1. Travis Lyon

    One of your absolute best yet, George. I absolutely loved the refreshing message of this post. I love the contrasting theme all the way through because it juxtaposes two paradigms so well, then it provides such a hopeful message at the end when you provide the idea of a healthy compromise. For those who are less comfortable with change, this ties the old in with the new and shows what can easily be done, straight away. Thanks again, I love reading your thoughts on this blog.

  2. David


    I think the better alternative is “Education promotes developing your own questions and finding answers.”

    Does your own refusal to challenge the need and idea of “school” not bias all your other thoughts about what can be?

    This is the time to not dress the wolf up in old sheep’s clothing. It is the time to embrace learning everywhere – street, bed, boardroom and bordello. Bring this into the light and measure it, treasure it and move into a world where we truly embrace the freedom to teach / learn.

  3. George,

    Of course, you are right on. Can I add an idea? I’ve thought for a bit about the difference between education v. learning.

    Education is something that is done to me. Learning is something I do.

    I went to HS. I went to university. I went to grad school. I got an education. They educated me. It was something done to me. But, I learned how to play the guitar. I secured the necessary materials and taught myself. Isn’t that what learning is? Teaching yourself?

    What if schools operated on that primise? What if they stopped educating and started producing good learners? Sounds exciting.

    Dane Barner

  4. Doug

    Hi George,

    Your thoughts here remind me of Illich’s thesis in Deschooling Society. “For most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school.”

    I am pleased to see that thoughts like yours stay at the surface of what we do as educators.


  5. I absolutely love this entry. Thanks George.

    Schools would be all about learning if we start from the premise that all young people come to us capable, knowing, willing and skilled. A disposition that believes in the capacity of people is reflective of a true learning environment. Currently most schools are built on a deficit model, where young people come incapable, unknowing, unskilled, unmotivated. Hence the requirement that schools have to teach them everything in order for “them” to grow up and be contributing citizens in society.

    If schools are to be places of learning then we must believe and act in a way that honours and respects our students as capable partners in the process. Really the same respect must be given to all our colleagues as well! It is time, as you said, to write mission statement that have an image of the learner that is filled with attributes, knowledge and skills and not mission statements that stem from an image of the learner that is rooted in deficiencies. Schools that are about learning (and some do exist) are rooted in the believe that all people are capable, intelligent and motivated individuals from which we all have something to learn.

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