Free Range Foie Gras and Heroin

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by bionicteaching

These two articles have no direct links to education but have some connections in my head.

Foie Gras

It helps if you understand gavage and how people make foie gras right now.

“They’ll eat anything if they think that they’re wild. But that’s the key: they have to think, from the moment they’re born, that they’re just passing through, that they’re not part of this movie,”

Read more . . .

“If you wanted to raise a baby Rambo, would you want him living rough out in the country or coddled in an intensive-care unit?”

Read more . . .

and finally

Although Haney is intrigued by the idea of raising animals in conditions that replicate the wild, he’s not sure he can make the economics work. Natural nesting means that the birds lay only one set of eggs per year, and for a diversified farm where each animal has to earn its keep, that’s nowhere near enough eggs. Also, he prefers to be scientific in his experimentation, altering only one variable at a time. “Farms change in years,” he says. “Not months.” For now, Stone Barns’ geese will be hatched in incubators.

Read more . . .

Seems like there’s a lot about our current educational system that resembles informational gavage. Students are clearly domesticated and the instinctive way they would fatten their heads in the wild seems to get turned off.

Heroin Rehab

According to USC psychologist Wendy Wood, environmental change explains the difference and the lessons of the returning Vietnam solider are applicable to anyone who’s trying to change a bad habit. According to Wood, addiction treatment in the 1970s and 1980s focused largely on having people make changes to internal systems of goals and intentions. What the Vietnam vets got when they returned home after treatment however was a massive change to their everyday environment – and it was this complete transformation of daily life and routine that made it so much easier for the returning heroin addicts to remain abstinent.

Read more . . .

Just thoughts on how staying in the same school, let alone the same classroom, for 30 years might impact attempts at changing practice. Not paralleling anything directly to heroin, just thinking how much school culture and daily patterns make it hard to make any serious pedagogical change.

Comments on this post

  1. Ben said on May 2, 2012 at 8:49 am

    To deduce a corrective course then, could I assume taking a group of teachers and routinely “shaking them up” by giving them different teaching assignments and/or teaching teams every 3-4 years might be a path towards making change normal practice?

    • Tom said on May 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      It’d be interesting to see what that might do. I might also see if they can shake their heroin addictions.

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