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Political Reform Must Precede Educational Reform--Words Matter

By       Message Paul Thomas       (Page 1 of 7 pages)     Permalink

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"It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts," George Orwell warns in his "Politics and the English Language"

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Few examples are better for proving Orwell right than political language addressing, ironically, the education of children throughout the U.S. But, as Orwell adds, "If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration."

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In his Leading Minds, Howard Gardner examines highly effective leaders and the disturbing dynamics behind their success. The great irony of powerful leadership is that these leaders speak simplistic messages aimed to connect with the simplistic assumptions of the wider public.

If our leaders were somehow always benevolent and wise, this pattern could in a paradoxical way benefit society, but our leaders tend to be as misguided as the populace to whom they speak--and lead.

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An Associate Professor of Education at Furman University since 2002, Dr. P. L. Thomas taught high school English for 18 years at Woodruff High along with teaching as an adjunct at a number of Upstate colleges. He holds an undergraduate degree in (more...)
 

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