An idea represents particular economic, political, and social forces. The most important forces are class and race; however every idea also has its origin in other “groups” or sectors as well. Thus, an idea also projects the interests and way-of-thinking, or a world-view, of particular religions, nationalities, cultures, genders, and, of course, political organizations. Dr. King points out that “. . . power sources are sometimes obscure and indistinct. Yet they can always finally be traced to those forces we describe as ideological, economic, and political.”
As educators many times it is difficult to seek out and discover the economic and ideological interests inherent in our own assumptions and ideas. In many cases the task of being a class room teacher can overwhelm us in terms of dealing with our own educational philosophy. It is imperative that we create methods whereby we can do the necessary homework of seeking out and discovering the most organic elements of our own world-view regarding all aspects of natural and human development.
This requires educators develop the curiosity to question the origin of our thoughts and feelings about all things.
It requires us to develop the self-control and courage to practice self-critique and critique from others, because it is through such critique that curiosity leads toward discovery.
For educators to progress and develop their highest capacity to serve they must follow the scientific method of stating the hypothesis, experimenting with and testing out the hypothesis, evaluating and critiquing the results of the experimentation, and the validity of the hypothesis, either affirming or negating the hypothesis, and then adding to or taking away from the hypothesis, and beginning again the scientific method. Educating for ethics and values require that we simultaneously search for the economic and political origins of our own educational philosophy all the while experimenting with teaching ethics, values, and citizenship.
Education is always both diagnostic and prescriptive.
In order to confront the weaknesses of educational institutions and processes, and, in order to teach the vast majority of individuals in society, an educator must develop a life-long dedication to the practice of seeking and discovering the economic, political, and social foundation of his or her notions, assumptions, and ideas.