Seeking Voice: Vulnerability

Dear Laura,

I found this video and it reminded me of why I am teaching.  I know it is a bit dramatic, however this vulnerability is what drives a lot of our decisions.  We can’t expose that vulnerability if we are always being criticised or redirected to someone else’s agenda (i.e. modern education and standardization).

I returned to teaching to support this vulnerability in children after witnessing it being silenced in my own children at their elementary school. There are numerous political agendas mingling in education right now that need to be corrected.  I am moved to lend my voice to this issue through my artwork and teaching practice.  I want to help protect children from the burdens of adulthood.  They are not adults.  They have a gift of sharing their true selves and questions about the world without the constraints we do.  Why don’t we honor this short period of time in a life?  I repeatedly see adults squeezing children into adult roles: super athletes,  intense musicians, and mini-professors for example.  Where is the time and space to wonder and be curious?


When we standardize education we are eliminating their lines of inquiry because we already know the specific outcome we want from the student (the curse of assessment!).  Certainly there is a space to directly tell our young what we as adults have figured out about the world.  But are we just going to end it there with no invitation to go beyond?  When do we allow for vulnerability of an idea and space for an individual’s voice to be heard?

I am formally starting a series of short essays I am calling “Seeking Voice”  about my research and experiences of curiosity in the context of modern education (education meaning formal as a child and informal as it extends into adulthood).   It is my intention to address our common essential question Laura of “How is creativity making the world a better place?”.  It’s been a long journey for me professionally, but I am proud to be back teaching young children.   I would like your feedback in the future as I discuss these ideas about ‘voice’ since I know you have a lot to give to our readers to on this topic, but know you don’t have to now since this is just an introduction to this series.   I hope you enjoy these videos by John Koenig.


About the Artist: John Koenig

THE DICTIONARY OF OBSCURE SORROWS http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows…
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for. Follow the project, give feedback, suggest an emotion you need a word for, or just tell me about your day.

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