I’ve been away for a few weeks and coming back has made a few things apparent:
1) I’m learning so much online through all of this connectivity (THANK YOU !)
2) Learning, unlearning and relearning is an endless evolution.
3) Learning requires a fair amount of freedom as it does control, a fair amount of order as it requires flexibility (or chaos)
… another one of those balancing acts of duality !!!
This brings me to a brilliant post by Jemma Gardner “Control yourself (Hu)man” which really got my wheels turning. In her post, Jemma describes how she encourages CELTA trainees to “let go of the reins” when they teach and to be “human” (hence contrasting with what I assume is not “robotic” or rigid).
As the dualities of order and chaos / control and freedom have always fascinated me, I started digging around the etymology of control and was once again blown away at what lies beneath a word when we reach back into time.
One stem in control is “-rol” and it comes from Latin’s rotulare meaning to roll or rotate. More specifically, a rotulus, was a roll of paper on which something was written, such as an actor’s role, which originally meant the written lines an actor was to read. Control first arose as a full word a few hundred years ago in middle French as contrerole (counter-roll), which meant a duplicate or second register (extra one for safe-keeping).
HENCE, I see two somewhat obscured meanings in control’s etymology:
1) safety/security (second copy for safe-guarding) 2) writing
I’d like to reach even a bit further to show that writing, at its origins, was most often concerned with the CONTROL of civil life. The Code of Hammurabi, nearly 4000 years old, “is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world” (wikipedia). The code’s 282 laws were largely concerned with establishing civil and commercial standards, and just so happened to include the ever-so-famous dictum “an eye for an eye”.
How was there security or safety before such early laws ?
Was it simply chaos ? Can there be organization in ‘chaos’ ?
and for teachers… if we don’t establish order, will order establish itself ?
These days phrases such as “flipping the classroom” or “disrupting” or “revolutionizing” education are quite popular. While many times these phrases are accompanied by a new type of educational technology, I wonder to what extent “who’s in control” will be a driving force in what disrupts education in the years to come.
What do you think ?