What is schooling for? Why aren’t we taking advantage of the power of education as a preventative tool? Why are our schools full of debate teams and clubs, but no “solutionary” teams to inspire and empower students to work to solve real-world challenges in and out of school? Why do we continue to educate our students only to become verbally, mathematically and technologically literate, so that they continue to perpetuate unhealthy, destructive and inhumane systems?
These are some of the questions that IHE President, Zoe Weil, explores in her latest essay, published in the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Green Horizons. Here are a couple of excerpts:
“Too many of us are spending our lives desperately trying to put out the fires of destruction, oppression and cruelty, but what if we were to invest a bit more of our time on prevention? Education is prevention. Education is the key to understanding the connections between our personal, career, and civic choices and their multitude of effects. Education is the avenue by which we become informed, passionate lifelong learners able to solve complex problems. Education is also the way in which we dispel our self-righteousness and cultivate our humility in the face of uncertainty.”
“…What if our curricula revolved around overarching themes, such as food, shelter, energy, protection, or transportation — all necessary components of life and all largely produced or carried out in unsustainable, unhealthy, and inhumane ways? What if core competencies in language arts, social studies, math, and science focused on these themes, and students brought their new skills and learning to bear on relevant issues of our time to come up with ideas that would make such systems healthy and just?”
“…I believe that as a society we are not striving for worthy enough goals for our children. We are not meeting their great potential with meaningful enough education. We are failing them, not only because they are not all learning to read, write, and do arithmetic, but also because they are not learning to apply these foundational tools toward critical purposes. The truth is that we may well be preparing them for a future that is more degraded, dangerous, and unhealthy than our own.”
Read the complete essay (pdf).
(Published by IHE Staff)
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