Monday, November 14, 2011

Transform education into teaching and learning

Today Learning in the Open Spaces shares "Is School Good for the Soul?" by Fran Norris Scoble, head of Westridge School in California. Scoble opens and closes with passages from Parker Palmer's book The Courage to Teach and includes Thomas Moore's views in The Education of the Heart. Scoble writes,
"One way that the academic culture discourages us from living connected lives lies in the very school structure itself. Unconsciously, over time, we begin to accept the belief that the primary purpose of school is to convey conventional wisdom and objective knowledge, not to provoke new ways of seeing. The following passage from Thomas Moore’s book, The Education of the Heart, speaks powerfully to this issue: “To be educated, a person doesn’t have to know much or be informed, but he or she does have to have been exposed vulnerably to the transformative events of an engaged human life. One of the great problems of our time is that many are schooled but few are educated.”

How do we connect so fully with our work and experience in school that we are invigorated and renewed; that our deepest selves are “called out” and not stifled. How do we make our work, to use a phrase, “soul satisfying”?
Following a poem by Mary Oliver, Scoble writes about the current challenges in schools: "I believe there are systemic problems built into the way we “do” school that make schools places that are not good for the soul, so that schools foster arrogance, indifference, and fear and create time structures that leave us both exhausted and frustrated."