If you have been reading my blog, I have decided to not continue for the time being. I will still blog, but back at my site and not daily (daily isn’t working for me at the moment).
Thanks for reading and see you back at my other site.
In my mind, the revolution is already here.
It is all happening. From technology to jobs to money. It is all massively changing.
Some days, the apathy and dissonance shocks me. I am flabbergasted by the lack of awareness of what is happening in the world sometimes. As a monetary historian and market analyst, I am floored by the cavalier attitudes that are prevailing at the moment.
Then there is education…
If ever there was a system in desperate need of change…
Our inquiry school would be so much easier if we were not slamming our heads against the an outdated system full of minutia.
Take the Socials curriculum. Brutal. It is really chapping my hide. We are trying to be as interdisciplinary as possible and mandated Canadian History between 1500-1800 is not lending itself very well to achieving this goal.
The revolution is here. It cannot be ignored. Change is difficult, but like a famous quote says, “If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.”
Today, Will Richardson, one heckuva new school educator, tweeted out a free ebook on changing education. I looked at the table of contents and it looks pretty good. But you know, I am doing it – I am actually leading the change in education.
I have written about how education needs to change. I have voraciously read the leaders in the field. I have tried with all my might to become one, and now, I am there. In no way do I mean to toot my horn, not in the slightest, I still have so much to learn. What is interesting though, is that the initial research is over. Long gone. I am in the midst of creating, with my colleagues, a brand new system of education. We are in the thick of it.
It is so tough. So, so tough. Talk is cheap. You can talk all you want about changing the system, but actually doing it, that is an entirely different story. I think the time has come for us to write our own book. Well, maybe not quite yet (we have no time – busy building a new system). Soon though.
There is simply no way to know what we have learned without actually doing it. Theory is all well and fine, but practice is where it really counts. I look forward to the future to be able to consult educators – not talk about it – well a little I guess, but more do it. That is where the true effectiveness lies.
Cross-pollinate. It is where innovation comes from.
At the moment, a colleague and I have this sweet arts/science thing going on.
Today, we experimented with making sugar glass. While not the most rigorous of science experiments, it was still an excellent experiment nonetheless. I consider an experiment a success when a large group of students are laughing excitedly while a piece of sugar glass is being tested (read: smashed) on a students back. We definitely made our pieces too thick (ouch!)
What is beautiful, is that the experiments are directly related to two films that I am making with students (smashing bottles over heads in fight scenes). Hahaha – art and science!
Walking the tightrope at the moment.
On the one side, I fall into the responsibility of the teacher – I feel responsible for making sure they progress, learn skills and become awesome.
On the other side, I fall into kindness. We must meet people where they are at. Plain and simple. Sometimes that means a student just coming to school is huge.
The trick, and oh my, is it ever a trick, is to walk the line in between. Throw into the mix that we are developing an entirely new way to approach what school means and holy camole, it is a bit of a mind bend.
If the winds are blowing though and I have to fall, I choose to fall into kindness.
I love education. I do. I really, really do. It is the one thing that has the power to lift a person out of poor circumstances.
Changing education and creating a new system in its place are tremendously challenging. I repeat: tremendously challenging. We are facing big problems daily. Just when I think we have solved one thing…another thing pops up immediately in its place.
I continue to remind myself of my vow to change education in the most optimistic manner. I gotsta say though, some days…whew…makes me want to scream. Some days I wish I was not so embroiled in a profession that rakes me over the emotional coals. Some days, I would like to come home and not have my mind racing about the day.
But then I remind myself that I am teaching kids to think. Actually think and pursue professional level pursuits. I have not handed them a single thing from a canned script. Everything they are working on has been chosen by them and then co-constructed with me.
I have learned so much about how to start an inquiry school. More insights to be written soon…I just need more time for some things to play out.
To be continued…
Learn by doing. I strongly believe in “getting your hands dirty education” and picking things up as you go along. That is how I see the arts and hence, it is how I see teaching. We are working on film, choreography, scripts, rhythm, hip hop, improv…I love it. My days are full of creative process. It is thrilling work.
So much is learned from taking the seedling of an idea into a polished, finished state. It takes months of training, rehearsal and practice which teaches discipline, focus and determination (not to mention tons of creative and critical thinking processes).
I am doing my best to co-construct it in an interdisciplinary inquiry based approach. Already, the arts lend themselves so well to this approach. Making a film cuts across so many subjects. I am just on the cusp of being able to turn this arts lens into full blown inquiry. I am so close I can taste it.