Through the Education Lens

Richard Dreyfuss: "We have mis-educated our children so badly"

CJW, November 30, 2010 10:51 AM


"We live in a simmer of hysteria"
            "Morning Joe" Video Below
Posted November 30, 2010

Watch Richard Dreyfuss in a decidedly provocative segment on today's MSNBC "Morning Joe" with Mika Brzezinski, Pat Buchanan, Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle.  Video below.  Skip to 3:20 mark to miss the initial bantering between Dreyfuss and Buchanan.

While the topic of his visit - civics education in this country - is important and controversial in its own right,  Dreyfuss, by his very nature,  always adds an edgy perspective.  Along with the proceeds of the book, "America, the Beautiful" celebrating American culture, the Dreyfuss Initiative will be contributing to civics education in America.

 Dreyfuss rails against our country's "partisan- addiction", fueled by the speed of technology, which "has removed time from the important decision-making" in geo-politics.  Other topics included our lack of civility, our education system and lack of exposure to civics and history.
Two of his memorable quotes: 

 "We live in a simmer of hysteria"

"We have mis-educated our children so badly
that we are preparing them for a Fred Astaire movie"

At the 6:00 minute mark,  Dreyfuss talks about the curriculum he developed at Oxford  which by design exercises the mind stressing the ability to have  reason, logic, clarity of thought and critical analysis  allowing for opposing views, dissent, debate and ultimately, civility.
"When uncivility becomes the norm, which it is,
you are you withdrawing the oxygen from the atmosphere of any representative democracy, and you don't share anything."

He continued to say that we have reached a point in our national conversation where we "demonize everything" from our opponents.  Later in this segment, he advises who should be
in charge of creating the research standard on the Web. . . which I can only expect will fuel yet another round in our uncivil discourse as it includes icons in the education and technology fields, such as Howard Gardner, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

"This technology is running us, not vice-versa"

Check it out for yourself below:   



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The issue as I see it is people like Mika Brzezinski and Richard Dreyfuss who are not professional educators becoming the voice of professional educators. We need dynamic, exciting people to jump in and lend a voice to those things that matter in education. Left to Mika, we would stop using computers and teach kids to sew...

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