Há um novo livro de Mike Rose na praça. Mike é um educador comprometido com as causas da educação pública. E acaba de lançar uma obra que aproveita toda sua experiência e aventuras investigativas para apontar caminhos de uma educação comprometida com as causas democráticas. Nome do livro: Why School? Vale a pena ir atrás, ler e descobrir pontes entre as lições de Mike e nossa realidade educacional. Já encomendei meu exemplar. Depois de lê-lo, pometo postar aqui uma sinopse ou resenha.
Uma das obras fundamentais do autor, The Mind at Work, foi publicada em português com o título O Saber no Trabalho. Escrevi, com orgulho e emoção, o prefácio para a edição brasileira desse livro do Mike. Recomendo.
É bom reparar que o citado autor escreve muito bem. Suas obras são provas vivas de que textos científicos sobre educação podem ser boa literatura. Só isso já seria motivo para admirar os escritos do Mike. Mas, ele faz muito mais. Numa prosa elegante, atraente e limpa, traz para o palco idéias precisosas sobre educação.
Em seu blog, o professor da UCLA, acaba de publicar parte do prefácio para Why School? Reproduzo aqui o texto.
Why School? comes from a professional lifetime in classrooms, creating and running educational programs, teaching and researching, writing and thinking about education and human development. It offers a series of appeals for big-hearted social policy and an embrace of the ideals of democratic education – from the way we define and structure opportunity to the way we respond to a child adding a column of numbers. Collectively, the chapters provide a bountiful vision of human potential, illustrated through the schoolhouse, the work place, and the community.
We need such appeals, I think, because we have lost our way.
We live in an anxious age and seek our grounding, our assurances in ways that don’t satisfy our longing—that, in fact, make things worse. We’ve lost hope in the public sphere and grab at private solutions, which undercut the sharing of obligation and risk and keep us scrambling for individual advantage. We’ve narrowed the purpose of schooling to economic competitiveness, our kids becoming economic indicators. We’ve reduced our definition of human development and achievement – that miraculous growth of intelligence, sensibility, and the discovery of the world – to a test score. Though we pride ourselves as a nation of opportunity and a second chance, our social policies have become terribly ungenerous. We rush to embrace the new – in work, in goods, in the language we use to describe our problems—yet long for tradition, for craft, for the touch of earth, wood, another hand.
We do live in uncertain and unsettling times, but one can imagine all sorts of responses, and we have been taking—and have been led to take—those that are fear-based, inhumane, less than noble. We yearn for more and as a society deserve better. This yearning was one of the forces that drove the election of Barack Obama.
My hope is that the contents of this book in some small way contribute to a reinvigorated discussion of why we educate in America, maybe through a particular story, maybe because of information I can provide from my own teaching and research, maybe from a perspective that provides a different way to see.