The learning revolution (loooong, rant-ish)

Eugene Ortiz (
Mon, 9 Sep 1996 22:54:57 -0600

On Mon, 09 Sep 1996 23:23:10 -0700, Karl Soetebier wrote:

> The most effective point to begin the "learning revolution" must lie
>within our schools, but can only hope to succeed where the efforts are expended
>with equal vigor from the culture beyond. In essence, to change our
>practices, we must change the culture, but to change our culture, we must
>our educational practices. Abandoning the schools alone will not change the way
>knowledge is created, the culture must change as well.
>It will indeed be a loooong rant-ish affair as we, as a society, travel upon
> this
>strangely spiraling paradox. And to think the 'they' thought that Mobius was
> vexed!

I don't mean to bash Karl, but his post got me thinking.

We may need to reconsider the differentiation some of us make between
school, educational system, society, and culture.

I have heard for years that our schools reflect our culture. I've also
heard the argument that schools are where one goes to learn about our
culture. Some argue that schools are where culture is developed and pushed

Always there is a dichotomy drawn between the educational system and the
"other," like it's some evil beastie we have to defend against. Or worse
yet, that teachers have to save society from itself lest we descend into a
new dark age or something. That's a whole lot of bull, folks. I spent seven
years driving a dump truck; before that, I worked with alcoholics, drug
addicts, emotionally disturbed adolescents; and before that I was a
commercial artist. From 1981 I studied Aikido from someone with less
"formal" education than I. All this to say that the whole time I was aware
of the fact that I was getting an education not available in the classroom
-- ANY classroom.

There are a whole lot of people who don't give a hoot in hell what we're
doing in academia and they are no less a part of our culture. You want
revolution? Perhaps it would be helpful to seek out members of the
community we don't often hear from in the classroom and integrate them into
our grand schemes. Maybe we'll gain some insight into what is and what is
not education. What is and is not "school."


Eugene Ortiz


"All this is fine, but what happens when the rubber meets the road?"