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SMALL ACTS OF ACTIVISM MATTER

I’m posting a little late, and I’m sorry.  I was out this evening giving a talk on pleasure in learning.  I’d love your comments.

I’ve  spent time on the blog today reading around and I’m blown away by how thoughtful and deep-thinking people gathered here are.  In fact, people are so passionate and deep-thinking that it is hard to respond to every post fully.  There is so much in each one!  Yikes!  Do I talk to Paula first, or Adam, or Aaron or Chad?  As a reader, I think, you’re tempted to respond to the last thing in the post, or jump to make a comment after reading someone’s first paragraph, just so you can hold onto to that thought that rose up like a phoenix after Sentence #2.

Does anyone else feel this way?

So I’m going to try being really simple here.  I’m going to try to blog about TWO THOUGHTS, with the implied understanding that we all know that we have MANY thoughts, and that there is much that fills our hearts with passion!   I’m interested in getting pretty fine-grained in this conversation here (Paula, see my question to you about how you subvert testing and standards and pacing guides around powerful learning in YOUR classroom); I want to learn from everyone explicitly.  This is harder for me to do when everyone has so much to say.

Our prompt for this week is: How can each of us do more with less, in our individual educational realms?  How do we make our voices most effectively heard, given the things we care about, and the state of the educational reform discourse?

1)  First, I want to question whether we are really in an era of educational scarcity. From a federal and state point of view, never have more dollars flowed to the educational sector and never have more reform-minded folks been talking and thinking and working on HOW WE CHANGE THIS BABY and make it respond better to the needs of learners.  Where is the less, and how do we name that?  What “less” matters most?  What privations are we talking about?

2) Second, at the risk of sounding unconscionable optimistic, I believe that all of our individual acts of activism matter, wherever they occur. In urban Boston, I work with teachers and school leaders in a middle school that is chronically dysfunctional.  Teachers are poorly educated and under supervised.  School leaders are involved in emotional triangulation with each other and focus too little on the well being of the school and its students.  In this setting, students have been acculturated to intense boredom and routinization, and to an implicit bargain:  they will be asked to do little, as long as they don’t act up too much.  For them school is a necessary but uncompelling routine for the day—like driving at 35 mph in cruise control—not very difficult, without much meaning, disconnected from most emotional or developmental realities, a genial show.  Not surprisingly, given the correspondence principle of education (you get educated for the capitalist work you are to do based on your social class—95% of these students are poor, working class and of color), classroom work here is a lot like a minimum wage job:  undemanding, uninteresting, repetitive, with little opportunity for advancement.  Beyond the fact that its students will be grotesquely under prepared to go on to high school after graduating from this school (we know statistically that they will be most likely to drop out in 9th grade, when they make the transition to high school),  these students are being acculturated to chronic boredom and a lack of meaning around learning.  School isn’t about anything very important, so you can give it half (or less) or your attention and still get by pretty much just fine.  Students in this school are incredibly friendly, easy to engage in conversation, filled with light, energy, and passion as soon as you get them in something that they want to talk about.  But mostly they move silently, listlessly from class to class, punching the clock of instruction and eagerly waiting for the day to be over.  No wonder they are likely to drop out in high school.

What have I decided to do about the dilemmas I see, working in the American educational system everyday?  How do I resolve these awful conundrums for myself, someone who has been trained up to see, moment to moment, that participating in our educational system can be diminishing and punishing—and also economically critical?  That education can (and sometimes does) offer the means of liberation and the scaffolding for criticality, while at the same time also actively reproduces inequality, internalized oppression, and deep personal displacement?  That people are both lost and found in school?

I have worked, and I am working, to make these dilemmas more explicit.  I try to write, teach, and speak specifically about practices in school that I think harm students every day, and not practice them myself.  I try to counsel individuals and school systems with whom I consult to be aware of the consequences of their actions, that what they say to students, and how they construct learning, really matters.  That education is “soul crafting,” as Cornel West says.

