I once read a response fromattribution: some famous person, after she was once again applauded for her ideas. It’s so difficult to She wrote attribute people, about how much more when so many it would mean influence you daily. to her if rather If you hear your than thanking her and telling words, as many of her how great you will, know we her ideas were, admire your art, your people would vision, to set people live out those free. Free to be, to ideas. notice, to dream, to connect, and to do I like that. We are living what matters most. out your A book is unattributable. ideas. -Deleuz & Guattari
a collaboration from around the world. dedicated to you.[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
structure & designA bit of insight into the book layout: This plan is encompassing and : obscure by design. It can be difficultThomas, who introduced us to Ivan Illich, starts us off with a to take in. It may appear too simple,compelling forward. or too complex. The goal of these printed words is to share a short,Amanda focuses us on story. zoom out version. By doing so, weOur table of contents was crying out to be non-linear, so we let it. hope that it’s easier to see how each part is connected and vital.The rhizomatic model, that Mary Ann shares so beautifully, Pictures, videos, and links are addedreflecting her son’s learning, and Leslie shares so poignantly, for further understanding. We triedreflecting her own heart’s song, describes the essence of what we to write so that they are nothave been prototyping. We hail Dave’s voice as expert. needed, link into them only as your curiosity begs.We end each chapter with a short summary, a perspective from We don’t think any of this is new oryouth, and one from parents. The five chapters represent five elements necessarily insightful, but perhapswe believe could scale this experiment across for anyone anywhere. the combination is. Perhaps just doing it is.Next, a glossary-type communication effort, hoping to paint a We hope you find this as intriguingclearer picture of what we’re experimenting with. and invigorating as we have. We hope you believe, or begin to believe, withAnd then, the begin being provides a bit of background of some of each concept that might seemthe players. We want to point out though, that this is everyone, and [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] ridiculous or risky, that the greater riskhappening everywhere. It’s not about us, it’s about all of us. is an ever perpetuating assumption, that we are playing it safe.
We are seeking the brilliance of the human heatl . ey g . - M e anythin mind through freedom of forward: the human spirit. We’re eg W respectfully calling into s c to a e to impo question our currentThis book is a catalyst for mutative ll li f e (seemingly blind, deaf,change in our educational system. l e is in s impossib and mute) allegiance toTo this end, be you is a living our system of education trinsiartifact of sorts that represents based on publicly It ithe oral histories, deep narratives, prescribed learning.research and ongoing movement This prescribed learning was erminof real humans; their hopes, not crafted with ill intent, but lf-det has undoubtedly sustained adreams, disruptions and crippling dependency, an to s eunshackled praxis. Be you dares to addiction, at a global level. e do mlook critically at modern education Social change can and willin form and function while also re happen if we but question the The foffering resilient working existence of the prescriptionexamples of resilient learning itself rather than continue ourecologies. [a q u i e t r e efforts u timprove its v o l to i o n] - Thomas Steele-Maley deliverance.
A common complaint about schools, one that is reflected for example, in the recent report of the Carnegie Commission:In school, registered students submit to certified teachers in order to obtain certificates of their own; both are frustrated and both blame insufficient resources - money, time, or building - for their mutual frustration. I believe that the contemporary crisis of education demands that we review the very idea of publicly prescribed learning rather than the methods used in its enforcement. - Ivan Illich, possible Deschooling Society, 1972 translation: Rather than trying to motivate youth to learn our free ebook common core curriculum through shiny things, like or free audio gaming, or fancy technology, or the latest tools, or project based learning, etc, let’s call into question our -high recommend presumption that we must teach certain things. Let’s also Illich’s Tools for Conviviality allow for just in time learning. Imagine being blown away by what we then notice, dream about, and do. Imagine recapturing a soul peace from the connections afforded in these spaces of permission to be.
the beginning is setting the scene. familiarizing us with the old story. the roots of education. the listless classroom. (we want to move from here)story: Once upon a time there was a boy. The boy was very curious. The boy’s curiosity took him everywhere. The boy was happy. Then people decided to teach the boy how toAmanda on the be happier. The boy obliged. And obliged. And obliged.importance of story,our story: Parts of the boy started to die. ie: Our county is 6th in the nation in suicide rate. Every 9 days someone takes their life. The measure we are currently using toward success, the actions we are currently using to fix problems, even to determine rhizome is which problems are problems, aren’t boding us well. what the hero brings to us. the middle is the awakening. the detoxing. passion connecting to passion. (the heros it is a way of challenge. what we overcome. our bravery. our strength.) . learning that The world was very noisy, and very busy, and very allows us to get stressed. The world couldn’t see that the boy was dying. out of our rows of chairs. One day, a man heard the boy crying and asked what was wrong. The boy told the man that he had lost himself, the beginning somewhere. The man leaned in. He hugged the boy. middle and end the end is connecting. integrating. (bringing it from the singular to the we. the is our heros community as classroom. our inspiration. our why.) journey from Once connected by their embrace, the man noticed the disenchantment, boy. This made the man weep. He longed to be the boy, lost faith, to the seed of himself, again. He wondered if he could. And the possibility that is wondering, woke him up. He began being. He became sprouting. himself. The man was very curious. Again. The man’s curiosity took him everywhere. And the man was happy.
The unmet need of our story: People feeling free enough to be themselves, to practice and share their unique art/gift/genius.[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
imagine an ideal home situation. Quite possibly an unschooled home, where the parents trust that learning is natural and non-linear. The natural part implies that life is rich enough to suffice a curriculum. The non-linear part implies that no pre-scribed basics are needed. This[a q uthemt up to v o l u t knowing their child. This knowledge allows them to frees i e r e focus on i o n] facilitate the unique curiosity (curriculum) from inside. This child has access to any resources needed, is known by someone, believes he has nothing to prove, and is free to be curious, to be himself. We’re thinking this is a more sane, equitable, and humane definition or rendering of no child left behind.
Our findings via prototyping of this story … The first two years have been a be you. true disruptive innovation, where we were working in the shadows, in incubation, why testing and prototyping and Setting people free, failing and learning. to be themselves. We experimented with spaces how where people could tap into Creating (physical & mental) their own genius, their own art. spaces of permission. Spaces free of proof, credentialing, measurement. what We were seeking ways to Soul peace facilitate self-directed learning. unleashes brilliant minds/art. Our findings are not new. Practicing them, however will require a change in mindset. start with why It will require a culture of trust, with (mental and physical) spaces of permission.
Our ongoing vision of this story playing out… The second (one) two years’ focus be us. will be more on community, how do we become us. This necessitates more visibility, a coming out phase. why We are finding out what types of Setting communities free, gathering spaces our community to share themselves. wants, needs, believes in, most. This phase will be heavy on the art how of conversation. How do we listen Creating (physical & mental) to each other without an agenda spaces of trusting/giving. on an ongoing basis. Web access has shown us the value of what connection and ways to better World peace connect with the invisible, and the allows for gatherings that matter, silent, globally. We plan to use that per choice. insight and tech to better listen to start with why each other, locally. We believe, for any type of thriving sustainability to happen within a community, we must create, be, together.
on why Setting people free, to be themselves. A comment was made, if you are setting people free, you aren’t empowering them. You are doing the setting, you are doing the action. Because we believe empowered people is key, sharing a little analogy here of our thinking. Hoping if it’s bunk, people will let us know. Please help us challenge all the thinking we are sharing. This is important stuff, we need you. A turtle is protected by its shell. If someone took all the turtle’s shells away from them, that would be deadly. Perhaps some turtles would be strong enough to get their shell back. But for those not strong enough, returning their shells to them would be returning them to their natural state. It would be a setting free of sorts. Free from the bondage the stolen shells created. Back in its natural environment, the turtle is then, ready to be. We’re seeing public ed as a stripping away of a kids’ shell in a sense. Their culture, their natural state of curiosity, has perhaps been stolen. We’re thinking this setting free, is simply restoring to each person, their shell. We’re not telling them who to be or how to[a be u iwhat to be, we’re just creating that free space, once again. That space of q or e t r e v o l u t i o n] permission, that many haven’t seen since they were five. Perhaps. Again, we see this space of permission, this shell, as a new way to look at what it might mean when we say the words, no child left behind.
table of contents: live doc of table of contents [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
essence:We are Pando: Rhizomatic LearningMary Ann Reilly also see her Lines of Flight and The Familiar Falling AwayIt is an unbearably hot day as my Their play represents a contrasting Margie Driscoll (2004) defines rhizomehusband, son and I slowly motor way to think about learning from as:home to New Jersey from what is offered as usual fare at a tangle of tubers with noWashington D.C. From the back of schools. James Gee and Elizabeth apparent beginning or end. Itthe car I can hear my son talking Hayes (2011) might classify the constantly changes shape, andand I turn and see him hunkered boys’ play as an example of a every point in it appears to bedown in the seat, wearing passionate affinity space where connected with every otherheadphones and holding his phone “people organize themselves in point (p. 389).in one hand. the real world and/or via theWho are you talking to? Internet (or a virtual world) toTom. learn something connected to aTom? shared endeavor, interest, orYeah, Tom from London. passion” (p. 69).‘Tom from London’ is a 13-year old I think of passionate affinity spaceswho plays Minecraft on my 12- as rhizomatic and want to suggestyear-old sons server. He and a that such learning offers us andozen boys, ranging from 9- to 15-years-old from North America, alternative to schooling. A rhizome, the horizontal stem of a rhizomeEurope, Australia, and Asia, areavid Minecraft players on the [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] plant, usually found underground, sends out roots and shoots, eachserver. of which can be self-sustaining.
Now think about the boys and their play. They hailfrom across the globe and horizontally connect with In rhizomatic learning, thinking resembles theone another in this passionate affinity space where tangle of roots and shoots, both broken and whole.they learn deeply. Problem framing and decision-making rest with all learners. Again, Driscoll’s description of rhizomaticFor more than a decade, I have been considering how learning is important. She writes:the rhizome might function as metaphor and model Break the rhizome anywhere and the only effect isfor education. The traditional view of education that new connections will be grown. The rhizomesituates schooling as a function of transference of models the unlimited potential for knowledge construction, because it has no fixed points…and noexpert-determined content from teacher to student. particular organization (p. 389).U.S. school systems tend to rely on hierarchy as theprivileged school organization method used to Historically, when confronted with studentdistribute content and pedagogical practices, most achievement concerns, there has been a tendencyoften in the form of sanctioned programs developed to tighten control in an effort to increase learningby external experts and then purchased for teachers largely because what has counted as knowing haswho are told to transfer the content to students. been limited to a perceived ‘set’ body of content. Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011) describeIn contrast a rhizomatic learning community is a fluid this learning :collective where participants dwell in the middle of …as a series of steps to be mastered, as if studentsthings and where learning emerges informed by a were being taught how to operate a machine or even,blend of explicit and tacit knowledge. In conceiving of in some cases, as if the students themselves wererhizomatic learning, it helps to think of learners machines being programmed to accomplish tasks. The ultimate endpoint of a mechanistic perspective isresembling a sea of "middles,” who are continuously efficiency: the goal is to learn as much as you can, asformed and reformed based on alliances determined fast as you can (Thomas & Brown, Location 327 ofby needs, interests, directions, questions, 2399).redirections, assessments, and commitments. Unlikethe design of many traditional schools, a rhizomatic [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]learning space is based on joining and rejoining.
