I have been gone for a while because I set a foolish standard for myself. So, my goal is to write twice a month on things educational. Hope you will join or rejoin me. Let’s get to it.
A friend of mine who is still teaching is starting an elective class: People to Remember. It’s a great idea and she will do a fantastic job because she is a great teacher. But it brought attention to the fact of how intertwined our upbringing, our culture and our idea of worthiness are. Simply by identifying someone worthy of being remembered you have established a rubric that says these traits are worthwhile and these aren’t. There is nothing wrong with that, IF you remember to examine where the standards come from. Too often we assume that because most of the people we know agree on something it is a given, it is foundational. We do it as Americans: Democracy is what is good for everyone, so is Capitalism, so is Coke and McDonald’s.
But if we want our students to live and operate in a global economy we have to have the ability to hold several perspectives. Too often that is whined about as being politically correct and people worry that we will have no moral compass if we are willing to see things from so many points of view. Quick story. I sat down with the man who raped my mother and learned about what his life was like. I can say unequivocally that I did not find the act any less despicable nor did I find him any less accountable. So, seeking other perspectives can lead to understanding. But if your beliefs and morals can change with just a little additional information, they weren’t that solid to begin with.
We need to teach processes, not facts. I think my friend will move towards that, “How do we determine if someone is worth remembering?” is much more valuable than trying to argue for one individual over another. Teachers put you on a path, they do not profess, they do not instruct, they journey. Have a great year my friends.