As the parent of an NU honors graduate candidate, and in light of a recent thread I started in which macman and I discussed educational input to youth
I thought this might of interest to some ATS readers.
Now, I must first say that Colbert and Jon Stewart are my favorite dispensers of news, and their brand of staire makes the world news much more
palatable (though no less alarming)...And then I must say:
I can't WAIT to hear him speak! macman's point in our debate was that college is generally a liberally-tainted form of higher ed, where other venues
(military, for example) might lean more toward conservative flavor of teaching. In my experience as a student (grad level), he is absolutely correct.
My own grad career was definitively slanted toward democrat (liberal thinking) - but then again, it was Social Work.
Monday on Jon Stewart, Gigi Ibrahim appeared to discuss her part in the Egyptian revolution. It was a poignant and enlightening segment of the show.
This young lady (and she is adorable and quite poised) is an Egyptian, who attended the American University in Cairo and "took a class" regarding how
to change authoritarian regimes. First John pointed out that a really authoritarian regime would not allow a class to be taught on how to change an
authoritarian regime, but Gigi was quick to point out it was a PRIVATE university.
In any case, she seems to have been instrumental in getting the revolution off the ground.
She also pointed out that America is completely unaware of what the region's real issues are
This morning on my walk it occurred to me that the US intervention in the Middle East is contra to what I was taught as a "helping professional" and
"change agent". Client self-determination was the name of the game.
IF someone comes to you for help, it's your job as a counselor/advisor/helper (what have you), to help them identify their personally chosen goals,
and then help them figure out HOW, with the skills and tools they have, or might learn if they WANT TO, to go about achieving those goals.
I think what irritates me the most about the US intervention everywhere (and until today did not think of it this way) is that the US/NATO is not
allowing these countries - their "cohorts" in terms of each sovereign nation being an entity in its own right - to make their own decisions about how
to handle their affairs.
In Social Work, we are taught that the client is the best expert on the client
. Not the helper (the so-called "empowerment" model). For
example, if Terry comes in and says s/he wants to keep drinking but stop gambling, it would be my job to help him/her figure out how to do just that.
I would not try to push my values on him/her, although I would certainly ask him/her to look at what benefits s/he gets out of gambling and whether
that is how s/he chooses to conduct his/her life. But if, in the end, s/he says, "yes, I want to continue gambling" (and he is not hurting anyone else
by this activity such as starving his/her family), it is not my business to convert him/her to a non-gambler.
In Psychology, otoh, the Modus Operandi is that the counselor is the expert and the client is diseased
(the so-called "Medical Model.") and
therefore not capable of establishing their own goals. If Terry goes to a psychologist, the clinician's approach will be this: "drinking is bad, and
so is gambling. .You are sick, and the only thing you can do - and I will cure you - is to stop both entirely."
So, in a clinical practice, you will find disparity of style and goal-establishment and outcomes measurement depending on in which school of thought
the counselor was trained. This, it is apparent, can be applied to foreign policy as well - some countries take the "it's your business and I want no
part of it" approach (which is neither of the above), some take the "we'll help you figure out how to reach your goals if you ask
approach, and some take the "do it this way or we will crush you" approach.
Works in private counseling, in families, in organizations, in nations, on continents.
It's an ability to assess a system, see where it's flawed (and they are ALL flawed), help the struggling entity see what their OPTIONS ARE, how best
to go about SETTING PRODUCTIVE GOALS, and then how to A) use the skills they have that are going to enhance their success, B) give up the skills that,
although they may have worked for a while, the client now sees as counterproductive, and then C) learn what ever skills they need to develop. Finally,
the helper will encourage the client to DECIDE WHAT'S BEST AND GO FOR IT.
This got a little tangential - but it does
tie in to education and media -
EDIT TO ADD: Okay, gotta go watch Bernanke and the press....!! In the media!!
edit on 27-4-2011 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)