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How Would The Modern University Educate Plato?

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Posted on / by Alex Berger

Since the late 1770s education has made significant advances.  Matching the revolutionary changes that occurred as a result of the Industrial Revolution, education for the masses has become commonplace in industrialized nations.

The United States in particular has seen fantastic improvements in its education system over the last hundred years.  2007 statistics indicate that some 84% of Americans have completed high school and a record 27% have completed a bachelors degree.  These figures are impressive and have contributed in a significant way to America’s dominant position on the world stage.

However, there is still significantly more that we can and must do to serve the educational needs of millennials and America’s future generations.  Despite the quality and scope of education that industrial era education and the associated systems have delivered, they are quickly becoming obsolete and in some cases detrimental.

21st Century learners live in a period where technology has created a powerful window of opportunity.  Pre-industrial education was limited to the elite and focused on intimate, specialized tutor-peer lessons or direct apprenticeships.  Industrial era education has focused on doing for education what the assembly line did for auto-production.  An ideal learning environment, however, is the synergy of these two models:  Intimate education, deliverable and scalable to all of a nation’s youth.

My alma mater (Arizona State University) is a classic example of Industrial Era education.  With 67,000+ students in the Fall of 2008, ASU delivers a university education on an incredible scale.  They have also proudly labeled themselves the “New American University” and recently released a promotion video advertising how they are breaking the mold and embracing the needs of 21st century students. You can view the video [here]. Yet despite their claims that they are “changing their identity” in response to the impact of the internet and Digital Era – they have barely changed.  For ASU and most major universities, 21st Century education isn’t about improving the educational process – it’s about improving the university’s reach and presence on the global academic stage.

This is a fundamental problem within modern education.  A problem that will continue to get worse as technology advances and true ‘digital natives’ begin entering the university system.   ASU has increased its global footprint – true.  Sadly, it has also increased its class sizes.  As an undergraduate student it was not uncommon for my classes to have more than 50 students.  For many of my general education classes, class size ranged between 150-500+ students. Which brings me to the title of this post.

How would the modern University have educated the Greek philosopher Plato?

Plato’s influence upon our society has been so profound that even the most uninitiated among us have heard his name.  Plato was one of – if not the most famous – of Socrates’ students and went on to become Aristotle’s mentor.  Consider – what would have happened if instead of living and being educated in ancient Greece, Socrates had taught at a major industrial era American university.  What if – as in Ancient Greece – Plato was Socrates’ student.  One of some 499 other students whose entire scope of interaction with their professor is limited to one-directional lecture-based classes.

  • Would Socrates be able to teach using the Socratic Method?
  • Would engaging discussion and debate be possible?
  • Would close student-instructor rapport develop with such power and influence that it would still be credited nearly 2,500 years from now?
  • 2,500 years from now would we know who Plato was?
  • Would the industrial era educated Plato go on to teach and mentor Aristotle?

This question embodies many of the challenges that face 20th Century education.  A system that we are heavily entrenched in and extremely defensive of.

What’s the alternative?  What will the true “New American University” look like?    By introducing modern technology and re-defining the way we design, build and educate in our universities, effective and necessary changes can be made.    The technology now exists to deliver the powerful, focused, specialized mentor-student experience so desperately needed by tens of thousands of students.

We stand poised to embrace education in the digital era.  Yet, to accomplish this transition we need new platforms, new technology and individuals with the vision and willingness to break free from the comfortable, established rules of industrial era universities.   Through my company, FusionVirtual,  I’ve begun planning a project to tackle these questions and challenges.  I challenge each and every one to do the same.  Don’t accept the status quo.  Stop enabling the continuation of 20th Century education – an education platform that has  begun to alienate digital natives.  Emerging learners are not only capable, but ready and waiting for new educational solutions that are not based upon the control of information and limited interaction.  The old models are broken. We have reached the point where we have the technology to truly educate.

Thoughts? Observations?  Eager to share your answers to the questions above?  Please leave a comment below.

Alex Berger

I am a travel blogger and photographer. I also am involved in academic research into the study abroad and backpacker communities.

18 Comments

  • Bill
    April 21, 2009

    Plato could trace his lineage to several Kings and famous lawyers – he had access to the very best education available. My only problem with the article is that it made a straw man argument by describing extraordinary people as everyday men. Plato in this day and age wouldn't go to ASU, he'd go to somewhere that I couldn't afford, and have opportunities lost to most but the very elite. However, I definitely sympathized with the article's main points. (Synergizing education) And feel that education will evolve to the most efficient outcome, at some point.

