I was looking around and found my way to a USA WEEKEND essay called,
“Finding a ‘Clear’ Path to Leadership”. It was written by Mary Beth Marklein on August 11, 2014. This article recounts the author’s experience in a leadership activity rooted in a Quaker practice. The practice is called a “Clearness Committee.” This is an intriguing idea that we all have an inner voice that can guide us through challenging times. An individual’s work lies in creating space for it to emerge.
After I read this article, I began to try to harmonize the idea of a self-directing inner voice with the terms of Plato’s cave. I wondered if those who are “stuck” in the cave can benefit from allowing their inner voice to be followed, and if such a voice is altered by the shadowy reality that the cave presents?
So, the perspective of those slaves in the cave is skewed, but the practice of the “Clearness Committee” would seemingly offer a way to enlightenment that is self-driven and self-initiated. This lead me to wonder, could a slave come to lead himself out of the cave?
My final opinion is that this is exactly what happens in the absence of effective school leadership. The teachers who are dwelling in the educational “cave” may find that they have an inner voice telling them that there must be a better way. This voice leads the exceptional teacher to pursue enlightenment on their own. Then they become “self-enlightened”. They may take a very convoluted course, but manage to find effectiveness despite the fact that no one has come to offer a “better way”. The self-enlightened teacher may shine with truly innovative ideas that emerge from making one’s own conclusions about reality. The path is their own. In short, I think that the teacher in a situation of poor to nonexistent leadership may find that they must take a path of their own to enlightenment.