“I don’t understand it, and I don’t like what I can’t understand.”
“None of us do,” said Dr Dorian, sighing. “I’m a doctor. Doctors are supposed to understand everything. But I don’t understand everything, and I don’t intend to let it worry me.”
“Do you understand how there could be any writing in a spider’s web?”
“Oh, no,” said Dr Dorian. “I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.”
“After all, what’s a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die... By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heavens knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
White, E.B. (1952). Charlotte’s web. Harper Collins.
While I have come across several texts that expound on the values of education, I chose the few simple quotes and the lesson of a spider trying to save her friend from slaughter to introduce my perspective on my experiences in the education system, once as a student and now as a teacher.
I read Charlotte’s Web for the first time in a children’s literature course in my undergraduate programme. Then and now, it speaks to my basic goal of wanting to make critical connections with the world around me. The classroom much similar to Charlotte’s web is a microcosm, or a miracle that can, when spun in the right direction impact many lives including the one at the front of the room. As such, I see myself, and what we do here at DB *C*, as a facilitator playing a role as Charlotte did, in the process of lifelong learning; my web is neither the start nor the final point in this process.
Similar to Dr. Dorian’s position in the first two quotes above, DB *C* is oriented towards critical engagement and questioning as opposed to formulating definitive answers. We strive to assist our clients in making connections in the classroom, between theory and application, the web and the barnyard, the barnyard and beyond.
Dara N. Byrne, Ph.D.