Some time ago, somebody posted this quote on Facebook:
"We've bought into the idea that education is about training and 'success',defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death." (Chris Hedges, 2009)
Although when I first read it I wasn't quite sure of the author's intent, what he seemed to be saying struck me as being somewhat disparaging and admonishing in tone. So much so that one of my reactions was, "You talkin' to me?" - as if something in me wanted to stand up to Chris Hedges and push back in some way.
Was I being a bit paranoid and misreading him? Or did his assertions that we've erroneously come to believe that training for monetary success is education, and that management techniques constitute wisdom, suggest that leadership training was suspect in his mind as well? For example, what would he say about
Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.)
? Would he say that there's really nothing about it that's educationally substantive or constructively contributory to the common good? Would he say that its emphasis on building leaders' interpersonal skills as a means of improving organizational outcomes is just another example of training for career enhancement and corporate success and nothing more? I wondered.