    Reply
  • Alex Berger
    April 21, 2009

    Bill, you raise a compelling point. Though I'm inclined to disagree – in part. Keep in mind that ASU, for a variety of reasons, has drawn individuals from a wide variety of well-to-do families. Granted, the lineage and prestige of your average student at ASU is significantly different then those who attend Oxford or Harvard, but there are still numerous exceptions.

    Also, the issue I'm presenting here uses ASU as an example – but the challenges I'm addressing are problematic of the University system as a whole. The same large classes and outdated industrial era thinking is just as prevalent at Ivy League Universities as it is at ASU. In fact, rooted in history, tradition and ritual Ivy League programs may be even more resistant to the changes necessary to modernize education.

    Reply
  • Lindsay
    April 21, 2009

    Some interesting stuff happening here, Alex. You're taking on something larger than just education, I'm sure you're aware, but it seems important for FusionVirtual's potential success to (at the very least) acknowledge the systemic problems that are part and parcel of the “old models” of education being “broken.” Some of the systemic problems? Poverty, racism, sexism–all those power relations that leave someone under someone else's thumb. In education, for example, this looks like many different things: poor students in poor districts (or in wealthy districts but confined to under-funded schools) are forced, through things like national and state standards and the push for inclusion of technology in the classroom at all costs, out of the education system, often very young. In all likelihood, these students will never make it to a University. (I'm sure you've heard the scary yet true factoid that the U.S. Govt. determines how many prison beds will be needed in particular areas in the coming years based on the results of 2nd and 3rd grade standardized test scores.) These students' educational needs are in no way being met–because, in part, of aforementioned power structures–and a focus on “digital natives” and meeting their educational needs seems a bit myopic. (You could, of course, admit this up front and dissolve such criticism.)

    Does FusionVirtual have the ability to answer to any of this? Unless I'm mistaken, probably not. This isn't a problem unless you make appeals to education reform with promises of not accepting the status quo and no longer controlling information available to students. It seems that what FusionVirtual is aiming for is a kind of maintenance and slight improvement of the status quo, for those already near or at the top of the Western, Industrial-Era Pyramid. In this way, it seems that your goal as you've laid it out preaches to the choir, so to speak. Like I say, this isn't a problem unless you include promises of opening up the channels of information distribution, promises of sweeping education reform, and promises of no longer accepting the status quo in your battle cry. These claims make a position like yours problematic.

    In addition to this, your pitch could be significantly strengthened by a few clear definitions, examples (something concrete) that explain what improvements in education you're aiming for. What is a “powerful, focused, specialized mentor-student experience” and how can technology make this a reality? How do you propose to measure the results of your work? Improvements in test scores? Greater satisfaction among students, determined with the use of polls and such? How does the control of information (what kind of information? what kind of control?) negatively effect students? As I'm sure you're also aware, nary a university in the western world would be comfortable claiming that the Academy serves to “control” information. Universities see themselves as places where information previously unavailable to young minds becomes available. This is reflected in things like mission statements, in grants awarded to universities for creating climates of critical thinking and unwavering commitment to tackling the world's ugly truths, etc.

    Reply
  • AlexBerger
    April 21, 2009

    Lindsey, thanks for the response.

    P1: Education under the conventional structure is a very difficult thing to cover in a blog post.

    If I understand your initial statements correctly, you're arguing that the institution itself is not so much the problem, as much as the outside factors which adversely affect students are. Which is a compelling argument and a discussion that's been raging in the academic community for as long as it has existed. I'm looking at it from a very different perspective. A new model that capitalizes on what's already occurred and the disruptive technology that will no doubt be introduced over the next couple years. I'm also focusing on the American educational system first and foremost. Though, I hope to be able to have a direct impact on global education at some point further down the road.

    The internet has in many ways drastically changed the academic environment. Information and learning – not education, but true learning – has already begun to bypass the brick and mortar institution. MIT has put the vast majority of their courses online. For free. Wikipedia and other similar services are now 100% free and a few keystrokes away. YouTube and several competitors have launched online educational video portals (eg: Youtube.com/edu). Knowledge and education is quickly moving in a more open-sourced direction. The beauty of it is, the internet doesn't care if you're black or white, female or male, rich or poor, old or young…and neither do true educators. The driving force investing their intellectual capital to spread knowledge and learning.

