Post responses to Marx by Wed.

I’m giving everyone a chance to post on Marx until Wednesday AM (Those who’ve already written one post may write another one that covers different ground).  It’s “open” as far as course material (Remember, try to address key concepts from Marx, i.e.: class, bourgeoisie, proletariat, forces of production, relations of production, capital, surplus value, alienation, labor theory of value, exploitation, class consciousness.)  We’ll discuss capital, labor theory of value, surplus value (and profit), and exploitation on Wed., and then begin Durkheim.

In Chicago right now, we have an instance of labor struggle.  Think about how Marx might assess the situation and the position of the union (e.g., how forcing teachers to spend the bulk of their time on test prep can be seen as de-skilling). Here’s an extended version of the strike announcement by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, where she describes what the teachers are striking over: Chicago Teachers Launch Strike for Better Pay, Benefits and Work Conditions.

More on the national political background: Chicago Teachers Strike Could Portend Referendum on Obama Admin’s Education Reform Approach

This Reuters article situates the Chicago teachers strike in the national context, and includes lots of important demographic statistics.

Analysis: Striking Chicago teachers take on national education reform (Reuters)

Chicago teachers walking picket lines on Monday, in a strike that has closed schools across the city, are taking on not just their combative mayor but a powerful education reform movement that is transforming public schools across the United States.


One response to “Post responses to Marx by Wed.

  1. This video was a great video to watch, i was able to really see the the way teachers are affected by labor struggle. i also feel this is a good way for teachers to be heard through out the U.S as a whole. as i watched this video i realized that there is a lot of alienation and capitalism amongst school districts. teachers are working for the state and the children are learning and focusing on to many small things that are not important like only testing. i feel that it is impossible for children to learn as well as for teachers to teach in a classroom setting with no air conditioner when it is very hot and humid during the summer. another problem about that is more germs are being spread throughout the school with the hot humid air in the building rather than a clean cold environment for children to want to learn in. another thing that caught my attention was job security, i feel it is very important that teachers have job security because that guarantee’s that students will learn and have someone to teach them at all times, i also feel it benefits the staff because now a days it is not easy in our economy to find a job that meets the requirements as to what these professionals have their degrees in. watching this video relates to marx’s theory of free labor, he feels that you are free to work, but you will sell your labor power. i relate his theory to this situation because these teachers are fighting for labor struggle. they work with no job security , they are told what to teach, how to teach and when to teach it. they are pulled from being able to use there skills they have as teachers to change and expand the knowledge of students to teach the way the state tells them to teach and what to teach an example of this is the fact that these teaches have to focus and spend a lot of there time on prepping these students for tests which takes away from the teachers being able to teach other important things and it takes away from the students wanting to learn, and actually learning other topics.

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