In this mistaken schema, knowledge has been This new culture of learning is inherentlyconsistently situated as stable—as that which rhizomatic as it orients itself horizontally, tacitcan be listed in a set of standards and given to not vertically, requiring us to value tacitteachers to transfer. knowledge. Tacit knowledge--knowing moreBut we know that knowledge is not stable than one can tell--requires a decidedly(Schon, 1983; Thomas & Brown, 2011). Thomas different type of learning environment thanand Brown state, "[m]aking knowledge stable what is currently favored at school wherein a changing world is an unwinnable game” knowledge transfer is the privileged(Location 503 of 2399). Knowledge actually method. Tacit knowledge is not acquiredhas never been stable, but given the disruptive from other; it requires learning throughpower of the Internet, what counts as mind, body and senses and is facilitated byknowledge is a shifting matter that is more experimentation and inquiry.easily recognized, especially by those holdingpower whose concept of knowing in the past For gamers, like my son, experimentationwas often situated as truth. One only has to and inquiry are the methods most oftenthink of the Great Chain of Being to understand employed when solving design and game-how the sanctity of knowing was often a matter based problems. For the last several monthsof power. I have been researching the learning that takes place inside my son’s Minecraft playIn contrast to such certainty, Thomas and with his on-line friends. Five dominantBrown posit that there is a new culture of learning trends have emerged out of thislearning informed by rhizomatic environment and one societal a massive information network that insight. provides almost unlimited access and resources to learn about anything…[and] a bounded and structured environment that allows for unlimited agency to build [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] and experiment with things within these boundaries (Location 63 of 2399).
1. 2. Play matters and is a means by which learners Sustained conversation represents theplay convo come to know their relationship to others. The dominant method for inquiry and is suggestive learning that happens between and among the of the boys’ emerging sense of agency. My son boys is play-based and informed by their interest engages in sustained conversations via Skype in experimenting and imagining. For example, my with the other players in order to brainstorm, son developed a vending machine in Minecraft. innovate, find multiple solutions, complete Originally the buyer would place a coin in the tasks, hypothesize, and engage in play. Talk is machine and would receive however many items important and in the horizontal world of game as s/he wanted. This proved to be a bit impractical playing, it is not limited to or controlled by a and over time rather dull and with the help of teacher. John Goodlad (2004) reported in his another player, my son modified the idea so that research about schools that teachers “out- one coin would get a player one item. This idea talked the entire class of students three to was later modified again so that the player would one” (p. 229). Central to these learners’ also get his coin returned along with the item. Minecraft play is the sense of agency they To make these alterations required changing the possess. wiring so that the machine reset after the item was Thomas and Brown (2011) explain, "unlike delivered and that the delivery of the new item traditional notions of learning which position and the return of the coin were synchronized. the learner as a passive agent of reception, Making these changes happen required the aporia/epiphany structure of play makes playfulness, not linearity. As my son explained, “I the players agency central to the learning had to fool around a bit and test out ways to make process. How one arrives at the epiphany is the pressure plate work. I couldn’t see how it always a matter of the tacit. The ability to would be possible.” When I asked him why he organize, connect, and make sense of things is would return the coin to the player, he said that he a skill characteristic of a deep engagement didn’t want to exclude anyone from playing. with the tacit and the process of indwelling" Whereas everyone on the server had some coin they could use, not all had the same. “I wanted [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] (Location 1381 of 2399). them to make a commitment by playing a coin, but I didn’t want to take their coins. We’re friends.”
choice 3. 4. 5. The players participate in These rhizomatic learning The players choose to participate in spaces collaborative knowledge-making spaces the boys inhabit are hard work each and every day. They setplayers (Cormier, 2008) in which they inherently native to their own tasks to be completed and establish share screens, work in tandem, ground even as they involve timelines to do so. As Jane McGonigal continue and revise one another’s learners from across vast (2011) reports: “Games make us happy tentative ideas in an effort to solve geographic spaces. because they are hard work that we design problems and complete Membership in the game choose for ourselves” (p. ). Choice tasks. Engaging in trial and error, shifts and changes across time matters and learning is fun, although experimenting, making use of on- and expertise is not sadly most of the boys do not seem to line and off-line resources, and determined by social markers characterize their play in the games as altering established models are such as age, race, or learning. The exception to this is the some of the ways the boys credentials—although gender boy from Canada. accomplish game-based tasks. does seem to be a condition Interestingly when I ask my son presently. As learners work 6. how something in the game came alone, in pairs, small groups, Game play leads to developing novel to be he is unable to attribute it to and large collectives--new products in the virtual world that could a single player. alliances form and break. have implications in the actual world. The knowledge produced does not The boys’ game playing For example, a few months after my belong to one person, but rather is represents a rhizomatic map; son viewed images I had made in composed collectively. Dave an open possibility that is: Camden, NJ of partially demolished and Cormier (2008) explains, “detachable, reversible, boarded buildings, he showed me a "rhizomatic model of learning…is susceptible to constant self-repairing bridge and building he not driven by predetermined modification. It can be torn, had designed in Minecraft. He inputs from experts; it is reversed, adapted, to any kind suggested that if infrastructures such as constructed and negotiated in real of mounting, reworked by an buildings and bridges could self-repair, time by the contributions of those [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] individual, group, or social then people living in urban areas where poverty and societal neglect have engaged in the learning process" formation” (Deleuze & (np). Guattari, 2002, p.12). dominated the landscape would be able to live in better conditions.
When I ask my son what he has been learninglearn? he says he’s learned how to work with others; how to search, locate, and evaluate information; how to run an effective server and negotiate a contract with a company to host the server; how to barter services in Applying Rhizomatic Sensibilities to ‘Learner’ Design So, if rhizomatic learning such as my son experiences in his game-playing is not like school, how do we begin to make the necessary changes so that children choose to exchange for money to pay for the server; how work hard and learn deeply? Continuing the current to explain an installation process of mods to push by federal and state governments for increased others; how to create a mod; how to school standardization is not an answer. An important anticipate a partner’s play in a game; how to shift needs to occur in order for the tight grip of school build a structure with someone not in the standardization to be loosened. Thomas and Brown same room; how to imagine a place and build (2011) identify three critical dimensions of learning: it; how to give and take ideas; how to make knowing, making, and playing. Such learning is mistakes in order to progress in a game; how antithetical to standardization. to build a design based on someone’s idea; We need alternatives to the traditional method of what did you how to script; how to model; how to resolve industrial schooling. social problems when they arise; how to use As we begin to name alternative learning experiences, resources, online and offline, to guide building; such as passionate affinity spaces, as viable learning-- how to make games inside of games; how to the idea of school as the de facto response to the make films and upload them to YouTube; and question--“How do we educate children?”--will be how to narrow the focus of a film. During this challenged. learning, the boys are also learning about one Certainly, there have been alternatives to traditional another: siblings, where they live, currency, school raised and offered in the past. What makes geography, food, politics, and all things these times different is that in the past, it was difficult, Minecraft. if not improbable, to connect innovators who were My son is adamant that this playing is not challenging the status quo of schooling. That is not the learning. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] case today. Mass can be built by connecting those of us Its not like school, he tells me repeatedly. offering alternatives. Connecting with one another is Sadly, I think hes right. rhizomatic.
So it is not a single reform method that is being offered. Wehave been too long trying to find a single reform. Rather, todisrupt the established power of schooling requires a long tail connectrevolution. Chris Anderson explains: The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of "hits" (mainstream products Works Cited: and markets) at the head of the demand curve and Anderson, Chris. (2004). The theory of the long tail. Retrieved on July 27, 2011 from: http://www.squidoo.com/longtail . toward a huge number of niches in the tail. Cormier, Dave. (2008). “Rhizomatic education: Community asAs the costs of production and distribution fall, especially curriculum.” Retrieved on 2.28.11 fromonline, there is now less need to lump products and http://davecormier.com/edblog/2008/06/03/rhizomatic-education-commconsumers into one-size-fits-all containers. . Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix. (2002). A thousand plateaus:Its not about offering the reform answer, but rather Capitalism and schizophrenia. London: Continuum.remaining in the middle where connections can be made and Driscoll, Marcy P. (2004). Psychology of Learning and Instruction, 3rdremade. Its about each of us doing great work, not work that Edition. Allyn & Bacon. Goodlad, John. (1984). A place called school. New York: McGraw-Hill.needs to be replicated, but rather work that is unique, native McGonigal, Jane. (2011). Reality is broken: Why games make us betterto its own ground. The challenge is to know we are there and and how they can change the world. New York: Penguin Press.to connect our work. Schön, Donald. (1983). The reflective practitioner: how professionalsTo connect great work is an antidote to mass standardization. think in action. New York: Basic Books. Thomas, Doug & John Seely Brown. (2011). A new culture of learning:Leveraging social media to share stories and work, to try on Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Createtentative ideas, and to establish patterns are all critical. Space: Kindle.Connecting and showcasing the small triumphs that alone mayfeel insubstantial, yet together represents a mass.This is the work before each of us. On my own, I am oneperson. Alongside you, I am Pando*, a rhizomatic triumph. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]*Pando: Also known as the Trembling Giant, Pando is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen located in Utah. Each genetically-identical individualtree (or “stem”) is connected by a single root system. Spreading across more than 100 acres, Pando is believed to be over 80,000 years old and collectivelyweighs over 6,600 tons, making it the heaviest organism on the planet, as well as one of the oldest." from Leaf and Limb Tree Service blog
Dave Cormier himself ... explaining rhizomatic learning.Take a listen to Leslie, aka@onepercentyellow, if you’d liketo get more of a taste and colorand visual of rhizomatic learning,how it is happening, has beenhappening, in spaces, lovely spaces. learning is for life. if something is important it will resurface. wonder and humility. a space where free range students wander as nomads. the world’s knowledge is a public good. intellectual emancipation. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] purposeful play liberates from passivity. community as curriculum. -Leslie
And now, five elements we’re seeing as critical to a quiet revolution. changing the conversation (self & community) in (physical & mental) spaces of permission Start anywhere and follow it everywhere. - Myron Rogers
Strip the layers/toxins we tend to burry ourselves in.Detox. Get back to what matters, a natural state..of curiosity.(rhizomatic learning) ch. 1conversation self withImagine a mental space of permission, where no one is measuring or labeling you. A space to talk to yourself, question [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]yourself, become yourself. Pause. Breathe. Swim in vulnerability. Practice the art of self-reflection -- am I doing whatmatters? Imagine, how we could change a space, a country, a person, if we focused on self-assessment rather than anystandardized assessment. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
change the conversation? D In our journey to redefine school, Simon Sinek’s TED talk about the importance of why, got under our skin. Why why first? How seemed awfully huge. As did what. The further we journeyed, however, the louder why became. The world has been quite obsessed with how school is done, as seen by years of study ? of pedagogy (method and practice of teaching.) Even our own research to redefine school, as it intensified 3 years ago, was focused on the answer to how because of our presupposed what (certain math, science, etc.)w h y We found, as might be expected, that everyone learns differently. Nothing is for everyone in the how ie: lecture, hands on, book, video, drill. Most people accept that these days. In fact most money, energy, and resources go toward differentiation of the how. How we get those core standards (the what) into each student. ie: by gaming, tech, project based, blended, flipped, online, charter, homeschool, ib, ap, stem, steam, etc.. Well, imagine if we’re focusing on how to a wrong what. For a very long time now, not many have questioned the what of school. However, questioning the what, changes the game. It allows learning to be per choice, directed by internal curiosities. A w h y person’s or community’s how can then emerge holistically and vulnerably in context. There is no normal when the assessment is a self-assessment. We are individual thumbprints. Via Godin, we are all weird, abnormal, extraordinary. o l u t i o n] [a q u i e t r e v [for more on normality take a listen to: normal – why & what, or read Seth Godin’s We Are All Weird
Many of us aren’t living our potential because we’re too busy working on the how of an assumed what. We’re too busy being other people, comparing ourselves to other people, rather than simply being ourselves. We’re not taking time for vital internal conversations about our why. Imagine awakening indispensable people by simply listening.self-reflect Deeply. To ourselves. We have been experimenting with a process of learning to learn, as a prompt to these self- conversations, these self-assessments. The words aren’t magic, people are modeling this everywhere. Either on purpose with some similar process, or naturally. Notice a 4-5 year old. Notice any truly self-directed learner. Detox, what we have penned this process, is a way to pause, reflect, and get back to that natural state of curiosity. We see it as a means to shed the toxins that might be suffocating us, as we have become dependent on a system that was simply trying to help us. It was trying to help us gain efficiency, by managing us. Perhaps this process, play acting a healthy mind, can redirect, facilitate, and heal the masses who have lost their impulse to be self-directed learners (who have lost their turtle shells). Perhaps this documentation we are gathering and sharing from experimenting with detox could help eradicate (get rid of by the roots) the standardization we perpetuate (become dependent on) in public education. Perhaps it can help prepare us for uncertainty. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Via another of Mary Ann’s poignant posts, where she sites Vivian Gussin Paley’s A Child’s Work: We who value play must do more than complain of unwanted drills that steal away our time. We must find time for play & keep daily journals of what is said & done during play if we are to convince anyone of its importance.
