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14 March 2011


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Awesome post, Josie. Celebration of risk and change and re-examination have to be essential in our increasingly connected environments.

Agreed, excellent stuff. I think we should be teaching Connectivity and Creativity (amongst other things) not dates and facts!

Thanks Josie! I certainly feel this with my four year old and it's something that I never want him to let go of. It's a stereotype, for sure, but the 'why' questions should never leave us (that's one of the reasons I studied Philosophy as an undergrad).

As Bertrand Russell famously said, "What men really want is not knowledge but certainty." This leads almost to a 'hegemony of certainty' with people looking for a story to believe in. The trouble is that, as has been widely identified, those in control of education tend to be those who have been successful in the existing system.

We need to change that. :-)

What a challenging and inspiring Purpos/ed post. You pose important questions for us all: as educators are we willing to be vulnerable, to be challenged, to change and to be changed? Thanks for expressing this so beautifully -- I think that your post captures the purpose of parenthood as well as the purpose of education. :)

What a wonderfully inspiring post. Our education systems today constrict and confine whereas we should encourage discovery and openness.

Thanks Jo. There's a direct correlation between opportunity and risk, and I'm very keen on organisational models which understand this and address it head on. Thanks for picking up on the celebratory aspects.

Eugene - thanks for identifying my pro-epistemology argument. This originally started out as a rather dour post focusing on education as an ideological apparatus and prefaced with my favourite passage from Hard Times: "You are to be in all things regulated and governed," said the gentleman, "by fact. We hope to have, before long, a board of fact, composed of commissioners of fact, who will force the people to be a people of fact, and of nothing but fact." Lucky fr everyone I was feeling a bit more cheerful when I finished it up :)

Doug, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I think there is a real psychological need for children and young people to have structure and stability. The problem is that too often this is confused with sucking the uncertainty out of the world, and very often along with it, the fun.

Thanks Catherine & Kevin! I really appreciate the lovely compliments.

'n' here was me thinking it was to help the rich get richer...

I can't see why we should be preoccupied with equipping children for change. That is what they are most ready for. That is what it means to be young: to be a change in the world. We should be giving them the best of the things that don't change, the things that need preserving from one generation to the next.

:) you should write a post on that George...

Hi oldandrew. I think we are risking stereotyping children and young people, not to mention investing them with more autonomy and power than they actually have, if we presume that their existence is itself a guarantee of change. Young people very rarely get to effect widespread social change, although they they are often subject to it. Their relative power is very often why they are open to change - they may not have a choice. And of course, children are all different. Some of them really don't like change.

My argument focuses on how we support and frame learning. I would argue that if we think about education as the transmission of a static order and knowledge base we are ignoring the existence of social change, development and context and not preparing our learners for real world challenges.

What is on your list of 'the best of things that don't change'? I'd probably argue that there is little that isn't subject to change. Our interpretations and understandings of things aren't neutral or static. Childhood, and the ways in which we understand what that category means, is an obvious example here.

Morning, Josie. Just want to let you know that I posted one of your quotes from this post in the 3x5 campaign. Hope you are OK with that.

Yours was one of the #purposed posts that has stayed with me. As an educator and a mother, I think it is so important to think of education not as a means of reproducing what we already know, what "is", but to prepare ourselves and our children to accept (embrace!) and deal with uncertainty and change, particularly social change.

Hi Catherine - I'm delighted you selected a quote from my post! Many thanks & very much looking forward to the results.

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