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#536#537#538#539 Episode #540 - Outing School 3
(Teaching for Money v. Learning for Love)



Sat 26 February 2011  Norman Dodd (reading), Jeff Schmidt (reading), Maia Szalivitz, John Taylor Gatto, Dayna Martin
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2This week we conclude our series on forced schooling, with a range of voices on its inter-relation with commercial organisations, including a radio adaptation of the Canadian film, "Corporations in The Classroom", an interview with Maia Szalivitz on the 'troubled teen' industry, and an interview with Dayna Martin on the emerging 'partnership' style of parenting known as radical unschooling.
We start by reflecting briefly on Norman Dodd's 1954 report on the US House of Congress' Special Committee on Tax Exempt foundations. We consider why, although it clearly identified the US schooling system as a tool of social control, its findings were basically ignored. A couple of minutes of John Taylor Gatto on the abilities of twelve year olds refresh our ideas about what can be achieved by those who are identified in modern parlance as 'teenagers'. As a partial explanation of why so little of value is expected from modern teenagers, we hear a radio adaptation of the video "Corporations in The Classroom", about how companies are increasingly targeting confined within mass compulsion schools. The program paints a larger picture of de facto privatisation of public schools - with government expenditure on schools increasingly falling short of expectations, companies fill the gap with by providing equipment in return for access to 'young consumers'. "Bus Radio", for example, provides buses for schools, as long as kids are forced to listen to advertisements to and from school, while "Channel One" provides TVs to schools to expose kids to their daily routine of programming. This helps explain how, in the last decade of the 20th century, advertising expenditure on kids in N. America has leapt from $0.1B to $2B.

In our second hour we hear Maia Szalivitz on the largely unregulated 'troubled teen industry'. She notes that there are hundreds of expensive programs, with no proof of their efficacy. Echoing Naomi Klein's 'shock doctrine' idea, she summarises the industry's broad approach as a system of trying to break children in order to make them compliant. The body's psychology and physiology work differently when people are forced into a situation than when they choose it, and observes that labelling teenagers as 'troubled' or 'deviant' can be a self-fulfilling prophesy. Next, a snippet from the first book read on the show, Disciplined Minds, which deconstructs professional training, exposing it as an extension of the school indoctrination process. Jeff Schmidt starts his book by noting that the most creative jobs in society are done by the least creative people.

We conclude with a January 2011 Radio Free School interview with Dayna Martin, on the topic of radical unschooling. This going beyond traditional home schooling to challenge authoritarian parenting beliefs of all kinds, such as the need for parents to be prescriptive about bedtimes, diet etc.
Thanks to CBT Center of Western North Carolina for the Maia Svalovitz interview. Thanks to Radio Free School for the Dayna Martin interview.
As you listen to this week's show, reflect on how many well intentioned people are passionate supporters of the schooling enterprise, unaware of its real origins or intentions. Is there someone you know - teacher, parent or child - who is ready for the truth?
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