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ERIC Number: EJ911454
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 46
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1550-1175
Between Self and Horde: The School
Hawkes, T. Elijah
Schools: Studies in Education, v7 n2 p184-229 Fall 2010
For millions of years, human beings evolved and then lived in small social groupings that were intergenerational, with simple divisions of labor, oriented to common tasks and values. It was a limited existence in many ways, but there was community and continuity. And now, very suddenly in evolutionary time, we have built the teeming cities and sprawling suburbs, virtual worlds, and institutions for the global trading of goods and ideas and selves. These new circumstances propel us down vastly different pathways than we were built to travel, and this is a wellspring of our civilization's discontent. For those of us wrestling with how to improve our society's institutions, and how to better raise our children, humanity's past in small communities needs to be better recalled. In this essay, a New York City public high school principal discusses his interactions with several students, their stories, and the broader social contexts--present and past. The bloody visions of a young man aching for revenge provide the point of departure. The moral of the story is that our work in schools should embody aspects of the life that our species has so long known: the small group, the primacy of the past and inherited experience, the place of the elder, the continuity and common values of a community. John Dewey surfaced this almost a century ago in his demarcation of what progressive education really is. As in so many aspects of our lives, progress is most likely found by returning to what we knew before.
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York