    Don't get me wrong, this is all reliant on certain fundamentals (the ability to read) – but I'm also not talking about the k-12 system. I'm talking about the College and University system as it stands today.

    P2: My goal through FusionVirtual is to start with College level, American academics. I suppose in simplest form, the area I'm going to start with is the area I know best. The area that I have directly experienced and in which I've seen a powerful need. I'm afraid I can't go into much depth with respect to the project I'm working on through FusionVirtual – however, if we're successful we will at minimum deliver a powerful new medium to deliver educational information. My goal is to enable educators while also enabling curious learners. That said, please don't confuse the project I'm working on via FusionVirtual and my observations and feelings about education. My first goal is to discuss and highlight areas within education that I see as problematic while offering what insights I may be uniquely equipped to share. Any mention of FV and my associated projects are a secondary thought. My effort to help complete the puzzle. Not a complete solution.

    P3: It's unfortunate that you took this post as a pitch. It's not. Don't get me wrong. I fully realize that I mention FV and list it as part of the solution – but that seems to have distracted you from the true point and goal of the post.

    A basic, fundamental question. One I asked myself and found compelling.

    I apologize for not being able to respond to the majority of your questions in this paragraph. I am able to say, however, that we are evaluating and considering not just the presence, but role and value of many of the educational elements you mention. I look forward to being able to share more about what i'm working on with you at a later date. I think you will find it incredibly energizing and exciting.

    Reply
  • Philippe
    April 21, 2009

    I am struck by a rhetorical question you pose early in your piece: “What would have happened if instead of living and being educated in ancient Greece, Socrates had taught at a major industrial era American university?”

    As I trust you are aware, Socrates, in his time, outright refused to accept payment for his teaching and, therefore, would, were he to exist today, have never sought employment at ASU, or any such institution of higher education.

    This may seem at first glance a trivial hair to split, but I think it points to some interesting things worth considering in this discussion of education.

    Were Socrates to have a 'mission statement' (oh, how I loathe mission statements) it would have had to include a mention of a desire to stand outside traditional institutions and cast a critical eye towards them. Socrates took on ethics, politics, education, and religion, among other topics, all the while attacking these institutions' foundational principals (and their respective spokesmen) in his quest for truth. There existed other educators of the youth in Ancient Greece, the Sophists. These people most certainly taught ethics, politics, etc. but did so with the ultimate goal of equipping their students with the rhetorical skills to defeat opponents in courts of law, or in the Agora. The lessons of the Sophists served to make young men more adept at navigating the social and political worlds of Athens, with an eye toward those young men dominating those worlds. The Sophists did accept payment for their lessons, and, I would imagine, insisted upon it. Again, Socrates refused payment for the conversations he held with Athenian youth, and did so primarily because he believed he wasn't teaching the youth of Athens anything of 'value' (value in the sense of winning a court case or crushing an interlocutor in a debate), but was simply interrogating the basic beliefs of his fellow citizens.

    So, to reiterate, Socrates would have no interest in teaching at a university, post-industrial or otherwise. The work of someone like Socrates always exists outside of institutions, outside the boundaries of conventional, traditional structures. As a teacher, Socrates was interested in having his students make there ways out of the cave, away from the lies and illusions cast on the cave wall by politicians, priests, and other Sophists; he was not interested in teaching his students to become more adept casters of shadows that only serve to enthrall and entrance the multitudes.

    The Socratic method properly understood (not a simplistic back and forth between teacher and students but an extended [the dialogue of Plato's Republic alone takes some 14 hours to recite aloud] discussion and exploration of issues and topics with no goal or aim in sight) helps to drag people out of the cave of illusion and deception and, in so doing, will inevitably cast serious doubt on any and all institutions. Socrates was able to do just this because of his outlaw, lone wolf status. Attaching a paycheck to education (education: from the Latin 'educere' meaning 'to lead', especially 'to lead out of ignorance') makes the educator beholden to the demands, interests, and caprices of the one writing the check – Socrates knew this and sought to avoid it.

    So, to ask what would have happened to Professor Socrates is, in a way, to be mistaken about the kind of education the Socrates of Ancient Greece believed in and forces me to ask: What lessons might there be in the model Socrates has left us? Might the lack of a careful examination of the foundational motives for education always lead us, against our best intentions, to shackling students ever faster to the cave wall? Are you interested in perpetuating Sophistry or truly educating in the spirit of Socrates?

