The ‘Thingification’ of Teaching?

By Anthony Rebora — August 02, 2010 1 min read
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Just something to get those brain cells moving on a Monday morning (er, afternoon): In an interesting piece on The Huffington Post, the writer and psychotherapist Thomas Moore (of Care of the Soul fame) argues that education in our country is oriented too much around the acquisition of “things"—i.e., “filling our minds with stuff"—and not enough around personal development:

Imagine if our focus in education was on the person rather than the things studied. We'd be concerned that a student grow up and learn how to deal with life and help others deal with it as well. This education has two purposes: self-ripening and leadership.
In a thing-centered culture, we believe that our job is to teach the young what they need to have a job and support themselves. Students are left on their own for learning how to cope with life's existential challenges, how to relate well to others, how to lead maturely in business and government, how to raise children and how to be married. How to develop taste and values and come to grips with human mortality and make a contribution to world culture--these are largely left alone by educators with the hope, apparently, that people will find their way unconsciously. It's a false hope ... .

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.