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Devil's Advocacy

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 9 months ago
A page for offering criticism.




Duncan said:


Should the Front Page be changed to...



This is a wiki for information, and personal opinions

...as so much of this stuff is no more than HE's very own Big Lie.



Speaking of the Big Lie can you correct and clarify the supposed sources?


You say...


"The phrase 'Big Lie' refers to a propaganda technique developed by Adolf Hitler"




#Big Lie.


Does this mean that the Wikipedia page is the source of your quote? If so then why does it not appear on the Wikipedia page? But it matters little as you seem to have missed the point anyway - Hitler was defining the term as used against Germany. Goebbels went on to identify it's use by the English against Germany. But hey - let's not worry about things like facts getting in the way of some good HE propoganda! Oh the irony! I trust you will be welcoming all those fine HEing families into your HE community.


Barbara said:


why are you so hostile? Why do you say we are lying along with all your other ascerbic comments? What have we done to you? Why don't you think it might be a broken link, or the wikipedia page I used has been edited perhaps? I certainly put down the word 'developed' because that was what I read on wikipedia and that was what it said there when I wrote the page. And I know others looked up the page at the time. I have now changed it to 'defined' and will think again about the editing of the page when we are not so busy with the current "consultation." So do you have any info to offer about the original source of the term 'Big Lie?' Or do you just prefer to call me a liar and a white supremecist? I won't expect you to think we may only be mistaken or misinformed or something similarly permissive or humane.


Duncan said:


Sorry. I thought I was being quite rational and reasonable but Martine has pointed out to me why someone might be upset by my observations. Had I wanted to be hostile I would have just jumped in and vandalised the pages myself. Wikis usually become a collaborative, communal, self correcting affair that arrives at some consensus - which is not necessarily a good thing. But this one is more a collection of disparate individuals doing their own thing - which is not necessarily a bad thing. This is why I suggested that the introduction should point this out to the casual visitor who may be expecting, not unreasonably, to glean factual information from the articles herein.


Similarly it was not clear what the Big Lie reference referred to. It had been that way for sometime and nobody was correcting/clarifying it even though the page had been edited many times. I just thought I would ask while I was passing through as things like that undermine the value of the rest of the content. I would tentatively suggest that such a grandiose title does of itself undermine the value of the rest of the content.


That was it really. I was not implying anyone was lying or propagating white supremacy (although I think they prefer to be seen as white separatists - they probably do not want to appear to be too hostile ;-)


I shall leave you to your consultation on "Home Education" (whatever that is) and how the law relates to "home education" (even if the law only relates to education and does not specify any particular "brand"). Given the choice of - Which of the following best describes you:


  • Home educator
  • Organisation representing home educators
  • Local authority
  • Young person who is/was home educated
  • Other (please specify)


I, you will not be surprised to learn, selected Other.


Barbara said


Ok. Willing to start again.


collaborative wiki: This is a new wiki and I think people are still getting used to it who have not worked on wikis before. So, I am hoping it will become more of a collaborative effort, although there has already been a lot of collaboration. Most of this has been on letters and responses that have been worked on on the members wiki and then transfered here as completed documents. If someone edits/adds to a page, that is what the wiki is for. If people considered it to have been vandalised, the previous edit can be restored or there is a comments facility where editors can discuss. Pages which shouldn't be edited can be locked, like a completed meeting agenda, or a record of a letter that has been sent or something like that, which is there for information. Perhaps we should change the description of the wiki on the front page.


The term "Home Education"


I agree. I hate being in a category that is an attempt to describe the lives of my children or the way we parent in our family. But the government talks about families like ours and makes guidances and rules about us and to do this puts us in a category. The law also puts us in a category of parents who must ensure the suitable education of our children either by regular attendance at school "or otherwise" and this is who they are talking about when they talk about "Home Education." When we don't like what is being proposed that will affect our lives, how are we to be a part of the conversation if we don't use language? I wish I could just ignore the conversations of government about all children and how they must be in school, aren't learning if they are not in school, every child should be firmly anchored in school and so on; but they are not ignoring families like mine and they want to "do something" about us. So how do I protect the lives of my children from the harm that could be done to them?


The Big Lie


I started this page. I think the government, government workers and officials continually propogate a big lie that school is where children should be and that school equals education and that learning happens because people go to school and get taught and not some other way. I think this is a big lie. I think it is political and not altruistic. I think it is about control, power and money. If schooling collapsed, an awful lot of people would stop making money from it, and an awful lot of people would lose power. And I think schooling is institutionalising the whole population out of their brains and imprisons children and wastes their time. Far from improving us as we are told, it is destroying us all. The whole idea of schooling is abusive and not, as we are led to believe, a benevolence provided for a people who cannot provide something better for themselves. Or who did not already have something better before politicians decided to take a hand in it and to use our own tax money to enslave us all. I hate when I hear politician's describe education as though it is their best economic policy. They are talking about my children. If you can help to make it clear what the Big Lie is referring to that would help, but you might not agree that there is a big lie going on about education or about children, learning and schooling, with reference to how it should be arranged and overseen by government and compulsory for our own good. I quite accept I might not be clear about what I mean and wouldn't mind if people tell me or add their own points. I just want to protect the freedom of my children to have their own lives and learn in their own way and I don't like the lies that affect the intentions of powerful people toward people like me and my family. I don't mean to be grandiose. I think there is a lie being propagated and it is whopping great gigantic lie.


