QUILT POST: 2014 themes – One body, How are you smart, Rewild [ed], Creating great learners, Slowing to change

Predicted primary themes in my blog posts in 2014:

  • interdependence
  • avoiding labels; supporting all learners to find their Element; fighting the fundamental attribution error; identifying how we are smart over how smart we are
  • rewilding school to more closely align with education and learning
  • curiosity-driven, persistently gritty, learner-centered engagement
  • slowing down to accelerate and amplify change; pedagography – making better maps of where we are and where we intend to be

Patches of a common quilt, for sure…

From a speech given in September 2005, at Thunderbird School of Global Management:

We are more than six billion people and we are suffering from complex global problems, many of them man-made. The world is one-unit, one body, but our minds still think in terms of we and they. In reality, however, there is no such thing as us and them. We are one body. So the destruction of one part is the destruction of the whole. We must make an effort to recognize that the “others” are also part of humanity, that my future depends on your future. We may find some comfort in the notion of independence, the idea that we control our destiny and can take care of ourselves, but that idea only exists in our mind. In reality, we are all interdependent.

– the Dali Lama, as quoted in Being Global: How to Think, Act, and Lead in a Transformed World, by Angel Cabrera and Gregory Unruh

– reminded me, too, of Roman 12:4


Derek Paravicini and Adam Ockelford: In the key of genius (TED talk)


George Monbiot: For more wonder, rewild the world (TED talk)


From “Creating Great Students,” Ben Johnson, Edutopia, Dec. 23, 2013

We know (and have known for a long time) that the best all-around way to get students to learn is student-directed learning (also known as student-centered), but after all this time, we are still trying to get the teachers to quit doing so much direct instruction and engage more students with inquiry, project-based learning, and experiential learning.


From “Teachers: How Slowing Down Can Lead to Great Change,” Elena Aguilar, Edutopia, Dec. 11, 2013

If we slowed down, we could reflect on what we’ve been doing and what’s been working; we could ask questions, explore root causes, and we could listen to each other. And if we engaged in some of these practices, there’s a greater likelihood that we’d uncover authentic solutions, make some significant changes, feel better about our work, and deliver some sustainable results.

QUILT POST: One patch… “we need to change our present concept of education” – Wendell Berry

A patchwork quilt of ideas, only loosely assembled so that you might do your own sewing and stitching. The patches are thanks to my wonderful professional learning network…

Some words – and ideas – to chew on.

The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never before that we need to change our present concept of education. Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training or by industry-subsidized research. It’s proper use is to enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically, socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by gathering or “accessing” what we now call “information” – which is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first. ― Wendell Berry [HT @cannonball31]

“10 Ideas Driving The Future Of Social Entrepreneurship,” Co.EXIST, Mark Cheng

And these 10 seem broader and more universal than just applying to social entrepreneurship. See the entire Fast Co. post here. Just the section headlines here… [HT @cannonball31]

  1. “It’s about changing the system, stupid.”
  2. “Change is accelerating.”
  3. “To solve our problems, we need more problem-solvers.”
  4. “It starts with young people.”
  5. “Scale through collaboration”
  6. “Technology is driving creative disruption.”
  7. “Power is moving from the few to the many.”
  8. “The silos are breaking down.”
  9. “Here comes the social entrepreneur.”
  10. “When you pass the torch on, light many fires.”

The Hard Parts, Seth Godin, blog post on April 28, 2013

Seek out the difficult, because you can. Because it’s worth it. [HT Google Reader]

Young Movers, With a Passion for Change, NYTonline, May 1, 2013

These young peacemakers challenge the standard notions many adults have about people their age. “We tend to look at young people in one of two ways: they’re either victims or potential victims we need to protect, or they’re perpetrators we need to punish. That’s our narrative. That’s our public policy,” said Eric Dawson, Peace First’s founder. “The idea behind the Peace First Prize is to offer a different narrative. That young people are peacemakers — powerful change makers.” [HT Mary Cobb]

This article is so inspiring. And it reminds me of a post I wrote not long ago about what schools grant students credit for. Some might think I am “missing the point” by suggesting that schools grant credit for such community work and independent social entrepreneurship. That such examples live in the necessary space “outside of school curriculum.” I disagree. I think the work in this article COULD BE SCHOOL CURRICULUM!

“If We Didn’t Have the Schools We Have Today, Would We Create the Schools We Have Today?” Thomas Carroll, 2000 (yep, 2000!)

(HT to @SAISNews for reminding me of the post by @WillRich45 linking to this article.)

Dewey, Self-Interest, and Community

A brief Storify archive of a Twitter discussion that is proving to be invaluable to some of my thinking and dot connecting. Thanks to this blog post: “Finland: The Lighthouse of Progressive Education and Divergent Learning,” by Kavan Yee, shared by Chris Thinnes.

(HT @KavanYee, @CurtisCFEE, @pgow, @GrantLichtman, @FredBartels)