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  • Writer's pictureMariaelena Comaroto

Would You BELIEVE That BELIEFS Shape Us?

I’ve always been outspoken about education. Acquiring knowledge is the coolest part of being human, I think. But education is a funny thing, at least here in the US. We receive messages since we are young about the benefits of education, and in some cases the necessity or obligation of education.

It may not come from our homes all the time, but the messaging is there. I remember the first time I heard Sir Ken’s talk on education. His perspectives, his arguments, his findings, his suggestions, all made my heart skip a beat and my mind spin. Yes, I thought. It makes perfect sense. His ideas for education reformation are brilliant, in my mind.

Well, just like most things I’m finding in life, that are supposed to make perfect sense, they rarely do in practice. Why is that? I don’t know, but I care a great deal about this topic. It seems that the messaging we receive here in the US about education, access to education, and implementation of education, are all loose variables, wanting to be connected, but still missing the mark.

What does this mean? For me it begins with the messaging. I’ve noticed that the messaging is quite clear. It’s hard to come across someone these days who either doesn’t have an education, or someone who, underneath is clearly not happy that they don’t have an education, or feels it is shameful to admit so.

At first blush I’d focus on the drama and polarization of it all too. But wisdom has taught me to take a deep breath and ask myself could there be something else lurking below the surface of this drama? So I ask myself this very question.

Where I go from there is not the point I’m trying to make, but that I see the messaging continuing. I see educators perpetuating the same educational practices that this country has always practiced, except for now there are social emotional learning components. Young students are learning to advocate for themselves and empower themselves to take action.

All to come out of it, either sooner or 20 years of education later to learn the same thing we all already know. And that is that the real world doesn’t work that way. But it should and it could, I will argue. There is no reason that it can’t except for the fact that people still BELIEVE it can’t.

Humans are interesting. That’s why I studied “us” in school. To our knowledge, humans are the only living species that can hold beliefs and be influenced by them. That is wild and amazing and super cool. But, I will argue, as we’ve seen, it’s also super dangerous. Especially if we are not aware of who we are and what makes us tick.

All the more reason why I’m an outspoken advocate for education!

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