Can You Believe Who’s Here? Blog Tour Comes to Snook

26 04 2007

AT LAST THE BIG DAY IS HERE!

THK

And Teresa Heinz Kerry does not disappoint. 🙂
It’s a real honor to open Snook’s living room to her today, although technically we’re in the library, where MisEducation herself is glowing with ladylike excitement!

We are secretly thinking that she and Teresa could take over the world together, probably have time left over for tea and then launching a couple of ships or book tours before dinner. But Nance and me? — um, not so much. By golly though, they are letting us stay and participate as if we belonged in the mix, does it get any better than this?

Teresa is so gracious and so relaxed that she’s letting me set the tone! JJ gets the first question so of course, it has a little wordplay and political power of story served on the side.

“It’s been said that all politics is based on either hope or fear.
What are some really hopeful environmental messages you’d like to emphasize for families living and learning with children, and what are some ideas other than public school lessons and tests, for helping our own children receive such messages, and take them to heart?”

THK: I believe that within the family deep learning does take place, in one way or another. Children live what they learn and learn what they live. We have to model the behaviors we want them to embrace, and that includes taking responsibility for our surroundings and caring for our bodies, earth around us, and all creation.

First of all, we can change the status quo if we do simple things together, Read the rest of this entry »

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Education Ecology Has Its Own Climate Crisis

26 04 2007

As I follow the women’s health blog tour of the wise and well-informed Teresa Heinz Kerry, I can’t get education out of my mind. More than education ABOUT the environment, I’m now pondering education AS environment — at every stop I’m wondering how healthy our ecology of “education” is, and whether we’ve acted with sufficient care and concern for the health impact of artificial learning environments, the ones in which we bind children — culturally, economically, legally — for many years of forced systemic exposure?

I am worried about the toxic effects on humans of institutional school systems.

After Abu Ghirab, a Stanford psychologist detailed how “place” can win over “person” through concepts like institutionalization, escalating dehumanization, stress and stereotyping, the seduction of boredom, the evil of inaction and much more. Sounds too much like what’s gone wrong between school and education — we’ve institutionalized thinking and learning and productive work, and lost the individuals we meant to inspire and empower in the process.

So I can’t help focusing on all the ways Thinking Parents can create healthier education environments for ourselves, for our own children and families, for our neighbors and communities. I’ve been struck at almost every stop by the connections, how the ideas and information are the same and how opening your eyes to one can open your mind to the other.

I don’t know whether lifelong environmentalists following THK’s thoughtful interviews are opening up to healthy education concepts the way I (the lifelong educator) find myself opening up to healthy environmental thinking. But I hope so! I believe it’s possible, important, perhaps critical, that we begin to understand education and environment as symbiotic.

For just one small example, homeschooling mom Meredith at Violet Voices hosted THK Wednesday and reports her very sensible caution to moms about the hundreds of individual substances choking our children’s environment, and even worse, interacting in harmful ways we can’t detect and thus can’t hope to prevent or control.

Now try reading the same response with education ecology in mind (imagine curriculum standards as chemicals, et cetera): Read the rest of this entry »