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‘Academic bulimia’ and the test game

by Richard D. Erlich

I became aware of the problem early in my teaching career, in 1967 or so. We were doing a standard-definition exercise in a composition class, and a student was reading aloud her brief definition piece that began, “In the United States treason is” — and then merrily gave her own definition.

“Whoa!” I said, “Time out!” and made the “time-out” gesture. “If ‘treason’ is the word you want to define, you can argue for all sorts of definitions, but if you start a sentence ‘In the United States treason is,” you have to finish the sentence with the definition in the Constitution.”

(It’s Article 3, section 3, but I just looked that up; I couldn’t have given the citation from memory in 1967, and didn’t. But back to the story).

Blank stares from the class.

“It’s the one crime defined in the Constitution.”

More blank stares.

“You’ve got to know this!” I said; “You’ve all just passed an exam on the Constitution.” And indeed they had.



Education as Activism: Global Village School Educates for a Better World, One Person at a Time

Imagine how the world would be different if children received the type of education that nurtured their individual gifts and empowered them to be capable, confident, and wise stewards of the planet. Imagine the kind of adults these youth would become if they were provided with learning experiences that value peace, compassion, justice, sustainability, appreciation of diversity, and the living of an authentic and meaningful life.  Imagine what kinds of decisions they would make as voters, consumers, and parents if they knew the truth about the impact of their governments’ policies and actions around the world, if they understood the real costs (human and environmental) of the “cheap” items they buy, if they knew where to go to get news that isn’t filtered by the corporate media. Imagine the kind of world they could create if, from a very early age, they were exposed to historical and modern day examples of people who are changing the world through nonviolent means.   (more…)


Global Village Receives Grants for Earth Charter-Based Curriculum

Global Village School recently received grants from Wishworks Inc. and two anonymous family foundations. The grants will support development of a new K-12 curriculum centered on the Earth Charter, a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society. The Global Village Curriculum will be formatted for use by schools, groups, and homeschoolers, and will combine a creative, flexible, student-centered approach with a learning styles focus. Modern media, technology, art, music, nature, imagination, and story will be integrated into the courses.

Global Village School has provided an accredited, customizable K-12 homeschool diploma program to students around the world for 9 years. GVS offers online and text-based courses, personalized curriculum options, and individualized teacher services. Grounded in the belief that knowledge and understanding are the keys to a true global community, GVS offers a full diploma program and college preparatory classes that empower students to be wise and capable stewards of the planet and each other.

For more information, please e-mail Global Village School or call (805) 646-9792.


Resources for a Healthy Peaceful Planet

Many people want to make a difference in the world but don’t know how and don’t have the time to find out. This site makes it easy. Global Village Resources provides information on progressive organizations, alternative media sources, books, socially responsible shopping, peace education, current events, and more.