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Equitable Schools for a Sustainable World - Long View on Education
"“The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom.” bell hooks

Instead of writing a review of Different Schools for a Different World by Scott McLeod and Dean Shareski, I want to try reading it differently, from back to front. I’ll start with the last topic, equity, and then proceed to talk about: innovation, boredom, learning, economics, and information literacy. But first, I want to touch on the book’s epigraph: Seth Godin tells us to “Make schools different.”

Different is an interesting word. It’s certainly a different word from what people have used to call for educational transformation in the past. If we were to draw up teams about educational change, I’m confident that McLeod, Shareski, and I would all be against the authoritarian ‘no excuses’ strand of reform that fears student agency. We’re also for meaningful engagement over glittery entertainment.

Yet, we also part ways very quickly in how we frame our arguments. They argue that we should “adapt learning and teaching environments to the demands of the 21st Century.” Our “changing, increasingly connected world” speeds ahead, but “most of our classrooms fail to change in response to it.” I start from a different position, one that questions how the demands of the 21st Century fit with the project of equity."



"What makes McLeod and Shareski’s take different from the long history of arguments about schools? Here’s their answer:

“In some respects, the concerns in this book are no different from the concerns of the authors of A Nation at Risk… We agree schools need to change, but that change should have to do with a school’s relevance, not just with its achievement scores.”

I think that relevance is exactly the right word, but we must ask relevant to what?

Their answer is the “demands of the 21st Century” that come from “shifting from an industrial mode to a global model and innovation model.” In Godin’s book, he presents the data center as a source of individual opportunity. While that can be true, the number of well-paying jobs at Google and Youtube stars will always be limited. Freedom of expression and civic participation can’t flourish in an age of economic precarity.

So what are the alternatives?

Jennifer M. Silva writes a counter-narrative to the worship of self-sufficiency and competition, and exposes “the hidden injuries of risk”, which often lead to isolation, a hardening of the self, and tragedy. One of her interview subjects died because she lacked affordable health-care.

What Silva finds is that “working-class young adults… feel a sense of powerlessness and mystification towards the institutions that order their lives. Over and over again, they learn that choice is simply an illusion.” Writing in a global context, (2014), Alcinda Honwana gives a name – waithood – to this experience of youth who are “no longer children in need of care, but … are still unable to become independent adults.” Honwana explicitly rejects the idea that waithood represents a “failed transition on the part of the youth themselves,” and she carefully documents the agency of the youth she interviewed in South Africa, Tunisia, Senegal, and Mozambique.
“Young people I interviewed showed strong awareness of the broader socio-economic and political environments that affect their lives. They are acutely conscious of their marginal structural position and they despise and rebel against the abuse and corruption that they observe as the elites in power get richer and they become poorer … They are critical of unsound economic policies that focus on growth but do not enlarge the productive base by creating more jobs.”

There’s no sustainable future in Western countries measuring educational success by the extent to which they out-compete the globalized Other. In her conclusion, Silva presents Wally, who is like her other working-class interview subjects in every respect except his political activism, as a token of hope. Instead of privatizing his problems, he is able to translate them into political issues. The alternative lies not in making schools different, but making the world ‘different’, sustainable, and just."
benjamindoxtdator  2017  equality  equity  socialjustice  schools  sustainability  education  children  economics  globalization  competition  bellhooks  scottmcleod  deanshareski  litercy  infoliteracy  sethgodin  capitalism  digitalredlining  digitaldivide  chrisgilliard  marianamazzucato  hajoonchang  innovation  labor  work  rosslevine  yonarubinstein  jordanweissman  aliciarobb  carljames  race  class  boredom  richardelmore  mikeschmoker  robertpianta  johngoodlad  engagement  passivity  criticism  learning  howwelearn  technology  johndewey  democracy  efficiency  davidsnedden  neoliberalism  richardflorida  tonyagner  erikbrynjolfsson  andremcafee  carlbenediktfrey  michaelosborne  davidautor  inequality  surveillance  surveillancecapitalism  shoshanazuboff  jonathanalbright  henrygiroux  jennifersilva  alcindahonwana  change  precarity 
october 2017 by robertogreco
A New Index to Measure Sprawl Gives High Marks to Los Angeles - CityLab
“L.A. is the least sprawling metro area in the country, according to this analysis, besting New York and San Francisco.”
losangeles  cities  urbanism  sprawl  sanfrancisco  nyc  2015  richardflorida  california  sandiego  honolulu  sanjose  santabarbara  seattle  portland  oregon 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Liberalism and Gentrification | Jacobin
"Gentrification isn’t a cultural phenomenon — it’s a class offensive by powerful capitalists."



