“The fact that we have schools does not mean we have education.”


“The fact that we have schools does not mean we have education.The fact that we have hospitals does not mean we have health care. The fact that we have courts does not mean we have justice.”- Parker Palmer. This was a very powerful article that I think helped me reflect on various personal experiences and this class as a whole. This was written 11 years ago and sadly so many of the issues that he brings up continue to persist in our education system today. The quote mentioned earlier I think very much summarizes all of these issues that many times we, as educators choose to ignore or as he says we are “taught to value intellectual detachment above engagement with the world, they refused to recognize what they knew”. This also reminds me of last class’ discussion that we had and whether or not many of us will use what we learned and talked about in the class in our own classrooms or environments. The easier route it is definitely to choose disengagement but where is the fun in that? This also will allow for these cycle of issues to stay here, those issues that we discuss and complain about.  Lastly, “we must help our students understand what it means to live and work with the question of an undivided life always before them. Doing so means, of course, that as mentors we must embody what it looks like to live in that way”. If we want our students to be the future that we hope to see then we have to start with ourselves. Also, this does not mean, when you graduate, when you get tenure, or other excuses that we tell ourselves.. It needs to start today. We have to embody the hope that we want to see and not by just discussing but acting on those discussions. Many times this means being vulnerable and involves risks but this is how we have always seen change made historically. Overall, this class has exposed us to the different ways we can teach in our classrooms but we have also learned that it is not just about the subject we teach but all the intersectionalities that come with them. Therefore, understanding the complexity of society and what each individual student brings to the classroom with their own lived experiences is something that we HAVE to constantly remember to create those inclusive environments, dialogues, and safe spaces for all.


Tyler Quick

Thanks for the post! I agree that if we want our students to be a positive influence in the world, we need to show the way. We need to take what we know and do something with it, even though it’s often so much easier to just go with the flow.

Robert H

Luisa, thank you for this post. Yes, just because the structures and institutions are in place does not mean the systems are working. Being in school, at any age, does not mean you are learning. You are just in a room, in a building, on property but that is not learning. Great point that it must begin with the educators but the institutions seem to create the obstacles to educate. R1 institutions value research and publications while they place student education on the back burner as the tuition just pays the bills. Professors teach to pay bills but are here to research and write. That is a major problem because it creates a gap in the continuation of education for the next generation. Fight the power, fight the institutions, fight for education!


Luisa I really enjoyed that quote you started off with…I may just have to use that! But I think it relates so much to what I mentioned in my blog post about education not being enough and we need to have some form of service and intentionality behind our service in order for things to truly change in this world.

A. Nelson

I’m a fan of the Parker Palmer quote you opened with as well. And I think your point that “we have also learn[ed] that it is not just about the subject we teach but all the intersectionalities that come with them” is really key. And yes, we do have to start with ourselves. Thanks for this, Luisa!


Luisa, your post reminded me of Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. It easy to ignore issues rather than address them. To address these issues would mean that we would destroy our perception of joy and happiness. Being a bystander only perpetuates a cycle that does not model good examples for future leaders.