Barnaby Spring

Brooklyn, NY, United States

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Barnaby Spring
Posted over 1 year ago
Why are schools taxed with the burden of creative education when it is a parent's responsibility?
Hello to David in my home state of Arizona. Your question has some assumptions that I suspect need some unpacking. The first is about "schools". What are schools and what are they for? Are they for education? Are they for inculcation? Are they for molding? Are they for liberating? Are they for training our kids to be consumers? Are they for helping them to become citizens in a democratic republic and society? All the above? Those questions need to be settled before we get around to figuring out who's to be taxed or burdened. Depending on which school you are in these concepts mean different things to different people for different reasons. it can be a tall order This might seem a rather pedantic way to start off a comment but for me that's "the rub". The meaning and values we charge such words with. We want "critical thinking", for example, up to a point and within the boundaries of a certain container - call it the "school to college and career readiness pipeline" - but beyond that, beyond the pipe...please don't look at that "man" or "corporation" behind the curtain. In other words, we really don't want critical thinking...we want mind control. By "we" I don't mean you and I necessarily - it's an easy trap to fall into. We can go more deeply - as we've done above with the idea of "schools" - with the following ideas brought up in your question. "Tax", "Burden", "Creative", "Education", "Parent", "Responsibility". Folks often assume that they are talking about the same things when they use these words. Not. We are living in increasingly complex and ever-changing times. Meanings are shifting in vast ways...just like the weather. If, for example, those words above are merely tools for a dominant culture to rationalize its oppression of other cultures and have been devoured by a hegemony that is as natural to some as water is to fish...then you're really not asking a question. Then there is the topic of schools to prisons pipelines.
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Barnaby Spring
Posted over 3 years ago
Regina Dugan: From mach-20 glider to hummingbird drone
A powerful teaching tool for educators of secondary and college students. Link this talk to the story of Daedalus, Icarus and what happened to the "wings" in their flying experiement and we'll have something quite juicy. Failure is important and we must be clear about when we cannot afford to fail. Icarus started experimenting and killed himself. Daedalus has a different experience and made it across. When you put this kind of experimentation in the hands of the miliitary industrial complex - you are giving the wings to Icarus. When you put this kind of experimentation in the hands of the kinds of agencies focused on solving problems around education, poverty and violence you put it in the hands of Daedalus - who actually avoids the "look what I can do, I'm not afraid" syndrome - but humbly and perhaps somewhat fearfully, after seeing what happens to his son, makes it across.We need to not be afraid to fail. We must also remember what happens when we get too attached to our our technique and to not thinking through purpose and unintended consequences. This is important when we are talking about exciting, not afraid to fail, developments and prjects that eager problem solving "nerds" work on - but that are ultimatley utlized by the military. Recall the story of the atom bomb. A case of "technique and method, no fear of faillure" was more important than the tragedy of technique and method gone somewhat awry in serving society as applied by the military. Let's not be afraid to ask questions about becomming a more wise, compassionate and caring species. Albert Einstein (a nerd worth remembering) said, "the unleashed atom has changed everything except our way of thinking". There is a way of thinking implied in the question: "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" suggesting the need for a greater paradigm shift in how we think when we think about failure, success and survival of the human species on this planet...including our nerds!
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Barnaby Spring
Posted over 3 years ago
Natalie Warne: Being young and making an impact
Brialliant. Humbling. Inspiring. Makes me hopeful about the resiliency of our kids in American no matter what school or teacher they have. Their inherent wisdom and compasssion is there and they will collaborate together, be led together by one another - and I believe will take good care of themselves and our country and our world. I believe in our youth.