Oklahoma education bloggers have been challenged to articulate what we would do about schooling if we were a Queen or King for a Day. The first ten of the 600-word posts are here.
My aspiration is inspired by the words of Randi Weingarten who reminds us of the Jewish concept of L'Dor V'Dor, or "from generation to generation." I dream of a learning culture where each generation teaches and learns from each other.
My parents' generation, having survived the Great Depression and World War II, were committed to providing children with greater opportunities than they had. This was "Pax Americana" before our extreme confidence was shattered by Vietnam. In my postage stamp of the 1950s and 1960s, children continually heard the exhortation, "Pay close attention, I'm only going to show you once."
Coming from parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and neighbors, those words were the opposite of a stern admonition. They challenged us to focus, so we could "learn how to learn." By the time we were teens, our mentors urged us to practice "creative insubordination."
Never facing a shortage of caring adults for schooling us on life in a democracy, I learned as much "wrasslin iron" in the oil patch and from fellow workers as I did from formal education. We Baby Boomers listened to Woody Guthrie and read Ken Kesey, and jumped into exploratory learning, often hitchhiking and backpacking widely.
My buddies were first generation working or middle class. We assumed that tomorrow would be better than today. We sought social justice where everyone could enjoy the same opportunities that we had.