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Get Out of Jail Free!

September 2003
Get Out of Jail Free Workshop
Hough, David, Chris Hunt & Alison Miyake
Peace As A Global Language Conference

Outline: From kindergarten through to University, School is a prison. In this two-part presentation we will first reveal the structures that imprison both children and adults and then show practical ways of bending the bars and achieving freedom. Paolo Friere talks of liberation. Liberation occurs through sharing and creating experience.

Here are the details of the handout created by David Hough for this presentation:


Get out of Jail Free!

Sing Sing Prison

Plato's Lie

What kinds of new stories and histories can we make together?

If you were in a class and had to be graded, how would you like those grades to be decided? Draw two smiley faces next to any item you feel is important in deciding your grades. Draw one smiley face next to any item you feel should also be considered, but is less important. Items which should not be considered should be left blank.

  1. Competition: Students who participate the most, work the hardest, score the highest on tests, turn in the best homework and reports, etc. (Note: this is also known as equity).
  2. Cooperation: Students who help each other the most.
  3. Competence: Students who speak the best English.
  4. Need: Students who need high grades the most (e.g., for scholarships, graduation, etc.).
  5. Equality: All students should receive the same grade.
  6. Inheritance: Students from the richest families (Note: this is a type of chance of birth).
  7. Biology: Students born in October with Type "B" blood (Note: this is another type of chance of birth).
  8. Game of chance: Grades decided by game of Paper, Scissors, Stone.
  9. Other (Specify): __________________________________________

Assuming that the readers of this book are the mass of students in our capitalist world, there are some among you who in the years to come are going to commit suicide, or become drug addicts and alcoholics, or spends years as derelicts or in prison, and others, the luckier ones, will just lose your jobs and homes, or never get a good job or a decent home, and take your anger and frustration out in bouts of depression or in violence against your spouses and children. I'm going to tell you something that could save you from these horrible fates. Listen closely. You are not guilty! The conditions that are responsible for most of your suffering are not your fault; nor is it a matter of God's will, or of bad luck. Instead, most of what may one day drive you over the edge is due to this simple fact: The game is rigged! You never had a fair, let along equal chance, and you won't. “Equality of Opportunity” is only a designers label on the Emperor's new clothes. This is capitalism's dirty little secret. Once you know this secret and understand where and how it has been hidden, you can stop punishing yourself and your loved ones, and join in the struggle to change the rules of the game.

Bertell Ollman
How to Take an Exam and Remake the World

History is not just about the past. It's also about our future!

At the beginning of each school year Dave goes through an orientation questionnaire with his students. He initiates a democratic process which enables the students to decide how to deal with college grading requirements and how the course should be run.

David has provided a complete version of his Orientation handout for download.

Thanks Dave.

getfiles: (author: David Hough)

PGL Presentation Handout PDF Format 0.4 MB

Complete Orientation Handout PDF Format 1.03 MB

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