In his book Liquid life (2005) Zygmunt Bauman writes: “In 1989, Richard Rorty spelled out, as desirable and fulfillable aims for the educators, the tasks of ‘stirring the kids up’ and instilling ‘doubts in the students about the students’ own self-images, about the society in which they belong’.” Bauman agrees. I agree.
The horizon for educators should be to empower kids to achieve their “vital needs for social belonging with their equally vital needs for individual autonomy and achievement” (using the words of Bruce K. Alexander in his book The globalization of addiction, 2008).
Rather than rushing through life with a “knee-jerk self-protective response” kids need “a fearless curiosity for life” (Hannah Critchlow, The science of fate, 2019). This means “the skills [they] need more than any others … are the skills of interaction with others – of conducting a dialogue, of negotiation, of gaining mutual understanding and of managing or resolving conflicts inevitable in every instance of shared life” (Bauman, 2005).