Every now and then I get requests to be interviewed, to write an article, or to have something I wrote be part of someone else’s site.
I say no almost all the time and I explain why based on the context of the request. But there is one reason that is common to all requests: I do not want to be manipulated into pushing someone else’s agenda.
Everyone has an agenda, even if they say they do not. Having an agenda is fine if you are honest about it and if you have your heart in the right place.
Quotes taken from what I say or write might get decontextualised. An opinion piece that I write might get edited until its original message gets diluted or warped.
These are probably why some politicians who are interviewed by the press also post their speeches or thoughts on platforms like Facebook. Better to hear from the horse’s mouth.
The sad thing is that not all do this. Instead of allowing people to thinking critically and make their own decisions based on source material, the sources and the press conspire to leave it up to the press to publish selectively.
What is our excuse in the realms of schooling and education?
Is the source material unavailable?
Is the source material available, but not accessible?
Is the source material available and accessible, but not understandable?
If we say yes to any of these questions, why is this the case and what are we doing about it?
In the wider world, people can take control of the information they generate. They create, share, and discuss, largely on social media.
If the goal of schooling and education is to prepare kids for the wider world, then why are we not allowing and insisting that students create, share, and discuss more openly?