We will never reach perfection. This is simultaneously an encouraging and discouraging thought. If we will never reach perfection, why try? On the other hand, if we do our best, but still fall short, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. We will never reach perfection. And such it is with education.
As a teacher–a future teacher–what will be my take on perfection? I am often considered a “perfectionist,” where everything has to be just right, everything has to be in place, and I always have to try to get the best grade possible. But is this perfection? Is this the truth of education? Is this all I want my students to be? No, no, and no. If the highest truth of education is perfection (64) and that truth transcends reality (66), then how is it possible for us to reach it? And if we can’t reach it, is it worth the effort? I don’t know how we can reach perfection, but it definitely is worth the effort. Jackson’s discussion of the philosopher’s triad of Good, True, and Beautiful (67) shows us the choices that we ourselves face, and the kind of choices we should be presenting to our students. Naturally, we want to encourage our students to pursue the Good, True, and Beautiful. This brings in a moral aspect to educating students. It is no longer an instillation of various facts and skills, but it presents a goal to our students. How should you apply your skills and your knowledge? Hopefully, towards the Good, True, and Beautiful. This is part of our responsibility as teachers to our students.
I think this aspect definitely needs to be incorporated into my definition of education.