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格蕾斯专栏之二:关于教育与地球的思考
发布时间:2007-03-13 11:44:29  点击次数:858次    [ 进入论坛]

LIVING FOR CHANGE
EDUCATION WITH EARTH IN MIND
By Grace Lee Boggs
Michigan Citizen, Jan. 14-20,, 2007

Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect (Island Press, 2004) is a book which should be read and discussed by everyone who is seriously concerned about the pending climate catastrophe AND about the failure of our schools to engage the energies and imaginations of our young people in the reconstruction of life in our neighborhoods and communities.

The author, David Orr, is Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College.

When I first met Orr in the 1980s, he and his brother had founded Meadowcreek, an educational research center on 1500 acres in the Ozarks where dedicated individuals worked together as a community to create a decentralized system of sustainable living, relying for support on organic agriculture, renewable energy resources and wood products.

At Oberlin College he raised funds for and spearheaded the effort to design and build the Environmental Studies Center, a solar-heated building with its own greenhouse which the U.S. Department of Energy has described as one of thirty “milestone buildings” of the 20th century.

A few years ago, at a gathering in this Center, I showed a video of Adamah, the vision of a Detroit community very similar to Meadowcreek, created by students in the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture.

The crisis of global ecology, David Orr maintains, is a crisis of mind, which makes it central to those institutions that purport to improve minds. It is a crisis OF education, not merely one IN education.

“The disordering of ecological systems and of the great biochemical cycles of the earth reflects a prior disorder in the thought, perception, imagination, intellectual priorities and loyalties inherent in the industrial mind. Ultimately, then, the ecological crisis concerns how we think and the institutions that purport to shape and refine the capacity to think.”

In fact, much that has gone wrong with the world is the result of the process and substance of education at all levels, which “alienates us from life in the name of human domination, fragments instead of unifies, overemphasizes success and careers, separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical, and unleashes on the world minds ignorant of their own ignorance.”

Students worry about how to make a living before they know who they are, take classes to acquire the skills and knowledge that will enable the U.S. to compete on the world market, and end up as morally sterile technicians with BSs, MBAs, Ph.Ds and more know-how than know-why.
Nevertheless, at a time when the skills, aptitudes and attitudes needed to industrialize the Earth in the 19th and 20th centuries are no longer those needed to heal the earth and to build durable economies and healthy communities, our schools and universities are still stuck in these processes and practices of the industrial age.

That is why it is so crucial that we rethink and transform education at all levels from kindergarten to Ph.D. What we urgently need are school boards, school superintendents and college presidents with the imagination and courage to introduce innovative curriculums and structures that create a much more intimate connection between intellectual development and practical activity, root students and faculty in their communities and natural habitats, and engage them in the kind of real problem-solving in their localities that nurtures a love of place and provides practice in creating the sustainable economies, equality and community that are the responsibilities of citizenship.

Schools and colleges dedicated to this new kind of education would look and act very differently from today’s educational institutions. For example, much more learning would take place OUTSIDE school walls. INSIDE an integral part of the educational process would be the design and operation of the building. Classes would audit resource flows of food, energy, water, materials, waste and investments.

This kind of place-and -community-rooted education is what we need to address the deepening planetary and social crisis. It could also keep millions of teenagers in our inner cities from dropping out of school and make our communities safer, healthier and livelier almost overnight. I suspect it is also the kind of education that university students hunger for when they volunteer for community service-learning programs.


THINKING FOR OURSELVES
Changing Generals
By Shea Howell
Michigan Citizen, Jan. 14-20, 2007

The U.S. military is in a crisis that is going almost unnoticed. The first mark of this crisis is the revolving door of leadership at the highest levels. By now it should be clear that the basis for military command is whether or not you are willing to go along with the president.

In the build-up to this war, top generals warned of the need for a large invasion force of about 250.000 soldiers. But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said we needed a leaner, more flexible force of about 150,000 troops. The generals who argued for larger forces found themselves retiring.

Now, as the press focuses on Bush’s plans, there is not enough notice of his decision to completely restructure the military command in Iraq. General George W. Casey, the top military commander, and Lt. General Peter W. Chiarelli, the commander of day-to-day operations, are gone. Both men advocated withdrawing U.S. troops more quickly and turning responsibilities over to Iraqis.

