Can We Talk, Will We Talk, and How We Talk: The Keys to Understanding and Purpose | Editorial | 4 Min Read

October 25, 2023

These past two weeks of October have tried our ability to communicate. Free speech, either oral or written, has been tested. For educators, it is a poignant moment. Has our hard work yielded benefits for our students or are we playing second fiddle to social media, the press, and fragments of public opinion? Has the case been made that history is not just a collection of facts to memorize, but a set of narratives that, in the aggregate, help us to understand why we do what we do? Have we not learned that speaking and writing are the most essential tools of human existence, that without the ability to talk to each other, we have a divided culture that cannot grow, but only continue to fracture? Why, with our love of progress, have modern science and logic been officially challenged by some of the most influential voices in our society?

Let’s assume that the four questions posed are interconnected, particularly in the current context of the Israeli-Hamas conflict. Certainly, Frank Bruni thought so in his recent New York Times subscriber newsletter:

I wish I lived in a universe as politically reductive and morally stark…

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Joel Backon

Joel Backon has been the Editor of Intrepid Ed News since its inception in January 2021, responsible for all educator content on the website. He joined the OESIS Network, owner of Intrepid, in 2019 as Vice President. Joel spent much of his career at Choate Rosemary Hall (CT) where for 27 years he held founding roles in Information and Academic Technology, as well as being a classroom teacher, curriculum designer, coach, dorm head, and student adviser. Prior to Choate, Joel spent 15 years in the printing and publishing industry educating printers on how to maximize their strengths and minimize weaknesses. He has crusaded to achieve consensus on the question of why we educate kids in an effort to meet the learning needs of every student.