What pedagogy ought to mean

There are basically two ways to walk: like you’re lost and like you should be carrying a briefcase.  Society frowns upon the former and fawns over the latter, which is philosophically troubling.

Briefcase walking can get you into places you aren’t authorized to be.  Everyone does it; look like you’re going somewhere and that time is of the essence, and nobody will interrupt your stride with their insignificant, mortal queries.  Decisive, conspicuous, and unquestionable, briefcase walking is what we teach our children to aspire to.  Briefcase walkers have answers, damn it, and know what to do with them.

And there’s nothing wrong with wanting answers.  It would be unusual not to.  But society, as a whole, doesn’t question whether purposeful walkers really do know what they’re doing.

Walking adrift elicits quite another reaction.  When we, as a society, see someone shuffling along as though they’ve misplaced a thought, we feel uneasy.  What could compel somebody to walk with such utter lack of direction?  Someone looking for answers isn’t as trustworthy as someone who has them.

But of course, nobody has answers.

So we continue to trust those who appear to and try to reform those who don’t.  We respond to the problem of not being able to know everything by not trying to, and by pretending we do anyway.


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