Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Immutability of Schooling Practices

It's been awhile since I posted, so I am a little rusty. At AERA I went (among other things) to listen to Michael Cole in a distinguished lecture. I will not claim to present this complex talk in a blog posting. The essence as I perceived it was to say that schooling is a persistent institution not just in goals but in practices, norms, and rituals. In challenging the view of modern schooling as a result of industrial modes of production, he claimed (with evidence) that these modes of instruction are as old as literacy itself. 
Faced with this notion of immutability, schooling has a clear and constant structure, I was forced to ask myself: How can we then engage with arts integration and its implications for the classroom (exploration, ownership, professionalism) as educational reform.? We know that as a wide phenomena we are doomed to fail. At best we can insert ideas from our practice to standards that then will be narrowly and mechanically interpreted by many.
Here too Cole provides an answer. He claims that only major social change in goals and dispositions that redefines the way we interact with each others, with other living things and the planet. Our job then is to create ideas and practices that will continue existing in small pockets- waiting for such social change giving future education options and choices to follow.