Why Should We Care?
by Regina Armour
This is the first blog entry as part of the Power Learning Partners team. I am so happy to be working with my newly found BFF and thought partner Mike Melie! Because he is literally a brother from another mother, and we seem to think on the same wave length, it will be terrific to take topics relevant to the educational field and debate them online.
Therefore, from here on out, you can refer to him as “The White Guy” and me as “The Black Chick”! We wear those monikers proudly! It not only speaks to our identity, but it’s also kind of fun to think about and say. We are hoping you will follow us, share us and most of all participate in a dialogue with us. The last few months we have seen changes like no other. Our country’s very soul is at stake, and the next generations will spend the next 100 years either living a liberated life because of what we changed for the better, or they will be living the hell of George Orwell’s 1984…miserable and with no hope.
Why Should We Care? is the topic that seemed appropriate to address when public education, along with many other services that support health, growth, and integration into society are being savagely cut. The short response is: What is the alternative? The longer response is that we should care — -always. Peter Senge, a professor from MIT and a preeminent scholar of change dynamics and systems theory, talks about how everything is connected together, works together, and is a dynamic system. Not caring seems to be a non-choice if we are all impacting each other all of the time!
Simon Sinek, another social scientist with anthropology as his formal training, states that we were never built to be in a world this big and this connected. In other words, we were built for tribal life — where everyone has a role and everyone helps and supports everyone else in the tribe. So, if that is a “system” on a smaller scale, where clearly everyone impacts everyone else all of the time, what does that mean for us that live in our own tribes that are connected to the one great human tribe?
Well, could this be why we are in such mental, physical and socio-emotional disarray? (Look at any medical journal or study and look at the stats!) We have come to normalize living in a community where we don’t know our neighbors. We have come to accept hyper-segregated schools and inequitable educational models. Why?
Our country is polarized. I’m sure everyone can agree to that. Our schools are reflecting that very same polarization. Not only is there the pernicious so-called “achievement gap”; now we are dividing ourselves away from what we personally consider the “other”. Schools are actually the last democratic spaces (ideology-wise…not Party-wise) where one should feel free to learn, be curious, ask questions, and debate. We have already been robbed of that with our insidious testing culture. We have to care so that our future generations can build on the promise of America’s greatness. We haven’t lost it! We just need to learn how to better pass it on in the face of change and not by ignoring change.
If you feel the same as we do, then please join us! Add a comment answering the following question below:
Why should we care? Aren’t we in 21st century, post-racial and enlightened world? Why do issues of acceptance and social justice matter now?