In response to Michael Chiaradonna's letter:
1. We need to focus on the youngest and oldest of our generations coming together in public school settings where programs such as "The Edible Schoolyard" can provide a social and cultural context for rethinking what our founding fathers (John Adams and his friends) really had in mind.
The restoration of a "John Dewey" based public school system is embodied in the Edible Schoolyard programs, which are being implemented nationally at only three public schools. This is unacceptable.
2. The real ground level is literally the ground level--gardening on public school campuses which are all open 24/7 with public/private partnerships and inter-agency cooperation. This leads to facilities all over the country that become twenty-four-hour citizenship and education centers. And it begins with the comfort and symbolism of the common ground garden.
The revolution, people, is a green one. Now.
3. Teachers need to be re-taught how to teach history properly.
We need to support excellent teacher education programs, such as LAUSD/Annenberg/Huntington collaborative project called the "American History Institute." This program no longer exists in LAUSD. (I believe it's going full force now in Lynwood Unified School District). Perhaps LAUSD dropped this excellent program, developed by Reuben Zepeda, because the thrust of the program was to drastically change the way teachers thought about teaching history.
Throw away the books! Bring in the excitement of the stories of people's lives! Use online primary sources! Read historical fiction! And learn how to garden and market the crops.. Cook the food organic and fine. Empower the poorest of the poor, the least fortunate of all humanity.
Read novels like Walter Mosely's, which teach the inequities that exist but that can be removed from American culture.
Linda Slater Gilbert
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 16 2007 - 2:39pm