"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures.  Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of teachers, elders or wise men.  Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it."
The Buddha, on Belief, from the Kalama Sutra.

"Why is it, in spite of the fact that teaching by pouring in, learning by a passive absorption, are universally condemned, that they are still so intrenched in practice? That education is not an affair of "telling" and being told, but an active and constructive process, is a principle almost as generally violated in practice, as conceded in theory. Is not this deplorable situation due to the fact that the doctrine is itself merely told? It is preached, it is lectured, it is written about. But its enactment into practice requires that the school environment be equipped with agencies for doing. " Dewey, 1916.

Praxis - Once you know you can never go back, or claim you don't know.  Doing something liberatory, rather than waiting to see what somebody else might do. The freedom to choose what you want to learn, how you want to learn it and figure out what difference it makes.  Not waiting for somebody to tell you what is important, what you should know, or how you should be in the world.  "I will never be hungry again!"
What a program Raul, David and Yvonne.  I miss it.  During the last two years I taught in the program, I saw some of the most fantastic work, and I was always glad that we had the good sense to stay out the students' way and allow their creativity to take over. 

[Peterson, Gary] 

-----Original Message-----
From: Raul Nakasone [mailto:nakasonr@evergreen.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 5:40 AM
To: Reconciliation
Subject: [reconciliation] Project ideas


Following our conversation on Bloom's Taxonomy, we can now name at what level we operate in each of our chosen activities. For instance, many co-learners have expressed their concerns for underdeveloped nations. Their information and comprehension levels of this knowledge can be improved when they take their ideas to action. One way to go from concientisao to praxis (using Freire's terms) could be by transfering and spreading intermediate technology in those areas. To those co-learners who have been or will be in some Latin American countries, I forward the following information which was sent to me by a friend who is already a retired firefighter but who continues operating in the praxis level in his dream for a better world.

Subject: Watercone - solar water purifier.
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2005 18:29:28 -0700
From: mike keyes <loobloo@gmail.com>
Reply-To: mike keyes <loobloo@gmail.com>
To: Greg Edblom <gedblom@yahoo.com>, Raul Nakasone <nakasonr@evergreen.edu>


The above is a solar powered still that can desalt 1.5L of water per day. It is a little expensive, but it is a simple design.


Human powered pump, up to 18 meters deep.

A couple of items I came across that you two may enjoy.


From Paul:

Dear Colleagues,
If after reading this news article you want more information about standardized testing and it's impact on the racial diversity on college campuses, the Office for Equal Opportunity Lending Library has a copy of Frontline's examination of the debate, "The Secrets of the SAT." 

This 60 minute program is in VHS format and can be borrowed by contacting Marcia Husseman at ext. 6113. 

For a more complete listing of the video resources available through the OEO Lending Library visit our web site at: http://www.evergreen.edu/equalop/    Go to Resources on the left and click on Diversity Videos and Educational Resources.

Test scores will soon be optional at college

Beginning in fall 2006 Galesburg school won't require ACT or SAT

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

By Journal Star Wire Services

GALESBURG - Knox College has become the first national liberal arts college in Illinois - and one of just three in the Midwest - to eliminate standardized test scores as a requirement for admission, officials announced Tuesday.

Beginning with the class applying for the fall of 2006, the submission of SAT or ACT scores will become optional.

"Standardized tests don't measure the qualities we value most in our applicants - intellectual curiosity, creativity, and an eagerness for learning," said Paul Steenis, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission. "We want future students who have excelled in a challenging high school curriculum and who show initiative, leadership and personal maturity."

The college decided to drop the test score requirement after faculty, student and trustee committees examined the issue during the past year. Knox also reviewed research that included a 20-year study by Bates College, where test scores have been optional for the duration of the study. Bates' Vice President William Hiss said last fall that Bates students "earned exactly the same grades, and graduated at exactly the same rates," whether or not they submitted a standardized admission test result.

Knox College President Roger Taylor said today's world has become increasingly obsessed by testing at all levels of education.

