thomas friedman got me to thinking about the youth- what innocent, eager souls! hungry to learn about the art of living we all long for the immortal taste of eternally sensational fruit from the tree of infinite knowledge. creative, innovative minds we have
in china and japan and other eastern countries many people are raving about a harvard professors’ new(?) way of teaching philosophy that allows students to engage in meaningful, life-shifting discussions and debates on topics such as moral reasoning and the ethics of our human existence when applied to everyday, relevant situations. if you understand the philosopher john dewey’s statement that “education is not a preparation for life, it is life itself,” then you would most likely be able to see why this new(?) way of teaching would be so popular among the youth. I question the relativity of the word new because, upon reflective inspection, it seems that this way of teaching actually isn’t new at all. Like philosophers in the school of athens, students in michael j. sandel’s classes are actively and consciously engaging in a verbal exchange of ideas, all working together to expand their collective understanding of the world and also to jointly enhance their individual(?) perspectives and ability to make sensible inferences.
seeing as we are in 2011 and no one knows the answers to the deepest of universal questions, (and if you think you do then try explaining them to someone who doesn’t speak your language) i think our whole education system, from the universities to pre-schools, should be examined and cleaned into a tabla rasa. we could start from scratch. let us look back with an unbiased eye through all the educational styles and philosophies we ever have (and will continue to) learn from as a species. if we peer through a thousand doorways into the entire recordings of human history we can see how the art of teaching is forever evolving and being scrutinized. we would also find that the system now in place does not adequately attempt to teach us or even try to fulfill our potential as people- considering we are conscious parts of the whole world.
here is a message to everyone in the universe: let’s have a morally based, creative and innovative philosophical discourse on the topic of educating the human organism.
the anarchical education revolution we could call it.
we all want something, we just don’t know what it is yet. how can we get our
“perseverance is a great element of success. if you knock long enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” -henry wadsworth longfellow
As an individual becomes fully aware of the possibility to see all life as learning, his or her life is naturally transformed into one of greater concern for all fellow citizens. This concern is developed through accepting the responsibility of self-cultivation, an acceptance which leads one to see the connection between personal growth and its reciprocal contribution to the growth of society. And only by being truly dedicated to the full growth of all individuals who make it up can society have any chance of being true to itself.