Sunday, April 24, 2011

We Are All Teachers, We Are All Students

When was the last time you taught someone something? When was the last time you learned something?

In all likelihood, neither instance was in school (unless, perhaps, your primary identity is "Teacher" or "Student"). Hopefully it was more recently, perhaps you learned something earlier today from the TV, radio, newspaper, talking to a friend, or this blog? Did you explain your job or a project you are doing to a co-worker or family member earlier today? Did you post a link on your facebook page? 

Each of these actions are educational actions. We teach all the time: we teach that we are caring when we write a text or email to a friend who isn't feeling well. We teach those around us that we are careless about our environment when we litter, leave on the lights or idle our engine. We teach people bits and pieces about art, money, trust, technology and customs just with our brief interactions and common routines. Many of the lessons we teach and learn are subtle and we probably don't recognize the constance of the educational process. However, that process is constant: it is part of acculturation. 

I've come to realize and seek to articulate that this blog is using a broader definition of education than what is commonly understood. We're not just talking about schools here, folks (the blog isn't called "Schools and Efficacy", is it?). Education is a process that involves every element of our culture. We must be aware that schools play a central role in education, but so do families, the media, and public policy. As such, remember that you are a participant in the educational process (indeed, the establishment) of our society. Thus, ask the important questions. Are we educating each other for obedience, oppression, profit-making and conformity, or liberty, creativity and enlightenment? Remember that whenever we talk about education we are talking about every aspect of our culture as a means and an end. We are discussing what we value--and therefore make our goals of education--and we are discussing how we work toward these goals.

We are all teachers, we are all students. Welcome to Education and Efficacy. Please join the conversation. 

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