This is still a germ of an idea, but it’s a germ of an idea that’s already spawned a collaborative Google Doc and a blog post, and with that we are officially off and running…
“So Let’s Start An #eduhistory Book Club, Then?” writes Bud Hunt, observing that “We don’t know our history. And it’s killing us.”
I agree. And I’m troubled. “I worry about the lack of historical knowledge about education technology, and not just in a George Santayana ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’ sort of way,” I wrote in my newsletter this weekend.
“The stories we tell about the past aren’t simply about the past. These stories reflect the present and shape the future. History is, after all, not simply a record of all that has happened; it is both a narrative and an argument. History can be wielded in powerful ways.”
We see history wielded more and more in discussions about education and education technology. Take Sal Khan’s History of Education, for example, that leaves out the entire twentieth century and the contributions of progressive education. Or the histories of MOOCs that leave out their pioneers, the connectivists. "Why all this revisionist history?" I wondered aloud last week. (I bet we know the answer, don't we.)
So Bud suggests we start a book club, beginning with a text that Khan maligned in his history video: The Committee of Ten Report. Issued in 1892, this report helped establish the curriculum of the American public education system.
I’ll be joining Bud to run some Google Hangouts to discuss this and the other texts we tackle. More details on the schedule to come. And more information over on Bud's blog.
Photo credits: David Reber