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Speaking of Education


by Norman Kelman

Patriotism and cosmopolitanism should not be a central frame for a debate about education. I want to frame the discussion with the student more in the center. That means I am concerned with schools -- the place of teaching and learning, a place of the world and apart from the world. And a discussion of schools needs to consider unheated and deteriorating school buildings; and hungry children coming to classrooms through metal detectors.

I welcome, am stimulated by discussion and debate. But this debate cannot begin with Plato, or even Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius. It must begin with the major voices and conditions of those who are engaged. These are the front lines of the work -- the pupils, their homes, their places in the world, the budgets and biases of their communities, and the quotidian events of teachers and students engaged in a battle for the future of our world.



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