"And 'teaching to a test' has often become more important than actually learning something - more important than developing a genuine love of learning," he said. "We decided Knox needed to take a leadership role in reducing the fixation on college admission testing."

Research shows that student performance on tests varies significantly by gender, race and family income. The Bates College study also showed that students from rural areas scored lower on standardized tests but were as successful in college as students from other areas. Despite the efforts by test creators to minimize the discriminatory effects of standardized testing, certain groups of capable students continue to be overlooked by an educational system that places such undue emphasis on test scores.

"High school students can artificially boost their scores on standardized tests by taking expensive cram courses that can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars," Taylor said. "Knox is a highly selective college that is also committed to providing access to a top-notch liberal arts education for all qualified students. The current industry of costly test preparation courses is, in effect, a barrier to college for the students who can't afford them."

Steenis said the recent addition of essay components to the SAT and ACT haven't made them more useful, just more expensive for students. Knox's application already includes an essay and personal interview for most applicants.

Over the past two years, Knox has received record numbers of applications for admission and enrolled some of the largest classes in the college's 168-year history. More than 350 new students are expected to enroll this fall.

The other two Midwest colleges that have dropped the test requirement are Saint Ambrose in Davenport, Iowa, and Lawrence University of Appleton, Wis. Other nationally-ranked colleges include Bowdoin, College of the Holy Cross, Hampshire, Franklin and Marshall, Lewis and Clark, Mount Holyoke, St. John's College and Sarah Lawrence.

From Tesc Talk

Subject: Questions To Ponder As Columbus Day nears...

Please forward and print (one copy or many) of this questionnaire and
distribute as widely as possible. Have your children hand it to their
teachers, post it on the bulletin board at your community center,
discuss it with your friends and neighbors, mail a copy to your Mayor,
City Council and House Representatives, Senators, Governor and President
-- why are politicians neglecting to do something about this absurd &
abominable holy day (that IS what holiday means) that only serves the
purpose of rubbing salt into some of the old, festering wounds of so
many in our multi-cultural society.


What is the meaning of this day to each of us, or is there any meaning at all?
Please, bring this up as a topic of discussion with others, and
let me know what kind of responses you hear.

Questions To Ponder As Columbus Day nears

 1. Columbus sailed into the Caribbean and never even set foot in what
is now known as the United States. So, why do we, in the United States,
give him one of our 8 Federal holidays?

2. Why would Columbus be given credit for "discovering" the Americas
anyway, when we all know those lands were already inhabited and had been
for thousands of years? Didn't the inhabitants of those lands discover
them? Look at any map of the US and see the many, many, many states,
cities and towns that all bear the Native American names of people and
peoples who once populated those regions: Illinois, Oklahoma, Cheyene,
Nantuckett, Milwaukee, Yuma, Omaha, Witchita, Tallahassee, Mississippi,
Muskogee, Tennessee, Allegheny, Missouri, Kentucky, Huron, Tuscalloosa
and on and on and on......

3. Knowing that Native Americans were already here, and Columbus never
was here, why does anyone go along with the myth that "Columbus
Discovered America", when we all know it is not true?

4. Why aren't we taught the whole truth about Columbus' actions and the
devastating consequences of those actions? Why are we only told about
Columbus, who as a boy who always wanted to sail and then when he got
older Spain provided him three ships & he sailed across the ocean and
DISCOVERED A NEW WORLD! (where millions of Taino had lived for thousands
of years and which we now call the Caribbean). Why are we only taught
about that FIRST voyage, and not the other 3 voyages, when all hell
broke loose? Why aren't we taught about how on the second voyage, unlike
the first when Columbus only had 3 small old ships, Columbus was given
17 large ships and 1,500 armed men eagerly signed up for the chance to
go to the "New World" with hopes of getting rich quick on the gold to be
found there? Also, why aren't we taught about the greed and brutality of
the Spaniards against the Taino (who have been remembered as "naked
savages" in our history books, if at all), and how the Taino were
murdered and enslaved on that second voyage? Why are we not taught about
the third voyage & how when King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella of Spain
heard about Columbus' actions in the "New World" he was sent back to
Spain in chains to stand trial for his crimes, was convicted and
stripped of his titles? Or, how the Spaniards tricked 80 of the Taino
leaders into a hut and burned them alive? Isn't to omit the ugly part of
the truth considered LYING BY OMISSION? Then, that is what our schools
are doing when they only teach about the first voyage, they are lying by
omission to our students, and we as a improperly educated country have a
holiday for an evil, greedy, slave-trading, murderer.

