Philosophy in Bed

| July 8, 2010
Classroom Pinhole Photograph

Pinhole Photograph, Chris Moffett 2008

Like the juvenile that knows that adding “…in bed” to the end of every sentence will likely be funny, provocative, or at least get a rise, doing Philosophy of Education often amounts to adding “…in the classroom” to the end of concepts.

Spinoza as educator.

It at least matches, like the bedroom, education’s pervasive yet perverse status. Everyone is for it, but it doesn’t mean we want to hear about all the details. We must crassly tease it out.

Dewey was the master at putting this strategy to work, pairing education with everything: Democracy and Education, Art and Education, Education as Growth.

This is the glorious version, showing education to be the expression and companion of all that we value. But what of the remainder? The juvenile reminding people of what goes on behind closed doors, bursting pretensions? Everything brought low by innuendo. Doesn’t it always get pushed too far?

This inspiring vision? Drug low and shown up in the classroom. This ugly truth? At home in the classroom. Education as Tedium. Classroom and Control… It solves nothing, only complicating things. But maybe it is also the point at which we finally have to think.

As Heidegger put it, and his biography unwittingly attests:

The most thought provoking thought, in our thought provoking time, is that we have not yet begun to think.

…in the classroom.