Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Changing Educational Paradigms

This is a very concise and reasonable look at the history of education and some of the consequences of the factory model of education that goes on and on and on.

During our class this semester, a few people asked HOW educational paradigms can possibly shift. We weren't able to come up with a definite answer... neither does this speaker. But I might venture to say that it IS changing no matter what we think or do. As economies change, and cultures change, the educational institutions meant to serve these inevitably change. Is that good or bad? Who decides how this happens? Again... there are no answers. But I personally believe that one thing that hasn't really changed over the past 100 years is that a number of people and groups are fiddling with education in order to make it serve their own (our own) interests. This runs the gambit from policy makers, to corporate publishers, to teacher's unions, to private educators, to the 'market' that continues to overtake English business in Korea, etc, etc, etc. That means that every move we make, everything we do as a participant in this system is a part of the debate. And I've come to believe that the tiny slivers of progress that we make with a student or a class are the sum of what we can do. Looking past that means to become distracted. In other words, our every action IS culture- IS the new paradigm, and it seems to me that it is no longer a matter of preparing ourselves to change anything, but to simply do what we can to nourish the values and abilities that we cherish- as teachers and as people, at every moment....

"We have to view resistance on the level of every action" - Gilles Deleuze

Lofty, to be sure, but also strangely materialist and real.

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