"Tying up your assets, your middle-class future, in home values does something to people. It alters their interests. It sutures a professional class, of liberal and even progressive beliefs, to the rapacious capitalist expansion into the city. The people who move to gentrifying areas tend to have liberal, tolerant, cosmopolitan sympathies. But they are aligned materially with reactionary and oppressive city restructuring, pushing them into antagonism with established residents, who do nothing for property values. Behind every Jane Jacobs comes Rudy Giuliani with his nightstick."



"The liberal discourse on gentrification has absolutely nothing to say about finance or prison, the two most salient institutions in urban life. Instead, it does what liberal discourse so often does: it buries the structural forces at work and choreographs a dance about individual choice to perform on the grave. We get tiny dramas over church parking lots and bike lanes and whether 7-11 will be able to serve chicken wings. Gentrification becomes a culture war, a battle over consumer choices: gourmet cupcake shop or fried chicken joint? Can we all live side by side, eating gourmet pickles with our fried fish sandwiches? Will blacks and whites hang out in the same bars? wonders Racialicious.

The problems of gentrification always boil down to those of mutual tolerance (and so, poor black people often become “racists” intolerant of yuppies); the solutions, therefore, reside in personal conduct and ethical choices. In “How To Be A Good Gentrifier,” Elahe Izadi offers such helpful pointers as saying hello to your neighbors and not crossing the street to avoid them. After all, if you’re going to participate in the expulsion of poor people from their communities, you might as well be civil."



"Marx called the violent expropriation of the poor from their lands “primitive accumulation.” The term conjures a one-time sin, in the distant past — Adam Smith called it “originary accumulation.” However, primitive accumulation accompanies capitalist development every step of the way, wherever valuable land meets valueless humanity.

In the early days of America, before Washington existed, nothing short of genocide would suffice. Today’s colonization requires little more than a low-interest mortgage and 911 on speed dial. In the face of this slow destruction of the urban poor, liberals have only one question: can’t we have fried chicken and cupcakes, too?"
capitalism  gentrification  ideology  homeownership  policy  politics  race  racism  2014  gavinmueller  brokenwindows  rudygiuliani  janejacobs  economics  money  sharonzukin  class  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  carollloyd  sanfrancisco  washingtondc  nyc  richardflorida  creativeclass  frantzfanon  primitiveaccumulation  colonization  housing 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Fallacy of the creative class: Why Richard Florida’s ‘urban renaissance’ won’t save U.S. cities | Grist
"For years, Richard Florida and other urban life pundits have espoused the creative class as the secret to city success. When the creative class wins, their logic goes, we all win. Gentrification has essentially become America’s favored urban redevelopment strategy.

Florida has acknowledged that the rise of the creative class can exacerbate urban class divides, but his new research highlights just how big those divides can be."

"We always talk about the physical engineering that we need to protect cities, and systems and people during crises. We have failed to recognize the significance of our social infrastructure, the way in which communications matters, the way in which our relationships with neighbors, and family and friends matters; the way in which our neighborhood can protect or imperil us, depending on where we are. … [W]hen a real disaster strikes, it’s the social stuff that might make the difference between life and death."
cities  gentrification  urban  urbanism  creativeclass  2013  richardflorida  oakland  socialinfrastructure 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The Fall of the Creative Class
"“Life is totally clear cut. It’s exactly what the research is. All the research says go live with your friends and fam­ily. Oth­er­wise, you have to look at why you’re not doing that. If you want to look at a city that’s best for your career, it’s New York, San Fran­cisco or Lon­don. If you’re not look­ing for your career, it doesn’t really mat­ter. There’s no dif­fer­ence. It’s split­ting hairs. The whole con­ver­sa­tion about where to live is bullshit.”"

"“Even as an arts advo­cate,” said Mel Gray, “I want to do it for the right rea­sons.” The right rea­son, we can now say, is that these things are good in them­selves. They have intrin­sic value. They make the place we live more inter­est­ing, live­lier, health­ier and more humane. They make it better.

