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Paul Grobstein's picture

Education: where's the "beginning"?

You and several of your classmates have highlighted a really interesting issue about education itself, one that has come up in another non-education class context:

"If terms like this were clearer, wouldn't our answers be, too?  Shouldn't we start from the same place -- grounded in common definitions of the terms we are using -- in order to understand each other more fully, and use time more efficiently?"

Yes, we might start with "common definitions" but maybe an interest in "efficiency" is part of the problem.  Maybe the place to begin isn't actually with "common definitions" but rather with whatever each of us happens to be thinking at the time we start?   And out of that comes (or doesn't come) "common definitions"?  

"What I would rather have from individuals is their own distinctive understandings [as opposed to their acquiescence in a shared starting point], the alternative ways of making sense of things that I might not be able to get from books [or by imposing a starting framework]. Maybe along this path we could have not only richer classrooms but richer and more satisfying interpersonal, cultural, and political lives as well?"

Lots to talk about here, and we will, from multiple perspectives in the weeks to come. 

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