Consciousness is really only a net of communication between human beings; (Nietzsche as quoted in Russell, p. 182)
Children’s cognitive development is an apprenticeship — it occurs through guided participation in social activity with companions who support and stretch children’s understanding of and skill in using the tools of culture. Rogoff, 1990, p.vii)
We need to rescue education from a standardized fact-based enterprise and bring it to its proper place as an active apprenticeship in thinking. I’ve seen examples at all levels of education from the Junion Great Books, shared inquiry programs in elementary school to my topical graduate seminars in grad school. Today I use Medium as my self-conducted narritive inquiry course with other participants providing the content for analysis. The same can be said for media writ large. I think we don’t just consume media passively, but we create our consciousness by actively participating in this net of communications, or said another way, by conducting our own narrative inquiry. 20th Century mass media (like much of 20th Century science and 20th Century Academia in general) created a false sense of consumption. If you want to see educational passion and deep thinking, go see a Junior Great Books session (though I’m assuming it is the same as 22 years when I was a PTA volunteer) or go to a graduate seminar with a great thinker willing to apprentice their students. But the question is; can people who have never had these experiences find the passion for involvement?
PS In response to Ari Fleischer: The problem is not that (r)eporters are “overwhelmingly liberal,” but that citizens are “underwhelmingly Liberal”. For interpretation please refer to the wikipedia disambiguation page on Liberal.