This continues our series of 20 questions that SEED Founder Peggy McIntosh answered about SEED for the Wellesley Centers for Women's Research & Action Report. This week, she addresses why many SEED participants have become committed to SEED for multiple years, whether SEED is "radical," and the roots of some of the problems in education.
It sounds as though SEED participants have become very committed to the program.
Yes, and because SEED promotes the growth and development of teachers, it benefits the entire educational system, including all of the students. I would say it recalls members to some of their purposes in going into education and gives them expanded reasons for staying in education, which they certainly need in this day and age of education in the U.S. When the teachers insisted on continuing their SEED seminars they were saying, “This work is for us. We need and want it.”
Is SEED radical?
Yes, in the Latin sense of going to the roots (radix; radices) of some of the problems in ourselves, in education, and in the larger society.
What are the roots of the problem as you see them?
If education really were about the growth and development of everyone in a school system, then we would not have so much energy spent by teachers keeping themselves and students (unsuccessfully) disciplined into narrow ways of thinking and feeling. I feel that most teachers experience many of the same confinements that students do. SEED work helps them to repair the damage done to them by the requirement that they leave so much of their actual experience and passion behind and teach from a small segment of their perceptions, knowledge, and capacities.