I was struck by this statement. Not because it was a new idea to me, but in the way she phrased it. The next day, I pulled Pedagogy of the Oppressed, By Paulo Freire off my bookshelf and started to read it again...it has been 10 years or so. I read about 1/2 the book and keep thinking about something I had written in 1993 as a preface to my political science honors thesis. It is copied and pasted below.
Often in life we forget about what is really important. We focus on the material worth of an individual and forget about the worth of the individual. We lose sight of what makes us all feel dignity and acceptance. We find ourselves lost in work and unable to see the real people who make our work possible. We take away a person's self-respect by our actions and our talk. We unconsciously stab their heart with the knife of worthlessness.
When Education loses sight of the "law of persons" it has lost all sight. It becomes a tool of the establishment in controlling and destroying people’s dreams and their dignity. We lose confidence in ourselves and in all of society’s institutions and only the few hold on in search of a better tomorrow.
These are the underlying principles in the concept we call education; tolerance, acceptance, moral understanding, critical thinking, questioning of society and our establishments, truth, and human dignity.
Often teachers forget this simple quote, "A master can tell you what to do. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations." Teachers, whether in universities, colleges, secondary or elementary schools, try to force youth down a path that leads to the "promised land" and yet that path only applies to a few. We need to focus on opening our young minds to the global world, their opportunities and their own expectations with human dignity.
I can only give one man's opinion as to what can be done in search of a better tomorrow for everyone. We do face a global "crisis" in the thing we call education, but again what we really mean is in human dignity and the search for happiness in our complex cruel world.
What I am saying in this preface is that too often we assume education is to be understood in a vacuum, I argue that this is not the correct way to see it. We must approach it as education (not only in schools but in society) and in turn as the basis for human dignity and worthfulness in society.
This paper is based on the underlining fact that education creates people and their beliefs and notions about individuals and society. This paper discusses a new way to think about the education of young people by using a new paradigm when teaching history called QUANTUM HISTORY that is based on the “law of persons” . This preface is intended to give you an insight into my personal thinking about educational beliefs that this paper is based on.
When Shannon reminded me of the beliefs and values I had held for years, it was a wake up call to reflect on the happenings occurring in my classroom. I for one, thank Shannon for doing that.
Let me know your feelings or ideas on the comments of Critical Theory in education, Cheers, Garth