Education-zen

6th

The problem of the steady change of ideas (or the perpetual need to imagine new ideas) also demolishes the notion that the essence of education consists in mastering certain contents or materials. You are not little birdies sitting in the nest with your mouths open to receive half-digested worms of knowledge regurgitated by the faculty. Education is not about content. It is not even about skills. It is a habit or stance of mind. It is not something you have. It is something you are.” So says educator Andrew Abbott. To work towards ‘progressing’ our skills and capacities, as if this was just some kind of iterative and cumulative process – that is, as if we were merely intelligent machines – is a limiting concept.

 We are also creatures capable of insight and wisdom, empathy and compassion, such that sometimes ‘learning’ can be a matter of stripping things away, divesting ourselves of unproductive or misplaced assumptions and ideals, simply removing excess furniture so that light can penetrate further, of widening some of the conceptual gaps so that in living in these spaces we might better see relationships, ratios, patterns. Our unfolding in the world, our flourishing, is something well beyond what we have, own, possess. In fact, it may not be about this ‘me’ character at all.

Posted in Change, Education, Life, Purpose, Skills, Success, Transformation, Vocation, Weirdness, Wisdom, Zen

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