Content (prescribed curriculum) has been assumed for so long, that many believe it’s basic or essential. One problem is, that list of essentials keeps getting longer and longer. ie: information was doubling every two years in 2006, every three days in 2010. The fact that we can’t keep up with this information flow is actually helping us. It’schoice helping us to see what matters most, choice. Our mandates and assumptions most often hold us back. They often keep us mindless as we follow the curricular directives, and do as we’re told. If learning is indeed non-linear, can’t we start anywhere? Can’t we start with curiosity, per choice? If we are tapping into an individual’s interest, the resulting deliberate or deep practice requires no external incentives. We learn to think. We end up knowing what to do when we don’t know what to do. We need to start grasping what the power of choice means. There’s no right or wrong in a decision, it’s about owning it. Owning is what makes things happen. What changes things. For good. James Paul Gee’s research shows kids who are, at age 7, masters at a card game called people + why = Yugioh. Gee says that the rules written for the game, are at a PHD level language. It works, he says, because every piece of it is married to a physical action in the game, and completely explicated in the movies, it’s lucidly functional, and it’s per choice. Gee suggests that for success, you have to have grit u i e t plus persistence). n] [a q (passion r e v o l u t i o He says, no one is putting in 10,000 hours of practice (what research says makes one an expert) to something, unless they have a passion, an intense internal drive toward it.
Brain research tells us that people learn when they choose to. Choice empowers and wakes us up. It causes us to act, to change. Eric Mazur, Harvard professor, has done extensive research in what learners are trulya l i v ep e o p l e taking in. Studies dealing with his physics students show that many who hadn’t taken highschool AP classes, (one of our current signs of rigor), were doing better than those who had. Eric says that knowing how to learn can prove much more valuable than spending time collecting (or appearing to collect) specific content. Especially if the content isn’t coming from an internal drive. Tory calls this a wanted stress. It’s not that people are waking up every day hoping to find ways to be lazy, or to avoid stress. They are just craving choice. They want to work hard at something that matters to them. Live a full life, and call that our content. Frank K Sonneberg writes in Managing with a Conscience: The problem is that many managers don’t believe people should think for themselves. Robert Waterman, Jr, makes just that point in the Renewal Factor when he tells the story of a general motors executive who says that H. Ross Perot saw something that needed doing inside GM and told a GM manager to do it. The man replied that it was not part of his job description. You need a job description, fumed Perot, I’ll give you a job description, use your head. The bemused GM executivie said, can you imagine what chaos we’d have around here if everybody did that? Enlivened people crave creative ways to share or exposet r e v o their code, their [a q u i e their ideas, l u t i o n] tacit knowledge, their art. This energy unleashes adjacent possibilities. As more are freed up to play, we become robust communities of practice (happy people).
do we change the conversation? This year, we experimenting a little more with the art of talking to yourself. We’ve been calling it detox. We’ve designed a physical space (the be you house), and are encouraging more people, even those not in need of much detox, to help log and reflect on their experiences with it. We’ve got a detox booth, wherespeed read People can self-reflect into a laptop: their being, what they’re noticing, what they’re dreaming or imagining, who, what, how and where they’re connecting, and what they’re doing. We’re interested to see what transpires as a person experiences spaces of permission, calling for a new conversation. We’re wondering about some sort of activity systems mapping or video speed reading similar to Deb Roy’s worm mappings in his TED, The Birth of a Word. Roy was able to track latitudinal and longitudinal linguistic patterns as to when and where his son was learning. We’rev i d e o interested in patterns people undergo while learning, and while learning to learn. We’re also interested in Roy’s vantage point in our next phase, not just observing an individual’s change over time, because of self-conversations, but observing a city’s change over time, because of community-conversations. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] People will suddenly find obvious what is now evident to only a few: that the organization of the entire economy toward the “better” life has become the major enemy of the good life. Like other widely shared insights, this one will have the potential of turning public imagination inside out. - Illich
We’re imagining as well, developing an app for detoxsimilar to what seeclickfix does. Imagine texting whatyou noticed, what you’re dreaming about, or what youconnected, and within the day, you receive 5 text #’sof people in your community, or virtually, that werecuriously pursuing the same thinking/things. Imaginecreating local and virtual gatherings that matter,because they are per choice.For many years, people like Ivan Illich have written and talked about the importance ofnon-prescriptive learning. They were yearning for the day that learning would be owned bythe learner. Today, there are pockets of this happening everywhere, but often still partiallyprescribed, and access to these pockets is not equitable. [Equity not equality.] Equity willcome with more spaces of permission, spaces per choice. Scaling across thrives, growsexponentially, when people are free to create.. it.Our dream is to unleash people, to change how we spend the 7 hours a day we currentlycall school. To focus on conduits/channels to communities of practice (gatherings withyour people), where the only standard is self-reflection.u i e t this changeu t i o n] [a q Making r e v o l is a multi-player game, bigger than any of us. But today, this can turn on a dime.
People are quite capable of a new conversation. Many people know the power of talking to themselves, of daily questioning, and then doing what matters to them. Many people currently, just don’t have/take the time, or the agency to create/hack it. p Freeing people up, and then trusting them to carry it out, a simple plan.u We’re thinking of detox, as a temporary model or tool. Once we free ourselves (ourfree people minds) to explore for more info/insight on the what of detox, self-directed take a listen: learning, the very natural abilities of a 5 year old, will not be held back, but encouraged and facilitated. Many of you, especially those unschooled, probably will see Affecting the research no reason for detox. For the rest The Human Speechome Project MIT Media Lab of us, we’ve taken [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] extra space to explain and encourage it.
conversation might matter to everyone? … the one going on in their head.Again, the words are not magical: be, notice, dream, connect, do, but they have beendiligently sought after in order to capture a natural process of learning when a learneris provided mental and physical spaces of permission to be. Wrapping that process inuser-friendly verbiage, we hope to create as much of an authentic means to practiceand possibly document how people experience, and experiment with, this process.Documentation and mapping, but especially practicing this process could provide: 1) insight from reflection for the learner in order for him/her to become a more self-directed, life-long learner, creating legit, ongoing, and internal feedback loops and reflection. 3) pay it forward sharing - an insight repository for others seeking to be self- directed learners, or as a means to create serendipitous gatherings that matter. . 5) perhaps, a means to monitor growth in public education, so we can offer an alternative to standardized testing of a very restricted, and today, very prohibiting and limiting, content. A growth in comparison to self rather than to others, or to other countries, ….or to some standard…? [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
A brief description of each of the five words of detox:be. Rid your mind of chatter that haspreviously determined who you are.For some, for most even, this elementof detox could take quite a while. We havebecome so used to pleasing others, to listening to other voices. We need to listen toourselves, to our gut, daily. We change daily.While it’s difficult for some to be alone, many need space to listen from within. Spaces ofpermission and of solitude help cultivate a culture of trust. It’s not about prescribing you,or proving you, it’s about becoming you, unveiling you. Now. Perpetually now.It’s less about finding a specific passion, and more about being awake, being fully alive. It’snot as much about finding good to do, as it is about finding that which you can’t not do.begin being.for more on bebooks: buccaneer scholar, significance of life, tools of conviviality, mindfulness, we are all weird, linchpin, orbiting thegiant hairball [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Not so much about balance, but of self-awareness, knowing when you’re off balance. - Meg Wheatley
notice. Step out of the routine and notice the unlikely. Ellen Langer writes inMindfulness and Colin Ward writes in The Child in the City, how focus on outcomes can leadto mindlessness. Many of us need directions. We’re afraid to wander. We don’t embracefailure as an opportunity. We get impatient with the unplanned, the unlikely, theundefined. Yet, these are the very things that afford us spaces to make decisions based onthe newness of the moment. Vulnerability in context (alive in the moment) begs noticings.You can’t explain perpetual beta because it is always changing. Mindfulness isn’t analternative if you choose to live awake. Noticing alone could change the world.for more on noticebooks: mindfulness, child in the city, rework, walk out walk on, feynmandream. Imagine yourself doing, solving, becoming, creating, and making.Roger Martin encourages us in The Design of Business to question everything respectfully.Too often we quit or fold because of something as simple as the raising of an eyebrow. Weneed to boldly and gracefully confront reliability-thinking (proof/data speaks) of thecorporate world and of our traditions. We need to wonder and ponder. We need toquestion assumed risk. Might we face a greater risk in playing it safe? Meg Wheatley inWalk Out Walk On, quotes Paulo Freire - If you don’t have any kind of a dream, I’m sure it’simpossible to create something. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]for more on dreambooks: linchpin, art of possibility, war of art, democratic ed, we are all weird, walk out walk on, stop killing dreams
connect. Today, even in public ed, you really can choose what, when, where,how and with whom you want to connect. Connections can start with the personalizedframework of why. That choice has the potential of ultimate empowerment. That choicefacilitates and enlivens a person’s curiosity, getting at a deep, intellectual, just in timelearning. Connections, our new currency.for more on connect, higher ed & citiesbooks: talent code, power of pull, reality is broken, diy u, diy college credentials people: downes, siemens, cormier, ..do. The criteria youth have determined for doing: does it matter? and is it awesome?Both beg to whom, which is exactly the mindset we believe is vital to this paradigm shift(change in basic assumptions.) We can now facilitate personalized definitions of success inpublic ed. Youth’s drive, contrary to the belief of some, contrary to perceived activity orinactivity, is not toward laziness. Youth crave hard work.A great question for a healthy self-perpetuated feedback loop, am I doing this to finish oram I doing this just to do, to be, to make? Remaining mindful of that mindset could set youfree to experience the richest of lives. Find and do that which you can’t not do.for more on do [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]books: at work with thomas edison, reality is broken, rework, the war of art, linchpin, tools of conviviality
via detox/process reflect on rhizomatic learningsumming it up for ch 1:conversation w/selfdetox (rhizomatic learning):A temporary means to: 1. get people back to a natural state of learning, being, and doing. The wonder and intellectual curiosities most of us had at least until the age of 4 or 5. 2. come together as a people to eradicate the standardization of public ed as we know it, freeing people up to spaces of e v o l u t i [a q u i e t r permission o n] to be.