    Reply
  • Lindsay
    April 21, 2009

    Don't get me wrong, Alex. I don't know you well at all, but I get the distinct impression that you have the best of intentions. And my responses to your work are not meant to engage you in any sort of game of one-up-manship or to be argumentative or to impress myself and other folks with my sparkling wit. It occurred to me as I was reading your piece that there are questions you'll be asked about your program if you end up eventually pitching it to universities. Being an Academic and a potential future professor myself, I know that universities are pressured more and more to (1) spend money on the sciences above all else and then (2) to increase enrollment diversity. This would put you in the position of having to justify a university spending money on you and your program in the face of questions regarding how a university ought best to undo the effects of power structures, as I call them, that have shut certain kinds of students out of the university. In fact, I'd imagine that any sort of committee you'd meet with at a university about your program would have questions similar to the ones I've posed. So the more you think about it now, the more likely it is that you'll have greater success when your program is more developed and you're ready to shop it around.

    Reply
  • C. Descry
    April 22, 2009

    Hi Lindsay,

    I read your response to Alex's blog and was delighted that you too are working to bring education into a meaningful form that focuses on the needs of all students. What is in the way? First, let us agree that what is needed in elementary education is different than what must be done in middle schools, different for high schools and different for colleges. We can not make one blanket statement about improving education that fits all levels, although there are common fundamentals — i.e., Maria Montessori “Know the Child.” – that run through all levels.
    Specifics? I'll pick a major one as an example. What about states that allow students to drop out of school rather than switch them to a school or program designed to connect with them and their needs? What we deal with is a system that lets kids drop our by 14, and run wild in the streets. They can't even work until 16 in most states. In agrarian times kids could drop out to work the family farm. Now? The message that one can get out of school and run wild defeats the message that education is necessary and required. I can list specific problems, as I know you can. The fact that the system is unwilling to change (the system included all of us involved) hurts learners.
    A digitally functional student is a different animal than we have dealt with before. Why? Because they have access to information that is not controlled by a church, state, university or … anybody. They do not need a “teller of information” to give them knowledge selected because some authority said it is important. That type of teacher is no longer necessary. One-way communication – sit there with your book open and your mouth shut – is a thing of the past that is still the first rule of teaching. Interactive, interdisciplinary, experiential education is truly possible for every student. As I understand it that is the direction FusionVirtual is leading. This major shift in the definition of how education is delivered is happening. Now is the time to define New Rules that serve learners first. Why the University level? Who trains teachers?

    Reply
  • C. Descry
    April 22, 2009

    Phillippe,

    Well put. Well thought!
    In re-reading Alex's blog, I affirmed the impression I had that the use of great philosophers was a method of getting us to think about the educational systems we blindly accept today.
    Your final paragraph says what is most applicable to our quest. We have over-tightened the shackles on students in the name of administrative facility and mass programing. As the Virtualwayfarer has pointed out in this and previous blogs, we are now forced to unshackle the system. FusionVirtual is light years ahead in this effort and is leading the way into a learner-centered world.

    Reply
  • AlexBerger
    April 22, 2009

    Not at all! I love the feedback and the time you've invested to share and pose engaging questions!

    It's been an exciting process. I've had the opportunity to work closely with a number of incredibly competent and experienced academics. The insights that my discussions with them have offered have been truly enlightening. By combining my experiences and insights as a millennial and their experiences and insights over long careers as educators I hope to garner unique insights into where we can take education in the next couple of years.

    At a basic level Universities have already begun making investments in online education. They have to or they'll be bypassed. Equally, groups like Rio Salsa, University of Phoenix etc. have developed huge followings by serving the web based education niche. The catch is – the delivery mediums they're using are rudimentary at best. I'm working on a lot more than just an upgraded delivery platform, but in its barest form – there is already huge demand for a product that improves the online educational experience.

    Reply
  • AlexBerger
    April 22, 2009

    Descry's first paragraph really hits it on the head. Socrates may not have been the ideal choice for the example from a technical perspective, but the goal is to illustrate the concepts in a more macro way.

    He does work rather well though as an example in that as you've pointed out, as a disruptor he probably would not have been engaged in today's University system. Instead we would have most likely found him behind one of the open source education movements or operating as a free lance educator.

