If Equality is Not the Goal, the Goal is Supremacy
Mike Epifani
3099

Mike: Beautifully written — only the selfish “individual” can possibly disagree. I did my teacher education at Sydney University nearly a half-century ago — a pilot program — professors who cared not only for us but for the potential of all the children we would go out to teach. I remember well how we examined the very shaky ground upon which the selfish idea of IQ was constructed — and the importance of teacher expectation — married with challenge and encouragement to schooling success. I have taught at all levels — some briefer than others — in Australia and in other parts of the world — and I have found that the best educational outcomes are when students see themselves as a team (not a competitive frenzy) when parents are part of the process and when teachers see themselves as learners — of and from the lives and experiences of their students/learners. It’s not a case of fear and the rule of tests/exams — rather an excited search for the essence of the particular unit or area of learning. Paulo FREIRE a radical educationalist of Brazil established clearly in his programs of literacy for the oppressed/enslaved of that country in the earlier 20th century that one begins with the life of the learner and builds from that. A literary critic in Australia Dorothy GREEN put in terms we might understand here, too — that one starts with the Kookaburra (a giant kingfisher bird with a crazy laughing call and well-known to all Australians) and moves to the nightingale (a bird inknown in this southern continent) — from the eucalypt native to this land (in its more than 800+ varieties) to the spruce — she might have said. YOSHIDA Shōin (1830–1859) in Japan said that education begins with pride in one’s own native place — knowing its geography and industry/agriculture/its history — its noted folk its scenic places — and in the face of those from the big city proudly declaring their origins. We can read that concept more broadly of course — our heroes can always be found in the local — those who have contributed — not taken — of course — those who lift with others — not selfishly lean on them.