Open Spaces for Learning: Engaging the Public Sphere

I have been thinking about a lot of different things recently. One thing that has entered my mind as I read the posts of former students navigating their college careers and life journeys, is that a public space and open sphere for learning is necessary. Desirable, even. Fortunately, this sphere exists! Of course, we have to commit to making it, but the tools, framework, and ideas are already in place.

I will not name names, but there are several former students whose efforts to expand their education and find their own voices amid social struggle are admirable. Beyond being admirable, though, I believe that with the proper space to engage intellectually, these students, as the young and capable adults they are quickly becoming, can bring so much to the table.

One of the hopes of my blog and upcoming future endeavors is to provide this academic, intellectual, but public and democratic space for ideas to be vetted in a rational manner. Particularly, I hope that there are people in my world that I know, and hopefully many whom I do not know, that believe education is not the endeavor or responsibly of the university, but rather of the populace, and that to be educated, we must participate in these important public dialogues.

Maxine Greene has a particularly excellent stance on education and art as things that ought to happen not within the walls of the classroom, but within the framework of society, both as we live it and as we imagine it to be. Now, since I am on the bus, I cannot directly quote her readings, but simply recall classes and conversations with this great mind of our time.

Readers, I ask what you think. Former students, I ask you to engage with me in this journey. I will not be your teacher. At best I will be a student, learning with you, sometimes acting as guide, but mostly asking questions. What do you think?

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