via young people:Be: Be yourself. Find yourself. Not what others want. Your true you.Notice: Start noticing things, notice things that seem impossible. Notice what you normallydon’t like in your life. Try to go to the things that everyone says not to.Dream: Dream big. You should never stop dreaming. When you dream big you’re going to dobig things. Dreaming what everyone told you you couldn’t do. The sky is the limit.Connect: Connect with people. We need each other, so it helps everyone. Connecting withones you are passionate about but also the ones right next to you that you don’t notice.Do: The doing, just start. Just go out and do things. Doing your own passion, your potential isuntouchable.via parents:Be: Who is your child? Who is your child when nobody is telling her what she should bedoing? Who is your child after the boredom has been exhausted?Notice: To what kinds of things, to what experiences is your child attracted? What kinds ofthings are noticed when space is given to notice?Dream: When left to her own devices, to what place does her mind travel? Is she dreamingof singing? Dancing? Gardening? Baking cookies? Riding on the space shuttle?Connect: Facilitate times for her to connect with others who dream of singing. Others whodream of dancing. Or gardening. Bake cookies with her if thats her dream. Bring space toher in whatever way within your means. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Do: Give her the tools to sing, dance, garden, bake, and travel to the moon. Give her thespace to do those things.
Linda and Gage encourage each other to find new waysito notice, dream,u t i o n] [a q u e t r e v o l connect, do, …and eat. These spaces of permission allow for more natural connections. We areworking toward families taking back time to grow together.
ch. 2 Crowdsource, create, reinvent, and then share, .. physical spaces. City as floorplan. Your community becomes your school. (rhizomatic spaces) shared spaces [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Imagine spaces filled with resources you’re craving. Imagine that in sharing, we find we have all we need. Imagine spacesfilled with people, addicted to learning and sharing. Imagine meeting up with your people, there. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
Dave Cormier, community as curriculum If we fix the cities, we fix the world. - Tony HsiehThe end of this plan,youth crafted two yearsago, has community asschool, with the entirecity as the floorplan.The high schoolbuildings becomeresource centers andmeet up spaces. Thereis a city-wide art halland engineering hall,forensics hall. The townacts more like auniversity campus..where people arewalking and biking toand from buildingsthrough the course of aday. University/school [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]as coffee house even. In the US, when you say real life people tend to define it as: outside of school. - Michael Wesch
As we offer more options for learning, we find we don’t need more resources. Whenwe simply start talking to people in our community, we come to find out, the ladydown the street has been translating Japanese for years, the man across the street is alawyer on the board for a homeless safe house, a woman across town is a localuniversity researcher, looking into the Antarctic ozone layer. We’ve got locals buildingrobotic arms and sending things into space, and artists doing art like nobody’s business.We learn to use the resources and spaces already in the community.We notice what we have.One great advantage to this is that nowschool becomes life.Learning is considered natural againand life-long learning is embraced.Just in time learning redirects energy,time, space, and most of all people.Who’s together in a room or space becomes a per choice proposition.Imagine spaces within your city where people come to share ideas, to share dreams.How do we engender spaces where joy is more important, more salient than core content standards and an endless sea of standardized tests and the accompanying narrow pedagogy that gets enacted in order for students to get ready for such minutia? - Mary Ann Reilly [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Where people can roam, … in the wilderness. nomad ic spaces ..wilderness areas are vital for the human spirit and for creativity.
eclectic Today, people are learning online, on boats, in buses, in classrooms, in schools of all sorts, in other countries, at home, in the city, … this is great. What we are suggesting is that we no longer pigeon-hole learners to any of these spaces. You want to learn on a boat. Great. But let’s not say now, that you are a boat learner only. Maybe tomorrow another space will serve you better. Change is good if we choose it. Learning is change, it’s innovation. And it’s never finished or set. More liberating (and breathtaking) mindsets/spaces emerge when we focus on curiosity rather than proof. Curiosity in where, when, how, what and/or with whom a person is connecting. Curiosity in what is going on in their head. The more differentiated those answers are, from person to person, but even more important each person is within one person, the more evidence of life and learning. These shared spaces begin to let Joe [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] be Joe.
The time, money, and people we currently spend on classroom management and policy isno longer needed. Imagine if we instead of compulsion, we offer exposure. Imagine if wesimply facilitate connections (virtual and local) to gatherings that matter. We have beenheavy on the options that currently aren’t being offered, but that doesn’t mean we wishwhat already exists will go away. The focus here is on everyone. The people who lovelectures, chemistry, school math, want to be a doctor,.. they will benefit from this freedomas well. ie: People gathered with them in their space, will all be there per choice. Once we understand that learning can and should occur outside the classroom, it will become commonplace to see students engaged in learning activities throughout the community. - DownesMOOCs [Massive Open Online Courses] model this disruptive space/learning onlineincredibly well in higher ed. It’s open, participatory, distributed, and supports life-longlearning. It’s an ongoing event, that people gather around, per choice.The be you house models a vision of the city, eclectic and accessible. A city google sketch up willenable co-creation of spaces, as we crowdsource communities of practice. People drawn to these,free up existing school spaces, so we can restructure them toward more permission and delight.Perhaps a better way to spend ourselves than current plans to simply manage people.Ebook: city_as_floorplan [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]video: video describing this mesh mentality of space. http://vimeo.com/20320782 scale free schoolsbooks: big picture, democratic ed, child in the city, the mesh; deschooling society, buccaneer scholar, tools for conviviality, for the love ofcities, triumph of the city, and Zappos downtownproject
via city as floorplan/meshsumming it up for ch 2: share rhizomatic spacesshared spacescity as floor plan (rhizomatic spaces):Finding and utilizing shared (mesh) spaces. The city as one great bigresource center for its people. City as school. City as university. Cityalive. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
via young people:I can go anywhere that I’m living and get help. The highschool, the house,soccer field. The whole community together, helping each other. It’s allconnected.via parents:It was Toni Morrison who said, "You really need the whole village [to raise achild]." Why should a child learn about life from books, stuck behind a desk,when life is out there, waiting to be lived? Let us make this a communitywhere the love of learning is shared by all, everywhere. A community oftrust and unlimited learning opportunity. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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Find people and things that help youbecome you. Revel in being known bysomeone. Embrace interdependency.(rhizomatic connections) ch. 3 connections [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Imagine choosing your people. Imagine gathering with people you choose. People crazy about the same thing you arecrazy about. Imagine a network of your eclectic people, because you are eclectic. Imagine fittingness (eudaimonia) vsfitting in. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
The term interdependency came as we were researching laws for homeless teens. Whilesome states allow 14 year-olds to declare independence, often resulting inhomelessness, some are trying to restate that to a declaration of interdependence, whereeach teen is matched up with an adult. If we want to create spaces of permission, wherelearning is accomplished through living, we feel this interdependency will provide stabilityin thepotential, and in fact encouraged, chaos.When we set people free to choose their mentors, their connections, their interests,amazingly, we discover that we don’t need more resources. If you take a look at thecommunity around you, there are incredible mentors and teachers and unlikely topics, inunlikely places. That’s not even tapping into virtual resources. We are recovering from ayear where we thought virtual was all we needed. What we found was that within theschool system, Skype didn’t always work, and sometimes the time zone issues kept usfrom meet ups we were craving. Turns out it was good that virtual didn’t always work. Itbrought us back to local. Face to face. The global web is teaching us how to better tap intoour local community.Virtual connections are huge. In fact they are what is making this paradigm shift possible.They are what Illich and Dewey and so many others were hoping and waiting for.In Walk Out Walk On, Margaret Wheatley refers to this as trans-local. You have a globalconnection and insight, yet you maintain your local culture. Perhaps we maintain andnourish a person’s unique culture through interdependency.
In Net Smart, Howard Rheingold refers to this as networked individualism, via Barry Wellman. Rather than relying on a single community for social capital, individuals often must networked actively seek out a variety of appropriate people and resources for diff situations individualism - the person has become the portal. First we saw Joe, choosing available spaces/gatherings (ch 1), here a student/learner chooses people (above left), and a person, aka John T. Spencer, (above right), simply choosing, … living.These connections provide needed support, safety, accountability. The belief that you are known by someones a most liberating feeling, an incredibly vial piece to freeing your mind up to being, to becoming you.
serendipitySome resources we are falling in love with,that help …c r e a t e Alex of hOURschool.com is a great connection for us. They’re matching up people to local mentors and teachers. When you arrive at their site, you are simply asked, what do you want to learn? They find people within your local community to help you with that topic. We share so many common threads with Alex and Ruby, but the biggest is -- looking for those mentors in local yet unlikely places. We look forward to experimenting with them. Brian’s project in finding the expert on your block at myblocknyc.com. Hover over the yellow lines to see videos of people sharing their expertise. What a great way to pull down walls in a community. Help you find your people. Learn that all people have more than one story. Katherine of radmatter.com, life is rad, make it matter. Katherine is working to link people directly to their future, taking out all the middle man and middle time worries. Career incubators, if you will. Missions are submitted by companies. Solutions are rated and reviewed. The more you play, the more you level up in talents you enjoy, and find employers [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] that need those talents, developing relationships along the way. Vic is starting up an physical space incubator of 80,000 sq ft at plugandplaycoorado.com.
Steve with readitfor.me has a potential game changer as well. Once you are set free tolearn via choice, you find books to be very addictive, (if you hadn’t already). You find youwant to know more of your art. You want to get into the heads of great thinkers of yourart. We’re thinking Steve’s growing resourceof book summaries could become a wikipediaof books. We’re imagining people growing hissite, especially as he is offering a Tom’s Shoes gifting to schools.Kirill at instagrok.com has created a space that let’s the user’s choices perpetuate anever changing visual portraying an individualized network (ameba).Not to mention, allowing the learning to drive that ameba.Dale of uncollege.org writes about creating serendipity ..how an intellectual match might work in New York City. Each man, at any given moment and at a minimum price, could identify himself to a computer with his address and telephone number, indicating the book, article, film, or recording on which he seeks a partner for discussion. Within days he could receive by mail the list of others who recently had taken the same initiative. This list would enable him by telephone to arrange for a meeting with persons who initially would be known exclusively by the fact that they requested a dialogue about the same subject.Very similar to our vision, once again, of detox on a phonei app. Text your self-reflection. [a q u e t r e v o l u t i o n]Some hours later, get 5 text #’s of people in your same town, with similar reflections. Meetup in one of the town’s spaces of permission. More connections like this happening here. (Dale’s city as university post included.)
