Alvin Toffler Has Lesson for You-Know-Who Wheelwright

2 06 2007

“I don’t know how to solve all those problems and how to make that
happen. But what it all boils down to is, get the current system out
of your head. . .” —Alvin Toffler interviewed for “Edutopia” by James Daly.

Toffler says schoolteachers don’t have to BE the problem but they can’t solve the problem either, that we all need to start over, figure out what kind of educational systems we want for the future and then build from the ground up:

Teachers are wonderful, and
there are hundreds of thousands of them who are creative and
terrific, but they are operating in a system that is completely out
of time. It is a system designed to produce industrial workers.

I think Toffler thinks about much more than practical Cartesian systems and making the machinery of school work better. His thinking about business and systems ecology integrates psychology, the human mysteries of mind and spirit, which in turn connects to the entertaining and perhaps important perspective in a book called A Sideways Look at Time (reviewed here.)


It’s what you might call “perspective history” —
the female author Jay Griffiths sees the tyranny of time in modern society as enforced by heavy-handed conservative men and their self-serving systems of control, assisted by their defeminized handmaidens,

fierce guardians of the status quo like
Old Lady Wheelwright.  As I wrote last June, “the keeper of my time is my keeper.”

More from the Toffler interview:


What is industrial discipline?
Well, first of all, you’ve got to show up on time. Out in the
fields, on the farms, if you go out with your family to pick a crop,
and you come ten minutes late, your uncle covers for you and it’s no
big deal. But if you’re on an assembly line and you’re late, you
mess up the work of ten thousand people down the line. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Is Old Lady Wheelwright, Really?

2 06 2007

Continuing on researching the scary-teacher edict versus unschooler discovery debate:


. . .Republican Gretchen Wheelwright, a retired school administrator who lives in south Minneapolis, says she voted for Bush in 2000 but not last fall, largely because of the war.

“I am not surprised that people are beginning to loose [sic] faith in the president, I am just surprised that it didn’t happen sooner,” says Wheelwright.

Wheelwright says she had concerns about the war from the onset, particularly the Bush administration’s go-it-alone approach. She says it be would foolish to set a date to pull out troops, but she’s convinced the war has backfired.

The alert reader will note this is the Gretchen Wheelwright who’s a retired school administrator in Minnesota last summer, not the retired school administrator Teacher Magazine reports as a professor at Troy University now. It would match age and education-wise with a Gretchen Gross Wheelwright listed as a ’56 grad and sustaining supporter of Pembroke College (now merged with Brown University.)

Which would, whew! — make her a couple of decades older than I am after all . . .

But then I couldn’t find ANY Gretchen Wheelwright with any connection to Troy U. and also couldn’t find her with the Troy U. faculty/staff email directory search function — Read the rest of this entry »

Priceless Lesson Old Lady Wheelwright Flunked

2 06 2007

Still grousing mentally over Old Lady Wheelwright’s disapproval of love, choice and relevance for kids in school. So I dug out an opposite perspective from another retired educator, Marion Brady.

I found it at NHEN from 2004:

I think home education naturally lends itself to these “lessons” much better than today’s schools do. Imo when we help the public understand concepts like the four principles listed here, we build support and understanding of our own education freedoms — and maybe make schooling better in the process. JJ

May 22, 2004
Priceless lesson:
Teacher, students put learning into action

By Marion Brady

What brings the kids to class?
Read the rest of this entry »