I am radical, and radically critical, and yet I am also trying to learn to be forbearing, to be humble.  I believe that the system of education we currently have in our country needs to be taken down to the ground and rebuilt, and that students and teachers need much, much greater choice and control in the systems in which they are forcibly educated.  I encourage student activism, and acting up—everywhere.  But at the same time I am patient.  I know people are afraid, they find it hard to conceive of something else, some other way of doing education; they think it is “a lot of trouble to remake our educational system,”as someone recently said to me.   For about a decade I studied the thinking and careers of deschoolers who have come before this generation:  John Holt, Ivan Illich, Paul Goodman—and note the disillusionment and withdrawal they ultimately experienced around reform of the system.  They opted out—ultimately left altogether, concluded it couldn’t be done.  Recollecting John Holt at the end of his life, George Dennison described driving around New England with John Holt on a driving tour.  Holt was gravely ill and dying of cancer; Dennison was at the wheel.   Holt looked out the car window at some picture of New England natural beauty and said, “It’s all so beautiful.  If only they wouldn’t mess it up.”

I don’t want to get to that point. I don’t want to believe that I see something in the world that other people don’t, because I think that means one has essentially disconnected, or held oneself above other, poor deluded people who can’t perceive the same things that I do.  I think that’s fundamentally a mistake.   As daunting as it is to stay engaged with the educational system, I think we all participate in the same systems, we all support them or have been influenced by them in some way or another, and we all bear ongoing responsibility for doing something about them, even if the work is messy, upsetting, very slow going, two steps backward for every forward step.

So every time I have a powerful conversation with a student in a classroom, every time I see the fire in the eyes of sixth graders, every time I experience how a teacher or administrator can grow and become more kind, more wise, more interesting in their classroom arrangements, I am refreshed by the quickening heart of the world.  My impatience, my own sense of overwhelm, my wish for the system to be different are the weapons I must use, I must harness in the work, to stay with it and just keep on going. “After the final no there comes a yes, and on that yes the future world depends,” wrote Wallace Stevens.  That’s what I’m going with.

Last Friday I was working in a school in southern Massachusetts.  I was observing a fifth grade classroom.  The teacher called all students to the rug to talk about the posters they had made of pioneer life–all but 3 students.  The remaining 3–do I even need to say this–were students with IEPs.   They had to stay behind at their desks, to “finish their work.”  So I think to myself:  if I can convince this teacher that it matters more that she include those 3 students on the rug than that they finish their work, this may be a small but perhaps meaningful victory.

Small acts of activism matter.  I hope.  What do the rest of you think?

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About Kirsten Olson

I'm writer and educational activist. I work in public, charter, private, unschools. I'm here for the learning revolution.

Discussion

17 thoughts on “SMALL ACTS OF ACTIVISM MATTER

  1. I agree. I like the idea of small acts of activism. We could just get all of our like mind and non like minded friend or co-workers to pledge to do one small act a day or even a week….. what a ripple effect we would have.

    Posted by David Loitz | April 22, 2010, 2:13 am
  2. Kirsten,

    Thank you for the clear articulation of your experience and work. I think I am trying to saying the same thing as you, except I put things in the larger context of our global experience. I completely agree that daily and regular activism is needed, in fact vital. It is the resistance to the insanity that I described in my post. I was trying to reach into the wider patterns of our lives, not just pedagogy and classroom practice. One cannot claim sanity if s/he is complacent with an insane society.

    Joe and I began to have a conversation about being an activist in the comments of his post, and you might want to check that out.

    I think developing our methods of being activists is why each of us is a part of this cooperative. Maybe that’s not how we thought of ourselves coming in, but that is essentially what we are doing.

    Your anecdote about the fifth grade class breaks my heart and is an example of the craziness that sweeps through all areas of our culture. I have deep compassion for the teacher and why she did what she did, but I agree the most meaningful and important place for those kids to be was on the mat. Or at least for them to have the option. If we approached our classrooms not as task managers, but rather as instillers of values and we talked to the kids about making choices (and providing the opportunity to make them), so that if a kid wasn’t finished with a project, but was really into it and wanted to keep going, s/he could. And so when that circle came up, everyone would be invited to the circle, but anyone who wanted to keep working could of their own volition, because it was meaningful to them.

    Thanks again for the great post.

    With hope,
    Adam

    Posted by Adam Burk | April 22, 2010, 8:25 am
    • Adam, I really thank you, and I know we agree on so much. (I’m about to go back to your post and read all the comments there and get back in that discussion.)

      The three fifth graders really broke my heart, because I felt that I might be interviewing them for the updated of my Wounded By School book in ten years. “In fifth grade I had a teacher who never included me in the circle on the rug because my posters were too messy, or I couldn’t write the essay fast enough.”

      But what makes a teacher lose sight of the reality of the humanity of the students before her, as she makes those thousands of moment to moment decisions about her classroom on a day to day basis? What is that?

