Constant Immersion and Emergence
I hate the word reform. Well, let me put in another way, I hate how language, like the words reform, rigorous, and higher standards, has been hijacked by a standard imagery of the never-ending critique of traditional education, without actual changes to the core, instead, choosing to emphasize changes on the periphery.
The contentions of language such as reform, system, rigor and higher standards, nowadays encapsulate the idea of failure, rather than success. No longer do we equate reform with new formation, but rather, with previous process that had failed, or changed small elements to an industrialized system.
Higher standards is no longer considered a personal or communal reach for authentic growth, but now is considered a dangerous suggestion of standard approach, standardized tests and arbitrary hierarchical levels.
Since the suggestions of the previous words (and ones that appear exhausted, such as revolution, free, and radical), no longer seem to develop a certain emotion and/or explanation for a praxis; let us try to think of the phraseology of Constant Immersion and Emergence. This, at first, might sound like a deep-sea expedition, which may not necessarily be a bad imagery to undertake with this following idea and phraseology:
In learning, two main things seem to happen that cause that spark of something new, of something understood, as something different. The first is the depth of thought. In my experience, and, I am sure in many of your own experiences, true and authentic learning takes time, but most certainly, takes a deeper critical ear, constant questioning, critical mouth, analyzed thought process, and convincing within one’s self of a particular truth. There is a reason why we do not go from the introduction of a paper to the conclusion, and that reason, is because the body of the paper, is the depth of our understanding of the idea. This is an immersion, which must constantly be enacted, both in formal and non-formal learning, both in traditional and non-traditional lens, both in the mind and within the body.
The second thing that seems to happen in that spark of something new, something understood, as something different, is the awakening to these new deeper ideas, something that changes not only our mind, but our heart as well. This awakening affects us in several ways, but most distinctively is in the way it changes who we are as individuals and eventually as communities. This is the Emergence. The emergence from the dark, emergence from the ignorance, the unknown, the dependence; whatever and wherever that comes from inside us from this new understanding, transforms us, it changes what and who we care about and mostly, what and who we are.
These two elements must be living, always as a constant undertaking, which turns over continually, never allowing for a settling to set in. So let us consider this approach: One that is both depth and breath (not breadth). If we allow for this model to first be consumed within our own sphere, and then spread to others, we might surprise ourselves, both at the re-appreciation of knowledge and re-commitment to humanity.