Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Comprehensive character curriculum...

flickr image via stevendepolo

I was compelled by this NBC Education Nation presentation. The idea of character development in schools always grabs me, and the panel poked at my brain a lot...


NBC News Education Nation: Can Character Be Taught? from The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic on FORA.tv

Among other elements of the dialog that peaked my interest, the idea at 18:45 was, I think,  particularly important. Collaborating across difference as Russell Shaw referred to it, is a concept I feel educators need to be open to, and explore with increased rigor. I wrote about this idea in chapter 17 of Innovative Voices in Education- Engaging Diverse Communities...
Culture is more than who we are, our skin color, where we come from or our ethnic or religious values; it’s the summation of all the elements of our lives that influence our thoughts, ideas, values and passions. The kind of school I want all kids to attend is one where thoughts, ideas, values and passions are nurtured and shared toward increased understanding of others. When we are exposed to the thoughts, ideas, values and passions of others, our eyes are opened to learning possibilities we may never had considered otherwise.
Alas, it is the differences among us that make life and learning interesting. Each one of us is at a different place and time along our own learning path, and there is no need for anyone to slow down, or catch up. We are where we are, and that is where we all need to be.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Leaps of faith...


flickr image via Scarto

In teaching and learning, whether we're jumping off a cliff, or jumping off a curb, the important thing is that we're jumping off something. I've never been one to make a lot of resolutions for a new year, but this year I will make at least one. Im actually thinking it's more of an unresolution than a resolution owing to the notably not so much a SMART goal nature of it.

I'm not going to stand still.

I intend to keep moving down the learning paths I've set for myself; maybe even define some new ones understanding that the journey is something to be enjoyed, and perhaps that in learning, we never really arrive at the place where we can check 'that one' off the list. As soon as we think we know something, a truly authentic pathway of learning will show us a new direction or branch of the path that sets us off asking new questions so we can learn more, or differently along that path. I'm OK with this ambiguity because I think it will enable me to see beyond a more specific and narrowly focused goal (resolution.)
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