Many people did not sleep last night: Some because of the World Cup; some because of the NBA Finals; others because they are presenting today. Still others did not sleep because they are officers on duty involved in searching for three kidnapped teenagers. Others did not sleep because they are parents who do not know where their children are.
At moments like these, we should appreciate the privilege we have as educators, of being able to focus on eternal matters – issues that should be addressed both in times of peace and in times of war.
Last week, I finished teaching a course on identity and education. Among other things, we examined the metaphors we use to describe educational processes. Inspired by the discussions, I searched for a metaphor to describe consulting with others on an educational project. In the spirit of the George Orwell essay we studied, I searched for a fresh metaphor, one that is neither trite nor cliché, and is hopefully thought-provoking. So here it is: Echolocation. Watch the short clip below. While watching, try swapping the word “bat” with the word “educational leader.”
Echolocation is a method of sensory perception some animals use to orient themselves in their environment, detect obstacles, communicate with others and find food. Bats use echolocation to navigate in the dark and find food. The bat emits a series of high-pitched sounds from its mouth or nose. The sounds bounce off an object in its path and create an echo enabling the bat to determine the size and shape of the obstacle, as well as the direction of motion. This echolocation method is so accurate that bats can detect gadflies, and truths as subtle and fine as a human hair.