I’m a big fan of Barry Schwartz, and his recent TED talk on our loss of wisdom just adds to my appreciation of him and his work. Take a look:
Many of the issues he addresses in his short talk – teaching to tests, imprisoning people for non-violent acts – are ones I’ve written about in my blog, and Schwartz’s talk dives to the crux of the problem: We are beholden to rules rather than wisdom, and in order to live moral lives we may need to bend rules while we also work toward changing unwise systems.
Systems analysis ought to be a primary subject in schools so that our students can become effective system-changers, developing solutions that transform both grossly unjust and simply unwise systems into ones that are healthy, restorative, humane and wise.
There are numerous systems within schools that are unwise – and Schwartz points out one in his talk that represents a true travesty of education: teaching and attending to only those kids who might pass standardized tests, while ignoring everyone else – and I can think of little else that would be more valuable to our children and our world than educating them in such a way that they have the critical and creative thinking skills to identify, assess, and transform those systems that harm both them and our world.
Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of The Power and Promise of Humane Education and Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life