"When we adults think of children, there is a simple truth that we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn’t getting ready to live; a child is living."
~John A Taylor, Notes on an Unhurried Journey (via dewdrops5am
In a humanizing pedagogy the method ceases to be an instrument by which the teachers (in this instance, the revolutionary leadership) can manipulate the students (in this instance, the oppressed), because it expresses the consciousness of the students themselves.
Pedagogy of the Oppresses
A few years ago, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeremy Hunter conducted a study of happiness and unhappiness in public school students, in 6th through 12th grades. Each of the 828 participants, from 33 different schools in 12 different communities across the country, wore a special wristwatch for a week, which was programmed to provide a signal at random times between 7:30 am and 10:30 pm. Whenever the signal went off participants filled out a questionnaire indicating where they were, what they were doing, and how happy or unhappy they were at the moment. The lowest levels of happiness by far (surprise, surprise) occurred when children were at school, and the highest levels occurred when they were out of school and conversing or playing with friends. Time spent withparents fell in the middle of the happiness-unhappiness range. Average happiness increased on weekends, but then plummeted from late Sunday afternoon through the evening, in anticipation of the coming school week.
As a society we have come to the conclusion that children must spend increasing amounts of their time in the very setting where they least want to be. The cost of that belief, as measured by the happiness and mental health of our children, is enormous. It is time to re-think education.
The Decline of Play and Rise in Children's Mental Disorders | Psychology Today →
By depriving children of opportunities to play on their own, away from direct adult supervision and control, we are depriving them of opportunities to learn how to take control of their own lives. We may think we are protecting them, but in fact we are diminishing their joy, diminishing their sense of self-control, preventing them from discovering and exploring the endeavors they would most love, and increasing the chance that they will suffer from anxiety, depression, and various other mental disorders.
Rich white man gets no jail time for raping his three-year-old daughter because he “will not fare well” in prison →
Nobody fares well in prisons. Because they are terrible, dehumanizing places. And, while treatment is sometimes presented as an alternative to incarceration–usually in cases of drug addiction–in the vast majority of cases, the US criminal justice system does not give a flying fuck about how prison affects the incarcerated. If it did, the system would look nothing like it does today. If it did, solitary confinement would be understood to be torture and outlawed as such. If it did, prison rape would be treated like the serious epidemic it is instead of as a punchline. If it did, literally millions of black men would not be condemned to second-class citizen status for minor drug offenses. If if did, there would be no mentally ill people in our prisons. If it did–if rehabilitation was really considered the goal–the world would probably be a better and safer place.
"If you always do as you’re told, you will always be told what to do."
"The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant."
John Dewey’s Vision of Learning as Freedom - NYTimes.com →
IN March, a task force organized by the Council on Foreign Relations tried to reframe the problems of the nation’s public schools as a threat to national security. “Large, undereducated swaths of the population damage the ability of the United States to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomacy, and grow its economy,” it warned, while also referring to students as “human capital.”
But these problems, however urgent, should not cause us to neglect Dewey’s insight that learning in the process of living is the deepest form of freedom. In a nation that aspires to democracy, that’s what education is primarily for: the cultivation of freedom within society. We should not think of schools as garrisons protecting us from enemies, nor as industries generating human capital. Rather, higher education’s highest purpose is to give all citizens the opportunity to find “large and human significance” in their lives and work.
Wouldn’t this be not only higher education’s highest purpose, but all education?
Find the report overview here.
"The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear."
"One should not excessively seek partners or friends, one should seek to know and be oneself. As you begin to awaken to the Truth, you start noticing how well life flows by itself and how well you are cared for. Life supports the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of the one who is open to self-discovery. Trust opens your eyes to the recognition of this. Surrender allows you to merge in your own Eternal Being."
How to Love More by Caring Less By Martha Beck →
How do you get your nearest and dearest to change their behavior? Simple: Stop giving a damn what they do, says Martha Beck.
"Now my whole family is abusing me!" said Loretta, a client at a women’s resource center where I volunteered back in the ’90s. "If I leave my husband, it’ll…