Sunday, May 31, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: Teaching And The Social Contract (TL;DR)

CURMUDGUCATION: Teaching And The Social Contract (TL;DR)

Teaching And The Social Contract (TL;DR)

I didn't write anything yesterday, which is an unusual day for me, but I've just been trying to take it all in. I have family in Seattle, friends in Pittsburgh. There's a lot of mess out there tonight.

It's nothing new for our country, but it's never been laid out so starkly. The woman in Central Park deliberately weaponizing her status as a white woman to, at best, put a Black man in his place and, at worst, to try to harm him for daring to challenge her right to break the rules. The armed white guys threatening duly elected lawmakers with harm and worse, because masks make them sad; met by well-disciplined law enforcement who do everything to avoid escalating the situation (reminiscent of the Bundy family's armed attack on a US facility to protect their right to steal US resources-- nobody lost their cool there, either). A peaceful protest of the gazillionth unjust death of a Black man escalated.

One of the most useful lenses I've found in the past few days is this one, from Trevor Noah

In it, he talks about the social contract, the various sorts of deals we make as a society that keeps the society working. We pretend sometimes that it's people exercising authority, like police officers or school teachers, who keep the place working, but in the absence of some kind of contract, even if it's unspoken and unexplained, there aren't enough authority figures on the planet to keep things from falling apart--it's the contract that makes the center hold.

On some level, we understand this. I'm not the only teacher who spent his first year (or two) CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Teaching And The Social Contract (TL;DR)