    The compelling part here, is that educators like Socrates exist today and are discovering new found power and reach through the web and its associated technologies. The question is, how can we improve upon the University system while leveraging the knowledge, passion and ability of our very own, modern Socrates.

    Reply
  • Philippe
    April 22, 2009

    Based on your comment, I suppose, then, that I want to push my point of view a little further and claim that 'institutionalized philosophy', as practiced by the Sophists and carried on by today's universities, is a contradiction in terms. Once philosophy becomes attached to (and consumed by) the state, it is prevented from doing its job and becomes another tool of the state. There is something important about Socrates' peripatetic, open-air 'method' of teaching – it allows both teacher and student to wander, literally unrestrained by the confines of some governing institution or some bureaucratic structure. This nomadicism is essential to the kind of education Socrates felt only philosophy could provide. In a sense, there is only _nomadic_ philosophy – once institutionalized, it is something else atogether.

    In his post, Alex states: “By introducing modern technology and re-defining the way we design, build and educate in our universities, effective and necessary changes can be made.” There is a strong implication here that the grafting of these new teaching methods and technologies onto the existing university structure will introduce the kind of inquiry and exploration Socrates was capable of achieving. I would argue that Socrates was able to do what he did entirely by virtue of his independence from the structures of the state.

    I suppose I will conclude by saying that the invocation of Socrates is, to say the least, problematic.

    Reply
  • AlexBerger
    April 22, 2009

    Fair enough! I'll definitely admit to not having an overly intimate familiarity with Socrates and his contemporaries.

    Reply
  • Philippe
    April 22, 2009

    My goal was not to win an intellectual pissing contest. All I sought to do was point out how, through the invocation of Socrates and his method of and goal for teaching, and the invocation of Plato (and his establishment of the Academy), one does much more than simply mention important names in the history of education. Mentioning Socrates and Plato requires us to consider what their methods of education say about their understandings of people.

    Again, I am not interested in flaunting my “Intro to Ancient Greek Philosophy” knowledge – what I am interested in is the implications for education (and consequently, students) particular models of teaching carry with them. For example, what does it mean to have a school board? To have a curriculum? To have a teacher? To have a classroom? What beliefs about people, how they relate to one another and how they _ought_ to relate to one another, does the existence of these mundane features reveal? And not only what do the existence of these seemingly mundane features of an educational system mean on their own, but what are we to make of them when the oriflamme of individuals involved in practically every level of education would seem to indicate hopes and aspirations for education that run almost completely counter to the assumptions about people the presence of school boards and curricula point toward?

    To give that last statement some grist, the presence of school boards, etc. seems to indicate a reliance on bureaucracy to solve problems, a reliance on process, programs, procedures to address the day-to-day issues of education and students. Also, school boards, etc. seem to indicate an independence on leadership, with particular emphasis given to the importance of following the dictates of someone or something else. These are just a few of the “beliefs about people, how they relate to one another in fact and how they _ought_ to relate to one another” the mundane features of an educational system reveal.

    Now, what about those people in education I mentioned earlier, who have a fairly unified rallying cry when it comes to the value and necessity of universal public education that goes something like “We teach students the skills to solve the unique problems of the modern age, be self-starters, be independent and critical thinkers, and be productive members of society”? Before these teachers/administrators/counselors have even begun a lesson/changed a policy/tried to solve a student's personal problem, before these people involved in education, these good-hearted people who want all students to “solve the unique problems of the modern age, be self-starters, be independent and critical thinkers, and be productive members of society” (a.k.a. “achieve”), before these people involved in education have started doing anything, their real intentions have already been betrayed. They betrayed their real, unthinkingly concealed intentions, and have already taught the student many of the lessons that an institutionalized education reinforces – obedience, submission, shame, order, linearity, competition, duplicity… The lessons of thousands of bureaucracies and bureaucrats speak loudly through the mere act of institutionalizing the education the student in the classroom is about to get.

    This is why it is important to note that Socrates allow himself to be paid to teach and why it is important to note that in the allegory of the cave, the ones manipulating the shadows that keep the shackled slaves so entertained, they are the priests, the politicians, the paid teachers. Education, properly understood, is not an experience that takes place in a temple, a court of law, or a classroom.

    Reply
  • Philippe
    April 22, 2009

    Allow me to make a correction: In the first sentence of the last paragraph I wrote “This is why it is important to note that Socrates allow himself to be paid to teach…” It should read “This is why it is important to note that Socrates did not allow himself to be paid to teach…” Passion trumps proofreading, every time.

