I like to think that I am open to any idea. If it leads to increased understanding, then it is worth investigating. I recently purchased Jane Jacobs last book Dark Age Ahead from Fictionwise.com in ebook format for my phone. As of this writing, I have read to the beginning of the second chapter and have already encountered important ideas that are quite relevant for my discussion here. True, this book about the health and decline of civilizations. However, we can apply a lot of this to education as education is one aspect of civilization and the education system, in my eyes at least, is large enough to be seen as a civilization on a micro scale.
Jane Jacobs looks at 6 areas of our civilization and discusses how problems are appearing that, if led unchecked, will result in a future Dark Age. I wanted to share two ideas that I’ve read thus far that are very relevant to us in education:
On the importance of educators being living examples:
“Educators and mentor, whether they are parents, elders or schoolmasters, use books and videos if they have them, but they also speak, and when they are most effective, as teachers, parents or mentors, they also serve as examples.”
Warnings against the refusal to adapt:
“What dooms losers?…Losers are confronted with such radical jolts in circumstances that their institutions can’t adapt adequately, become irrelevant, and are dropped.”
Dark Age Ahead does have a complete chapter on education and it will be interesting to see what Jane Jacobs had to say about this. I will report back once I have read that chapter.