Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Navigate / search

To Think is to be Dissident

I am certain that to think is to be dissident: caught up in a stimulating battle of conflicting concepts, re-evaluating accepted information, attempting to clarify meaning. Dissidence is something the thinker can not escape. You can not think without finding alternative, without considering whether what is thought to be true may in fact be false, what seems reasonable may NOT stand up to reason. You can not think without recognizing our social constructs, our answers to fundamental questions are espoused through a voice of cultural acceptance.

Without time (or permission) to understand the meaning of an opposing thought any opposition to the predictably supported system outcome becomes most irksome.

Ideas that are not easily digested, ideas that bring forth contradiction, ideas that live in the realm of uncertainty are seen as counter productive when power is exerting it's presence in order to control outcome. Those that ignore the presence of the forces of power risk the wrath of such powers. The individual may be ostracized, may be publicly rebuked, may have their ideas characterized as being those of some unsocial, heretical outsider's, or worse, of being those of a fool. The system will in essence, when it's power is put into question, act towards the "thinking" individual as the socialist state acts against the "corrupt" dissident.

As we move into this technologically defined future, the human trait of creativity may function to produce more wealth and health than any other learnable trait. One of the most important points in nurturing the growth of creativity is to accept a developed sense that authority may be questioned without undue aggressive retaliation. An individual' creativity can be seen in many ways as an act against social stability as the outcomes must by definition challenge and change the structure of society.

If, in our classrooms we wish to teach critical thinking and enhance creative potentials, it would stand to reason that our learning environments must allow for contradictions in thought and action, and that we must diminish the authority to control outcomes. We must design lessons that do NOT attempt to control learning outcomes, including stopping the practice of grading and reporting upon learning (which demand the individual to show desired outcomes at specified times within specified subjects chosen by the system) and instead emphasize the protection of free thinking and self determination. If indeed we wish for our students to acquire abilities greater than the ability to conform.