Like many of us, we’ve spent the recent weeks trying to absorb what will happen on the day of, and those following, the election. Will the election have a clear winner? Will the election results be contested? Will recent appointments to the Surpreme Court play a role? Is it possile that we are living in one of those rare moments that become chapters in tomorrow’s history books? This morning I saw this quote from Winston Churchill in a post by Dane Ravitch. Isolated as we are from the familiar it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. Churchill’s quote seems like a pretty stark reminder.
The foundation of all democracy is that the people have the right to vote. To deprive them of that right is to make a mockery of all the high-sounding phrases which are so often used. At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper — no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point.
As I reflected on these words, I recalled a podcast we recently listened to. In it, the participants, in seeking a response to the question, “Why Can’t We See”, explored the concept of bias and how our biases influence how we absorb (accept/reject) information. In discussing this, one of the participants quoted a Latin phrase… “What is received is received in the manner of the receiver.” – i.e., our experiences shape our willingness/ability to receive new ideas.
Since I am “tuned” to education and learning, here’s how I heard Churchill…
With apologies to Winston…
The foundation of all education is that children have the right to learn. To deprive them of that right is to make a mockery of all the high-sounding phrases which are so often used. At the bottom of all the tributes paid to education is the little child, walking into the classroom, needing the tools for learning and making sense of the world around them — no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point.
In the midst of uncertainty surrounding learning in the pandemic world, what matters is not recreating the schools we remember. What matters is the creation of learning opportunities for each and every child, regardless of age, income, zip code…. “no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possible diminish the importance of that point.”