Suggestion 10/29:

This page is getting long. Could posters leave the links here, but move the commentary/discussion to a new page for each book or set of articles, where others can add on?
Just a thought...

To provide links and reviews to the material we find interesting.

Hollowing Out The Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America
Link to book
Learning to Leave: The Irony of Schooling in a Coastal Community
Link to book
Those Who Work, Those Who Don't
Link to book


  • This article is a small portion of Theobald's 2009 Education Now--connecting the 16th c. onward movement of enclosures with contemporary agribusiness deformations in the US and onto implications for rural schooling. It's partly a story of disenfranchisment (loss of "the vote").
  • Earlier email from Mike Smith has a set of helpful links:
http://www.jrre.psu.edu/articles/24-3.pdf Distance education usage in rural schools
http://www.jrre.psu.edu/articles/26-1.pdf Mathematics course-taking in rural high schools
http://www.jrre.psu.edu/articles/26-9.pdf Rural elementary school teachers' technology integration
http://www.jrre.psu.edu/articles/26-10.pdf The possibility of place
http://www.jrre.psu.edu/articles/26-11.pdf Sending off all your treasures

Schiller 0n Naive & Sentimental Poetry.pdf
Schiller 0n Naive & Sentimental Poetry.pdf

Raymond Williams approaches his topic, like Mike Corbett, as a rural insider. So, to continue from our recent discussions (the Marxist notion of economic base determining the cultural superstructure [e.g., philosophy, religion, "morality," math education]: Williams is a lefty culturalist--following Gramsci, the Italian communist thinker of the 1930s who raised culture to something interesting (and not always laughable). This makes sense: Williams's field was literature, but more broadly, culture both high (e.g., farming, fiddle-playing) and high (e.g., philosophy, classical music), and he was particularly concerned with how high culture disdained low culture. That's what his great work, The Country and the City does for "English" (Williams was Welsh, and rural) literature: he retrieves neglected works (e.g., the poetry Stephen Duck) and reveals neglected features of valorized work (e.g., the novels of Jane Austen). But he wrote also about television, modern art, and the significance of the 20th century avant-garde--and the meeting of the two. That's partly what these two works, both very short, concern. Modernism, in one sense, is simply the Regime of Progress that starts, as we see with Schiller, at least as far back as the very beginning of the industrial revolution in England (in the 1790s steam engines were in use to pump water from coal mines, and I think the application to hauling coal out of mines was just beginning... the passenger and freight railroad was still a generation or so in the future; not sure about spinning and weaving, but the horror was just beginning, in any case). So that's the key sense of the modern... with "modernism" the ideology of the modern. But, modernism has another, but related, sense in aesthetics, the preoccupation of Schiller: Modern Art, Modern Literature, Modern Music. Oddly, these developments (abstract art, twelve-tone music, stream-of-conscious in the novel) often looked to the "primitive" for inspiration (see Schiller's discussion of attempts to recapture the state of nature)... but I'm beginning to trespass on Williams's observations. One final bit of setup: the second essay, "Metropolitan Perceptions and the Emergence of Modernism" is one of the places from which I take inspiration for my claims about "cosmopolitanism." One might, following Williams, dub the phenomenon "Metropolitanism" except that, as Williams suggests, it's become a global standard. The tastes (culture) and power (economics) of the "World Class City" become the global model for "the good." Aesthetics, in other words, translate materially into politics and economics. You doubt it? What do you think the educational BS about "economic competitiveness" concerns? What exactly is the way forward, perhaps, to that elysium of global dominion of the US? Math education, of a particular sort, for the deserving masses. You can watch the mainstream education research, particularly in math and science education, cleave to this purpose, which is by the way a well-funded purpose. One can think, in Williams's term, of the State and its governments as among the "godfathers." Anyway, here are the essays: Citation: Williams, R. (1989). When was modernism? In R. Williams, The Politics of Modernism (pp. 31-36). London: Verso; and
Williams, R. (1989). Metropolitan perceptions and the emergence of modernism. In R. Williams, The Politics of Modernism (pp. 31-36). London: Verso.




For what stikes me as a decent discussion of the lineage of cosmopolitanism, see this entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmopolitanism/

The nub of the issue seem to be the idealized conformity to a version of "The Good" claimed to reflect the order of the universe--that is an ideal good somehow intuited by those properly prepared to intuit it an none other. The outlook offends localists. Among the localists to consider, aside from Williams are Paul Theobald (in education) and Michael Walzer (in political theory). A skeptic of cosmopolitanism is the educational philosopher (Foucault follower) is Tom Popkewitz. People hate his presentation; although I don't accept the criticism, I rather liked this review of Popkewitz's Cosmopolitanism--the review puts one into the flow of the debate at any rate. I think the author's a doc student, btw. Any of you could publish in EdRev--they are always looking for book review authors.

Returning to Math Ed...


Friday 10/28, after exploring Williams' critique of Modernism, Jeff suggested a return -- informed now by all this reflection on literature, progress and "the Modern" as metropolitan ideology -- to some math ed. Here is a link to articles from Paul Ernest's online Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal
issue devoted to Critical Math Education, and dedicated to Danish math educator/researcher Ole Skosmose, who authored one of the pieces. The three I'm suggesting are:

**Paul Ernest** The Scope and Limits of Critical Mathematics Education
**Ole Skovsmose** Mathematics: A Critical Rationality?
Ubiratan D’Ambrosio Ethnomathematics: A Response to the Changing Role of Mathematics in Society


I'm also submitting the essay "Shop Class as Soulcraft." The author, Matt Crawford, has fleshed this out into a book, which I recommend (along with Mike Rose's The Mind at Work) but the gist of his argument is in the original, from New Atlantis magazine. Mike in particular will be interested in the position he takes. Also uploaded is Richard Feynman's story about what is and is not teaching science, an old favorite of mine I just came across again. I am still searching for the Ted Sizer piece I was talking about with Mike in early September, where Sizer argued that, for public schools, a "common" education should end by 8th grade, and that the concept of high school needs rethinking. I'm pretty sure it's in his book Horace's Compromise, but I no longer own a copy. More soon.