Random Thoughts


Random thoughts occupying space in my head.  Mostly keeping me company when the 1 a.m. insomnia strikes. 
Feedback that might challenge my thoughts are welcome.

New, Extreme Parenting is not so new

New, Extreme Parenting is not so new

< 1 minute read

There’s a facebook meme making it’s rounds in unschooling circles that reads

I practice the new, extreme parenting…
I call it treating me children like human beings.

It’s only new to Western domination culture. New and extreme.

But for many cultures – treating children like human beings was/is a norm.  It was the march of ‘civilisation’, courtesy of colonialism and western imperialism that came and killed off this way of living and learning with children replacing it with a particularly savage form of parenting and relating to young people.

See this quote from part of a longer piece by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

“If children learn to normalise dominance and non-consent within the context of education, then non-consent becomes a normalised part of the ‘tool kit’ of those who have and wield power… This is unthinkable within Nishnaabeg intelligence.”

I do wonder what kind of status children lived with prior to the European mass murder of women (witch hunt doesn’t convey the horror of that period adequately).

#DecolonisingParenting #DecolonisingChildhood

Industrial Education and Industrial Schooling

Industrial Education and Industrial Schooling

< 1 minute read

Monoculture is destructive.

In agriculture and in education. 

Industrial agriculture, built around monoculture, is falling apart, with an ever increasing need for pesticides and other ‘treatments’ to keep it in place, with farm workers suffer the effects of pesticides and poor wages, and consumers suffer ill health and malnutrition. 

Industrial schooling, built around a monoculture of standardised schooling is becoming increasingly broken, with an ever increasing need for toxic controls, monitoring and ‘treatments’, while teachers suffer from work overload and job despair, and the consumers (students) suffer with boredom, mental health issues, suicide, lack of critical thinking and creativity.

Silly Humour

Silly Humour

< 1 minute read

ME: My children don’t go to school due to illness
Them: Oh dear, What’s the matter?
ME: School is very ill! 

(Fictional Story)
Thinking of a career in comedy 😉

On the narrative around Malala Yousafzai

On the narrative around Malala Yousafzai

2 minute read

Some of the issues that arise for me in thinking about Malala and her quest for schooling:

One of the ironies for me is that her own education is far wider than the schooling system she is advocating for.  

Her father is an education activist,

He is in the business of schooling.  The school she was attending at the time of her shooting was owned by her father.

She had the privilege of sitting up late into the night to chat to her father about politics and anything else.

She used to write a blog for the BBC – so she got to participate meaningfully in the real world.

She had access to tons of books.

She had a rich education environment.

She is not a product of schooling.  She is the product of a rich environment of schooling, engaged parents and opportunities to participate meaningfully in the world around these she feels strongly about.

When people support this girls’ education’ that Malala advocates for, what they’re supporting in practice is bums on seats and a standardised curriculum.  
Not strong girls that can take on power. Unless it is black or brown power.
Not girls that will ask questions about the manufacturers of all those arms (including the one used to shoot Malala.
Not girls that might look into how those arms are making their way into their villages.
Not girls that will be the change makers of the broader social, economic and environmental  justice issues that affect them directly or indirectly.

All those things might still happen. Outside of and despite schooling though.

The other irony is that this education is understood to be liberating.  All this education is, is schooling. And schooling has never had liberation as its motivation.  It has an economic and political function. Sure, these girls are going to be able to access low paying factory work, and maybe one or two of them will get beyond that.  Some of them will make their way to the US, excel in academia and write feminists texts about the plight of poor brown girls that need liberating or critique the very system they’ve just come through.  But overall, there is nothing liberating about the schooling and the Education For All (UNESCO) that Malala is advocating for.

And of course girls want to got to school.  Anything that is restricted becomes desirable.  And of course they shouldn’t be prevented from attending schools.  But I suspect what they really want is what we all really want (I think).  Education. And the liberation, access to interesting information, exploring of ideas, and the opportunities to create the kind of life that speaks to them/us that comes with this education.  Schooling doesn’t do that. Schooling upholds the status quo and gets you a job.

Here are two interesting reads on the narrative around Malala:

Reading Malala: (De)(Re)Territorialization of Muslim Collectivities
Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Vol. 35, Issue 3. , 2015
S. Khoja-Moolj

“Forwarding Literacy in I Am Malala: Resisting Commodification through Cooperation, Context, and Kinship”
Kara Poe Alexander

Industrial Education and Industrial Schooling

No space for our humanity

< 1 minute read

I was rushing to get the pharmacy to get some relief meds from the chicken pox for my daughter.  I had already spoken to the pharmacist so I knew they were closing at 6 and she knew I was on my way.  But there was traffic light out and I realised that I might be there shortly after – between 2 and 5 minutes later.  So I called again to say I am almost there if she could wait for me. She said no. They close at 6.

So plan B.

With meds secured and daughter asleep in my arms, my thought drifted to our humanity in these situations.  At first, I felt the pharmacist lacked humanity – 5 minutes, for meds. It should be a no brainer. But maybe she needed to rush off to get her child from child care, or that the transport she uses, or  .… Perhaps circumstances or the system kept her from her humanity.

I thought about all the medicine women and men in the in pre-colonialism/pre-capitalist  societies. They didn’t keep opening hours, or restricted their medicine or knowledge to those who could pay. The system allowed them to express their humanity.

This system keeps us from out humanity.