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At The Heart Of An Educator

In this 5th geeky article, a writer contends that in a shaky, apathetic and dystopian world on the brink, the educator (eLearning or non) has a profound responsibility to open up minds. In this article, an educator is struggling to break free of his cynicism, but is finding his cynicism is invariably trying to keep him in check.
At The Heart Of An Educator

The Educator And The World Of Learning

As the light of a new day on Earth began to seep through the blinds, he looked up at the ceiling and started to ponder the human world and how it had got to be so shitty. Was it simply steely Chaos Theory exposing the fractal mathematical properties of accumulated and proliferating human greed, or was this the work of an evil entity feasting on human suffering, shattered-dreams and freedom?

Hey, chill out, the day’s just starting,” he said to himself. “It’s simple, in life, some fail, and some succeed. You know, it’s survival of the fittest. Just try to struggle through. It’s really not that bad. Anyway, most people are too busy worrying about who hasn’t liked them on Facebook to notice. They don’t really care about that kind of stuff. So stop being so negative,” he said back to himself.

But deep down, he knew none of that was true. He knew that for most, life was a slaughter house of unfairness and disappointment. He knew that Newtonian law of human action and reaction in an evil system might one day have its indiscriminate way too.

At which point, he got out of bed, grabbed his mobile, and on his way to the kitchen, he tried, as usual, to imagine what the news might be that day. He’d grown sick of the corporatist wars, the displacement of peoples, the rape of cultures, the slaughter of the innocent, the growing poverty, the barbaric loss of human potential, and most of all, he had grown sick of the lies. Democracy had ensured that the right questions would never be asked. Democracy had ensured that there would be Mickey-Mouse-money, deep-state-puppeteers, freedom-loving-bombs and oil-dependent-BTU-calories. Democracy had also ensured that the political world would mostly be a pantomime of bought-off, smooth-talking, smart-moving, narcissism-belching and smile-guiling politicians.

At that moment, he felt the time for his morning dump was fast approaching. He sat down on the cold toilet seat and wondered where the hero was. He wondered where the man or woman of substance was. He wondered where the incorruptible, fearless and human-loving problem-solver was. And as he grabbed another wet wipe, he declared fervently that one great mind could change a lot, that one great mind could change the world, that one great mind could unleash a transcendental human.

He then strangely scoffed at himself as he washed his hands. And as he got ready for work, he said to himself, “I’m not trying to suggest that what you just said about that one-great-mind-thingy in the toilet was idealistic drivel, or a Lord-of-the-Rings-pastiche for that matter. Please don’t think that for a moment. But you really need to mention the role of the educator vis-à-vis the commercialization of education and student indebtedness.” That day, however, he wasn’t feeling sad, angry, frustrated, or helpless, he actually felt powerfully optimistic. He understood big changes were coming to the world, and he understood big changes were coming to the world of education too. He hoped in this new world creative mental skills would trump hollow social skills. He hoped in this new world of cataclysmic upheaval, real, honest and loving people would turn things around too.

Thereupon, he left home, got into his car and drove to work. As he weaved his car around arrogantly-irresponsible mobile-multitasking drivers, he started supposing what might lie at the heart of an educator, and then, he started saying the following:

At the heart of the educator lies sadness and anger at the state of the world. At the heart of the educator lies a violent love to undull the dulled and unglaze the glazed. At the heart of the educator lies an unseen hero of humanity in chains. At the heart of the educator lies a learner's bud that might flower, that might free, that might spread human love throughout eternity.

For him, there were no summative or formative packaged grades first. For him, there were no questionable factory-production-line can-do statements of supposed ability first. For him, there were no committee-idealized 21st century thinking skills first. The world needed real brawny crap-stirring brains. And for him, education meant nothing, pedagogy meant nothing, eLearning meant nothing without the heart of the educator. For him, designing the next forum discussion, the next recorded lecture, or the next course meant nothing without the heart of the educator. “And many media-pumped and tattoo-inclined students might agree with that too,” he thought.

Well that at-the-heart-of-the-educator-stuff was all very moving and noble,” he said to himself as he got out of his car and walked to his office. “But, really?” he said to himself sarcastically. At that point, he walked up the stairs thinking he was sick of number-crunching publishing, and sick of trying to convince people he might have something important to say. It seemed, to him at least, that he would be nothing more than a grainy brushstroke on the heap of a crappy age. As he entered his office, he decided rather impulsively to say hello to the learning technologists in the adjacent office.

Hi everyone!” he said.

Hi!” they said back to him.

As he walked back out of the office, he paused momentarily, and said, “It’s great working with you!

When he had gone, one learning technologist turned to another and said, “That was weird.

Maybe he’s trying to get us to record those Moodle training films in Camtasia again,” said the other learning technologist nervously.

No shitting way,” said another.

Maybe he’s just trying to be nice,” said yet another learning technologist as she munched into her delicious Greek cheese pastry.

 
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