This morning I'm listening to a talk given by Wendell Berry, "The Thought of Limits in a Prodigal Age." He says, "industrialism and agrarianism are directly opposed." Industrialism involves competition and generalizing. He suggests that industrial farming aims to replace farmers with engineers, and later with robots. In contrast to industrialism, agrarianism involves living well in place, a specific place, however small. Agrarian crops and practices are indigenous to specific places. Taking care of the land and neighborliness are characteristics of agrarianism. Considering Berry's wisdom, I think curriculum is an industrial practice. An agrarian practice, then, would be a practice of specific people, specific places, taking care of specific land, and neighborliness.
Echoing Berry, I write this.
Today's reflection: If curriculum (that is a top-down framework that is the "right" way to teach every kid) is accomplished; then teachers will eventually be replaced by engineers, who will themselves be replaced by robots. But if teaching is a place-infused praxis, a practice of specifics responsive to people and community, and not generalizables, then the teacher's role might survive the 21st Century in a way the farmer's role, the lawyer's role, and the warehouse worker's role didn't survive the 20th.
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