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Varied Voices, Varied DreamsMoving Forward

Dreams of a different world: towards ending violence and inequality

Varied Voices, Varied Dreams

The publication Moving Research …Into Practice had its Toronto launch at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in December 2008. On that occasion, although we only had a little time we asked the participants (about 50 people, almost all educational practitioners) to quickly brainstorm and write down their thoughts on two questions:

  1. What would it look like if the impacts of violence on learning were fully acknowledged and addressed in adult education learning environments?
  2. Five years have now passed since everything you dreamt of has been implemented. Describe some of the differences it has made in programs and in the lives of learners.

Even with just a few minutes to think the responses expressed diverse visions – some voices questioned, some insisted, some critiqued. It was clear that there is a dearth of meaningful work on violence in most learning environments – the differences between here and the imagined future can seem awfully daunting… Also clear was that it would indeed make a difference – in people’s inner and social lives, in parenting, in how cycles of violence echo through generations.

One strong theme that emerged was that of trust: in this patient future we will see people trusting their institutions and instructors differently, and in turn, institutions trusting people to find their own ways into learning and their own ways of learning. Maybe most importantly, we’ll see people trusting themselves to learn in ways we can hardly imagine from here.

Read people’s unedited responses to the questions – in no particular order – here:

1. What would it look like… ? (PDF file)

2. Describing the difference it would make (PDF file)

3. Images of change