Thursday, September 24, 2009

New article in Power and Education

I am very pleased to have an article included in the newest issue of Power and Education. See the contents listing here.

The Futility and Failure of Flawed Goals: efficiency education as smoke and mirrors

P.L. THOMAS Education Department, Furman University, Greenville, USA

Educational reform in the USA is traditionally grounded in mechanistic assumptions about accountability paradigms and narrow concepts of assessment; those reforms tend to ignore the burden of poverty and other external factors on student and school success. Focusing on accountability and testing strategies in the United States during the post-Nation at Risk era (1983), this article argues that mechanistic assumptions about school reform are inherently destined to fail because they are aiming at the wrong goals and ignoring the inherent imbalance of power among the stakeholders of teaching and learning; these patterns identified in US practices parallel dynamics and policies found internationally (standardized national tests in the United Kingdom, outcomes-based education in South Africa, and bureaucratic policies and corruption in Mexico, for example). Further, the discourse and tone of the discussion is a parallel argument about the nature of our scholarly discussions of education, often bound themselves by traditional (and mechanistic) assumptions about the nature of academic writing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

new poems

Poetry just comes to me, unlike my prose. Here are two new ones and they seem to be moving me toward simple poems with a turn, a twist of idea. I like the idea of a question being a lie and the word-play with "lie" in "he asked her." And "paradox" came watching L. A. Story by Steve Martin (many poems of mine come from watching movies, reading books, or listening to music).

"he asked her"

he asked her

(he could have
asked anyone

but questions
can be lies too)

to let his hands
run over and over
every inch of her

so he could memorize
the curves and touch of her
there beside him

for all the nights
he would lie
alone without her

closing his eyes
and remembering her
with his hands



he wanted
more than anything

to lure her away
from everybody else

holding her and holding her
sitting together naked in the house


he wanted
more than anything

to walk with her
in front of everyone

holding her and holding her
saying loudly “she is the one”

Monday, September 7, 2009