      Is that from being in an institution that is about creating distance between adults and children, and construction authority in terms of this kind of disconnection? How do you understand this, as you look about you in your work life?

      Posted by Kirsten Olson | April 24, 2010, 1:52 pm
      • Kirsten,

        Great questions. I think teacher’s lose sight of humanity as either they or the pressures of the system have caused them to focus solely on measurable outcomes. Perhaps it’s a personal philosophy of what education is for, or trying to keep up with political demands. And I think you are right, working in systems that fueled by industrial psychology–how to make your workers/students most productive–is damaging to the whole picture of what is happening in a classroom. Primarily, this is people relating to one another. This is a major part of the thrust I was trying to get across in my post, to invigorate this dimension of education, learning to interact with one another in a sane and kind manner.

        I think this course can be altered through teachers reconnecting with why they began teaching, reflecting on Parker Palmer’s “The Courage to Teach,” for example, would be an excellent exercise. With a renewed vision of why they show up in the classroom everyday, I believe they could approach their students and work with a new dynamic. This could only be sustained if either a support group, not unlike this blog effort was enacted and/or administration created an environment of support as well.

        With hope,
        Adam

        Posted by Adam Burk | April 24, 2010, 2:31 pm
  3. Kirsten, thanks for the questions about scarcity. Locally, our school budget is in crisis due to a decline in state revenues, changes in school funding formulas, and a local decline in revenue coupled with local government’s refusal to raise taxes. I read about similar problems in my tweet stream and RSS feeds. However, I would agree with you that historically “never have more dollars flowed to the educational sector and never have more reform-minded folks been talking and thinking and working on HOW WE CHANGE THIS BABY” – love it. What I think of as fiscal crisis may in fact be a political one – more about where the money goes than whether or not it exits. For example, here is Pam Moran’s (@pammoran) latest post on arts education, its importance to students and learning, and its funding crisis.

    Small acts of activism are needed, for sure, from us all – students, parents, educators, politicians, readers, writers, thinkers, learners, artists, entrepreneurs, workers, and employers.

    Your conversation here with Adam reminds me of this post from Jack King (@drjackking) called “‘Aude Aliquid Dignum’ ~ Dare Something Worthy”.

    In thinking of Adam’s “Subverting Insanity” post, too, in contrast with the fate of Stanford’s charter school, I wonder which is better right now, recognizing that we need both or something that trumps both: do we act to change schools that exist, or do we act to open the schools kids, communities, and we want?

    What do you think? Do we hold the mirror up to classrooms that exist or create new ones to serve as lamps of learning?

    I’m envisioning each dot of light on NASA’s nighttime picture of America as a school that celebrates students’ learning.

    Off to morning meeting w/ the kids,
    C

    Posted by Chad Sansing | April 22, 2010, 9:19 am
    • Chad, I really love talking with you. I just gotta say that. Of course I agree and understand the real and present crisis fiscally in schools all around the country. Every non-tenured teacher in a district I am working in received a pink slip a week and a half ago, and must remain in limbo until a final budget is devised sometime in June. That’s 85 folks in a small district who don’t know if they’ll be coming back to work next fall. Hard for them to focus on thinking about their relationships with children and instruction in creative and powerful new ways. Also the way the administration “did the deed,” held a 4 minute morning meeting with the general faculty, handed out envelopes, and then told them to get to class, was kind of the height of inhumanity and disconnection. So how are teachers supposed to go in and engage with children lovingly, with their minds open and expectant, under such conditions? I sometimes come away from days in schools and think, these are just environments that are not very kind and supportive to anyone–not kids, not teachers, not administrators. Everyone is scared, feels overburdened and oversupervised–fear makes people jumpy and mean.

      So yes, lack of money is real. But the larger crisis, just as you say, is political. And it seems to me what we are trying to do here in this blog, and elsewhere, is to find ways across all our various checkerboarded domains, to give voice to what we see, and to think about how to be most effective in talking OUT about these issues.

      I love your links, and I’m going to them after I finish running my mouth here.

      But my political action tent is really big and I’m ready to welcome just about anyone who’s fired up to move this bohemouth. Let’s work on the schools we’ve got, and fertilize and grow whole new models–described over in other posts in the week. Ones that aren’t schools at all. How about you?

      Posted by Kirsten Olson | April 24, 2010, 2:06 pm
      • Too kind, Kirsten – I’m very grateful for your comments.

