What does it mean to change the world?

In this week’s reflection, I felt it necessary to address this notion of change in education.  Wanting to change the world is a common call of the vocation, but is changing our students really what we want to do?  Again, I find myself drawn to Freire’s critique of the banking model of education, and this post that I wrote after meeting Alec for the first time at Learning 2.010.  Pushing students to think outside the prescribed reality takes courage; in doing so we are asking them to challenge everything, including our own authority.  I know that one day I will meet myself in a class and I will be pushed to the limits of my patience, but I look forward to those days of frustration.  When I reflect on them at the end of the day, I hope to remember that I am also a learner and that my students have a valid reality to share with me.

I must also thank @murphi30 for the link that brought me to this outstanding TED talk by Adora Svitak.  What an eloquent call to educators and adults to LEARN from KIDS!

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3 Responses to “What does it mean to change the world?”

  1. Once again a great post. There are two things I really enjoyed in your post. First, you introduced me to a new writer and ideas that you feel strongly about. I have never heard of Friere but I will check him out. I too am from a rural setting even though I now live in a larger city. So we have the rural girl in common. Second, I am drawn to imagery and one thing that I liked when you made this video was that you used images and a voice over, I find that very powerful. I believe you can use images to also get a message across and in doing so words are no longer needed. Which brings me to the question-if you want to change the world how do you get those to follow you? Is it in your words, actions, or is it the common beliefs that people share?

  2. onepercentyellow Says:

    Thanks for the video feedback! I’m really trying to experiment with different shots and such. Maybe next week I’ll try to do the whole thing as voiceover. I have a feeling that I’ll have a lot to share after George’s talk! Big ideas take reflection.

    Freire is monumental! I cannot recommend him enough. It is from him that I would really question the motivation in getting people to follow you. This whole notion of changing others is problematic to me, as it speaks of an idea that I know where things should be going – not only for myself but for everyone! Whew! What a burden that would be!

    I think the only way to really instigate meaningful change is by changing your own life into what you consider a meaningful representation of your humanity. Freire calls us to use praxis (the process of action and reflection) as a way to improve our lives. Of course the role of a teacher in this system is complex, and there are certainly critics of his methods, but the philosophy and orientation of the teacher as learner and the learner as teacher brings a new perspective to many top-down or what he would call “banking” models of education.

    I’ve done a lot of work with Freire and with Siemens’ connectivism as well. If you’re interested, there’s a long post I wrote about the contributions critical pedagogy makes to connectivism here.

    I’m also really open to having a real time discussion about this, if you’re tired of reading or interested! 🙂

  3. Agree with your comments about Freire – very influential indeed. I have to chuckle when I read that you are fearful of the day you meet yourself in a classroom. I think it comes down to power. Some teachers are fearful of learners who challenge their views, perspectives or authority as they see themselves as authority figures with power over learners. Some marriages are like that too, with one partner exerting power over the other. Seems to me a marriage works best if neither partner tries to figure out who has power. We raised our 4 children to be independent, supporting them in developing decision making and critical thinking skills at an early age. Of course, as they grew up, we didn’t always agree with the decisions they made, but were very proud of their abilities to assess consequences of various options before making a decision. They grew up to be the people we envisioned them to be. To me, its all about respect, not power.

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