Order of Education calls for a new way of thinking about American education. It challenges readers to understand and create education designed for a new era. To see things in a different way. To look past the limitations of past cultural experience.
In his book The Order of Things, Michel Foucault outlines the mission of Order of Education while discussing a painting:
The spectacle [the painter] is observing is thus doubly invisible: first, because it is not represented within the space of the painting, and, second, because it is situated precisely in that blind point, in that essential hiding-place into which our gaze disappears from ourselves at the moment of our actual looking.
Those who are this painting (the subjects, the painter) are unable to experience this painting. They are unable to interpret this painting because they cannot possibly step outside of the painting in order to gain an objective state of reference to it.
As Foucault continues, “In this picture . . . the profound invisibility of what one sees is inseparable from the invisibility of the person seeing.” Without the perspective of time, of a viewer outside of the episteme in which that knowledge was created, we are unable to step outside of our visionary limitations and understand a given thing in terms other than those we constructed.
A New Order of Education
Education functions the same way. We are only able to understand education within the context of our current episteme of knowledge. We define our “order of education” based on that which we know. Until we can experience the “necessary disappearance of that which is its foundation,” we will be unable to escape the limits of our own naming system.
The Order of Things explains that “these signs that must be interpreted indicate what is hidden only in so far as they resemble it; and it is not possible to act upon those marks without at the same time operating upon that which is secretly indicated by them.” Our naming system is “both the guarantee of that knowledge and the limit of its expansion.”
Order of Education explores this concept as it applies to our cultural understanding of an educational system. We are on the cusp of an educational revolution. The digital world is facilitating new ways of learning that our current epistemological framework cannot name. Order of Education seeks to understand and explain the coming episteme as it develops.
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