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]
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