Posts Tagged ‘diffuse education’

Recently I was re-reading my uncle’s post(s) about a brief visit to China last year and it got me thinking about how laowai learn about China while in China. This has been a topic of some interest to me over the past twelve or so years, both in terms of self-analysis and observation of other people like me. Of course the blogosphere is full of the writings of people engaged in precisely this kind of reflection. Some are thoughtful and informative; others are rife with misunderstanding and plain old bigotry/racism. Few display the depth of experience and insight of this piece (en francais).

At any rate, no promises here of deep pronouncements on this topic, but I will state the obvious and leave you to think about it for yourself. What is clear from Harold’s posts is that no one arrives as a blank slate on new territory. I would suggest that the more strange the new place, the more reliant we are on past experience, cognitive frames, and habits of mind. Whether or not we are ever able to shed these inheritances of our earliest development and experience is an open question. I would hope so, but I have a vested interest in believing what may be a convenient fiction. After all, what good is it to be an authority in the field of education if much of what one claims to know turns out to be so much poppycock?

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