Paradigm (n.): a model or standard; a pattern.
Students learn a lot more in school than just the content of their textbooks. In “Preparing Minds for Markets,” Jonathon Kozol questions what the rhetoric of a stimulus-response curriculum instituted in inner-city schools in Columbus, Ohio and other cities in the U.S.
Kozol is also interested in who gets to determine the how and the what of public education. Over the last year, many educators have been participating in an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement called Occupy Education (both criticize growing corporate influence and control). Kozol observes that the rhetoric used in poor, inner-city schools – meant to encourage students to aim for a job in management – is rooted in problematic paradigms, including corporate models.
The following video was created by a professor of education concerned with exactly who has the power to make decisions about curriculum, testing, and student achievement. While the quality isn’t the best, it does offer a revealing breakdown of a larger trend that Kozol, and those involved in the Occupy Education movement, are concerned with in public education. As students, you should be interested in some of these connections as well.