Educating in the Rear View Mirror

From Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner 

One way of representing the present condition of our educational system is as follows: it is as if we are driving a multi-million-dollar sports car, screaming, ‘Faster! Faster!’ while peering fixedly into the rear-view mirror. It is an awkward way to try to tell where we are, much less where we are going, and it has been sheer dumb luck that we have not smashed ourselves to bits – so far. We have paid almost exclusive attention to the car, equipping it with all sorts of fantastic gadgets and an engine that will propel it at ever increasing speeds, but we seem to have forgotten where we wanted to go in it. Obviously, we are in for a helluva jolt. The question is not whether, but when.

I re-read this book, which I first encountered in grad school, over spring break, and almost a half century after they were written, too many of the authors’ observations still apply to our “present condition”.

And I think I’m actually looking forward to that “helluva jolt” we’re in for. Any theories on when it might finally arrive?

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