Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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We at BASIS.ed hope our students and teachers are enjoying a well-deserved day off from classes, and are at least thinking a bit about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and why he is so very deserving of honor and recollection.

When we think about Dr. King, we go straight to what we at BASIS.ed do. Indeed, there are a number of excellent quotes worth discussing, by vital historical and contemporary figures, about education, schools, teachers, and learning.

But this one by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., might express most concisely and, to be sure, perfectly, why we at BASIS.ed take our work to heart, and find passion, joy and purpose in what we do. Here’s Dr. King’s quote:

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and
to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal
of true education.”

It’s true. Sure, we can get into the tall grass about what to teach and when, about global economics and STEM subjects, about the calling to teach and the joy and accomplishment of learning. We can get into the weeds on Common Core and testing and data, on the details that educators face and parents weigh, unendingly.

But strip all of that down, momentarily. Take any teacher teaching any student any subject in any classroom, in any school, of any type, anywhere. What is the primary goal? Why do that? Why be there? Why all of the effort and energy, the consternation at the possibility of failure, the pleasure, or relief, in securing some mode of success?

The purpose is exactly what Dr. King said it is. At heart, it is empowering children with intelligence plus character. Nothing else will make them whole; anything less, or even different, is not a substitute.

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That’s why anyone who does what we at BASIS.ed do, does it. That’s why your favorite teacher, at base, did it. It’s why tens of thousands of wonderful, hard-working teachers and teacher’s assistants, deans and principals, aides and teachers-to-be across the nation and around the world today – at any number of schools, teaching myriad subjects in finely-tuned and different-by-degrees pedagogical style – do it. It’s why so much passion comes to the fore, and quickly, when we talk about education, practically, or politically, or personally.

Intelligence plus character is every teacher’s goal, because it is
every parent’s. It is every school’s goal, because it is the world’s.
It is every school district’s goal, every state’s, every nation’s. It is the common thought across the very idea of education — everywhere.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – once again – said it best. And it honors us, and hopefully him, to think of our purpose as educators in this storied and shining light.

Enjoy the day, and please take a few moments during this American holiday to think about a most exalted man, why we honor him, and why it is deserved.

Should you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us at BASISedBlog@basised.com.