online: 2 july 2005
modified: 1, 2 july 2005

29 june 2005 the future of education etc.

how do you see the future of education?

no answer

20:20 Paul and Elizabeth Elek* seat.

*Paul and Elizabeth Elek were well known as publishers

A cloudy evening after thunder and rain. The ground is damp after some weeks of becoming very dry. The air was still when i came to sit here but now there are soft gusts of wind and there could be rain in the distance. I hear some thunder also... are these the portents?

Today i've been searching (without success) for ways to realise the potential of new technology and culture... but only now, confronted with the clouds and trees and sounds of aeroplanes and the reality of being out of doors and writing this in digitised form and thus accessible from any place - only when i think of all this do i realise that this is my way, or ours, you and i, of making public something of the potentiality of the time and of the many attempts to improve life that did not become known except to specialists or rebels...

...So now, sustained by this thought, i listen and look out for whatever may bring the good potentialities of industrial culture alive in this and similar writings, brief and remote and unadvertised as they may be... but they exist in literature of many kinds, electronic or pre-electronic. For instance in the writings of Ivan Illich.

Simply to look at the yellowing grass seeds (the unlistening ears of grass?) before me and to describe them here, and now, is surely enough... though something repeatedly calls me to attempt things seemingly greater, such as exploring the future of conferences and creative democracy and overcoming our economic cowardice... and confronting the future of education, segregated from life as it has been...

...but now, here beneath a lime tree in a hayfield, and almost in darkness, i realise that this is it - the undiscernible purpose of everything. The things in themselves.

There's no one here now, i seem to have the place to myself, but i can hear someone shouting...

I decide to go to the train...

At the station. The train's delayed so there's time to continue:

The future of education... how do i see it?...

...not as it is, not in schools or colleges, nor under the control of teachers, not not not

not limited to the young

not aimed at perpetuating what's known and done but at what's not known or not yet attempted

each a lifelong pioneer of one's own unique education

no longer the memorising of what is out of date or of what is better stored in books or computernet

...and many more such changes from what's abstract and detached and fixed to what is thoughtful, lively, vivid... you can go to sleep if you want to!

But the grasses before me asked not for education, they achieved their form without it. I abandon this list of do's and dont's as i try to let this simple fact, this writing in presence of these seeds and leaves of grass, and now by a railtrack, be the starting point... the reality.

That was lesson 1!

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