“wide-awakeness”

“Without the ability to think about yourself, to reflect on your life, there’s really no awareness, no consciousness. Consciousness doesn’t come automatically; it comes through being alive, awake, curious, and often furious.” – Maxine Greene 

I am inspired by Maxine Greene’s philosophy of wide-awakeness. I certainly strive for greater awareness of my own self within the world. As a learner and a leader, I seek to become more awake to life, to imagination, to possibility.

During my time at Teachers College, I was exposed Greene’s work and had the pleasure of hearing her speak more than once. Her 1997 essay entitled “Teaching as Possibility: A Light in Dark Times” is a piece of text that I return to quite frequently…oftentimes with pen in hand.

What does it mean to educate in these times? According to Greene,

It is a matter of awakening and empowering today’s young people to name, to reflect, to imagine, and to act with more and more concrete responsibility in an increasingly multifarious world. At once, it is a matter of enabling them to remain in touch with dread and desire, with the smell of lilacs and the taste of a peach. The light may be uncertain and flickering; but teachers in their lives and works have the remarkable capacity to make it shine in all sorts of corners and, perhaps, to move newcomers to join with others and transform.

May we all join together in this adventure towards educational transformation…and in this adventure to foster more “wide-awakeness” in our schools, students, and selves.

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