5. Some people say he is worthy of the honor of a holiday for his
nautical genius, but the Vikings sailed across the ocean to North
America 500 years before, Marco Polo sailed to China & India 300 years
prior and the Chinese set foot upon the very shores that Columbus did 71
years prior to the arrival of Columbus, the difference being, Columbus
"claimed" the land and cites the Papal Bulls with giving him the
authority to do so if no one disputes the action, and Columbus according
to his journal, was careful to add that no one disputed it at the time,
while admitting at the same time that they could not understand each
other, so how could they be expected to understand what his
flag-planting and pronunciations meant?

6. Many people will argue that Columbus brought Western Civilization to
what is now known as the United States, and that is the reason the US
bestows upon him the honor of a holiday. But how can we make that
correlation when Columbus, working for Spain, came in 1492 and the
European colonizers who came here TWO HUNDRED years later, came from
England? If Columbus is worthy of being given credit for this
"achievement", wouldn't it have happened 200 years earlier and wouldn't
we all be speaking Spanish now as the countries he invaded do?

7. Some people will argue that Columbus Day is a day for recognition of
Italians, an Italian Pride Day. Are Italians more worthy of recognition
than other ethnic groups in this country we have proudly (?) nicknamed
"The Melting Pot"? I have heard Italians say that Germans have
Oktoberfest, the Irish have St. Patrick's Day and Mexicans have Cinco de
Mayo, but none of those are FEDERAL holidays. The only two ethnic groups
worthy of recognition for their contributions and sacrifice in this land
are those who were ALREADY HERE when the Europeans came and those who
the Europeans BROUGHT HERE IN CHAINS. All other ethnic groups came here
voluntarily. It was long overdue but African Americans finally got their
holiday - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January.... but Native
Americans still don't have a holiday (urge your congressmen and women to
support House Bill #167).

8. Some people think he is deserving of the honor because he proved the
world was round, but this was already a widely accepted belief by
educated people at the time as Ptolemy, the ancient astronomer and
geographer from Egypt, declared that the Earth was spherical in the
second century.

7. Why do 17 states refuse to recognize and/or celebrate Columbus Day?

8. Why do protestors gather and march at every Columbus Day Parade?

9. And, WHY is Columbus honored with one of our 8 federal holidays in
the US when,

a. He didn't "discover" us, or anything previously undiscovered or
uninhabited b. He never set foot on what is now U.S. soil. c. His legacy
is greed, theft, destruction, brutality, slave-trading and murder d. It
is offensive to Latin American, African American and Native Americans e.
Native Americans, who were here and are worthy of a holiday, still don't
have one

10.And why have the Taino people of the Caribbean and those in the US,
whose ancestors have paid such a huge price for the misfortune of being
"discovered", been erroneously declared extinct and are therefore denied
legal recognition by the government?

 To learn more about the truth, read:

*In Defense of the Indians by Bartolome de las Casas * A People's
History by Howard Zinn * Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Louwen *
Rethinking Columbus by Bigelow and Peterson *The Voyages of Christopher
Columbus by Rex and Thea Rienits * The Log of Christopher Columbus by
Robert H. Fuson * The Journal of Columbus by Clarkson N. Potter * 1421,
The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies * America Discovers
Columbus by John Noble Wilford * The Conquest of Paradise by Kirkpatrick
Sale * The Columbus Dynasty in the Caribbean by Troy S. Floyd * The
Conquest of America by Tzvetan Todorov * Columbus & Cortez, Conquerors
for Christ by Eidsmoe.

