Monday, June 13, 2011

A Flashback to 2009

Occasionally I attempt to sound as if I have read something - generally when applying for a teaching position.  Here's an attempt from 2009.  Odd as it sounds, I actually believe this...

Some Thoughts Regarding Education
Through the education of others we educate ourselves. It is the responsibility of each member of any given profession to relay not merely the facts of the profession to the next generation, but also the evolved understanding that experience engenders, to put flesh to the skeleton; an over reliance on desiccated scholastics will create a generation lost in a sea of unprecedented knowledge, uncertain of goals, frustrated and rendered cynical by the journey.
The professional must, however, develop the tools to communicate the knowledge. The initial training process in any profession can be, in itself, a Byzantine maze that precludes the time necessary for introspection. The how is learned by rote; the why must come with experience; it becomes a challenge to communicate the why. Peering into such an abyss tempts the abyss to peer back--easier to follow the advice of Candide and "tend to the garden" than to show the future generations that the sun also rises for every sunset.
So with the rigors of one discipline we must consider the addition of another. After a time of working our craft, we must again put to work on framing it for others to see, or better, to understand. The talent is not always innate; creative approaches often need to be scavenged with truncheon and guile. But once honed, the new talent cannot help but enrich the base of the original profession.
Certainly, there have been those for whom education has been for its own sake, an insular amusement designed to foster a patronized derision of others. May they be content in their solitude, for a secret not shared is lost, and a perception not spoken is stillborn.
John Dewey felt that education should be life itself, not a preparation for living. Now, having poured over many a forgotten volume, having made lapses great and small, having the germinal understanding gained by every misstep and every success, I turn to the second phase of my responsibility–to educate others so that I may continue to educate myself.

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