a quick 20 minute blurbing on a weekend of thinking
A journey to the purpose of education. I’m reading a Freire, hooks, and Rorty in an attempt to weave the public/private, oppressor/oppressed, local/systemic, passive/active together. All the dichotomies.
But why educate?
Well… logos. The word. The act of speaking as creation/recreation – the act of speaking as naming. Education means the capacity to name the world around you… to (in a Judeo-Christian mindset) – imitate the “he spoke and it was” of Genesis. A true word created the world.
Freire speaks of this in terms of action/reflection. Reflection without action is meaningless verbosity – ivory tower intellectualism. Action without reflection is worthless activism – without a theory for change. Our humanity is defined by the capacity oscillate between reflection and action – instead of sitting silent in action or ineffective in reflection. Animals have merely action and reaction. Passive adaptibility.
So – if you remove reflection from education (the humanities?), you create passive, adaptable actors. They do. And they either do what they’re told or what their instinct tells them. They’re treated like animals. They lose their humanity.
To remove the word at all from education is to further the animalization. With no capacity to name, create, commune, speak – humans are stripped of their imitation of god – the depth of their humanity.
We must first work with students to create actors/reflectors, self-conscious theorists and makers. Else we (re)make animals.