Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I haven't studied the work of Hannah Arendt though I'm certainly familiar with the name and with the concept of 'the banality of evil'. It's worth noting for both scholars and educators that ordinary people can become enraptured with dogma such as fascism; certainly there is no shortance of examples of this. So I'm not really in a position to comment on Jenny Machnesses reading of Arendt, except to note that it raises some issues worth considering. Mackness sumarizes: "Educators cannot be non-authoritarian. They must protect the life of the child and protect the humanly built world... Education should in some sense be conservative (in the sense of conservation); it should cherish and protect 'the child against the world, and the world against the child, the new against the old, and the old against the new.'" Be sure to read through the comments, where she offers a lengthy addendum on the subject of authority in Arendt. See also these videos from the Virtual Reading Group on Arendt's Between Past and Future.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Mar 31, 2021 01:45 a.m.