Your Internation Ambassador of Good Will

By: Steve Hayes
To: Steve Quarrella

Steve Hayes is replying to Steve Quarrella, who wrote to Marty Leipzig on 14 May 98 08:46:14:

ML> Afrikaans
ML> Fok jou - Fuck you

SQ> I thought that sounded more like Al Pacino in "Scarface."
SQ> "Fok jou, mang."

ML> Arabic

At the university where I work, we have for years been having a running battle with the Faculty of Education, which has been one of the main proponents of a pseudoscience they were pleased to call "Fundamental Pedagogics".

The basic principle of Fundamental Pedagogics was simple: it is a Science, and therefore it is entitled to use its own specialist terminology, or rather, conceptology, because they don't use terms, they use concepts.

This is developed by making up pseudo terms (oops, concepts) by putting together bits of Latin and Greek words and coming up with "scientific" concepts.

This was then taught to students. Basically the teaching consisted of rote learning of these "concepts" and their definitions, and being able to reproduce them in an exam, with the often repeated mantra that "Fundamental Pedagogics is a science".

In order to make this easier, they compiled a dictionary called "Notes of [sic] fundamental pedagogic concepts".

This included such things as "metabletics" (which is a subsdicipline of the discipline of fundamental pedagogics). Of course the basis of all this was the science of agogics (I kid you not), which was subdivided into infantiagogics, ephebagogics, andragogics and gerontogogics and several other gogics as well.

It was once my privilege to edit one of the courses on the history of adult education. But of course it simply would not do to call it by such an unscientific label. It was "Temporal Andragogics" that's what. In my editorial queries I commented that it was sexist (why not gynagogics as well, or was that a separate discipline?) and also noted that in the dictionary "temporal" was listed as meaning "secular, sublunary, profane" and asked which meaning they had in mind.

Needless to say, they were not amused, and were also unaware that they were making the university a laughing stock not only throughout the country, but throughout the world. But they could do that as long as it was their ideology that was propping up the government in power, which paid them to train the teachers in their gobbledegook.

Among the definitions they had was "adulterous children". No, it didn't mean what you think it does. What they had in mind was adulterine children, not kids that seduced or were seduced by married teachers. I thought it might have been a mistranslation from the Afrikaans, but no, it wasn't, the Afrikaans was "owerspelige kinders", which means children who seduce or are seduced by married teachers.

But (after all that background info, this gets to the point of the quoted text), in one of the definitions of these "concepts" they quoted some Dutch education fundi who has commented that education was "meer alst net kinderen opvokken".

Taken literally, it means that education is more than just "rearing" children as one rears pigs, cows, goats and other farm animals. But we could not help laughing, because in Afrikaans "kinderen opvokken" means just what you think it does, and perfectly described the activities of the Education Faculty - damaging childrens' minds by polluting the minds of the teachers. Though if you took the Afrikaans meaning of the term literally, it would indeed be rearing "adulterous children".

They were appallingly ignorant, not only of Latin and Greek (as shown by "temporal andragogics" - a mixture of the two languages, rather like "scientology", and just as "scientific"); but they were just as ignorant of English (as shown by the "adulterous children") and their own language, Afrikaans ("owerspelige kinders").

And though we have a new government that does not support the ideology of "Fundamental Pedagogics", there are still thousands of teachers out there whose minds have been polluted by that stuff, and whose activites could still be described as "kinderen opvokken".

In Afrikaans, "Ek sal jou opvok" means "I'll beat the hell out of you".

Keep well,

Steve Hayes