I'm sorry if I have missed any points because I really do want to take criticism seriously and to improve. But I have to go out with the kids just now. Thank you for taking the time to explain


Barbara Again


I was waiting to see if you had more comment or way forward with your criticism - or if your feeling about it has changed, but I just wanted to comment re the description of the wiki on the front page. You were worried that people might look for information and not realise that some of the content is opinion. I still think it would be wrong to describe the wiki content as HE's own big lie because this is not true and as far as we know the information is correct as we would not deliberately put up false information, of course. But I wondered if you had seen this on the page: "This wiki is provided for collaboration between home educators and is a work in progress with multiple contributors. Opinions expressed on this wiki are those of the contributors and not necessarily of the managing committee of AHEd. Information provided is not necessarily endorsed by the managing committee of AHEd."?



Duncan responds


Sorry. We have been a little distracted. I missed all the excitement as I was attending my uneducated daughter's graduation. She may be back here next week - I'll see if she (and/or her Facebook chums) want to add a bit to this here Wiki thingy.


It was the Welcome message (rather than the it's-nothing-to-do-with-us small print) that I felt should reflect the occasional opinionated content.


As for all the other stuff we could (and probably will) argue round and round without ever getting anywhere... but please do not go there :-(

Comments (4)

Anonymous said

at 6:54 pm on Feb 6, 2007

I quite like the idea of the heckling and sniggering page.
We do need to be on our toes and to have all possible arguments thrown at and between us. I popped one questioning of an assumption/statement into the FAQ page cos I didn't know where else to put it. I've not quite sussed wiki yet - i thought there was a sort of side room for discussions - is this comments box it? Is the Devil's Advocate page good for raising debate or should it be raised on the relevant page's comment box?

If, for example, I don't agree with something someone has written, is it OK to change it to what we do like or do we need to have a comments box discussion to come to an agreement on changes? If we just do the former won't it become a playground scrap with everyone trying to get in the last word - and won't people go way feeling despondent when their work gets deleted by someone who thinks they know better?

Thinking on - it would be lovely to think a devil's advocate page could be a safe place to say those things out loud that
might be controversial and to actually be given serious air time.

bla bla

starkfamily1@... said

at 9:44 pm on Feb 6, 2007

For edit discussions, definately the comments page I would say. the Devil's advocacy is a pleasant enough game and we do need to discuss everything from many angles. It could be a bit rough on some contributors I think. The DA page could be used for general comments and discussions re issues on the wiki, why not? But to be sure you get to particular editors and address a particular piece it might be better to have the comment on the page relating to the one you want to affect if you are trying to affect how a piece is written. I am not sure if Duncan's comments are general or if there is a purpose behind them. I am hoping to find some gem of knowledge and discovery or some way of solving long standing difficulties. Some novel and exciting approach perhaps.
I am dismayed to find the wiki won't accept my formatting and has refused to italicise a lot of my text! :-(

Anonymous said

at 10:06 am on Feb 10, 2007

I am not ignoring this but am now off to work (a luxury late shift - as opposed to the usual 4AM start :-)

Spent last evening looking for the tape of the Unschooling radio programme but did not find it...


(note the DfES post! Who is watching the watchers?)

Stuart Hudson said

at 6:15 pm on Oct 4, 2010

Hello, I'm a new member and very new to the whole home education forum. But a few things immediately strike me. Firstly, it's really useful to have these discussions. I don't want to have 'imagined battles' with imaginary people who object to my choice. I want real ones. I really want to learn what people think. We can't ever have 'home education' as a norm unless we transfer these imagined battles into genuine discourse. ("It's not the fights you dreamed of, it's those you really fought" - Dick Gaughan). Secondly, I made the choice to home educate because it's the right choice for my family, not because I reject school out-of -hand.. (My whole family are teachers), and thirdly, it's rare that we find ourselves at home.. There are more activities than days of the week here in Manchester.. (I'm not challenging how many days of the week there might be in other cities..). I prefer to think of myself as an independent educator. And I think a year travelling across Canada's Rocky Mountains will prove that. My nephew was educated independently and he's now studying Further Maths at Oxford. On a subsidised place. So ner.. xxx

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