Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Wisdom We're Losing

Chris on the passing of too many wise educational leaders:

I worry that we are losing wisdom. Wisdom is a funny thing, because it isn't something you are born with, and it isn't something you can acquire quickly and easily. It is hard-fought, path paved with mistakes and regret and reflection. Those folks who acquire the term "Wise Beyond Their Years" often have had to get there the hard way.

I'd just add that in particular we're losing or have lost the influence of post-WWII philosophers and educators who had to specifically confront the question of how to create a civilization that will not destroy itself with Fascism, Communism, The Bomb, etc. This was the deep background of the 60's.

I guess one Essential Question would be: Was that program of the 40's and 50's a success, and is it now a victim of that success?


Claus von Zastrow said...

Interesting point on who's passing. I was lucky to study under some of those post-WWII thinkers and educators. The stakes of education were enormous for them. They had seen real desperation and brutality, and they saw education, well applied, as a remedy. But I'm not sure they wielded all that much influence in the '50s and '60s--at least not over K-12.

Tom Hoffman said...

I guess it might be more accurate to say we're losing one generation removed from the people I'm thinking of, like Erich Fromm, Paul Goodman, even Dr. Spock. These would have been the people having an influence on the intellectual development of educators now hitting their 60's, 70's and 80's.