Peter Smith
Vol 8, Number 1, p.54
I am more and more convinced that the process of education in our schools today must be concerned with enabling people to manage a variety of cultural, family, societal and work-related roles and that those roles require the ability to cross many thresholds. The crossing of thresholds, in another important sense, is inherent in invention and discovery - the ability to juxtapose ideas, information or concepts previously not connected to produce new knowledge. We have to move the concept of schooling from that of benevolent gift to the waiting population, to education which tackles with the most powerful means at its disposal - injustice, dislocation, disorientation, ignorance and dispossession. If we wish to educate our people to work and manage in some peace and co-operation then our subject matter must be the attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, actions and reactions of people in New Zealand, of whatever race, origin, creed or ability. I argue that the processes of the arts are the most powerful educational tools we possess to study that subject matter.