I’ve been thinking a lot about educational change lately. I’ve also been trying to connect a few ideas relating to culture, power, access, and responsible teaching. Though I usually return to Paulo Freire for these things, I’ve been reading a bit more on what other authors have to say. Below are two quotes that provide food for thought:

From the Foucault blog, “I lecture at a rather special place, the Collège de France, whose function is precisely not to teach. What I find very pleasing about the situation is that I don’t feel like I’m teaching, that is, I don’t feel that I am in a relationship of power with my students. A teacher is someone who says: “There are a certain number of things you don’t know, but you should know.” He starts off by making the students feel guilty. And then he places them under an obligation, saying: “I’m the one who knows these things that you should know and I’m going to teach them to you. And once I’ve taught them to you, you’re going to have to know them. And I’m going to verify whether you really do know them.” So there’s verification, a whole series of relationships of power. But at the Collège de France, students take only the courses they want to take. And anybody can sit in on classes, anybody from retired army officers to fourteen-year-old lycéens. They come if they are interested, otherwise they stay home. So who is tested, who is under power? At the Collège de France, it’s the teacher.”

From the Encyclopaedia of Philosophy of Education: “In Nietzsche’s thoughts, education and culture are inseparable. There can be no culture without an educational project, nor education without a culture to support it. Education in German schools springs from an historicist conception and gives origin to a pseudoculture. Culture and education are synonyms of “selective training”, “the formation of the self”; for the existence of a culture, it is necessary that individuals learn determined rules, that they acquire habits and that they begin to educate themselves against themselves, or better, against the education forced upon them.”