They do not make it more profitable."

>>>> "I know you could go down it for­ever and never quite arrive. And I know now that it may be wiser to try to cre­ate the place you want to live, rather than to keep try­ing to find it."
community  families  creativity  arts  economics  sociology  pseudoscience  oregon  portland  madison  society  grassisgreener  place  cities  living  life  2012  richardflorida  creativeclass 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Episode 253: Nils Norman : Bad at Sports
"Norman founded an experimental space called Poster Studio on Charing Cross Road, London. This space was a collaborative effort with Merlin Carpenter and Dan Mitchell. In 1998 in New York he set up Parasite, together with the artist Andrea Fraser, a collaborative artist led initiative that developed an archive for site-specific projects.

Norman now lives and works in London Copenhagen. He exhibits internationally in commercial galleries, museum, and in public and alternative spaces. He writes articles, designs book covers and posters, collaborates with other artists, teaches and lectures in European and the US. Norman completed a major design project: an 80m pedestrian bridge and two islands for Roskilde Commune in Denmark in 2005 and is now working together with Nicholas Hare Architects on a school playground project for the new Golden Lane Campus, East London. He has recently finished an artist residency at the University of Chicago, Chicago, USA."
dogooderism  academia  careerism  culture  readerbrothers  lauraowens  making  authenticity  values  trust  productivity  production  productionvalue  local  deschooling  unschooling  communities  dinnerparties  supperclubs  formalization  access  creativepractice  contradiction  mfa  lowresidencymfa  purpose  posterstudio  soprah  situationist  culturalspace  privatespaces  publicspace  institutionalization  bohemia  bohemians  cityasclassroom  cities  gentrification  josefstrau  stephandillemuth  economics  neoliberalism  richardflorida  socialpractice  denmark  chicago  site-specificprojects  roskildecommune  collaboration  arteducation  education  2010  artproduction  nilsnorman  colinward  explodingschool  artists  interviews  art 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Why Crime Is Down in America's Cities - Richard Florida - National - The Atlantic
"One additional factor bears on this. Our analysis also turns up a consistent negative correlation between crime and the overall level of city happiness. It makes intuitive sense that a low-crime city would be a happy city; still, it's worth pointing out that the happiness measure is associated not just w/ overall crime but w/ almost every type of crime across the board. <br />
<br />
This is somewhat striking in an analysis where associations between crime & key social & economic variables are hard to find. More to the point, the Gallup research identifies openness to diversity as being one of the two most important factors that shape city happiness & community satisfaction across the board.<br />
<br />
America's declining crime rates are cause for celebration, even if we can't completely explain the phenomenon. The fact that diversity appears to play such a signal role in the trend—something that most Americans regard as a moral & economic good in its own right—makes it all-the-more satisfying."
race  diversity  cities  crime  richardflorida  happiness  community  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Next American City » Buzz » Richard Florida’s Monorail
"MacGillis quotes Florida: “We can confer subsidies on places to improve their infrastructure, universities, and core institutions, or quality of life, [but] at the end of the day, people—not industries or even places—should be our biggest concern. We can best help those who are hardest-hit by the crisis, by providing a generous social safety [net], investing in their skills, and when necessary helping them become more mobile and move to where the opportunities are.”

"What it reminded me of most, sadly, was the episode of The Simpsons, in which Springfield gets a monorail." [Explained.]

"Though he spends the rest of the book waxing philosophical on motorcycle repair, Crawford does touch on economics from time to time, and he raises some damning points. In essence, he points out that in the race to make our workforce more and more skilled in the “knowledge economy” we have forgotten entirely about the value, both economic and cognitive, of the skilled trades."

