Deep Education
© Francois Victor Tochon
The concept of “depth” in education emerged from a variety of disciplines, with the recognition that continuing business as usual didn’t make sense within the current state of affaires in Education. Current shallow teaching and learning practices need to be interrupted. New formats should be explored for Education at large. There are certainly new, more profound ways of understanding each discipline, and teaching and learning them. Disciplinary fields such as philosophy (Naess, 1989) and educational philosophy (Ryan & Louie, 2007), ecology (Salleh, 2000), economy (McKibben, 2007), cultural studies (Shaules, 2007), psychology (Sternberg, 2007), ecopsychology (Roszak, 2001) and educational psychology (Berliner et al., 2007) have gone through a drastic revision of their curriculum approaches—not to speak of various other disciplines—in terms of depth of knowledge and deep reading (Roberts & Roberts, 2008). The time is ripe to introduce a new approach to Education.
As an introduction to deep education, a few words of caution are necessary. When human situations are reshaped into words, categories and classifications, a dimension is being lost that readers must recreate through their own experiences. Deep education is defined within the dynamics of living while this text is in static wording. Concepts imply reductions, reifications and contradictions. Conceptual constructions have flaws, and often lack coherence whatever the efforts made to present a clear, logical line of arguments. Deep education is something people want to live and work for. It is never fully achieved, it is always in the making, and depends upon situations.
Another warning relates to methodological language. Such language gives an appearance of neutrality and objectivity but should not hide that methods are framed within philosophies. Teaching methods have been compelling in making teachers believe that they could apply certain methods to reach certain goals, and the framework was supposed to be neutral. Actually specifying goals for schools and for classroom learning implies value choices. Evaluating results is all about valuing certain tasks and devaluing others. Many teachers have become ‘instrumentalists’ in the sense that they never question the underlying framework for the methods they enact. They just have to apply the ‘right’ methods to reach the ‘right’ results, they were told. This was a wonderful way to maintain the status quo and perpetuate a society that may now appear as self-destructive. Nobody questioned the philosophy behind assessments.
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Our courses will officially open after approval of the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board, probably in Summer of 2018.

The deep approach is about mindset and embodied action. It is about persons, humans, in the dynamics of living. It is something people want to live and work for. It is never fully achieved, it is always in the making, and depends upon situations.


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