A Prelude to the Manifesto for Education in the Age of Technology by Robin Martin December 1997 The first half of this manifesto is an attempt to come to terms with some of the not-so-positive trends emerging within technology and society, with a focus on education in particular. Then, in the second half, I’ve attempted to begin to integrate critical ideas on technology and human responsibility (as reflected in works such as Net Future by Steven Talbott) into my broader, hopeful, & spiritual views of the world, and my evolving views of what it means to be an “Inspired Teacher.” In some ways, I realize there may seem to be a disconnectedness between the two halves of the Manifesto; however, I think it will take the process of writing a whole book for me to come to terms with the harmony between these two views of the world, as now I only “see in a mirror only dimly” (Corintheans 2: 13).
Also, in some ways, I’ve been rather vague, I realize. I am hoping that as Inspired Teachers who happen upon this site begin to correspond with me and engage in dialog, we will have the opportunity to revise and expand the Manifesto, as well as adding co-authors over the course of time. If the very beginning of the Manifesto feels like it has a political edge that never gets fully developed, it is because, in case you didn’t notice, the first two paragraphs are structured based on the Communist Manifesto. I just thought that was kind of a fun & somewhat appropriate thing to do. On the one hand, Communism, as first explained to the world in Marx; Engel’s world-famous Manifesto, has had such a POWERFUL impact on the 20th century, and I think some of the spiritual ideas with which I and others are only beginning to tinker will have an equally profound impact on the 21st century. On the other hand, unlike the external/political focus of communism, the Spirit that we as Inspired Teachers wish to tap into begins with changes in how we think; perceive the world. That in turn, I believe, will lead to what Paulo Friere calls Praxis: reflection in action, and there is indeed a political dimension to that…(ah, but that’s another paper too.)
This is the full prelude, allowing on to dive into Martin’s thought provoking, A Spiritual Manifesto f or Education in the Age of Technology.