Their replacements agree with Bush’s so called “surge” in troops. The new overall commander, Lt. General David H. Petraeus, will be joined by Lt. General Raymond Odierno, the new operational commander. Both men advocate a tactical effort to move soldiers out of compounds and into neighborhoods. Both men acknowledge that this new strategy will most likely take “two or three years” before it succeeds.

While generals change, the troops on the ground remain the same. The “surge” will bring in few if any fresh soldiers. Rather it will demand extending combat time for some and an early return for others.

The conduct of this war and the drive to find generals who agree with Bush are taking a toll among those who are forced into fighting. Last week, as generals changed, troops made it known that they have lost confidence in their commander-in-chief.

At the end of last week the Military Times newspapers reported that for the first time more troops disapprove than approve of the president’s handling of the war. According to the new poll for the four papers (Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Times), barely one in three service members approves,

In another startling finding only 41% now feel it was the right idea to go to war in the first place.
Those who feel success is likely have shrunk from 83% in 2004 to about 50% today. A surprising 13% say there should be no U.S. troops in Iraq at all. This despite the fact that only about one in ten call their overall political views "liberal."

The annual mail survey was conducted Nov. 13 through Dec. 22. Among the respondents two in three have deployed at least once to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Nearly three-quarters of the respondents think today’s military is stretched too thin to be effective. "The poll has come to be viewed by some as a barometer of the professional career military," according to the Military Times.

"While President Bush always portrays the war in Iraq as part of the larger war on terrorism, many in the military are not convinced," the Military Times reported. "The respondents were split evenly — 47 percent both ways — on whether the Iraq war is part of the war on terrorism.”

While Bush shuffles around his generals in search of those who agree with his plans, our men and women who are forced to carry out these foolish ideas are coming to very different conclusions. They, like 78% of the Iraqi people, know it is time for us to come home.

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关于地球的思考

博格斯·李·陈嘉恩

美国密歇根州人, 1月14日至20日, 2007

《关于教育、环境个人类前景》(2004年,爱尔兰出版社),该书有很大价值。它探讨了近年我们非常关心的严峻的环境问题,以及从学生在重建社区生活中表现出缺乏热情和想象力的现象中,指出学校方面的不足与失误。

该书作者奥尔·戴维是环境与政治学院的一名教授,并且是奥伯林学院环境研究计划负责人。

初次见到奥尔是在20世纪80年代,那时他和他的兄弟已在奥沙克成立了一个占地一五○○英亩教育研究中心,Meadowcree。在这里,研究人员齐心协力,依靠有机农业、可再生能源和木料产品,创造了一个分散的可持续生存系统。

在奥伯林学院,他筹集资金,并带头设计和建造环境研究中心。该中心是以太阳能为能源,并拥有自己的温室,被美国能源署誉为二十世纪三十个标志性建筑之一。

几年前,在这个研究中心的一次聚会中,我展示了一段有关亚大玛的录像。这里的亚大玛是一个由底特律慈悲建筑学院的学生想像的底特律社区,与Meadowcreek极为相似。

大卫奥尔表示,这场全球性的生态危机,是人们思想上的危机,所以那些声称要提高人们思想觉悟的研究机构应牢牢记住这点。这危机关系到整个教育,而不单单是教育中的某个问题。

“无序的生态系统和地球上杂乱的生物化学循环,反映了我们以往在思想,感知,想象,智力优先和忠诚上的错乱。这些都是工业社会中人们固有的心态。最终,生态危机关系到我们如何去思考,研究机构怎样帮助我们形成并完善思考的能力。

事实上,很多问题都出在各级教育的过程和内容上。它们“以人类统治的名义拉开人们与自然的关系,用分裂代替统一,并且过分强调成功和事业,理论脱离实践,他们对于自己的无知毫不知情,还使无知的思想充斥着世界。

