But what kind of education? Education for what kind of life? Education for what kind of society?
‘We don’t need no education!‘ sings Pink Floyd in an iconic song that unexpectedly landed at my recent ‘manifesto post‘. I read this line as a call to reject oppressive authority and developmental violence, and only in that interpretation this line fits into my universe-in-creation (along the fact that I love Pink Floyd).
We do need education, of course. And, of course, I think that excellent education, free at the point of use, is essential for a good society. However, looking back at years and years of studying and working within formal systems of education, one starts to wonder if the education is there to make us less alive and more fitting to systems that don’t really serve us. Do we really need education that makes us conform to the norms that harm us? Education that locks up our minds in the dungeons of dogmas, that fixes our bodies so that they can be exploited better? How long does it take to unlearn the boundaries of perception and understanding inscribed on us by reductionist education, in order to start seeing other possible worlds?
How can we educate ourselves for flourishing? For peace? For love? For health? For equity? For caring? For nature? And can we do that without slipping into any sort of evangelism (including scientific evangelism, the worst of our times)?
What type of education do we need to be able to redesign our lives? To make ‘a better version of ourselves’ (to use Nick Cave’s words), or to take ourselves to a better place? Or even better – to make better places where ever we are, with people ready to grow together?
‘Happiness is a journey, not a destination’ says the message on a wall I passed by in Liverpool. I don’t have many answers to the questions posed above, but hope that searching for them might be a good journey. This book looks like a good place to start: We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change, by Myles Horton and Paulo Freire.
Please do not hesitate to share your views and recommendations.
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