Neighborland, and Sonar, and . . .There are countless means to learning what you choose, by connecting. No end really.And the beauty of all of this, it isn’t an either or, but rather, an incredible and.ie: Imagine, an 80 year old, who most likely takes too much medication, his family/ friends rarely visit, so he spends much of his time watching TV. Imagine a 12 year old, who most likely takes too much medication, spends a lot of time playing videos games, yet who dreams of being and doing something similar to what the 80 year old has done and been. Imagine these two connecting per passion, per choice, rather than per kindness. Soon, neither can wait to get up in the morning. And at night, well the 80 year old now has wifi, and is stretching his expertise to no end, from the curiosity and energy flowing over from the 12 year old, and vice versa. being known = well beingThis surpasses the issue of school, of achievement gaps, even of learning. This takes onthe matter of what it means to be human and alive. A declaration of interdependence,being known by someone, could be more vital to a person than food, water, or shelter.Imagine if we were to focus on feeding the soul, rather than on our current (oftenunquestioned) dependencies, ie: feeding the test scores, i e t r e vcrunch. t i o n] [a q u the number o l u We are because we belong. We are all connected. - I Am (documentary by Tom Shadyak)
What we’ve heard from kids.. school is a node in the network of learning. It (connected learning) is absolutely a work in progress.. a work that should never be finished. - Connie Yowell To make a system healthier, we simply need to connect it more to itself. - Meg WheatleyThis is a quiet revolution to overcome a dependency that most of us are hardly aware of.Many of us tend to believe that the internal issues and struggles we face daily are justsomething we are dealing with because perhaps, we just aren’t normal.That misunderstanding can soothe us into apathy, or it can create a resistance largeenough for us to rally about our rights and declare independence. While independenceseems a better space than what we may be currently experiencing, a declaration ofinterdependence can be, not only more liberating, but more meaningful, as it hasrelationship, connection, at its core. Nothing live lives alone. Life only and always organizes as q u i eof interdependency. [a systems t r e v o l u t i o n] -Meg Wheatley
via interdependency/choice gather rhizomatic communitiessumming it up for ch. 3:connectionsinterdependency(rhizomatic communities):Your support system. Your people. The essence of relationship. Being knownby someone. Actualizing the potential when we live, learn, and be, perchoice. Finding the gatherings that matter to you. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
via young people:We all need to interact with other humans, that’s how we weremade. We plan to connect everyone with at least one person.via parents:This is a means to ground someone in a safe block. They areconnected to someone. Like the buddy system. So in all the chaosof this freedom, they are not lost. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Gean and Sierra get together at least once a week [a createiholistic lip balms,u t i o n] to q u e t r e v o l ointments.Sierra will soon be the youngest yoga instructor in the nation, with plans to build a local foodpharmacy as well as a wellness center. Connections are feeding the hunger of her mission.
Become usefully ignorant. Listen. Practicevulnerability in context. Decide to deliberatelynot teach. Rather, mentor alongside.(rhizomatic expertise) ch. 4 facilitators of curiosity [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Imagine someone listening deeply to you, without an agenda, and then strewing/offering resources that match up withyour thinking/curiosities. Imagine people around you modeling expert learning. Imagine the you that would surface.Imagine people awakened by the belief that others want to see and facilitate their unique genius. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
If you are lucky enough to be connected to someone per passion, or be known by someyouth, one key element toward facilitating self-directed learning, is to deliberately notteach. We live in a world that isso used to directions, so used to click for live doc of the be you webbeing told how and what todo, it’s hard for many of us tofunction on our own. In mostlearning situations andopportunities, we seek outthe perceived expert, sit intheir path, and wait to befilled. This mindset disablesand disengages theindispensable person fromwithin. This pattern, tradition,training, encouragesmindlessness.If the goal is self-directed learning, if the desire is youth who know what to do when theydon’t know what to do, if the aim is for youth to fall in love with learning, then thementor, needs to be positioned, physically and mentally, alongside. Alongside, doingtheir own thing, modeling what it is to learn, what it is to be. t r e v o l u t i o n] [a q u i eThe word assessment is derived from the Latin verb, assidere, which means, quite literally, -to sit beside.
Useful ignorance, then, becomes a space of pedagogical possibility rather than a base that needs to be covered. ‘Not knowing’ needs to be put to work without shame or bluster. - Erica McWilliamsMentors available to the youth, and ready to learn from the youth are most beneficial. Thementor’s mindset should be that of keen interest and inquiry into what is going on in theyouth’s head, not the mentor’s. Sugata Mitra calls this the method of the grandmother: friendly but not necessarily knowledgeable in that topic. I don’t know… Wrongologist, Kathryn SchulzAs mentors, listen without an agenda, demonstrating and communicating genuine patience and caring. Encourage theexpression of ideas, even (and especially) if they are different than our own. Rather than alarm, try to honestlyunderstand the underlying sentiment, in order to more fully understand.For an effective mentor, “I dont know” is always an okay answer. “I dont know” is an opportunity to access and useresources together. When we dont know, we brainstorm together with youth.Keep from developing an inflated view of our roles; there are mentors all around us. The key element is to deliberatelynot teach, as constant instruction encourages mindlessness. Encourage independence. Youth need time for self-discovery. Time to be. Trust that learning will happen. No, know that learning is happening.Be available to youth, modeling what it is to learn, what it is to be, doing our own thing,exploring our passion, discovering ourselves. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]As mentors, we should underscore the importance of learning and working for oneself andones own self-improvement. The youth should understand that they alone assess theirprogress, without outside influence. We also need to recognize the effect of inappropriatepraise. Praise shackles youth to a course of pleasing others, rather than themselves.
A person cannot teach another person directly; a person can only facilitate anothers learning. - Carl Rogers, 1951Most of us are convinced that learning only comes from teaching. That thinking can createan unhealthy dependency. Dependency on someone else teaching us and/or someoneelse praising us. Educators will need to spend less time explaining through instruction and more time in experimental and error-welcoming modes of engagement. This is supported by findings from neuro-science about the way in which the brain is ‘changed’ (see Zull, 2004) through hands on, minds on experimentation and how it is not changed by instruction-led pedagogy. - Erica McWilliams Prepare people for uncertainty. - Dave CormierNatural, self-induced feedback loops help encourage self-directed learning by focusing onhard work and effort as opposed to talent and/or momentary success. The rhizomatic capacity of networks to flow around a point in a chain means that teachers may be located in a linear supply chain of pedagogical services but excluded from their students’ learning networks. - Erica McWilliams [also see Carol Dweck’s Mindset]Youth need to be doing with people that are doing, with people that are modelingvulnerability in context. We’re redefining No Child Left Behind to be this vast exposure tomentors who listen without an agenda and who breathe curiosity themselves. We’re suggesting authentic basics show up when you are fully alive in the moment. They show up in naturally intriguing e v o l u t i o n] [a q u i e t r and breathtaking ways. No need to conjure up non-essentials to practice rigor.
The reward is brilliant minds set free, to be.We will be absolutely blown away by brilliance only when we offer support and createthese types of spaces. Spaces where the heart of the matter, the very heart of thematter, the only agenda, is the curiosity, the curriculum if you must, residing withineach person, each youth, each learner. A rhizomatic space, community, learning, wherethere is no hierarchy. A space where everyone is practicing, experimenting. Becoming.To foster optimized self-directed learning, mentor alongside: question prescribed learning, just be there, being you; learn alongside, listen; listen without an agenda. It is impossible to change others.…harveste v o l u t i o n] [a q u i e t r invisible intelligence. - Meg Wheatley
Partial Freedom is no freedom. - Krishnamurti, The Significance of Life Pseudo-freedom may be worse than no freedom at all. - Steve DenningEd & the Significance of Life -high recommend (pdf)The child is the result of both the past and the present and is therefore already conditioned. If wetransmit our background to the child, we perpetuate both his and our own conditioning. There is radicaltransformation only when we understand our own conditioning and are free of it. To discuss what shouldbe the right kind of education while we ourselves are conditioned is utterly futile.Sensitivity can never be awakened through compulsion. One may compel a child to be outwardly quiet,but one has not come face to face with that which is making him obstinate, imprudent, and so on.Compulsion breeds antagonism and fear. Reward and punishment in any form only make the mindsubservient and dull; and if this is what we desire, then education through compulsion is an excellent wayto proceed. - Krishnamurti Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains q u i holdeon the imind. [a no e t r v o l u t o n] -Plato
harvest rhizomatic expertise via mentor alongside/ listeningsumming it up for ch 4:facilitators of curiositymentor alongside (rhizomatic expertise):A means to realize and utilize the expertise in everyone.
via young people:Neither the mentor or the student is greater, they are feedingoff of each other.via parents:Often I learn more from my child than I can take in, if I’mlistening. ie: I asked my two and a half year old what camefirst, the chicken or the egg. He said, the nest. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Hannah and Tim get together daily. They trade[a q u i e t r e v o about imusic, off teaching each other l u t o n]dance, leadership. They’re modeling the potential when the 7 hours a day is ownedby a person, living out a culture of trust.
Break down walls. Assume good and become rich.Realize communication is never finished. Cultivatea culture of trust. Question ego, that incessantneed to prove ourselves. ch. 5(rhizomatic currency) conversation others with [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Imagine a world where we don’t feel the need to manage people, to play defense, to fake that we know things forvalidation. Imagine a world where people and connections are our gold. Imagine believing in each other so much thateach person feels valued, right now. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
Clay Shirky tells a story of ten daycare centers in Israel in his book, Cognitive Surplus. Thestory really gets at this culture we believe is vital to change.Here’s the short version: These ten centers had no late fee for picking up children andvery few parents came late and not by very much. Then they imposed approximately athree dollar fine on 7 of the 10 centers. The number of late parents increased, andstayed elevated even after the fine was dropped. Shirky explains, the parents see the daycare workers as participants in a market transaction rather than as people who’s needsshould be respected. Parents viewed workers time as a commodity. They assume thefine represents full price of the inconvenience they were causing.He goes on to explain the difficulty, once a new mindset for the relationship hasoccurred, to go back to the culture of trust and humanity. Dealing with one another as a peoplemarket can fundamentally alter relationships. agendaHave we turned relationships into marketing transactions, that now require such a largeoverhead that we have lost the art of living? Are we trusting and valuing people? Or arewe trusting and valuing paperwork that basically represents mistrust? And that takesbillions a year to run in public ed alone.
We could be educating the world, but policy keeps getting in the way. - David Wiley Cease to settle. - Ivan IllichWell over 50% of our time in all areas of life seem to be spent on policy, onmanagement of a system created because of mistrust. While the mistrust isn’tnecessarily blatant, it’s a learned habit. It’s how it has always been. The systemmakes us dependent upon the system. We often default to seeking proof andvalidation and consumption and order. Wherever you look in the natural world, you find networks not organizational charts, and they are always incredibly messy, dense, tangled, and extraordinarily effective at creating greater sustainability for all who participate in them. - Meg WheatleyPerhaps we compromise too much be seeking proof for things.Imagine experimenting more with a culture of trust.People are good right now. You are fine today. Here’s to being/doing more of you. green about people
To the right, find: remix, original via Will Richardson our aup for tech use, our dress code, our house rules, our play and work rules, our common core, etc...people [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
reputation: But that said, as more and more of a person’s life becomes available online, the need for certification will diminish, as people acquire reputations of their own. A person’s standing in a community can be recognized by members of that community, and is acquired through months and years of participation in the work of that community. Where certification is granted, people presenting certification without having acquired a reputation for work in the community will be viewed with suspicion. - (Downes 2008)If we want to awaken indispensable people, let’s try trusting them, trusting ourselves. Let’simagine that life is full and rich. Let’s imagine that learning is natural.Most of us focus more on proof than on being, on outcomes than mindfulness. Imaginehaving time to be you. Imagine not having to prove yourself, not having to documentyourself proving yourself. What if adolescence through mid-life crisis is actually a directresult of our publicly prescribed curriculum… If it’s your art, you’ll do anything to give it away. - Seth GodinImagine having time to do your art.And then loving it so much that you can’t not give it away.
