stephanie jones

Dare we stop cannibalizing one another in the name of education?

In class-sensitive teaching, corporations, democracy, economics and economies, Education Policy, Neoliberalism and Education on September 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm

We’ve heard it a million times over – what can we learn from Finland? Here’s yet another article about lessons from Finland. The online discussion is depressing at best. Most people – even so-called “smart” people – have literally bought into cannibalism competition so much in this country that they can’t see beyond the water in which they swim. While most of the teachers I know and work with are fighting tooth and nail against the negativity of competition in their own classrooms and schools, I still hear educators say things that seem absolutely nonsensical to me – things like “Why should we provide the school supplies for them? That’s not preparing them for the real world at all, no one in the real world will give them anything.”


In those moments I have to look people in the eye and realize that we are not only speaking completely different languages, we are literally living in different universes and when we look at the same children, our vision and perception couldn’t be more different. Communication across universes hasn’t worked well up to this point, and though I hate it, I have realized that sometimes I need to just walk away and hope that somewhere in the future that person will realize how unethical their stance was in our moment of conversation.

Even if our “real world” is war-torn, filled with hatred, abusive, exclusive, and cannibal-like, is that really how we should create our schools and prepare our children and youth to perpetuate?

Of course not. Any half-way grounded human being knows that. Anyone with even an ounce of empathy or compassion would know that.

But apparently the corporate cannibalism of our country has filled every crevice of our collective consciousness, so much so that many of us see this damaging way of life as the only way.

Dare we stop cannibalizing one another in the name of education? Dare we dream that our youth might envision a more peaceful, collaborative, and equitable future for themselves and all of us? If we dare to dream it, we have to actively speak out – and act out – against the implosive competition that has ravaged our educational system for far too long.




  1. Such a simple idea.
    Seriously, when a colleague forgets to bring a pen, I will loan her one. I extend the same courtesy to students. That’s the real world.

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