I’m not a resourceful cook. When I am looking for something to eat, I usually opt for plain vegetables, fruit, nuts, baked fish or chicken, or items that requires little more than cutting, heating, and/or relocating from a container to a plate or bowl. Show me a cupboard of discrete food items, and I see discrete food items. Others look in the same cupboard and see soups, baked goods, side dishes, and all the ingredients for a masterful meal. While some are capable of imagining traditional and new meal possibilities, others are limited to seeing discrete items or processed and pre-packaged meals. Two people may have access to the same food resources, but one looks and proclaims, “There is nothing to eat!”, while the other struggles to decide among the many promising options.
What about our schools? Which schools empower us to look at the discrete resources around us and see possibilities? To what extent are we able to make meals of meaning when we look at our individual abilities and the resources available to us? Some schools do little more than equip us to consume processed and pre-packaged ideas and possibilities. Others challenge and equip students to see the promising ideas and meaning right in front of them. One cultivates dependent consumers, while the other helps learners becoming increasingly resourceful, inventive, meaning-makers. One focuses upon serving students prepared meals of knowledge and information. The other provides them access to the resources along with the guidances and mentoring needed to prepare their own meals long after graduation.