Imagine these connections turning into gatherings that matter. Imagine us being more about facilitating and listening than managing, or feeling the need to prove anything. Imagine people finding value in community, in the actual working together and doing, rather than accolades of efficiency.Again, we’re interested in a space of transparency, perhaps modeled after Deb Roy’s house.Deb exposed the goings on of his son’s learning with video cameras and tech creating a fishbowl view.We’re seeking to expose the goings on in the emergence of, a healthy communityconversation. Can we use things we’re learning from the transparency of the web to breakdown walls that tend to keep us locally at bay? Can we offer the freedom to *lurk, to buildtrust? The means to listen-in, unacknowledged, until we hear people we had a beef with didindeed have more than one story, or that other people really are interested in listening andthen doing? Can we tech infuse a weekly intimate kitchen table or coffee house conversation,by some app that might help us find/share our invisible selves, or videotech that can bringvirtual experts in, just in time, to free up our thinking about getting-in places, and focus moreon becoming us?As we emerge individually, because of self-conversations, can we also use tech to help usemerge and share openly, because of community-conversations. *lingering and persistent, though unsuspected or unacknowledged
via trust/people give rhizomatic currencysumming it up for ch 5:conversation w/othersculture of trust (rhizomatic currency):This is about people. Each person matters right now. Each one the uniquethumbprint that will create us. There is no need to prove, compete, judge,validate, separate. Worth is in our connection. The more we share the more wegain. We assume good, together. It is there we discover brilliance, beauty,breathtaking balance, peace.
via young people:Money isn’t as important as humans. Youshouldn’t be trying to thrive from money, buttrying to seek other human beings.via parents:This is a People Agenda. People are valuable. Treatthem as such. Facilitate trust. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Peter and monika are working on ways to [a q u i e t rmoreo l u t ofo n] create and share e v spaces ipermission to be. Learning from failure, learning from transparency. Lovingpeople enough to dream big.
glossary of sorts communication: verbiage as we’re currently seeing and using it, because… The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. - George Bernard Shaw [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] - Adam Mackie
adjacent possibilitiesSteven Johnson’s TEDThe potential andserendipity created whenyou notice and connect theunlikely.Incremental potentialsolutions to help peoplecaught in conflict or lookingfor change to keep moving. corey [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
art Perfection in making is an art. Perfection in acting is a virtue. - Ivan IllichTrying to get away from acting, being people that we aren’t forwhatever reasons, and instead, doing what matters most to us.Art is that interesting piece inside each one of us. It’s that thing youcan’t not do. In providing spaces to be, we allow people to find, grow,and create their art. If people are doing, making, and being their art,they become indispensable, rather than simply virtuous, or bored ordelinquent or depressed.We get so worried about, and expended in, a means to improve or toprove. If we focus on authentic art, as opposed to prescribed learning,the proving will not longer be an issue. We’ll wonder what all the fusswas. The kids already wonder. The art, the sharing of that art, becauseyou can’t not, is its own reward. lucas… doing happy [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
the basics - Anya Kamenetz We’re making too many decisions based on too little information.The most common question we On the other hand, and strikinglyget is “What about the basics?” more of a risk, yet more overlooked,Find a great answer to that on denied, or accepted, too many peoplethe site of the - aren’t getting what we think are theBrooklyn Free School. basics now. They may be playing theThe answer is a question... school game so well that it appears“What are the basics?” Perhaps they are, but legitimately getting thethat’s what we need to basics has been proven time andredefine per an individual, per again to be false when they enter thetheir community. job force or arrive at the universityThe basics as defined by school campus, and are unable to performis a very limited and restrictive expected basics. Kids in the lab areset of skills. The word basic is thinking that as much as 75% of kidsoften referred to as essential. either cheat or cram the day before aEssential translates to test, so that a week later, they don’tabsolutely necessary or remember.extremely important. If we Even by their own measures anddeem something as basic it prescribed basics, test scoresshould by it’s nature show up more here in options continually reveal a great disconnect.as we live, ... no? ie: It’s hard to go through a day of real life without engaging in mathematicalFor those worried about basics thinking. School math, however, perthat might not show up, these the common core standards, isn’tcan be strewn, offered, and necessarily practical, useful, or basic.exposed. But our urge to Have you rationalized a denominatormandate perceived basics, [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] or conjugated an imaginary numbermost often cripples and lately? And if you have, how commoncompromises the learner. do you think that is?
connected adjacencycommunity of Many have said there will be no revolution within the system, within the institution.practice While that makes mental sense, we also believe that the system, the institution, is where many of our best resources are, people in particular. Today, especially inGetting together with education, even though many are breaking away to charter schools, online schools,your people and doing, homeschooling and unschooling, the masses reside in the system. Through amaking or learning connected adjacency mentality we exist both in and out of the system. We spendsomething you all just more of our time playing offense, than defense.can’t not do. Nothing is for everyone, so we seek to facilitate non-prescribed learning. We’reThe coming together is currently creating spaces of freedom for a very small percentage to get at authenticbecause of that thing experimentation and innovation. Spaces to test new ideas out within a community.and that thing is what Spaces where failure won’t affect or offset the whole, but unexpected, unknown, andyou make or do. delightful success will certainly and pleasantly benefit the whole.Community is built Saul Kaplan, connected adjacency; google 20%from each ones lovefor that thing.ie: I love to train dogs,or make kites. I findpeople in my city orvirtually that sharesthat same love. Weconnect and immerseourselves in that topic.We become acommunity practicingthat art.Wikipedia’smore formal definition. u i e r on two l u t i o n] % [a q DeborahtFriezee v oloop theory of change. these slidedecks: joi ito & wikipedia or as ebook; the dandelion affect or as ebook books: the mesh; the power of pull; deschooling society, child in the city, diyu, diy college credentials, we are all weird
cultureWhat if transparency is the new currency? What ifknowing people, being known, building a community,holds more value than what most of us end upspending most of the hours in a day doing or getting.We’re thinking school has perpetuated a corporateAmerica long beyond it’s need to be, if it ever was aneed. We’re thinking technology wants to free us upand back to a focus on people – conversation,community, sharing, and listening.We’re experimenting with a focus on a social currency,rather than a monetary currency. We’re thinking if youwant to know how good someone is, take a look at howwell the people around them are doing. Most of whatwe’re suggesting, doing, and being, will only thrive in aculture of trust. (read more in ch 5) … the very word culture celebrates the human capacity to learn and adapt, something the rest of society should support. A sense of coherence is almost as needful as food and drink. Trying to improve people by interfering with their own preferences often makes things worse. The question for everyone living in a world of constant contact between cultural groups, is how to become routinely sensitive to patterns, even with minimal cues, suspending judgment and looking for how they fit together. - Mary Catherin Bateson, Peripheral Visionsfor more see slidedeck: more resourceful
detox Detox is simply what we are calling this manifestation, this play-acting or prototyping, if you will, of the internal process a healthy self-directed learner would model if we could see in their head. We’re wondering if this jump start back to self-reflecting, self-assessing, might help many of us get back to our propensity toward curiosity. We’re wondering if it might help those of us who have become addicted to routine, to directions, to prescriptions, to regain, unleash, strengthen, and awaken our natural mindfulness toward imagination and play, toward self-directed learning. We’re wondering if it just might be the shot of adrenaline our souls crave. (more about detox in ch. 1)This video first explains research, then about 4:40 models it.
disruption (as per Clay Christensen) We’re experimenting with *transparent shadows:[a quiet revolution] o 800+ raw footage videos on youtube (By design, we are 51295monk)currently in the o facebook group (tsd innovation lab)shadows at the left o info and update site (labconnections)end of the upward o stand alone site, (be you.)exponential curve.As we begin being, * Transparent shadows: We are still obscure tothose most in love those not intentionally seeking us out, because wewith the idea, aren’t selling, pushing, or prescribing anything.experiment, fail,and tweak,continually We believe obscurity is key to self-directedmaking and being. learning, as imposed definition, routine, and focus on outcome, can encourage mindlessness. We welcome the shadows, as we believe you may be more inclined to be working, doing, and failing there. You may be more inclined to be you there. Publicity often nudges us toward theory and meetings and defending and talking perfect case scenarios, and following the masses, more so than doing and being. We believe in what we’re doing. And while we’re [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] not selling or pushing, we believe we’re creating something your soul might just be craving.