[via: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/19607992852815872 ; see also: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/19616177701523457 ]
adamgreenfield  richardflorida  urban  urbanism  creativeclass  socialsafetynet  mobility  education  reeducation  mindchanges  shopclassassoulcraft  crisis  recession  urbandecay  urbanplanning  socialprograms  policy  monorails  snakeoilsalesmen  alanbinder  matthewcrawford  thesimpsons  mindchanging 
december 2010 by robertogreco
'America Needs to Get Over Its House Passion' - National - The Atlantic
"But, a whole slew of recent research suggests that there are considerable costs as well as benefits to owning your home. A 1998 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas study, undertaken well before the boom and bubble, provided detailed empirical evidence of America's over-investment in housing. Yale University's Robert Shiller, the world's leading student of bubbles, housing, and otherwise, found that from "1890 to 1990, the rate of return on residential real estate was just about zero after inflation." Or as Nobel prize-winning Columbia University economist Edmund Phelps puts it: "It used to be that the business of America was business. Now the business of America is homeownership." He adds, "To recover and grow again, America needs to get over its 'house passion."' I delve into these issues in greater depth in The Great Reset."
richardflorida  homeownership  capitalism  housing  via:javierarbona  land  economics 
april 2010 by robertogreco
People are creative; industries, not so much. And cities? « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"Actually, I find the recent emphasis on “creative” X, Y and Z more than a little troubling. Part of this is simply a lifelong aversion to flavor-of-the-month thinking and empty jargon, but it’s also that it all seems to be down to the influence of Richard Florida — and in my mind, Florida’s seeming advocacy of things I care about deeply winds up trivializing and ultimately undercutting them." ... "I’ve never heard anyone accuse Zürich, for example, of having a blistering DJ scene, cutting-edge galleries or forward-leaning popup shops. Yet they seem to be doing OK when it comes to the cheddar, you know? Better a world of places that are what they are, and stand or fall on their own terms, than the big nowhere of ten thousand certified-Creative towns and cities with me-too museums, starchitected event spaces and half-hearted film festivals."
adamgreenfield  cities  richardflorida  creativity  creativeclass  rhetoric  economics  urban  urbanism  local  localsolutions  localism  complexity  onesizefitsall  stocksolutions  metoosolutions  meaning  value  reliability  grassroots  place  longhere  organicsenseofplace  authenticity 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Educational Insanity » The Logic of “Our” Arguments
"In sum, then, I think “we” are putting broken carts before the horses. “We” are concentrating too much on the “why change” argument without first fully and clearly articulating what it is “we” want from schools. Furthermore, the “why change” arguments, I argue (meta?), are fundamentally flawed. [The “Digital Natives” Argument, The Economics Argument, The Business Argument] There are lots of reasons for the institution of schooling to be transformed. Likewise, there are lots of reasons to consider the affordances of ubiquitous computing for learning. I ask you to help me think through those reasons in ways that are well-informed and logical…especially those of you with whom I hope to have fully maximized face-to-face experiences this weekend at Educon. I look forward to deliberating with many of you there!"
digitalnatives  edtech  education  change  reform  tcsnmy  purpose  technology  engagement  democracy  sla  chrislehmann  educon  learning  logic  jonbecker  richardflorida 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Ruse of the Creative Class | The American Prospect
"Cities that shelled out big bucks to learn Richard Florida's prescription for vibrant urbanism are now hearing they may be beyond help." ... "There is a long tradition of charismatic economic--development troubadours. In the 1990s, it was Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor who swept into inner cities with his theories of industry clusters. But Florida has taken the art to a new level, wielding his "creativity index" and making each city feel that, whatever its shortcomings, it has the potential to move up the ladder.
creativeclass  richardflorida  gentrification  inequality  development  planning  creative  millennials  realestate  sustainability  urbanism  geography  creativity  cities  economics  architecture  boosterism 
january 2010 by robertogreco
creative class struggle
"We are a Toronto-based collective who are organizing a campaign challenging the presence of Richard Florida and the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, as well as the wider policies and practices they represent."
richardflorida  activism  creativeclass  academia  creativity  urban  economics  criticism 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Next American City » Daily Report » Should We Abandon the “Uncreative Class”?
"Not everyone can afford to move and the poorest are left behind amidst urban blight and neglect. What do we do about the immobile? What do we do with cities that are net losers of the “creative class”? For this so-called creative brand of capitalism, the uncreative are someone else’s problem. As Florida says, “We need to be clear that ultimately, we can’t stop the decline of some places, and that we would be foolish to try.” I would say that this is not at all clear. There is an inherent inhumanity in leaving people and their cities in the dust. Besides, the cost of finding ways to get so-called obsolete classes of workers gainfully employed where they live is looking preferable to the social costs of managing huge ghost cities and permanent spatial inequality."
