New Education Principles 101 Textbook: New Education Principles 101 will revolve around a list of Educational Priorities and selected online essays. Find essays by scrolling down this page. Instructor: Mba Mbulu

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Class #8

Class Assignment

Read the essays that follows on Teaching and Understanding Values and The 4th R. Be prepared to respond to the following questions.

(1) What does the essay on "Values" attempt to convey?
(2) Does the concept of "smarter" have any essential value?
(3) What can an educator learn from this essay that can help him/her teach better?
(4) What is the purpose of "The 4th R"?
(5) Whose responsibility is it to educate Black People?

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Essay #8: Teaching and Understanding Values

One child looks at a tricycle and figures out how to ride it. Another child looks at a tricycle and figures out how to get someone else to push him around. Which child is smarter? Which child is more likely to contribute to a healthy society?
Which child is smarter? It depends on the culture. If the culture's value system is the typical white value system, the second child is smarter. If the culture's value system is a healthy, balanced value system, the first child is smarter.
Schools are cultural institutions. That explains the fallacy of expecting white America's school system to serve the needs of Black People. White America's school system is designed to produce white adults. A white child that enters white America's school system will emerge with typical white adult values. A Black child that enters white America's school system will also emerge with typical white adult values. That is simply the way things work. If you want your children to be immersed in a Black value system, but you expose them to a school system that emphasizes a white value system, the Black value system will be flushed down the drain.
To my knowledge, there is not one school system in existence that effectively passes on the principles, mores and values of more than one culture.
Which child is more likely to contribute to a healthy society? The one who is willing to carry his/her own weight. The child who looks for someone to push him around can make a lot of money, but since s/he would be primed to thrive in a sick society, s/he would not be equipped to contribute to a healthy one.

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THE 4th R

The early settlers in the United States brought with them the belief that the ability to read the bible was of paramount importance. So, they had laws passed that provided for the education of children for religious purposes. A second important motive in the educating of the young was to instill discipline. The three Rs that people hear so much about were taught also, but they were minor players; not powerful enough to lead to the passage of education legislation.
In the late 1700s, concern about each individual's rights began to take on added importance, but the religious education motive still dominated. As capitalism began to emerge as a dominant economic philosophy and the United States emerged as a new, independent nation, a need for competent individuals in such areas as surveying, map making, keeping court records, and a host of new commercial specialities was generated. If the new nation were to serve the purposes that its elites wanted it to serve, a large and steady pool of capable workers had to be made available. The schools were targeted as the producers of these necessary, capable workers.
Horace Mann, the white father of public schools, believed that all white men were created equally and had the right to an education. Mann saw the social and political significance of the Industrial Revolution, and realized that if white individuals were properly trained, they could benefit from the promise of the Industrial Revolution and make a positive contribution to "society." The schools were seen as the key to preparing white people to take advantage of the new opportunities that the Industrial Revolution made possible.
Thus, from day one, the purpose of education in the United States was to steer individuals toward objectives established by special interests and/or elitist individuals with narrow motives. Nobody spoke of educating people so that individuals could develop the ability to build self-reliant communities and self-reliant populations. That is because the various elitists didn't see people when they looked at human beings, they saw potential assets, potential tools, potential laborers, sycophants, converts and basket-fillers. Since the various groups of elites controlled what became known as the public (and private) school system in this country, they designed the system to produce what they needed.
The system they produced has served them well, is serving them well, is producing what they need. However, it will never serve Black People well.
Educating Black People? That is Our responsibility, Our obligation. Nobody else will do it!

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