We are at the crossroads of history once again. The choices we pick now, are going to effect our children either way. It is the education’s duty to provide the youth with as much information and facts as possible and provide them with the respective tools to read these facts. The times to repair the status quo, or better yet, act like there is nothing going seriously wrong, are over. But what am I talking about?
The responsibility of education
It has been a while since I published my last <<English Breakfast>>. Usually, during the summer we are accustomed to experiencing a politically quieter time. But this year is very different for many reasons. The society is divided. We are threatened by terror attacks externally and by hate, fear and intolerance internally. If ever there was a time for members of the educational system to stand up and speak clearly, it is now.
We are way past the question of ’what is allowed and what is illegal`. That is for judges to decide. We need to ask ourselves what ’ought to be allowed and which direction is our society heading towards to if we let it’. Over the course of history, education has served the purpose of fighting society’s cancers like intolerance, hate, inequality, racism and totalitarianism. Now, we need to do that again.
I am worried …
My daughter is too young to understand what has recently been going on in the USA as far as racism and in Europe as far as terror is concerned. But sooner than later she is going to understand it. And then what? As a society we do not provide the youth with a vision of what the future should look like. Often, we teach our children fear instead of seeing possibilities. Sure, we learn them about the history of civil rights and the people who sacrificed their lives for it. But at the same time, we tend to tell them to stay within certain boarders and not to bang their heads against the common walls.
Sometimes, you are going to have to do that and sometimes, you have to scrutinize the status quo to emerge. But the most important thing is to stand up for morality and principles. Sometimes we get caught up in teaching the newest knowledge with the best pedagogy available that we tend to forget to tell our children that it is our ongoing duty to keep the principles of our society in check. Especially when the political leaders fail to be a moral institution, that aspect becomes very important.
What can you do?
Some people say, that we cannot do anything about it that would have a larger effect. That is not true and it applies for a lot of areas. If we wait for politics to change anything before we do, we will be getting pretty old waiting. In education, everything starts with what is happening in class and what messages the students receive. As far as climate change is concerned, each and everyone of us is accountable for implementing small and sustainable changes - like driving less, taking care of the waste, using the energy responsibly and to pass on plastics.
As far as our society is concerned: We need to stand up to those who think that they are a majority, when in fact they are not. It is never okay to spread hate, intolerance and to create enemy images so that some people have someone to blame for aberrations. It is okay to tell our children to raise their voices and to show moral courage. That is what I wish for my daughter’s education …