Mutual Support in Cities and Education

In the introduction Jacobs also outlines the idea of ‘crowdsourcing’. This ideas is so “ubiquitous” and “comes in so many and such complex different forms” that it takes up a large chunk of the book (the second of the three parts in D&LGAC)…which I’ll leave further commentary until then. I did want to point out her use of the term mutual support here, which brings to my mind cooperation as a (often overlooked) factor of Evolution and Natural Selection.

Contrary to the Survival of the Fittest mantra which became widespread much after (in affluent, and war torn times of early 20th century) the ideas about evolution were popularized by Darwin, cooperation is a major force in how we survive. I imagine its role is central to how communities survive and even form. If we wanted to try to define the concept of city in some way it would need to include some of what Jacobs is talking about in the term mutual support.

And, thus, when it comes to cities, mutual support is a matter of quality not presence. Her point might be that the difference in quality of mutual support is a defining factor in the distinction between successful cities and unsuccessful ones.

Is this also true for education? If yes, then who is responsible for mutual support?

My quick answer is that mutual support is one of the underlying goals of all education, and should shift from educator to learner over time.


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