Now sure, with a title like this I coud probably have this post fire randomly throughout the year and nine out of ten times it would be true. But the discussion Dan has been facilitating over the past several months about what “real world” education means (and why “fake” assignments can be better than “real world” ones) came to a spectacular head the other day in a post that veered through curiousity research, solvable and unsolvable equations, and David Foster Wallace. Talking about DFW’s take on secular worship — that the worship of the scarce ultimately leads to an unsustainable cycle of need — Dan then moves into this gem:
If you say a prayer to the “real world” every time you sit down to plan your math lessons, you and your students will never have enough real world, never feel you have enough connection to jobs and solar panels and trains leaving Chicago and things made of stuff.
If you instead say a prayer to the electric sensation of being puzzled and the catharsis that comes from being unpuzzled, you will never get enough of being puzzled and unpuzzled.
The point? The culture of the real world is constrained, while the culture of curiousity is expansive and self-sustaining.
There you go. Read the rest of the post, several times, it’s really that good.