There are many parallels between education and medicine. As I was paraphrasing the Hippocratic Oath to create The Educator’s Hippocratic Oath, I came across a term I needed to look up – therapeutic nihilism.
Therapeutic nihilism is a contention that curing people, or societies, of their ills by treatment is impossible
- Therapeutic nihilism – Wikipedia
I was slapped in the face by the relevance of this term to education. Many teachers develop educational nihilism at some point. They begin to believe that truly educating children is impossible. They sit in the staff lounge and rant about “kids these days.” They sit at their desk and give out worksheets all day. They are just counting down the years until retirement.
The question is – are they a cause of the problem or a symptom of the failure of the system?
Either way, we need to overcome the educational nihilists in our schools in order to inspire real change.