Where is this quietrevolution/disruption headed?We are seeking more spaces of permission tobe, for everyone. So while the shadows haveboded us well, we are emerging from them tosecure more spaces, physical and mental,spaces of affinity. This is a work, a movement,a revolution, that matters to people.Legitimate hard work begs a multi-playermentality. It begs more collaboration, moreinsight, more of a coming together, than manyof us are used to. It begs a mindset most of usare not used to. It also brings with it morebenefit. The right end of the upwardexponential curve. It certainly delivers morehappiness.James Paul Gee, affinity spaces; death of theexpert (from dmlcentral); rhizomatic models;more resourceful slidedeckbooks: Clay Christensen, Disrupting Class; JaneMcGonigal, Reality is Broken; Ellen Langer,Mindfulness; Jason Fried, Rework; Tony Hsieh,Delivering Happiness; Carol Dweck, Mindset;John Hagel & John Seely Brown, Power of Pull, [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Seth Godin, We Are All Weird
equityEquity doesn’t mean equal. Equity involves - Meg Wheatleypersonalization. It begs choice. It allows for If one day they were toredefinition of success per individual, per community. seek equal work rather People have all the skills, creativity, and ingenuity they need.The achievement gap is a misnomer when we than equal pay - equalprescribe what the gap is about. None of the data inputs rather than equalwe’ve been gathering, and spending most of our time, outputs - they could be …. that’s our equity.energy, money, and people on, has a statistically the pivot of socialsound basis. Everything is variable. Everything is reconstruction.debatable. Growth (of gaps ofie: PISA, the test most often referred to when comparing inequity) would stop ifcountries, has it’s main focus on math. Math, many say, is more women obtained equallyuniversal because there are relatively few barriers due tolanguage. Yet, the math on these tests are more likened to creative work for all,school math, than mathematical thinking. This can translate to instead of demandinga competition between countries on a topic that is very equal rights over therestrictive and not beneficial to most people. We’re suggesting gigantic and expandinga more equitable means to monitor growth, if you must. We’re tools now appropriatedsuggesting we model more of a self-directed feedback loop, by men.comparing personal bests. When maddeningEquity will come when we free people of a behavior becomes hepredetermined outcome. Equity will come when we standard of a society,offer resources per choice and facilitate self-directed people learn to competelearning. Equity fades the more we focus on a means for the right to engage into improve standardization.ie: We realize many more resources if we allow people to look it. envy blinds people andat and use what they have. Many people have and prefer cell makes them compete forphone use, so why insist everyone have an ipad. Save the addiction.money for the few that don’t have anything, but again, let - Ivan Illichthem choose their means of access. We’re thinking a good startfor choice of connection or access involves laptops, phones,bikes, bus passes…
indispensableOriginal thinkers, provoateurs, peoplewho care. People we can’t dispose of oroutsource. People who are vital. What wewant/need are indispensable people. - Seth Godin, Linchpinknowmadic learner A creative, imaginative, and innovative person who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere. Industrial society is giving way toknowledge and innovation work. Whereas industrialization required people to settle in one place to perform a very specific role or function, the jobs associated withknowledge and information workers have become much less specific in regard to task and place. Moreover, technologies allow these new paradigm workers to work either at a specific place, virtually, or any blended combination. Knowmads can instantly reconfigure and contextualize their work environments, a greater mobility is creating new opportunities. - John Moravec cristian
perpetual betapeople agenda Never ending, never done beginning. Always fresh,Our desire is to be green about people. mindful, and new.To value, embrace, and delight in what it means tobe human and alive. [a favorite quote from Carol Its dirty and wholesome. Its the way that knowledgeBlack’s beautiful film, Schooling the World] actually is, rather than the way we try to package it soWe’re experimenting with how to listen with no that it can be measured. - Dave Cormieragenda.We believe that every actor has a reason, and that One thing people have said that have visited the bedeep within, everyone has a desire to do good. you house, is that every time they come it’sWe believe this space of trust awakens people, different. Routine can cripple us. Doing things inand that awakened people are indispensable. We order to finish them, can compromise us.believe the paradigm shift a people agenda begs,is that it be based on a culture of trust where We’re practicing, embracing, and modelingcommunity is the curriculum, non-prescriptive. perpetual beta. Through our eagerness to learn from(more on this in chapter 5) ourselves and others, we share our mistakes. WeWhen we refer to youth, we intend that to mean seek to hold ourselves accountable to a continualyou, to whatever degree you decide - youth. freshness and mindfulness. This does however, unsettle people at first. People think they need definition.read more about this philosophy here: Can you explain something that is always changing?people agenda Luckily, people’s souls crave aliveness.or this slidedeck: respect for every voice It is perhaps because we have not learned to recognizeDave Cormier, community as curriculum and respect existing order in unfamiliar forms that webooks: linchpin, buccaneer scholar, significance of are frightened of social change, unwilling to supportlife, cognitive surplus, mindfulness [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] and work with the forms that peoples find for themselves. - Mary Catherine Bateson
prescribed learningThe issue is with publicly rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always inprescribed learning... not with the middle, between things,getting better at doing publicly interbeing, intermezzo. The tree isprescribed learning. filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, - Ivan Illich uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the To date, much of our attention, verb to be, but the fabric of the even in the field of online rhizome is conjunction, and . . . learning, has been focused on a and . . . and (pp.24-25) system of learning centered on the class or cohort: groups of Break the rhizome anywhere and students studying the same the only effect is that new curriculum pace through the connections will be grown. The same set of learning activities. rhizome models the unlimited (Fenning, 2004) We continue to organize classes in grades, potential for knowledge sorted, especially in the earlier construction, because it has no years, by age. Time continues to fixed points…and no particular be the dominant metaphor for organization (p. 389). units of learning, and learning continues to be constrained by a tangle of tubers with no time. As it was ten years ago, the model is that of a group of apparent beginning or end, people starting at the same time, constantly changes shape, and studying the same materials at appears to be connected at the same pace, and ending at every point with every other the same time. point (p. 389). - Stephen DownesMary Catherine Bateson on [a q u i e t r e v o l u tinto o n] not All life organizes i networks, neat boxes or hierarchies. – Megchocolate milk Wheatley
self-directed learning self-directed learning within Knowing what to do public ed - or open source when you don’t know The environment that they what to do. happen to be in, whether it be a - Erica McWilliams productivity tool, hobbyist webThis comes about through page, or online game, constitutesexperience and just in time (at that time) the personallearning. Self-directed learners learning environment. Resourcesare life-long learners. Their from across the internet aredrive comes through listening accessed from that environment:to the curiosities from within. resources that conform to theTheir drive to dream, connect, student’s needs and interests,and do is second nature. that have been in some way pre- Educational delivery selected or favorably filtered, and systems will recognize that may have been created by the identity of the production studios, teachers, student making the other students, or the student request and will coordinate with other him or herself. Content – online applications interaction, media, data – flows (which may include back and forth between the commercial brokers, learning environment and the open resource external resources, held together repositories, or by the single identity being additional student records) to facilitate employed by the learner in this the student’s learning context. activity. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] . -Stephen Downes -Stephen Downes from 2008
solitude spaceThe most spectacularly What distinguishedcreative people in many programmers at thefields are often introverted. top performing-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, companies wasntGregory Feist. greater experience or better pay. It wasWithout great solitude, no how much privacy,serious work is possible.Picasso - time & personal workspace and freedom from interruption theyWere often so dazzled by enjoyed. If you havecharisma that we overlook talented andthe quiet part of the motivated people,creative process. they should beWhen we take a stance diff encouraged to workfrom a groups we activate alone when creativitythe amygdala, a small organ lucas or efficiency is thein the brain associated with highest priority.fear of rejection. Gregory - Adrian FurnhamBerns calls this "the pain of [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]independence.” private spaces of solitude – Susan Cain
swimming in the compromise Schools today are filled with people, lovely people. People that have no ill intentions. People doing their best to make things, to make life, better. However, most people are bound by policy. The policies the institution of school has birthed and bred, now hold many captive. The following speaks of teacher and student. We’re thinking it addresses a captivity most all of us are in or have been in, teacher, parent, admin, etc. This is us, each one of us, swimming in the compromise: Defining children as full-time pupils permits the teacher to exercise a kind of power over their persons which is much less limited by constitutional restrictions than the over wielded by the guardians of other social enclaves. Their chronological age disqualifies children from safeguards which are routine for adults in a modern asylum - madhouse monastery or jail. Classroom attendance removes children (teachers/admin) from the everyday world of Western culture and plunges them into an environment far more primitive, magical, and deadly serious. School could not create such and enclave within which the rules of ordinary reality are suspended, unless it physically incarcerated the young during many successive years on sacred territory. The attendance rule makes it possible for the schoolroom to serve as a magic womb, from which the child is delivered periodically at the school day’s and school year’s completion until he is finally expelled into adult life. We are rather concerned to call attention to the fact that the ceremonial or ritual of schooling itself constitutes such a hidden curriculum. Even the best of teachers cannot entirely protect his pupils from it. Inevitably, this hidden curriculum of schooling adds prejudice and guilt to the discrimination which a society practices against some for its members and compounds the privilege of others with a new title to condescend to the majority. Just as inevitably, this hidden curriculum serves as a ritual of initiation into a growth-oriented consumer society for rich and poor alike. - Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society for more on calling into question how we spend the hours of our day: redefining [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] success as slidedeck as ebookchanning lucas click to hear Adam recite.. swimming in compromise
tech vs webtacit knowledge We’re seeing quite a difference here. Knowing more than one can tell. Not We see the web as connections. acquired from other; it requires learning Connection to information and to people. through mind, body and senses and is facilitated by experimentation and inquiry. These connections have really changed considerably in the last 3-5 years. We - Mary Ann Reilly believe this change is why we are able to boldly redefine school. We believe thisJohn Hagel, Edge Perspectives newly amplified access to people and info is the reason we’re able to actuate ideas and theories toward self-directed learning that have been addressed and desired for hundreds of years. These connections are allowing us to differentiate to infinity in public ed. We see tech as tools. We’re suggesting less of a focus on the tech as tool, and more focus on the web as connections. If people geek out on tech, that is fine, that is great, we need those people. We’re suggesting that a focus on the tech can cause us to get sidetracked into thinking it’s the ticket to change, ie: if we all have the same tools, or learn and use them in the same way. [a q u i einsightrherev o l u tRushkoff’s Great t e in Douglas i o n] Program or Be Programmed:
unschooling/deschoolingVery generally speaking, Learning is thehomeschooling is about taking the fundamental patterncurriculum home, as a means to do Let’s define of human adaptation,it more efficiently and perhaps ourselves but mostly it occursmore humanely. In other words, around before or after or indoing publicly prescribed learning in the interstices ofthe comfort of your home. enquiries: in other words, schooling.Unschooling or deschooling calls Preoccupied withinto question publicly prescribed by what welearning itself. It is generally schooling, most are curious research on humanfounded on the belief that learningis natural and that following the about, learning is focused oncuriosity within each person attains rather than learning that dependsa higher quality of life because it what we are on teaching or isvalues/fosters the genius/gift completed in awithin each person. Life at home authoritiesand in the community, simply living, on. specified contextis learning. Deschooling rather than on the http://dougald.posterous.com/the-university-project-five-elementsperpetuates self-directed learning. learning that takes The personal learning environment place spontaneously is more of a conferencing tool than because it fits directly it is a content tool. The focus of a personal learning environment is into life. more on creation and - Mary communication than it is consumption and completion. - [a q u i e t r e v Catherin Bateson o l u t i o n] Stephen Downes
From Mary Catherine Bateson’s We’re missing opportunities and brilliant minds because in our concern for covering the basics,Peripheral Visions: we have become so bogged down in non-One conspicuous strand of contemporary debate essentials to a person. And as a result, many ofattempts to inventory what every member of us have become mindless to more critical, yetsociety needs to know, whether in curricula and natural, thinking.proposed standard examinations in such more What we call the basics today, what wefanciful forms as E.D. Hirsch, JR.s cultural literacy, measure and label and credit, are no longeror in so-called canon. No one, it might be argued, is boding us well. Major universities, CEO’s, NASA,a full participant in American society who is not … are seeking out self-directed learners.numerate and literate in English does not knowenough of the rules of baseball and civics to take The products of our conversations are assides, and so on and so forth perhaps at very great concrete as test scores and grades. (Ryan, 2007)length. Depending on how we define full But, as the result of a complex and interactiveparticipant, it may be essential to have read process, they are much more complex, allowing not only for the measurement of learning, butMelville or to understand the theory of relativity. It also for the recognition of learning. As itmay also be necessary to know how to program a becomes easier to simply see what a studentVCR or how to fill out an application for food can accomplish, the idea of a coarse-grainedstamps. No one, it might be argued is a full proxy, such as grades, will fade to theparticipant in American society who does not have background.some basic knowledge of histories and folkways of Earning a degree will, in such a world, resemble less a series of tests and hurdles, and will comethe diverse groups that compose that society. Some to resemble more a process of making a nameknowledge of Buddhism and some of Vodun. But for oneself in a community. Theare there any competent participants in American recommendation of one person by another as asociety? Young people must be prepared to feel like peer will, in the end, become the standard ofnewly arrived immigrants through much of their educational value, not the grade or degree.lives. They need to know how to observe, how to - Downeslearn, how to adapt, how to draw on other peoplesexpertise. How to improvise and cope with onlypartial knowledge and how to imagine alternatives.
begin being:I connect to a virtual mentor. Wefocus on ways to change up the 7hours a day we call school. I startreading many books and connectingto many people online via twitter city as floor planand webinars. I lurk. I listen. Year four has community,Bold dreaming begins. life, as school, with the city as This listening without an agenda allures youth voices. Strong voices the floor plan. from within, often quoting experts Your School Design It. (Your they’ve not read. PD Design It) Highschool We prototype. We practice. We buildings become resource fail. and meet up hubs.Click to hear more of beginnings We begin research with local uni professor. We connect with unschooling parents. We begin learning how theory becomes practice. More doing, more prototyping, tons of documenting. Incredible responsibilityIn their spare time from insightpiloting a self-directed math class,youth in Loveland, CO, craft a plan to [a q u i e t r e vvia video, tvia slideshare, from failing o l u i o n]redefine school. Our district gives us …surfaces. the plan unfoldsspaces of permission to be.We listen. More.
