Monday, October 31, 2011

What is the highest result of education?

With all the dashing about, pretending that we can make leaders of us all, make scientists of us all, pretending that the whole point of education is test score and "college and career readiness," well, it's no small joy to be working under a Principal who puts up in the hallway a large poster quoting Helen Keller:

"The highest result of education is tolerance."

Not bad, and most teachers would appreciate the thoughtfulness (I did) and move on (I didn't).

The word "tolerance" sticks in my craw--it's not a bad word, but just the hint that it requires the tolerant to endure people not of the same ilk bothers me. OK, I can't tolerate the word.

I mentioned this to the Principal, even suggesting that "love" might be a better fit, fully understanding that even the most tolerant Principal can't have a quote like this:

"The highest result of education is love."
 That's too Kumbayesque even for me, and that's saying something.

Leslie, who keeps me sane, suggested "empathy"--which I really liked, and I mentioned it to our Principal.

And today I saw this on our school message board outside:

Amen. And thank you.

Oh, yes, that white stuff is snow. I'm not very tolerant of that, either.


Cristina said...

Empathy. Absolutely wonderful.

John T. Spencer said...

I think you've figured out your word for November ;)

Beautiful choice.

John T. Spencer said...

But I thought "college and career readiness" was what it was supposed read.

doyle said...

Dear Cristina,

Thanks for the warm words.

Dear John,

I'm lucky to have the principal I do--even when we disagree, and we do, he has (and shares) his reasons.

Bottom line: he cares about the students beyond their test scores, though trust me, the state tests still rock our world.