Sometimes used interchangeably for schooling

or its newest incarnation social emotional learning,

I think we can all agree it usually involves learning something,

or at least asking questions that suggest learning

might be happening.

Sitting in a classroom and not only absorbing information,

but connecting it logically to your life

and other things it bears no relation to,

and then using that new knowledge to arrive at an insight

that says something about humanity previously unknown

to most of us? Who has time for that? seems to be

the question being withheld.

It’s like an entire species of aardvark was teleported away

overnight and everyone’s okay with it.

Okay, maybe not okay with it,

but not really doing anything about it either, sort of like

what we see happening in politics these days

each time we definitely don’t want the news because its

wreaking so much havoc on our anxiety and

retraumatizing us. I wonder what’s on CNN.

I think the dilemma we’re facing with education

is that its focus and definition changes depending on the

needs of a society, and right now society needs educators

to babysit children and encourage them to not question authority

and expertise more than it needs them to teach students

for a broken record of reasons how to define learning for

themselves, which usually involves questioning everything,

even this definition, I mean it’s as flimsy as any.

Listening to others and waiting your turn? Does that

involve listening to oneself first, and realizing all the ways

one is always getting in one’s own way?

And what about want and the whole function of

behavior thing? Does it include the possibility that some

students and educators too I think want to forget how to

learn and would prefer to drift unconsciously through time

hurting one another and especially themselves because

they think so minutely of hope and goodness pain and cruelty

start to look like heroic and martyr-like acts meant to discreetly

glorify neglect while hunting for touch?

Is education devolving into a system of self-extinction?

Should we continue to go to school, knowing this might

be a possibility?

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