We believe the biggest change in ed will be who’s together in a room for more history of the lab,or space, per choice. We’re thinking if you love what you’re doing, seeyou’re good. If you don’t, well, why wouldn’t you want change? this video set/documentationThere has been plenty of theory and research invested in what we are (reverse chronologicaldoing, and that will be ongoing. But mostly, we have had the privilege order)and delight to indulge in experimentation, failure, prototyping, etc. To or this bird’practice vulnerability in context. s eye view looking forward fromWere respectfully questioning everything, especially what publiclyprescribed education deems as normal. Imagine if the seven hours aday we currently call school were reworked to awaken indispensablepeople. - Jason Fried, ReworkThis little book is our current best for current updates/info on the lab, see labconnectionsattempt to capture the key elements Fyi: most italicized wordslearned from key failures. Our desire is are titles of slidedecks, found within this narrativethat anyone anywhere today can deck: awakening indispensable peopleexperience the exhilaration of learningin spaces of permission to be.We are being filmed by PBS to air in an education episode in the fall of 2012.Three of the lab students will be speaking at our TEDxfrontrange in May 2012.
Our findings (eachyr): 1) 2009-2010: Pilot self-directed math. Not enough in love with school math to self-direct. 2) 2010-2011: Lab kids submit own curriculum for year. Even writing own curriculum compromises true curiosity. 3) 2011-2012: be you house kids sign up as independent study, declare learnings at end of year. Getting there, but not enough players. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 4) 2012-2013: Collaboratory frees up others in community. ?
Our findings(overall): 1) Ed/school could be about finding & facilitating the genius in each person. 2) Self-reflection/assessment appears to get at #1. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
more on the spaces we’re experimenting with…
the innovation labYear one, (2010-2011), the lab wasa physical space where kids couldgo to learn per passion. We arehoping that in year 2, people willsee that rather than a physicalspace, they themselves are theinnovation lab, to whatever degreethey choose. With this mindsetdispersing into the entire district,we envision a your school design it,your pd design it, community asschool, at the end of four years.(more on this in chapter 2)To be innovative is to be useful. Themost endearing innovations focuson an unmet deep human need.We are about creating spaces ofpermission, so that people canpractice and share their art.
the be you houseYear two, (2011-2012), the house is aphysical space mimicking the fluidity,transparency, malleability, and allure of theweb, eclectic, like the web, for the purposeof facilitating self-assessment. (Is the webgetting us back to a more humane stateperhaps, reminding us what it’s like to bealive?)A space of permission to be yourself.A space to jump start curiosity, imaginationand play, to enliven self-directed learning.A space encouraging mindfulness.A space modeling no child left behind (NCLB)redefined: a safe space of resources,including an alongside mentor.Besides currently showcasing a physical space to modelwhat a city could be like, when virtual and reality play togetherfor the good of people, we envision the be you house as an ongoing community detox center. As we free up morepeople in the city, we’re imagining many not knowing where to start. The be you house will be a space for just that.people in the house: Peter, be you house post [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Video tours of the house: begin being, house happenings, Linda posts on the housegoogleplex; google 20% space/modeling for everyone in the districtbooks: Kelly, What Tech Wants; Hawken, Blessed Unrest; Gansky, The Mesh; Godin, We Are All Weird
the pi labYear three, (2012), a conduit tocommunities of practice. A gatheringspace, on the ground, in the middle oftown, to crowdsource our city’sthinking and ideas and interests. Ameans to listen to and harvest andfacilitate what spaces and resourcesare needed for these gatherings perchoice, in order to make and keep ourcity healthy.Then to use that continually changinginformation to start to enliven spacesthat already exist and to free up andcontinue to free up people to be ableto gather per choice and do the thingsthat matter most to them.A physical space to prototype and model what a school district (a city) could be like, when the only difference is thatall gatherings are per choice.World Café to hear all voices, to harvest invisible expertsWalk Out Walk On, Wheatley & Frieze [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]Communities of practiceMore choices for teachers
the be us collaboratoryYear three, (2012), A gathering space, in the sky, in the middle of town, themiddle of the nation, to crowdsource our city’s thinking and ideas andinterests, along with and visible to, the world.Much like the pi lab, but with a window/door to the world.Practicing and experimenting with what tech wants, .. for us to connect.As described in Wheatley’s Walk Out Walk On, a space for the Art of Hosting,so that we can become us: •w/o core beliefs... without the why.. people just co-inhabit, they coexist.. •we only support what we create •to make a system healthier...we simply need to connect it more to itself •if we have a convo first ( hear each others stories) we discover one another as collaboratory colleagues •... start anywhere... follow it everywhere •we cant design anything that works if we dont have the whole system involved in its creation…that way we harvest invisible intelligence • people will give up role of master creator and move into the dance of life.. there is no alternative.. life insists we put ourselves in motion Art of Hosting, World Café, to hear all voices. Walk Out Walk On, Wheatley & Frieze Video on art of hosting
your school design itYear four, (2013-2014ish), city as school. Eachlearner/person eclectic within themselves,moving around the city, much like a universitycampus. City sharing resources and spaces.Using what we have. Sharing what we have.Harvesting invisible expertise. Ongoingcrowdsourcing of options and ideas andcuriosities. The community spaces alwaysmorphing to facilitate.Perhaps city as connected adjacency (smallexperimental lab) to state or country as weexperiment without compulsory standardizedtests, or seat time, or prescribed curriculum.Perhaps funding comes as Homeschoolersand Unschoolers see this as new spaces forthem to gather. Perhaps we experiment withfunding via census.A city as school, as university, as alive.Gathering per choice connect edPeople aware of options [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]City as floorplan – slidedeckbook: for the love of cities, Kageyama – with people in schools unleashed to play
faqWhat about social aspects of kids,..because they aren’t following the social norms. Facing people whocall them dropouts, etc.. Read Seth Godin’s We Are All Weird for incredible insight on societal norms andRead Kate Fridkis, among many, for insight into homeschooling/unschooling experiences.. Refer them toTebow.Also know, that whenever your doing things on the edge, people will question you. I’ve seen enoughresearch, and life experiences, and heard enough stories, to believe I’d rather live on the edge. So it’s almosta knowing that if I’m not being questioned.. maybe I’m not fully alive.What about getting into places..Take a look at these options, help tweak it and help educate other parents/people if you’d like. If still tooworried, may want to wait a year. Unis aren’t going to stay open, imo, if they don’t start offering moreoptions. Looks like we may get to experiment with local uni kids redefining uni.Can you just in time math..Funny.. that’s exactly why you don’t need it, it doesn’t show up. School math isn’t used by most people. If wewere learning mathematical thinking, we’d see a much bigger issue at hand. That we are spendingmoney/time/people on things with no return. If school math does show up in real context, only need to learnit once. Here’s one of many, just most recent. Learning/life is not linear, you can join in anywhere, nofoundation necessary. Think rhizome.What about structure? Structure is in everything. The difference is that we are facilitating structurecreated by the learner.. not pushed or forced on the learner.If you’re so inclined, take a look at what we have gathered over the years: faq . lauren
what can you do today? . • create spaces of permission for you to detox yourself (self- conversation/reflection/assessment), learn something, find a project you can’t not do, read (slides 6/7) • create spaces of permission for your kids (others), encourage them to notice the unlikely, or do detox (on youth voices even, or join/create cool spaces/ideas like this: http://myblocknyc [videos showcasing random experts on the block] and hOURschool [what do you want to teach/learn in your community] • create time, (while we’re still in the policy-ridden world), by experimenting with an authentic flipped classroom, not just flipping homework/classwork, but flipping mindset, who owns the learning. ie: our pilot math 3 yrs ago – told beginning of year - this is what you need to know, then said, the time is yours. how we started, what they came up with: cyclic grid. people are good at this, (ie: transformative assessment, w james popham, et al), just don’t call it a better way to learn, or claim it’s the best thing for the kids, acknowledge it as a game we’re playing to get to more freedom. • change the conversation in your community [ie: we need to get past talk of fixing a classroom, or making algebra more engaging] if so inclined, join in our weekly collaboratory convos as we turn our focus from be you. to be us. • imagine…
Take a listen, as Bunker Roy explains how credentialing could come from how well your community is doing. imagine a community such as mine, Loveland, CO. You, a university, or a CEO of a company, come to me today, asking if Peter is a good fit, if he’s worth consideration at your establishment. I say, most likely not. I explain to you, that currently, Loveland has 400+ charitable organizations, so one would think we wouldn’t be dealing with homelessness, our county wouldn’t be 6th in the nation in suicide rate, etc. I say, I wonder what the heck has Peter been doing, letting that happen in his community. imagine you come to me a year from now. Loveland no longer has 400+ charitable organizations, but rather, one kitchen table. They have connected. They engage in ongoing conversations, conversations that matter. They’ve freed people who were homeless up to take care of their own situation. Because they question how we spend our days, health has improved, people start to believe they matter, the suicide rate has gone down…. And now, now I say to you, … yes, Peter. Peter is perfect. Whether or not he helped to change our community for good, he has been living in it. He’s associated and with people that are free and are practicing their art. Peterq u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] [a is gold. Peter is indispensable. bob
click to play trailerThere are no replica thumb prints. That is discrimination to infinity.When we facilitate that, prejudice will decrease. What the world needs most, is people being themselves. People driven byu t i which they [a q u i e t r e v o l that o n] can’t not do.
elevator pitch?… be you. Trying to define anything beyond that compromises the culture w/in each person. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
what’s next?… be us. Systems are never a result of geography.. systems arise because people choose to affiliate. [a q u i e t r e -vMeg Wheatley o l u t i o n]
connect. .If people don’t learn how to learn… we’re just really in trouble. - Mimi Ito [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
We noticed a lot of people are stressed.We dreamt of a day, where instead, people would, at the end of each day, have happysouls, affording the world to be at peace.We connected to others who felt the same. We connected to our own souls. Weconnected ideas: spaces of permission, where no one has to prove themselves, where weall just assume good, might be all we need; all the people/time/money/resources/etc heldup in, or trying to fix, schools could perhaps be put toward enlivening a city instead; …We’re doing what matters to us. This, us, an experiment, that will never be finished, neverbe perfect, but it’s better today than it was yesterday.We’re opening up the doors, ..you come too. talk (listen) to yourself - detox share spaces – city as floorplan be. connect – interdependency t r e v o l u t i o n] [a q u i e facilitate curiosity – mentor alongside talk (listen) to others – culture of trust