chapter  21
20 Pages

On the While of Things

WithDavid W. Jardine

The fragmentation and scattershot acceleration that have come to define much of North American life and even more of our children's school-lives seems more and more like a bizarre hoax. Many of the tasks asked of teachers and students in schools are not worth while in this very particular sense: they are not worth lingering over, meditating upon, remembering, and returning to. In some schools, students who want to think about it and while over it get mocked, thus reproducing in students the very sort of "anti-intellectualism" that Raymond Callahan noted as commonplace in contemporary schooling's efficiency ancestry. Constructivism, initially meant to disrupt the assembly-line consciousness of contemporary schooling, simply aggravates it and replaces it with a sort of ego-imperialism which makes consumptiveness more violent and willful. Memory "works" each event in relation to the other, working to "place" them properly and safely.