Sometimes used interchangeably for schooling or its newest incarnation social emotional learning, I think we can all agree education 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 change depending on the economic 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?