So, I’m kinda fascinated by the whole #occupyWallStreet protest on a couple of levels. First, it’s about time we started organizing against the monied interests that have literally taken over this country for their own purposes. But second, I keep trying to find a crossover to education. Here’s a snip from a great piece in Salon that got me thinking about this again:
The idea is that if you have a very powerful meme — a very powerful idea — and the moment is ripe, then that is enough to ignite a revolution…We’re in an economic crisis, an ecological crisis, [an educational crisis, too] living in a sort of apocalyptic world, and the young people realize they don’t really have a viable future to look forward to. This movement that’s beginning now could well be the second global revolution that we’ve been dreaming about for the last half a century.
Hyperbole? Maybe. But I’m persuaded by those that see something bigger evolving here. And it leads me to lots more questions.
- What’s the “very powerful meme” building in education that can create a bloodless, progressive revolution in schools?
- How are we talking in our schools and classrooms with our students about dissent and protest?
- How are we preparing our students to participate in these new ways a la hashtags and online petitions and publishing and working in both virtual and meatspace to change the world?
- How are we helping students follow this story and others like it, “managing, analyzing and synthesizing” it (NCTE) to understand it more deeply?
It’s going to be interesting to see how all of this plays out; there are some big events being planned around the #ows meme in the next month. But shouldn’t we already be talking about this stuff with our kids? In my case, I want my own children to be participants, not just spectators, to do what they can do and use the tools they have available to them to roll up their sleeves and work for the change they decide is valuable to work for. Am I an outlier?
We’ve got a case study right in front of us. Are we using it?