This is a place to share and glean insight from those dedicated to improving education in our world. We hope you’ll join the conversation.
A bit about the title…
–osis: denoting a process, condition, or pathological (obsessive or compulsive) state.
If you spend any time in zoos, you may notice curious behavior in some of the animals. They’ll often tread the same path in their enclosures over and over to some sort of ceaseless internal rhythm. Coined ‘zoochosis’ by the animal rights activist Bill Travers, this repetition can be disconcerting to observe, especially if you are accustomed to observing animals in their more natural habitats where similar behavior isn’t as readily observed. Of course all members of the animal kingdom tend to have repetitious patterns of behavior, but behind glass or bars, within the limits of a set space and other confinements, these behaviors are amplified.
What happens when we replace cages with walls, desks, schedules, arbitrary deadlines, standardization, and tests upon tests upon tests? When we are the animals? Or our children?
Schools often create the very conditions that bring forth the worst in us as human beings. We tread cycles within them that are frequently damaging, meaningless, and destructive to the goals of helping young people grow.
On the other hand, schools can be transformative. We’ve seen it and been apart of it, and it’s time to tell more about that.
Despite a deep love of schools, I am driven to uncover when schooling might be replaced by understanding, empathy, kindness and true learning. I’m insatiably curious about the differences between obtaining an education and being schooled. I’ve been both schooled and educated within this amazing work of being with young human beings and adults. I’ve done both schooling and educating in my practice.
I believe we can work harder to replace acts of schooling with meaningful learning.
I promise that here I will continue to look carefully and share openly about the spectrum of schooling and meaningful education going on all around from my perspective.
I’m finally ready to write about it.