        I’m especially excited to see the new models that emerge out of schools and in partnership with teacher-edupreneurs. I see the charter movement and social media as opportunities for colleagues to enact their what-ifs. What if we had “our own” school? What if we could teach whatever we, or the kids, wanted? What if we could put the kids in charge?

        The corporate part of the charter movement doesn’t break the industrial era mold of executive control of schools and classrooms. It’s gonna take a guerilla campaign of educators in local divisions to develop, implement, share-out, and invite others to scale-up the really exciting, out-of-the-bank-box models of learning.

        So, these days I almost obsess over how anyone can manage such a campaign. Public charter schools need to be accountable to their public. There needs to be trusted, transparent oversight and guidance for charters and communities navigating the issues start-up schools face.

        How does a system or administrator (a team could ask what-if questions of itself in a large traditional school) support aspiring classroom-based edupreneurs with policy and business acumen? How does a traditional leadership team give lateral control over a school to a team of teachers? How does a division make it known that it wants teachers and principals to challenge the status quo? How does a division quantify its commitment to R&D in a classroom or school and protect its innovators from AYP and the four pillars of RttT? How does a division brand its work in traditional schools and charter schools in complementary, distinct ways that energize all teachers about their work with students and move all classrooms towards becoming nodes in the cloud of authentic, worldwide learning?

        Our division’s CTE director Chad Ratliff (@chadratliff) shares some exciting thinking here at Tom Vanderark (@tvanderark) and Douglas Crets’s (@DouglasCrets) new edReformer.

        I’m interested to see how we can develop models of financial risk and return in terms of societal cost, not just school funding, in supporting charters that meet the needs of students who don’t thrive in traditional educational settings. For example, will divisions be willing to invest in schools that promote student service learning and social entrepreneurship ventures? If test scores falter or take a few years to reach “acceptable” levels, will the students social impact be weighted against costs incurred by non-AYP performance?

        Lots of pioneering to do – great questions left to answer. Is it time to look for L3Cs instead of federal/state funding for locally-controlled schools? Time to ask problem-solvers to assess schools by the problems they solve?

        Best,
        C

        Posted by Chad Sansing | April 24, 2010, 7:19 pm
  4. The most important acts a teacher can do are small and occur in the classroom. This is how real change happens.

    Unfortunately, when external forces who are a good distance from the classroom tries to dictate classroom practices and assessment, activism has to move beyond the classroom. Most teachers are not prepared to do this. We didn’t sign up to teach so we could be political.

    Good teachers need our leaders, our principals, our superintendents, to advocate for us.

    Unfortunately, that support is fragile.

    Posted by joebower | April 22, 2010, 12:06 pm
  5. Wow. Very powerful post! Reading how you feel and how you’ve felt in your struggle really hit me deep. Especially these two lines…

    “I am radical, and radically critical, and yet I am also trying to learn to be forbearing, to be humble.”
    “I don’t want to believe that I see something in the world that other people don’t, because I think that means one has essentially disconnected.”

    I feel like you’re reading my mind! And I agree that we have to work on one individual at a time. Once you show another person to think more critically and convince them there’s a better way, they can’t ever go back. They have to change or fall into depression – that’s the way it was for me anyway. Thanks Kirsten, for your inspirational words and the reminder that we’re not alone.

    Posted by Chris Fritz | April 22, 2010, 11:10 pm
  6. Kirsten,
    My grandson is like one of those three kids. He is constantly being taken out of things like activity time or the free time at the end of lunch or recess to complete something he didn’t finish in class or redo something he didn’t do correctly the first time as he builds his portfolio for the state test. He doesn’t take the multiple choice test, as it is not appropriate based on his IEP (Individualized Educational Plan). When Mom or I know about these extra work times, we refuse permission for it happening, but I have to say it happens sometimes without us being notified. Sometimes during those times, he has gotten discipline referrals because he’s refused to do the work when he is denied a “special” or “fun” activity because of his disability. He currently has a teacher who doesn’t even reteach–she just says (for often the third, fourth or fifth time) “Nope, that’s not right–do it over” as she hands the paper back to him yet one more time.

    No one knows how many times we leave kids out inadvertently because of our focus on “their work.” Yet the focus isn’t on important pieces of that work–it’s on the completion of it–or the correctness–not the learning, not the quality, not the connectedness of it to anything else in the world. For me, in my classroom, it has to be about the people first.

