Mark Limacher /dɒtkɔm/


On Education

From an article appearing in Truthout, “Has American Education Peaked?”.
Although a brief piece, it contains many interesting themes worth examining- not the least of which is a critique of what remains currently acceptable as “Education”. Of particular note is the following excerpt:

After we got acquainted, I suggested that maybe Cuban life under the American-supported dictator Fulgencio Batista wasn’t the best preparation for the sort of flat-out democracy he favored. Maybe, I said, there needed to be some sort of transitional government to move the people gradually toward democracy.

He couldn’t have disagreed more. If you want people to learn how to act responsibly, he insisted, you have to give them responsibility. Sure, they’ll screw up. And then they’ll screw up again. And again. But in the long run that’s necessary if they’re to grow in wisdom.

He caused me to pay better attention. Now, when I see a 10- or 12-year old kid in some poor, isolated part of the world taking responsibility for rearing younger brothers and sisters because the parents have died or been killed, it tells me Rufo was right.

It would seem this kind of angle, as well as the suggestion earlier in the article about community learning centers, echoes another point I am known to espouse: that education has been so successfully alienated from the material world that its fruits are but bitter, inedible gourds of ignorance. The fact that “education” takes place in a setting (the school) deracinated from the concrete problems, enticing paradoxes, and passion inspiring intrigues of material reality, leaves little hope for its current solubility.

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