Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Reflection on the U.S. American Education Institution and Thoughts on Simone Weil's "The Need for Roots"

What is education, what does it look like and what is the motivation behind education in today’s cultures and societies?  I ask this question in the midst of a rapidly changing environment where previous educational models are no longer considered credible.  I suggest, with this post, that education has become, more than ever, a form of conforming, a tool of information for jobs and careers that are fast becoming a ploy to satisfy the quivering capitalist soul.  It must be considered pseudo-education as it is not education in the truest sense but merely a ploy to maintain some form of state emotional-economic cohesion.   This is not a new observation yet a reality of our present state that bears more visitation.

While culture and society present us with different contextualities I suggest that the aforementioned questions remain prescient.  So where did we lose education or does it just look different with different outcomes?  Have we become so technologically advanced that we have become uprooted from our humanity, and with that education?  Simone Weil approaches these questions in her book The Need for Roots.  Weil’s thoughts are more than ever compelling, as these questions are significant in the midst of culture and societal shifts.   I suppose a question that would further trouble the waters would be, “Where is education in the midst of this global tectonic shift in culture and society.”  The current environment requires a complete reconceptualization of education down to its meaning and the implications to the outcomes. 

I suggest here that this reconception of education calls for courage not grounded in the present capitalist product/profit oriented mindset but grounded in a quest for holistic oriented thought.  The goal of education must be the development and maturing of the human being beyond norms of race economics, and sectarianism.   I suggest here that education should be that tool which unleashes the radical passion embodied in the student.   Education then must have a trajectory that is holistic in its approach and its outcomes.  If we want education in the truest sense there must be an overhaul of the foundation and a delinking, if you will, from notions of corporate and government colonization.    I make this statement as I think of corporations willing to support the educational institution through programs that, I suggest, ultimately lead to the student working for them, see, (Los Angeles Schools to Seek Sponsors, December 16, 2010).   Look I am all for making a living and surviving yet education must not be a corporate servant but a free agent for the benefit of all students.

In Need for Roots, Simone Weil embodies the guiding principle for this different educational framework.  Education, once again, as in the old school house, not to romanticize, must, once again becomes a labor of love.  I think there must be a question of modeling.  Who or what is education modeled after?  Who or what is teaching modeled after?  These questions must be considered core questions to engage.  These questions, debated in the context of attention, for in the final analysis education begins and ends with the attention, yes, giving the student, as the embodiment of cosmic passion attention. 

Reflecting on the reason for this post, unsafe schools, low morale, no child left behind, and race to the top, all that seemingly embody a trajectory of a corporate merger between what is considered education and the corporation.  I long for time when schools we actually educate once again.