    I describe all the time when I talk about teaching Kindergarten how important it is to help the kids realize they are NOT alone–that they are part of a group and their actions and behaviors impact others learning and listening and thinking and understanding. I’ll never forget taking one kid on my lap in circle and talking to the class WITH HIM about how his severe misbehavior and hitting didn’t mean he was a hateful child-it just meant that he’d had little experience being with other kids and learning how to get along nicely and we had to help him learn that. We talked about what to do when he hit or said something mean or behaved in a way we could take as mean. We talked with him about whether us telling him how we felt about his specific behavior would help him understand what to do and not do. We smiled as we talked about how we liked him and how smart he was and how we all just wanted to help him learn some of the things he didn’t know. He listened, responded and we moved on–with several kids asking him at the end of the conversation to please come sit by them. (This description actually sounds like the conversation took a long time–it was five minutes or less.)

    I worried about doing that, but his behavior was extreme and he was beginning to be ostracized, which made it worse. I wanted him to be a part of our group, not outside looking in, and I found myself sitting him out a lot because of his inability to work nicely with others. It was indeed a drastic step, but one which, in the end, worked well. The kids worked hard to shape his behavior through their explanations and better tolerance of his actions because they knew he needed to learn other strategies for sharing, for playing together and for being near others. The intervention worked.

    Years later, I was doing a cooperative activity with some high school kids from our alternative high school and the HS kids came to our class. In walked the kids and in walked “Brian”. I hugged him, despite his embarrassment at that (but he hugged back!) and he told his friends this was his favorite class–that he had felt the SAFEST in this room (I was still in his Kindergarten room!) he had ever felt in school. Our alternative HS is a Glasser Quality School that practices choice theory. He was using in HS some of the same language we had used in our Kindergarten class, and being reinforced in that very early learning. It was a powerful experience for me as a teacher to see what an impact MY behavior had had.

    Your description of the Boston school where you say, “these students are being acculturated to chronic boredom and a lack of meaning around learning. School isn’t about anything very important, so you can give it half (or less) of your attention and still get by pretty much just fine” is true for most bright students in our schools, I think. As the gifted resource teacher in my school, I see kids being bored over and over–and I often see them also not take an opportunity to learn deeply because they haven’t had those experiences in our buildings. Just as “Brian” needed to learn socialization skills, our students often need to become reacquainted with the playfulness and joy of learning. We need to not only model that, but provide frequent and explicit opportunities to experience that.

    Thinking about this with you, and sharing this story has reinforced MY determination to, as you say, “harness in the work, to stay with it and just keep on going.” I will be having some conversations on Monday when I return to school that I had been avoiding, thinking the year is almost over. . .however, maybe I can save a couple of kids some pain and boredom in the 30+ days we have left.

    Thanks for reminding me that the small acts do make a difference and reminding me, too, through your questions, of the power of our actions.

    Posted by Paula White | April 24, 2010, 10:48 am
  7. Oh Paula! This is so beautiful! It should be in a book. Are you writing one? You should be. This is very moving to me and I thank you for describing your interactions with Brian. Like David (commenter) above said, it matters. Brian’s coming back and reconnecting with you from high school is demonstration enough of this. If millions of teachers could engage with this–that this is actually what their practice is about–this is the heart of teaching, how different school would be, at least in my view.

    But what do we do about your grandson? How old is he? Does he have a growing “discourse of resistance” (a healthy one) about the institution of school? That having some distance from the feedback you get about yourself in school is actually adaptive and helps create resilience? I want to talk with you about that more…

    Posted by Kirsten Olson | April 24, 2010, 2:17 pm
  8. My grandson is 12 and an August birthday, so he is a young 7th grader, who is living for the day he won’t ever have to walk through the door of a school again. He has had such a nasty school experience, beginning with his Kindergarten year when he got a teacher he’d had in preschool who already didn’t like him, and who, we all felt, let him know that every way she could. (We asked that he not be in her class and the school refused to move him.) As a Kindergartner, he developed the strategy of calling her a not-so-nice name in his head and he removed her from his quality world. (He told me this about April of that year, not exactly in that language, but it was clear he had dissed her opinion of him early on. She had buck teeth, so he nicknamed her Ms. Bugs Bunny.)

    Thank goodness Mom owned land in another part of the county and was willing to drive him each day, so we moved him to another school for 1st grade. He had incredibly nurturing teachers for 1st and 2nd grade, who connected him to the gifted teacher for his passions–science and social studies.

