I tweeted this a few days ago and @jppastor RT it. Perhaps you (re)read it and/or recalled it from something else you read at another time. At each of those possible moments, meaning was made.
Meaning is not stable and this often makes us uneasy. Anyone with a teenager knows this to be true. We tell our child to do or not to X and something else emerges.
Did you not hear me?
Yeah I heard you. You said, blah blah blah.
Right, so what happened?
The semantic spaces between our words and intentions and the understanding composed by a reader/viewer/listener can be enormous. As Heraclitus said: You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.
And still we build expensive methods to test public education systems based on a gross miscalculation: the USDOE and State governments believe we can step into the same river twice and they can make us do so. Just watch us, they say. On many, nuance is lost.
Meaning has never been a fixed affair regardless of what we might desire. Surely,Web 2.0 makes that instability feel so much truer*.
Meaning doesn't travel with set intention.
Meaning is overpopulated with intentions of others (Bakhtin, 1984).
Meaning X can be prescribed and it does not contain or limit how X is understood.
Meaning cannot be preserved, nor handed down.
Meaning cannot be 'delivered'.
I've been thinking a lot about the standards movement. In Pashi Sahlberg's (2011) Finnish Lessons he compares The Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) with The Finnish Way (p. 103).
GERM The Finnish Way
Standardizing teaching & learning Customizing teaching & learning
Focus on literacy & numeracy Focus on creative learning
Teaching prescribed curriculum Encouraging risk taking
Borrowing market-oriented reform ideas Learning from the past and owning innovations
Test-based accountability and control Shared responsibility and trust
The differences are acute, one might even say stunning.
*Often wonder if the drama concerning handhelds and smartphones at school isn't an attempt to try to contain/control instability.