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Thursday, June 09, 2005

WHAT are they Teaching our Kids

Today in the bookshop I happened upon an NCEA Level 2 History study guide. A definitive answer on what was being taught eluded me as I flipped through. There seemed to be quasi-related bits all over the place rather than the study of any one thing in detail, like in my time when I did history at school ... twenty years ago. And then I came across IT. A pyramid of Marx's plan to destroy capatilism. A question on something to do with Lenin's plan being simpler than Marx's. It didn't appear to be in the "failed utopia" section. Not that it had a failed utopia section, but I would have expected one so that Marx and Lenin could go straight in there.

NCEA Level 2, is that Form 4 level?

I came back home to see if I could actually find the NCEA Level 2 History curriculum online, because I didn't actually want to buy the book. So far, no luck.

Posted by Lucia Maria | 6/09/2005 04:51:00 pm


Blogger RightWingDeathBeast said...

NCEA Level 2 is sixth form.

6/09/2005 04:57:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Isn't there a Level 4 NCEA?

6/09/2005 04:58:00 pm  
Blogger stephen said...

Which plan was that?

I know Marx had a theory of how capitalism would inevitably destroy itself, which has been proved quite wrong. If this were presented as Marx' plan, as opposed to failed prediction, that would be quite wrong.

6/09/2005 05:01:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

I'm going to have to go in with a pen and paper and copy it. I thought that I'd be able to find a curriculum online, so didn't memorise it, unfortunately.

6/09/2005 05:07:00 pm  
Blogger RightWingDeathBeast said...

Level 4 NCEA is a kind of half-arsed tertiary thing I think. But I'm not sure, and I don't care, because no kid of mine will ever be sitting any level of NCEA.

6/09/2005 05:13:00 pm  
Blogger Bren said...

I'm impressed. I didn't figure they'll teach Marx in high school... Wish I had done history.

6/09/2005 05:56:00 pm  
Blogger Bren said...

Achievement Standards are pretty vague in terms of content, which leaves teachers with a little room to decide what to teach...

Something like this, could include Marxism.


But, it's not what you're looking for.

6/09/2005 06:10:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Apparently Benson-Pope taught German too. And his graphic demostrations of Stalin really imparted a sense of understanding. The key to education is in the lasting impressions that teachers can deliver.

6/09/2005 06:10:00 pm  
Blogger Bren said...

Or this...

Doesn't actually mention Marx...

2 Examples of historical movements include: suffrage, temperance, Mau in Western
Samoa, Muslim League, Viet Minh, Gandhi’s Satyagraha, Sons of Liberty, Kīngitanga,
Kōhanganui, Kotahitanga, McCarthyism, pan-Slav movement, Young Italy.
3 Examples of historical forces include: nationalism, imperialism, liberalism, colonisation,
conservatism, religion, socialism, communism, feminism, totalitarianism, fascism,
democracy, racism, industrialisation, revolution, war, authoritarianism, colonialism,
sovereignty, tino rangatiratanga, enfranchisement.

6/09/2005 06:15:00 pm  
Blogger Bren said...

"I know Marx had a theory of how capitalism would inevitably destroy itself, which has been proved quite wrong."

My understanding was that the working class would stage a revolution when they were sick of the inequality that capitalism produced and then live in a socialist paradise.

This obviously never happened, to explain it, Gramsci came up with the theory of Hegemony in the 1920s while in prison.

And that, is pretty much all I know about Marx...

6/09/2005 07:36:00 pm  
Blogger Phantasmagoric Political Junkie said...

It is a lot more complex than that (I had a third year lecturer who couldn't accept that people might not be Marxists, that was the course I did worst at because I staged a bit of an anti-Marx protest, fucking Charles dickhead Sedgwick of the Vic Uni Sociology Dept., what a loser, anyway [I assume you can understand why I am swearing my mouth of here]).

Marx's theory:
Over production would occur as the market becomes more flooded with capitalists.
Prices fall and so to do profits. As profits are falling companies drop the pay they give to workers.
Workers cannot afford to buy anything, which leads to more oversupply. So wages fall again.
continues downward for a while until the working class uprise and install the dictatorship of the proletariat. The state smoothes the change to communism and then 'withers away' as it becomes irrelevant to do so any more.

The last bit is what Stalin et al. really screwed up.

(Social democracy has a completely different basis on how the change the system, so this isn't an attack on what I stand for)

But whether it should be taught in school?
-yes, as long as it is fair and balanced (and not the Fox News 'fair and balanced', but actually fair and actually balanced). It is an important thing for children to learn how different people think. It is important that they learn about communist philosophy, but so to should they about liberal philosophy, conservative philosophy, ecological philosophy, social democrat philosophy and so on. It is important for education purposes.

Level 2 of NCEA is year 12. In real people terms it is Sixth Form.

6/09/2005 09:00:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

PPJ: Thanks for the quick overview.

Don't really disagree with any of your points, more the case of noting that the Sedgwick's of the academic world are why the marxist theory lessons at form 6 might be a bit skewed.

Not really anything to go on here, more a gut feeling based on cursory research.

Glad to see the odd Social Democrat type person can spot the difference. There's some hope for you yet ;-)

6/09/2005 10:39:00 pm  
Blogger Bren said...

I'm only in my second year at uni and have only had a very brief experience with Marx. Both in Media Studies context rather than Sociology. There was one reading about him last semester and this semester we talked about Gramsci's Hegemony, which has a Marxist backdrop. I tried my best... But I should stop pretending I know anything about stuff when my entire knowledge of that subject is based on a couple of lectures I went to.

Interesting... typed lots of words but haven't contributed to the conversation at all. Classic me.

6/10/2005 12:00:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Bren, your contribution has been valuable. I've looked at one of the links you've provided and have been truly horrified. I just couldn't bring myself to post, as I still have to think about what it is. I need a friggin curiculum, that can't be it, surely?

6/10/2005 12:32:00 am  
Blogger Philu said...

um..junkie said.."..Over production would occur as the market becomes more flooded with capitalists.
Prices fall and so to do profits. As profits are falling companies drop the pay they give to workers.
Workers cannot afford to buy anything, which leads to more oversupply. So wages fall again.
continues downward for a while until the working class uprise.."

given globalisation and factoring in the hell-bent rush to use up our environment/resources in an orgy of consumerism...how is the above not in the process of happening..?


6/10/2005 11:29:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

It's happening, Phil, but with a limited number of players. Back when Marx was around, just about everyone was a capatalist, wanting their share of the market. Successive educational reforms and compulsory schooling has over time channeled all those potential capatalists into big business and big government instead. So, you're right, it is happening, but it's been ariticially delayed for a century or so. Now globalisation is speeding this process up.

I just think that the result may not be what Marx predicted.

6/10/2005 11:35:00 am  
Blogger Phantasmagoric Political Junkie said...

The state has protected the excesses of capitalism through social welfare and the promotion of workers rights. Capitalism ain't as bad as it was in the days Marx was writing.
Furthermore with globalisation, a revolution in Timbuktu isn't going to overthrow the system. Marx's theory has some serious problems.

6/10/2005 11:48:00 am  
Blogger Phantasmagoric Political Junkie said...

There are also other factors which need to be taken into account as well, such as hegemony.

6/10/2005 11:49:00 am  

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