Dreams of Education

I don’t quite know how to explain what I am about to say, but sometimes when I am falling asleep, it is my hands that begin to dream first, before my brain does.

Butt-dialing’ has emerged in recent years as a beautiful means of describing unintentional cellphone calls. The implication is that the butt has no intentions, and can carry out no actions, but by a technological glitch has done something by accident…


This is such an interesting blog post, because it breaks down into parts a whole (the human body) in intentional contexts that almost always consider that whole as a whole and nothing less.

I often find myself imagining the relationship of cells and organs to a body as an analogy for people and communities to a society. Obviously, this analogy is limited because of this idea of intention, but it’s also interesting to think that the presence/lack of intention in each of these examples is flipped: Generally, with the cells/body example it is the larger entity that had intention; and with the people/society example, it is the smaller one.

But, is this so obvious?

This post challenges my generalizations, and in doing so challenges the habitually anthropomorphic ways that I see the world.

Anyway, I also see a connection here to education. Breaking down an overarching learning goal, subject, or theme, and letting the individual skills engulf the body in change, slowly, skill by skill.

Recently, I try to get my student to not think of themselves as “learning English” but to add to their perspective that they are developing strands and skills like speaking for fluency, listening for main ideas, listening for chunks of words, writing for structure, writing for accuracy, and reading for pleasure, just to name a few.

Then, if they do this, they can start to feel the dream enter through that smaller skill, slowly engulfing the larger entity of learning English.

Maybe for them it’s as difficult as me considering that a part of my body, like the hands, have intention of their own. Or, that butts can dial. This is the dream, though. This is how it spreads.


More: about scale here and here

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