Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Making Room for Hope: Granito de Arena

"As teachers we have a moral, political, and social obligation to try to change things."

I was reminded today as I was reading an  essay by Scott Russell Sanders in The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear that it is important to "make room for hope." Here is my "hope" for today: Granito de Arena, a documentary directed by Jill Friedberg, Corrugated Films.

"What happens to a teacher in the United States, can happen to a teacher in Canada, or to a teacher in Mexico....If we are all confronting the same monster, a monster with many different heads, then we all have to flow together into the same river." 

Granito de Arena (Grain of Sands) documents the 25-year struggle of school teachers in Mexico and highlights the state of education pre- and post-NAFTA. It explores the fundamental role of education from a perspective similar to that of Paulo Freire and bell hooks--education as transformation as opposed to education as a means of producing human capital.
"This is a system that breaks everything it touches into little pieces, and which teaches us that life is about having, and life is about working, instead of life being about being."

"Everything is subject to the market, and education is no exception. You're going to have the very best education for the rich kids and what's left over for the rest."

Sound familiar?

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