0073: #Education as Utopia, or Heaven, or Not so boring, or Humanizing
#SOS #revolution #teaching
If I had my way, if schools were to slide from the dystopian clutches of training and ennui, then how would they look? I struggle to produce an image, and I find it hard to recall what I know about how people really learn and function. But, here goes.
We’ll start with the teachers. Teachers would work together, and now just during rare and pointless faculty meetings. Teachers would plan, teach, and reflect together. It would be a team effort. Subjects would not be segmented, they would work in concert to solve problems, some real and some invented for simulation. So, I suppose all curriculum would be problematicized, problem-based learning. Of course, basics would be taught, literacy, math, etc. And, those basics would be mastered. But, while they were being mastered real problem solving would be in progress. Teachers and students would work in collectives to solve problems. I think that would suffice as curriculum. People would all have strengths and weaknesses, different strengths and weaknesses, and strengths would be used, and some weaknesses would be strengthened or forgotten (teachers included). Additionally, something practical and tangible would come from the work done in school, a product, new information, perhaps money, something other than a score. Decisions would be made democratically. That means the role of principal and upper administration might no longer exist. That might mean teacher training would have to be different. It might exclude or include some from the teaching field. Teachers would have to be devoted to the process, and self-disciplined. Education would be participatory. No top-down bullshit.
I would love for the building to look different, less institutional. It’s a problem when schools and prisons use the same aesthetic. What if schools weren’t confined to specific buildings? Perhaps there was a building, but more time was spent elsewhere. What if we did more? What if we performed and produced instead of just sitting and getting? What if? What if? What if, these were realities and not what ifs? I know I’d be more eager. I’d teach forever. Changes must be made, and not just bandaid reforms. It’s not the curriculum. It’s not just the bureaucracy. It’s the whole damn system. The intention is wrong. People need to thrive, not just survive. How can this change? Who will change it?