The Education Network’s Philosophy
Much of what is valued in civilization – in fact, the very possibility of living with dignity, character and wisdom as a human being – is a product of what we have come to call education. Education makes available to us not only the foundations of our culture and traditions, but also a pathway for exploring and creating the future – a pathway on which our deepest expressions as individuals and as humanity can unfold.
There are few conversations that affect each of us so personally and so profoundly, and few that hold for us as human beings such rich possibility as the conversation we have labeled ‘education.’ It is this promise, this possibility which is at the source of educators’ powerful commitment to teaching and to education.
But with all of the hard work, intelligent thinking, purposeful effort, sincerity, dedication and goodwill devoted to education, we are only able to make incremental improvements, or at best periodically produce extraordinary results that can't be sustained. Those who have committed themselves to truly making a difference have found themselves frustrated in the face of having given their best efforts. And there is less and less a sense of education realizing its potential.
The Education Network stands for the possibility which lies beyond the enormous value already being contributed, to a certain ‘opening’ or ‘clearing’ for education as possibility, a possibility that actually lives in the hopes and vision of all those committed to education. The Education Network is intended as a network of empowerment in which the possibility of education can be realized.
The Education Network asserts that as a nation we already have everything necessary for education to succeed – including committed teachers, effective programs, dedicated administrators and parents, children who are willing and able to learn, and even sufficient financial resources. What is missing is an environment which maximizes what these valuable resources can produce.
The current environment for education is based on certain assumptions - shared understandings that have evolved over time - and this reality is perpetuated by concurrent traditional practices. These underlying assumptions and practices reconfirm and sustain the reality. The culture of education shapes and limits the outcomes of even the most creative thinking, truly innovative approaches, and the most inspired action.
All that is possible in education hinges on generating a new culture based on uncommon assumptions. Creating an atmosphere in which students excel and stakeholders achieve truly substantive changes hinges on new ways of thinking about and interacting with education.
The Education Network is committed to creating a new paradigm for education – altering the conversations which constitute education and serve as the environment for education. In this paradigm, people have the opportunity to make a real and lasting difference with students, and impact the future of education in their communities.