ERIC Number: EJ937259
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
The Revolution Is Not Over: Achieving the "Big Idea" in Education
Durden, William G.
Independent School, v69 n2 Win 2010
This article is an edited version of a speech delivered at the 2009 Mediterranean Association of International Schools (MAIS) Annual Conference in Florence, Italy. In the author's past speeches--in Seville and Rome--he had urged his listeners to use their distinctive power and influence as independent, international educators to advance significant change and improve teaching and learning. In this speech, he recommends that those for whom an American notion of education is relevant commit to reclaiming the original intention of the pre-K-16 experience in which educating for democracy is the intention--not just educating to gain academic knowledge without larger purpose. More simply stated, he challenges educators to reclaim intentionality--to educate for meaning--so as to inspire students to learn and be vibrant participants in the global community. He suggests a commonality of purpose for both schools and undergraduate colleges and universities--a commonality that guides and inspires educators and students. He suggests it be intended to compel teaching and learning inside and outside the classroom to be infused with both a sense of purpose larger than the acquisition of academic knowledge merely for learning's sake alone and to engage both teachers and students with a sense of urgency to complete something that answers the "why" of formal education. At least for an education based upon an American notion of education, the author suggests that commonality of purpose--that "big" idea--is a useful liberal education for democracy and the knowledge and skill necessary for a student to be an active and informed participant in it--to be a citizen. A student must know at every stage of study that what he or she is learning contributes to a democratic way of life that might manage well the tremendous opportunities and grave responsibilities to be faced in the world. A student and his or her teachers must also appreciate that, as Dr. Benjamin Rush so eloquently stated at the end of the 18th century, the American revolution is far from over and remains so now and well into the future.
Descriptors: Intention, Foreign Countries, Educational Development, Educational Philosophy, Educational Principles, Educational Objectives, Educational Practices, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Democratic Values, Speeches, Educational Opportunities, Social Responsibility, Institutional Mission
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy; Italy (Rome); Spain