Static – When Method becomes Purpose

One of the features of having planners in charge of city plans, Jacobs alludes to, is that city workings end up so smooth that the city cannot breathe or live. The purpose of planners is to ensure that everything runs smoothly, their purpose isn’t to create a successful working city. And this, she says, became one of the underlying principles of all city planning for much of the 20th century.

I brought up this point, related to education, in a post about Dewey and Perplexity. And it is not an uncommon point in education these days. Misguided is the teacher who thinks his or her job is to create a classroom that runs smoothly. The opportunities for growth and development just won’t exist in such an environment. In these unfortunate situations, the means to create the outcome replaces the outcome itself. Method replaces intentional learning. Structure comes from above like a cage door that swings downward to close, and impound.

You could probably also make the connection here between learning and learning merely to pass the test. Its a process that involves a whole lotta nothing.

He conceived of good planning as a series of static acts. (p19)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s