via:cityofsound  creativeclass  richardflorida  humanity  decline  decay  mobility  urbanism  creativity  urbanplanning  employment  architecture  class  us 
may 2009 by robertogreco
The Atlantic Online | March 2009 | How the Crash Will Reshape America | Richard Florida
"But another crucial aspect of the crisis has been largely overlooked, and it might ultimately prove more important. Because America's tendency to overconsume and under-save has been intimately intertwined with our postwar spatial fix -- that is, with housing and suburbanization -- the shape of the economy has been badly distorted, from where people live, to where investment flows, to what's produced. Unless we make fundamental policy changes to eliminate these distortions, the economy is likely to face worsening handicaps in the years ahead."
culture  future  richardflorida  realestate  meltdown  crisis  2009  finance  2008  recession  urbanism  urban  cities  change  globalization  trends  geography  demographics  politics  economics  history  us  business 
march 2009 by robertogreco
On the Reshaping of America | varnelis.net
"Hipsters have managed the illusion of living without any means of financial sustenance for a while. Now we get to see them do it for real."
hipsters  economics  richardflorida  creativeclass  collapse  crisis  wealth  employment  kazysvarnelis  culture  cities  capitalism  future  2009 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Richard Florida and The Creative Class Exchange: Mexico City - Capital of the 21st Century?
"A new book (via Tyler Cowen). Here's a related website. What Manhattan was to the 20th century, the author argues, Mexico City will be to the 21st. It's a strong statement, but I believe he has a point."
mexico  richardflorida  books  tylercowen  future  mexicodf  urban  urbanism  latinamerica  culture  cities  df  mexicocity 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Richard Florida and The Creative Class Exchange: Location, Location, Location
"Not so long ago universities were closing down their geography departments. For my money GIS, (geographic information systems, high-tech mapping data and software) looks like it has to be one of the hottest fields around."
cities  geography  trends  location  location-based  locative  richardflorida  mapping  maps 
june 2008 by robertogreco
cityofsound: “I come from Brisbane, I’m quite plain”* Cities have music scenes and that’s why ICT doesn't enable decentralisation
"the scene is usually a relatively short-lived concentration of artistic activity, but one that kick-starts or exemplifies some wider creative, and usually economic, actvity...numerous examples of transformative scenes from last few hundred years."
cities  music  ict  technology  richardflorida  cityofsound  creativity  creativeclass  neo-nomads  nomads  pervasive  internet  urban  urbanism  scenius 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Richard Florida and The Creative Class Exchange: Mayors of the World, Unite!
"For my money, a League of Cities and Regions – made up of the world's largest cities, regions, states and provinces – is more in tune with what the emerging “post-American” world really needs."
future  cities  megacities  richardflorida  innovation  creativity  geopolitics  global  international  competition  creativeclass 
june 2008 by robertogreco
The Sorted Nation: A Discussion with Authors Bill Bishop and Richard Florida – Part One | Planetizen
"with authors Bill Bishop & Richard Florida about how American cities and communities are increasingly attracting people with similar personality types, professional interests and voting preferences -- trends they've each documented in new books."
cities  economics  richardflorida  books  demographics  us  community  personality  trends  via:cityofsound 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Demographics: Our Changing Cities | Newsweek Business | Newsweek.com
"different types of creative innovators are sticking with own kind, molding each city’s distinct demographics, job markets, dating scenes...despite gadgets that allow us to work from anywhere choosing where to live is more important than ever before."
creativeclass  richardflorida  cities  creativity  demographics  urban  planning  urbanism 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Psychology Today: The Laws of Urban Energy
"The world is flatter than ever. But while technology may give us each the tools of creativity, it takes urban proximity and unpredictability to sharpen them...People learn, understand each other, and trust each other more when they deal in person."
architecture  cities  business  urbanism  urban  psychology  proximity  productivity  creativeclass  richardflorida  flat  worldisflat  design  innovation  relationships  creativity  place  workplace  capitalism  networking  networks  janejacobs  commons  social 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Eurozine - The creativity fix - Jamie Peck
"Jamie Peck discusses the implementation of these ideas in contemporary cities and shows how capital investments intended to attract the creative class to the city prioritize an urban middle class."
capitalism  creativity  culture  government  planning  politics  urban  economics  creativeclass  richardflorida  cities 
june 2007 by robertogreco

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