I love this talk from Rives: “The Museum of Four in the Morning” for at least four reasons…
- for a man who rises near four in the morning, it just makes sense
- for a model of a whimsical project spidering to all subject areas, it’s just beautiful
- for a mantra of unsolicited but glorious crowdsourced collaboration, it shows a paragon of connectedness
- for a melodious rhythm of syncopated playfulness from our first 2.0 poet, it’s inspiring communication
So somewhere along the line, I realized I have a hobby I didn’t know I wanted, and it is crowdsourced.
A few weeks ago, one of my relatively new colleagues – an incredible learning partner of mine – shared this quote:
If your time at school is a story, then who’s writing it.
from Hathaway Brown: Institute for 21C Education
I can’t get this question out of my mind. I’m wondering if we teachers insert ourselves into our student learners’ stories, or if it’s more like we ask (require?) them to insert themselves into ours.
As many of you readers know, I watch a TED talk every day. This morning, I watched “Mark Ronson: The exhilarating creativity of remixing.”
During the viewing, with the Hathaway Brown quote freshly on my brain folds from a morning mediation walking Lucy, I wondered if student learners are the mixologists of their school learning episodes. How are they remixing the samples of “melodies” that they hear in various classes and schedule periods? How are we making time and space for them to be the authors and DJs of their stories as learners in school? Where is the primary agency in the relationship between student learner and teacher learner?
I love school. And I love learning and education even better than I love school… even better than I love myself.
That love is what drives my learning and education about school.
Many of you readers know that I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist for much of my life – from about age seven until about age 20. For years and years, more recently, I’ve told a story about how my career pursuit shifted from children’s cancer research and science to educational research and science.
Now, I realize, if I zoom out far enough, I haven’t really pivoted at all. If cancer is basically the mutation of great and healthy cells into devastating and unhealthy cells, then school may very well be like a human organism filled with virtually countless cells – many and most of them being the healthy cells of learning and education, and only a few being the unhealthy cells of certain school attributes gone bad.
I’m committed to helping ensure that the healthy cells in the body win out. And so I am willing to aggressively pursue educational and learning research. To wake up at ridiculous hours to read, write, and study. To tire myself and to experience considerable dead ends, frustrations, and temporary failures. And to learn from the successes and discoveries.
And to not let any of the successes or failures define me. But rather to steer me onward. Because I love learning and education far more than I love school or myself.
Thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert for this prompted reflection.
A wonderful story of the Growth Mindset and the power of making room to pursue passion through play…
When I was 14 years old, I had low self-esteem. I felt I was not talented at anything.
One day, I bought a yo-yo. When I tried my first trick, it looked like this. I couldn’t even do the simplest trick, but it was very natural for me, because I was not dextrous, and hated all sports. But after one week of practicing, my throws became more like this. A bit better. I thought, the yo-yo is something for me to be good at, for the first time in my life. I found my passion. I was spending all my time practicing. It took me hours and hours a day to build my skills up to the next level.
= = =
As a result of these efforts, and the help of many others,it happened.I won the World Yo-Yo Contest againin the artistic performance division.I passed an audition for Cirque du Soleil.Today, I am standing on the TED stagewith the yo-yo in front of you.
What I learned from the yo-yo is,if I make enough effort with huge passion,there is no impossible.
To be aware. And from that awareness to choose how we respond. In the nine-minute video below, David Foster Wallace convicted me that such lives at the heart of education. (H/T to my wife for sharing this incredible piece with me.)
= = =
- Fundamental Attribution Error, which I learned about in college psychology courses but didn’t really dig into until I read and re-read and studied Switch, by the Heath Brothers
- Krista Tippett’s December 2012 interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn about the science of mindfulness – “Opening to Our Lives”