April 21, 2011
Dream School Reflection
Counterpoint to the factory model – that which values most (quantity) in least amount (of time).
This model leads to a nexus; a point whence the only thing that is not obsolete is planned obsolescence itself.
We must choose not to create disposable goods. We are not expendable. Our students’ education is not expendable. How do we reverse this thing that exists at the core of our consumer-oriented, industrialized culture? We need to embrace that which qualifies the visceral and the authentic. In our society, we have buzzwords that celebrate the antithesis to our factory model. Specifically, if we consider the food industry we have free range, organic, locally grown, and fair trade.
Free range: We wade through our wilderness wisely with others. With the students and parents we ought to engage the teachable moments as they arise, without fear of litigation, retribution, or other technocratic, bureaucratic suffocation.
Organic: Curiosity, Play, Creation, Problem Solving, Experimenting, Excitement, Renewal, Motivation. These are the words I take away from my best days in the School. Students engaged in activities in the Pod, Hallways,Library, Music Room, Gym, Art Room, and Classrooms have been in this state. To this end, organic ought to consider our artificial insulation from failure.
Through the organic lens, we see that:
Students must learn about failure – its consequences and opportunities.
Students play chess
Students play with lasers to learn the behavior and properties of natural light versus artificial light.
Students learn about the brain-mind connection as it corresponds to learning different concepts (as a response to such questions: why do I need to learn this) Students learn how to conduct richer investigations in social studies and science Students contribute to the world of knowledge authentically by seeking publishing, entrepreneurial endeavors, ends in which they are they`re own boss.
Students are challenged to consider the ramifications of their digital native status.
Students work beyond the confines of rigid timetables, teacher switches, etc.
Students, teachers, and parents form a tripartite agreement on the expectation: academic rigor, responsible citizenship.
Students drink tea or water in the class – they serve others before themselves.
Students take on at least one initiative that engages and elevates social consciousness across the school.
Students Blog with teachers for regular, immediate feedback on work, endeavors, and citizenship.
Negative statements and other (anti) campaigns are abolished. We focus on the solution, we dwell not on the problem.
We practice taking and giving time for self and other.
We clean our own space with pride.
We challenge each other in sport.
We sit on our favourite chairs
We check in with each other first thing, mid morning, and afternoon.
The students for whom this model does not work are provided a MYALT structure.
Religion and Politics are discussed at great lengths.
Teachers share their PD aspirations with students, families, and colleagues.
The Spelling Bee is forsaken for individualism run amok. Students are challenged to teach someone less fortunate to read.
Locally grown – Deeper understanding of who we are compared with the other in this world. (See Ted Talks, Empathy)
Fair Trade: we need to engage/connect with the other. Since the end of WWI, we have been party to a dominate culture whereby propaganda has shaped – if not determined- our perspective. Who are we when we understand our world (as it is) not according to, or through the lens of, the mythical narrative of which we are held captive through deep media saturation. We have the technology to connect with the others and learn something true about the human condition: most normal, sane people the world over just want to be happy and live a good life.
(Incendies comes to mind as a recent Canadian film that speaks to this plight.)
My critique of self here is around the notion of my moments/states compared with my evolutionary stage(s). How we move from states into stages is likely related to our sustainability as an inquiry school.
State/Stage – When we reflect on the positive, elevated states, we increase the likelihood that we will advance to the next stage.
My states – as isolated, unreflected phenomena appear manic given inconsistent Stage-oriented development. The dialectic within is my need to follow-up, tighten up, and decide upon a model of/for discipline.
I am accountable to the critical buddy as I am to the students.
It starts with self awareness on the part of the teacher:
What passion do I bring to the context of learning?
How can this be integrated?
Mind Map created by Christy Haggarty ~ Dream Classroom
* * *