"Se cumplen 513 años del mayor genocidio de la historia"

09:35 hs | El cable de Télam sobre el 12 de octubre que sorprendió

El genocidio más grande de la historia, la conquista y colonización de América, cumple mañana 513 años de su acto inicial, cuando Cristóbal Colón pisó por primera vez una tierra que lejos de pertenecer a un "nuevo" mundo, era habitada por distintas culturas desde hacía miles de años.

Los pueblos con organizaciones socio-políticas más complejas comenzaron a desarrollarse desde dos mil años antes de Cristo, y a la llegada de los españoles no había una, dos o tres culturas como suele enseñarse y difundirse, había infinidad de culturas a lo largo de todo el territorrio americano.

No obstante, normalmente se conoce y se nombran sólo a aquellos pueblos que entraron en contacto con el español, los que además tenían una organización expansionista.

La multiplicidad de situaciones y la heterogeneidad cultural es una característica de este largo período americano conocido y reducido al término de "precolonial" dejando en una nebulosa la riqueza cultural del continente.

Sobre esa riqueza accionaron los europeos a partir de 1492.

Con la llegada de los conquistadores se inició un exterminio que arrasó con 90 millones de pobladores de la región y quebró el desarrollo cultural de este lado del Atlántico.

Un mundo que fue invadido por el apetito imperial y la soberbia eurocentrista, y sumió en la desolación la cosmovisión milenaria de la vida americana.

Definido primero como "Descubrimiento de América", luego como "Día de la Raza", más tarde como Encuentro de Culturas, la llegada de los peninsulares fue, para los pueblos originarios y para la historia universal, una conquista, una invasión, una masacre.

El poder en América comenzó a recorrer el camino de la aculturación, de la evangelización, la colonización, la destrucción de las economías autóctonas, y todo pasó a ser dominio de los invasores, tanto las riquezas naturales cuanto los hombres.

Las riquezas se fueron a la metrópoli y los hombres murieron en los socavones, en el dolor frente a tanta barbarie, en las enfermedades que llegaron de Europa.

Siglos después se abrieron los procesos de independencia con luchas que recorrieron el continente y que fueron lideradas por los criollos, quienes expulsaron a los españoles.

Más tarde, los criollos edificaron los Estados Nacionales pero dejaron afuera a los pueblos originarios, invadieron sus tierras y los persiguieron.

Se imponía una concepción racista al interior de los poderes locales.

No obstante, en las márgenes de esta historia y en medio de la destrucción, de la atomización y del dolor más profundo, hubo permanentes luchas de resistencia.

Y continuaron circulando los valores de las viejas culturas, que se fueron transmitiendo de abuelos a nietos en la más absoluta intimidad y clandestinidad.

"Ser" fue la aspiración que las distintas culturas originarias buscaron en forma subterránea.

Hoy mantienen vivo su origen y su cultura entre 50 y 60 millones de habitantes de Latinoamérica, según cifras de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT).

Bolivia, Perú, Guatemala y Ecuador son los países donde la población es mayoritariamente indígena, luego sigue México y Honduras y el conjunto del subcontinente, donde el mestizaje testimonia las huellas originarias.

No obstante, las cifras sobre población indígena son difíciles de precisar por la misma discriminación y negación que sufren los pueblos originarios.

Distintos historiadores coinciden en que el 12 de octubre no hay nada que celebrar, que no se puede celebrar la conquista y destrucción de pueblos.

Coinciden en que el festejo como "acto civilizatorio" -que es la idea que rigió para justificar su conmemoración- niega el valor de la vida humana, desconoce a los pueblos originarios y a los avances en las investigaciones de las ciencias sociales, que revelan "la otra historia".

Los pueblos originarios contemporáneos fueron los primeros en oponerse al festejo del 12 de octubre y organizaron un contrafestejo el día anterior como el último momento de libertad.

Como parte del contrafestejo, los reclamos por sus derechos vienen de lejos, la tierra, los recursos naturales, la identidad, la lengua, y abarcan todo el territorio latinoamericano.