    Reply
  • Philippe
    April 22, 2009

    Based on your comment, I suppose, then, that I want to push my point of view a little further and claim that 'institutionalized philosophy', as practiced by the Sophists and carried on by today's universities, is a contradiction in terms. Once philosophy becomes attached to (and consumed by) the state, it is prevented from doing its job and becomes another tool of the state. There is something important about Socrates' peripatetic, open-air 'method' of teaching – it allows both teacher and student to wander, literally unrestrained by the confines of some governing institution or some bureaucratic structure. This nomadicism is essential to the kind of education Socrates felt only philosophy could provide. In a sense, there is only _nomadic_ philosophy – once institutionalized, it is something else atogether.

    In his post, Alex states: “By introducing modern technology and re-defining the way we design, build and educate in our universities, effective and necessary changes can be made.” There is a strong implication here that the grafting of these new teaching methods and technologies onto the existing university structure will introduce the kind of inquiry and exploration Socrates was capable of achieving. I would argue that Socrates was able to do what he did entirely by virtue of his independence from the structures of the state.

    I suppose I will conclude by saying that the invocation of Socrates is, to say the least, problematic.

    Reply
  • AlexBerger
    April 22, 2009

    Fair enough! I'll definitely admit to not having an overly intimate familiarity with Socrates and his contemporaries.

    Reply
  • Philippe
    April 22, 2009

    My goal was not to win an intellectual pissing contest. All I sought to do was point out how, through the invocation of Socrates and his method of and goal for teaching, and the invocation of Plato (and his establishment of the Academy), one does much more than simply mention important names in the history of education. Mentioning Socrates and Plato requires us to consider what their methods of education say about their understandings of people.

    Again, I am not interested in flaunting my “Intro to Ancient Greek Philosophy” knowledge – what I am interested in is the implications for education (and consequently, students) particular models of teaching carry with them. For example, what does it mean to have a school board? To have a curriculum? To have a teacher? To have a classroom? What beliefs about people, how they relate to one another and how they _ought_ to relate to one another, does the existence of these mundane features reveal? And not only what do the existence of these seemingly mundane features of an educational system mean on their own, but what are we to make of them when the oriflamme of individuals involved in practically every level of education would seem to indicate hopes and aspirations for education that run almost completely counter to the assumptions about people the presence of school boards and curricula point toward?

    To give that last statement some grist, the presence of school boards, etc. seems to indicate a reliance on bureaucracy to solve problems, a reliance on process, programs, procedures to address the day-to-day issues of education and students. Also, school boards, etc. seem to indicate an independence on leadership, with particular emphasis given to the importance of following the dictates of someone or something else. These are just a few of the “beliefs about people, how they relate to one another in fact and how they _ought_ to relate to one another” the mundane features of an educational system reveal.

    Now, what about those people in education I mentioned earlier, who have a fairly unified rallying cry when it comes to the value and necessity of universal public education that goes something like “We teach students the skills to solve the unique problems of the modern age, be self-starters, be independent and critical thinkers, and be productive members of society”? Before these teachers/administrators/counselors have even begun a lesson/changed a policy/tried to solve a student's personal problem, before these people involved in education, these good-hearted people who want all students to “solve the unique problems of the modern age, be self-starters, be independent and critical thinkers, and be productive members of society” (a.k.a. “achieve”), before these people involved in education have started doing anything, their real intentions have already been betrayed. They betrayed their real, unthinkingly concealed intentions, and have already taught the student many of the lessons that an institutionalized education reinforces – obedience, submission, shame, order, linearity, competition, duplicity… The lessons of thousands of bureaucracies and bureaucrats speak loudly through the mere act of institutionalizing the education the student in the classroom is about to get.

    This is why it is important to note that Socrates allow himself to be paid to teach and why it is important to note that in the allegory of the cave, the ones manipulating the shadows that keep the shackled slaves so entertained, they are the priests, the politicians, the paid teachers. Education, properly understood, is not an experience that takes place in a temple, a court of law, or a classroom.

    Reply
  • Philippe
    April 22, 2009

    Allow me to make a correction: In the first sentence of the last paragraph I wrote “This is why it is important to note that Socrates allow himself to be paid to teach…” It should read “This is why it is important to note that Socrates did not allow himself to be paid to teach…” Passion trumps proofreading, every time.

    Reply

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