talks about how we are missing the point of education by obsessing about marks and assessments. He insists that his … Continue reading

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