The next several years of my life are going to be filled with more writing than I have done in a long time. Actually more than I have ever done. So, in an attempt to begin to get into a rhythm of writing and thinking, and thinking by writing, and writing while I read, here we go. Last night, I ordered We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change featuring Myles Horton and Paulo Friere 'talking a book' in 1987.
I think that the title of the book is appropriate given the PhD journey I'm about to begin. We Make the Road by Walking, and it's a conversation about education and social change between two of the most influential educators of their time.
I recognize that it is a rare priviledge to be able to study towards a PhD, even to study at all is hardly common in many parts of the world, and that is something that troubles me. We know that education is the surest path out of poverty, and we also know that poverty is among the chief causes of lack of achievement in education. Tragically, we also know that, despite Canada's status as a developed, democratic and 'nice' nation, our national policies have created a seemingly permanent state of desperation and poverty for the many Indigenous people who were the original stewards of what we call Canada. Our Indigenous hosts often live in abject poverty, suffer from epidemics of suicide, substance abuse, and domestic violence.
We know that educational opportunities can help. No, education is not the panacea that will magically make the racial injustice of Canada's past disappear, nor will it heal the deep generational wounds experienced by many Indigenous people today, but if I believe that my work as an educator and researcher can make a difference and, as Friere notes in the introduction (p. xxx), if I truly believe in the
importance of the freedom of people everywhere, ... and in the capacity and right of all people to acheive that freedom through self-emancipation
then my work as a researcher and educator must be bent towards building the structures, both human and technical, that support freedom.