Thursday, January 1, 2009

Were you taught Passive Acceptance?

One of the many reading assignments I have this week opens a chapter with this quote from Bertrand Russel (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970):

Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than the pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one later in life. It causes man to seek and accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position.

Some students never overcome their learned passive acceptance, whether the environment was a brick and mortar classroom or part of a lifelong learning journey. How did you overcome your teacher / parent / mentor / influencer taught passive acceptance?

Did you have an influencer in your life that taught you to question authority, research a topic until the topic is dissected, or is passive acceptance an accepted norm?

How do you help others overcome their passive acceptance? How do parent / community involvement projects and programs help others empower themselves? How do we teach others to question sources of information and seek the variety of perceptions?

As we enter 2009, how will you overcome any personal passive acceptances you may have acquired over the years?
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