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Philosophical Meanderings

Democracy, community, evidence

Through one of our fora, Coöp members have been sharing ideas about cross-posting back and forth between CoöpCatalyst and our personal blogs. To further that discussion and invite the broader Coöp community to join in it, I thought I would cross post part of a recent piece on principles of school funding.

…considering our self-imposed obstacles, this is entirely about the money we do have and how we choose to use it.

  • We should spend money on democracy, not control.
  • We should spend money on community, not isolation.
  • We should spend money on evidence, not inference.

If you apply these ideals to your

  • classroom,
  • building,
  • division,
  • state,
  • and nation

what do you see?

If you swap out “money” for “resources” in the principles listed above, I think you have the necessary ingredients for a collaborative blog on transforming public education.

While I agree with members who have suggested that there shouldn’t be a substantive distinction between our Coöp identities and those on our individual professional and personal blogs, something about writing at both appeals to me. I sometimes feel like isolation – being alone – is necessary to nurturing and voicing shy ideas. Weirdly, or perhaps because I have no stats widget attached to, I feel more alone there and think differently about phrasing. (Because, certainly, no one will ever notice that and CoöCatalyst are ever in the same room at the same time!)

I think my early posts at sound much more like the posts I’ve written here than my recent posts at do.

So what?

Well, first, I’m trying to blur the line here to see how it feels to wonder more and essay less on the Coöp. I appreciate your patience.

I’m also encouraging our community to reflect on our identities as educators. Do we often enough bring what we personally feel is right to the jobs we’re asked to do as professionals? Do we often enough question or examine who we are to students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors? Do we often enough share how we’ve become the teachers we are? Do we often enough share our notions of the teachers we’d like to be or acknowledge the visions of others?

Finally, I’m asking more questions: in applying the principles of democracy, community, and evidence to your work, what do you see? Do you agree with the principles? Are they enough? Too much? How do they compare with the ideals embedded in the cultures around you? What principles does your school or un-school evidence, and how do the principles listed here compare?

And with great sorrow and sympathy for everyone hurt and killed in Arizona, how will Monday look different regarding democracy, community, and evidence in our classrooms?


About Chad Sansing

I teach for the users. Opinions are mine; content is ours.


4 thoughts on “Democracy, community, evidence

  1. I really enjoy blogging here. While I have a good number of readers on my personal blog, I have a very different group of readers on this blog and the dialog tends to be meaningful and thought-provoking here.

    Posted by John T. Spencer | January 9, 2011, 9:02 am
  2. John and Chad,
    I find that when I blog on my personal blog, I get kudos and am validated from the comments, for the most part. Here, I am challenged more, always asked questions and given something to think about more deeply.

    Thanks to all who engage–anywhere. The conversation and thinking we do together makes a difference.

    Always Thinking,

    Posted by Paula White | January 9, 2011, 9:59 am
  3. I utterly neglect my personal blog because it is so much fun here. That’s how I differentiate.

    Posted by Kirsten | January 9, 2011, 4:34 pm

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