Could education be the solution to many of society's problems? It is possible, says Dr. Cornel West, activist, philosopher, and faculty member at Harvard Divinity School, but maybe not in the way we have come to think it will be.
"There is a deep difference between cheap schooling and deep education," he says. "A lot of times when people are talking about education, they are talking much more about schooling. I'm not talking about something that is just formal and institutional, I'm talking about soulcraft; I'm talking about the shaping of the kind human beings people are." Families, religious communities, civic instituions, music, the arts — they all have a fundamental role.
That is not to say, though, that educators do not play an important part. In fact, their role is vital. "The first thing you have to do is love your students," says West. "Have confidence in their capacity, and their abilities, and their possibilities."
In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, West, at HGSE last fall for the Askwith Forum, "Spiritual Blackout, Imperial Meltdown, and Prophetic Fightback," speaks about democracy, the importance of activism, and the difference between schooling and deep education.
About the Harvard EdCast
The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber and co-produced by Jill Anderson, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.