“Dwarfing Pluto and Shrinking Ourselves” Redux

15 02 2009
Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, says he thinks Pluto is "happier" in its current classification as a dwarf planet. topfoto.co.uk

Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, says he thinks Pluto is "happier" in its current classification as a dwarf planet. topfoto.co.uk

Here’s science storytelling from NPR that also adds power of story to well-worn culture clash among homeschooling parents.

The public shock of shrinking Pluto as a planet hit when our national homeschooling networks were years deep in a civil war over public charter programs and other hybrid homeschooling, unable to clearly define distinctions and differences between like kinds without dislike, much less kindly.

One side called for involuntary legalistic redefinition (demotion) of all bodies unlike themselves in some aspect however strained,  assuring us it would help rather than hurt those whose status was thereby dwarfed by calling them what they really were, and that they would be happier once instructed in reclassification camps to face their factual lack of fit as full-fledged homeschooling planets, I mean PARENTS. . .

I first satirized our “what’s in a name?” clash as “Large Dogs Welcome” but  then this campaign to “help” Pluto out of its redefined-as-illegitimate status presented the perfect parable:

Dwarfing Pluto and Shrinking Ourselves: A Joyfully Unclear Meditation
[UPDATE: Culture Kitchen is still offline for site maintenance so I put the whole essay here too.]

Would the best-integrated and most powerful leadership for home education look and feel much more like viral collective wisdom expressed by autonomous individuals, and less like cliques, gangs, law firms, Congress, the Vatican, media marketing, house organ pandering for profit, union protectionism or the sausage-making of paid political campaigns and federalized public schooling?

Wouldn’t it look an awful lot like all of us just being US, as confident, sovereign individual Thinking Parents, a whole creative class of families freely learning and thinking as we wish, choosing whatever connections with each other we wish and communicating about it all as we wish, to help people hear and understand and perhaps begin to crave the healthy, happy fundamental freedoms we enjoy?

“In education politics of any kind (home education or not), we always come down to: what DO we teach our children, so they can best preserve and protect their own freedoms?

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