Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? #purposed @purposeducation

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A really interesting and exciting debate about the purpose of education has just been launched by Doug Belshaw and Andy Stewart. Their website can be found here: http://purposed.org.uk and I would recommend following the conversation on Facebook and  Twitter and via the hashtag #purposed.

Their plan is to create a critical mass of people all talking about the purpose of education in time for the next election in 3 years’ time. The debate is beginning online and will expand over the next 3 years. They are starting with encouraging people to blog and also Tweet:

Post the following sentence to Twitter, filling in the gap:

“I think that the #purpose of education is ___. Please RT!”

I must say, although I’m excited about this I have absolutely no idea yet what to write in response to the question of the purpose of education! I’m hoping the blogs that people write will stir something in me. What has happened though is that, like some kind of earworm, I keep thinking of the TS Eliot quote:

‘where is the wisdom that we have lost in knowledge?’

(I think this might also relate to my recent rant about Michael Gove’s suggested return to teaching facts!)

So as a starter for 10 I will share here the poem from which the above quotation is taken, I’m hoping it will inspire me:

 

The endless cycle of idea and action,

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness…

The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,

The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.

O perpetual revolution of configured stars,

O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,

O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!

The endless cycle of idea and action,

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;

Knowledge of words, and ignorance of The Word.

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,

All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,

But nearness to death no nearer to God.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries

Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

 

~ Choruses from “The Rock” (1934)by  Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965)

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