学生们担心在充分认识自己之前如何在社会上立足。他们上各种各样的课来获得相应的知识和技能,以提高美国在世界市场的竞争力。而这样的结果是生产出大批道德匮乏的理学专家、工商管理硕士和博士生。他们更多的知其然而不知其所以然。是的,19世纪和20世纪需要这些技能,才能和态度来实现产业化,可这些并不能用来拯救地球,建立可持续发展经济和健全的社区。而我们的各中小学和大学仍停留在这些工业时代的过程和想法上。

这就是为什么重新思考和改革各个阶段的教育变得如此重要的原因。我们迫切需要校董事会、校警司和大学校长用他们的想象力和勇气引入新的课程和结构,以把智力发展和实践活动更加紧密地联系起来,让学生和老师置身社区和自然环境中,解决当地的实际问题。这些有助于培养他们对环境的关爱意识,并为他们促进经济可持续发展,养成平等,团结等公民责任感提供了实践机会。

致力于这种新的教育体制各中小学及大学将与今天的教育机构大不相同。举例来说,它会更多的采取户外学习的形式。课内,对教学楼进行设计和管理将是教育过程一个必不可少的组成部分。各个班级将自行管理食物,能源,水,材料,废物和投资。

这种植根于社区和环境的教育形式是我们为解决日益严重的自然和社会问题而提出的。它可以很快使数百万的青少年避免辍学,使我们的社区安全、健康和活泼。我想,这种教育形式也是大学生在自愿参与到为社区服务的学习计划中时梦寐以求的。

独立思考

易帅

希·豪威尔

美国密歇根州公民,2007年1月14日至20日

美军方面面临着一个不为人注目的危机。这场危机的标志是最高级别领导人的“旋转门现象”。至此,显然,成为司令员的基础是你是否愿意站在总统一边。

准备这场战争时,高级将领急需有作战能力的士兵人数约25万。但美国国防部长拉姆斯菲尔德说,我们需要一个更精简,更灵活的部队,约15.0万人就够了。而那些要求过大规模军队的将军最后退休了。

当前,媒体聚焦布什的计划,而对其在伊拉克的军事指挥进行全面调整的决议未予以足够关注。最高军事指挥官乔治·凯西将军,日常军事指挥官彼得·加尔利副将都已退出。两人主张尽快撤回美军,把管理权交给伊拉克人。

新任军官同意布什的所谓“增兵”的意见。新任总指挥官戴维·彼得雷乌斯副将,将与新任作战指挥官雷蒙德· 奥蒂尔诺副将并肩作战。两人主张采取策略使军队从战场上转移到邻国。两人承认,这项新战略将有可能花费两到三年时间才能取得成功。

虽然高级将领发生变化,但陆军作战部队维持原状。 增兵策略鲜有可能会增加士兵,而是要求部分战士延长作战时间,只有另一部分人能早日回国。

发动战争,寻找与布什意见一致的将领在使被迫参战官兵的生命受巨大损失。上周,易帅后,部队对总指挥已失去信心。

上周末,据军事时报报道,这是美国历史上第一次多数部队不赞成总统发动战争的事例。根据4家报纸(陆军时报,海军时报,空军时报和海洋时报)所做的民意调查,仅有1/3服役人员支持战争。

另一项惊人发现:只有41 % 的人觉得最初发动战争是正确的。那些觉得战争获胜的人可能已经从2004年的83%下降到现在的50%左右。令人惊讶的是,有13%的人说美国根本不应该在伊拉克驻军。仅有1/10的人认同他们所标榜为“自由”的政治观点。

每年11月13日至12月22日,美国都进行邮件问卷调查。其中2/3的受访者表示,他们至少被调派到伊拉克或阿富汗一次。

近四分之三的受访者认为,现在军事战线拉得过长而缺乏效率。军事时报指出,“民意调查被某些人认为是职业军队的晴雨表”。

据军事时报报道:“布什总统始终认为伊拉克战争是反恐战争的一部分,但是很多人并不这样认为”,“对于此次战争是否是反恐战争的一部分,受访者意见对半分——各占47%。”

当布什还在对其高层官员进行改组以寻找那些同意他的计划的人,这些被迫实施愚蠢计划的人已经有了自己不同的结论。像78%的伊拉克人一样,他们知道要回家了。

翻译:丁敏

2008年8月17

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