    When he was in 3rd grade, I transferred to his school, which is the school I’m still in. His 3rd grade teacher was great, too–nurturing and demanding at the same time. He had another hateful/harmful experience in fourth grade, and in fifth grade, a teacher who recognized that he was also very bright despite his processing issues. In fifth grade he actually got to have some classes with the gifted kids, so he was taught to his strengths as well as receiving LD services. The LD teacher and I actually co-taught math 3 days a week, combining our two groups so we could practice the theory that all kids really did benefit by being taught like gifted kids. It was awesome for all of them.

    He’s one of those kids who could be dually identified, but wasn’t before I became the gifted teacher and I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to push that through. He loved learning before he went to school, and still does in many areas–but surely not anything he perceives to be school related. He DOES understand that school is a game that some play well and some don’t, and he also understands that effort makes a difference in his performance in school and how teachers perceive him. He is learning more how to play the games, and has managed this last nine weeks to get mostly A’s, B’s and one C, with NO SPED support in any class but his nemesis–math.

    He is beginning to bend rules to meet his needs (We recently discovered him on Facebook and reluctantly disabled his account since the user rules say 13 years old, recognizing the stigma he may have faced socially, as FB is BIG in his school.) However, he found a way to save face, and readily admitted to me how he had saved that face with his peers. I am not encouraging him to stretch the truth but as a slightly built boy who is somewhat out of the mainstream (he’s a skater in a school that doesn’t have a lot of them, he doesn’t play sports, AND he lives WAY out in the rural area of our county, so doesn’t have a neighborhood cadre of friends) I do support him figuring out ways to get “in” to the social scene. Technology is one of those ways, and killing his FB account was a big worry for me. He handled it well, though, and is now patiently waiting for August when he will be 13.

    He takes alternative state tests for math–and that option will end next year. I worry deeply about what that will do to him–and what being in the standard class will do to him socially. Thank goodness he does have a cohort of kids who knew him in the gifted classes in elementary school and who also know he is my grandson–so he does pal around with “smart kids” who accept him and his learning difficulties. It helps him understand that the teachers who only see his disabilities really don’t know him–and it also helps that he is in the higher level science and social studies classes. In this particular school it doesn’t make the classes any better, but it does keep him from having the stigma of being in all lower level classes. Middle school is such a tough place anyway socially.

    I’m not sure how deep his wounds go from school, as he has had incredibly supportive people around him all his life who have talked with him a LOT about school and it not being the end-all, be-all. He, hank goodness, isn’t a kid who gets physically sick walking into a school building–in fact, on days off, if I have to work, he often will come hang out in my classroom. (I understand the attraction may be the high speed internet-LOL!) His 1st grade principal knew his K history and took care of him emotionally in first grade so that helped negate the K teacher’s misbehavior. I know he hates going to school, but because he knows me as both grandma and his teacher, he trusts me when I tell him things about teachers–and I frequently find myself telling him about ignorant people–not stupid, but people who simply don’t know any better or any different. He has learned tolerance for bad teaching, as most kids do–his simply is probably at a more conscious level.

    Part of my job as a gifted resource teacher is to help kids navigate the waters of school as gifted kids and understand themselves–so that work has helped me tremendously with him as well. In fifth grade, he participated in some of those discussions with other kids with me, so he clearly understands he is not alone in his struggle with the system. That’s potent knowledge for a kid.

    I simply hate having to explain my profession that way.

    Posted by Paula White | April 24, 2010, 4:25 pm
    • I agree about Kirsten’s book suggestion. Paula, your posts, like Wounded by School, help shine a light on learners’ lives. Perhaps the most important part of #edreform towards authentic, differentiated, customized learning will be an increased public, teacher, and student-self-awareness of what learning can and should be: fun, meaningful, dignifying, and dependent on the diversity of learners to enrich learning and our lives.

      Maybe if more people understand what’s at stake in our children’s lives and well-being, more change will happen more rapidly, and explaining the professions this way will stop being so necessary.

      Thank you, Paula -
      C

      Posted by Chad Sansing | April 24, 2010, 7:29 pm
  9. Chad you mention the L3C organizational structure for schools, and this is in fact something we are looking into for Maine Farm Enterprise Schools, as it might work particularly well for a number of reasons. I will keep you updated.

    -Adam

    Posted by Adam Burk | April 24, 2010, 11:14 pm

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