Thinking on space (physical, emotional, mental) .. Our first week in the Lab, August 2010, the kids were skyping with James Bach. They were already deep into the issue of homelessness and wanted to know his insight on how to solve it. His answer set the stage for the rest of the year. James ‘ reply was that you can’t solve it by thinking you can manage people. Sustainable change begs choice.
He said the best you can do is provide the resources they would need to help themselves, let them know you care, and then rather than try to manage them, be available to them, along side them. James suggested the city with resource buildings rather than schools…. would move a community toward a healthier means to learning/living. *Our brilliant friend Adam Burk has helped clarify verbiage with his great insight in this matter. Community as school could change the systems that are persistently producing conditions for poverty to thrive. Which we thought sounded great. And started to imagine how that could play out. How we could call that school.. While listening to the convo – Sugata Mitra kept ringing in my ears. His success – he provided the resources and left for 3 months at a time.
Thinking on space (physical, emotional, mental) .. The conversation gyrated back and forth, as did almost every other conversation throughout the year, between a specific situation (this time homelessness) and redefining school. After noticing the similarities of a literal homeless person and a figurative homeless student in a classroom, they jumped to how we could then help (provide resources, get out of the way, be available) to make the time we spend together during the day facilitate more self-directed, rich, passion led learning through an interdependent status. While listening to the convo – Sugata Mitra kept ringing in my ears. His success – he provided the resources and left for 3 months at a time. play Aimee explaining NY’s interdependent status for teens
So what exactly are we facilitating? What matters most – to an individual/community And how do we facilitate that? Redefining NCLB – to create an ideal family situation for each student. Declaration of Interdependence (1-1 people), and beyond Is this 1-1 idea a ridiculous match up? Dennis Littky ran into that question when they started The Met , in Providence, RI. Finding that Providence had over 500000 adult works and 40000 hs students helped ease the doubt. 20 characteristics of and from unschoolers
Corey’s take on a ridiculous match up… Don’t let yourself off the hook with excuses. It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true. The perfect time never arrives. -Rework click to play Or is it now?..
Deb Roy shares with us the web’s capabilities to help with the ridiculous click to play – speech/feedback loops 6:56 to 7:55 Especially see 12:25 –13:37 on looking globally, semantic analysis, finding links
It can be as simple as talking or as complicated as the web. our choice. every moment. All we need to do is…
1-to-1 Not so much about laptops, rather, people. Learner to mentor. Interdependency And beyond 10 yr old in the Lab working on a program for this.. match.com idea. Larimer County: Employees: 164,965 page 14&15 Unemployeed: 11,391
1-to-1 about One of the biggest mistakes we made the last two years was in thinking the primary 1-1 relationship could be virtual. We made me-videos in order to search for expert individual tutors. We got some amazing volunteers. While a few did connect, we didn’t see any substantial mentorships developing. (Albeit, none were really based on passion, so not a fair analysis.) We thought that would be resolved this year, when passion was the driver of the learner. However, the virtual pairing still wasn’t happening as we envisioned. (Due to scheduling time zones, and district system blocks – specifically skype on a mac.) We still believe this idea of virtual mentors/connections is key to a paradigm shift. But we were missing a key element for making this successful to a person. For now, especially in k-12, we’re thinking, at least one connection needs to be face to face.
What we’ve found and believe to be true, is that if a person is known by someone who cares about them, their changes of being the best person they can be increases. If a person is known by someone who cares about them, and holds similar interests, their chances of being the best person they can be increases greatly. The Interdependence (1-1 people), and beyond, we are talking about could do just that. .
1-to-1 Results from the Harvard Mentoring Project, 2001, after they randomly paired 1100 4th-9th graders in 70+ schools around the country:
Many of these kids probably did better in school simply because they appreciated someone taking an interest in them. - Sir Ken Robinson, The Element Notice this is an increase in school participation, not per a learner’s interest … we’re thinking this differentiation is key.
Again… what we’ve found and believe to be true, is that if a person is known by someone who cares about them, their changes of being the best person they can be increases. If a person is known by someone who cares about them, and holds similar interests, their chances of being the best person they can be increases greatly. .
1-to-1 At the very least, good mentoring raises self-esteem and sense of purpose. But mentoring takes an elevated role for people when it involves directing or inspiring their search for *the Element. - Sir Ken Robinson, The Element *the Element: meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion. Doing the thing you love, and in doing it you feel like your most authentic self.
The web can help us create serendipity so that we can facilitate mentors such as this.. click to play If we want to seriously consider a world of equity and redefine the motto of No Child Left Behind we should be facilitating, at the very least, 1-1 relationships such as this, for those who don’t have access to it at home or don’t have a home, as we work on freeing up parents from whatever is holding them back. Deb, a parent in the Lab, just emailed me her very first post about this very thing.
Possible web of interactions, with the mentor, with the world, in the making of you. click here to go to actual doc
Which leads to the beyond … now truly seeing the potential of connections via the web we’ve not really experienced before.
1-to-1 beyond more ridiculous match up The web can allow us to create serendipity when we gather in a room. Imagine freeing up to 70% of class time that is often spent on classroom management. Imagine no need for all the programs and initiatives to get kids (teachers) motivated, engaged. Imagine no more cutting teachers that are making a difference.
1-to-1 beyond more ridiculous match up Imagine who’s together in a room being per choice. [Rheingold/Shareski interview] Uni’s have used ratemyprofessors for years, because many professors are hired to do research, not to teach. So some sought protection from paying for a class with a professor who is not really interested in teaching. Imagine if we used this type of match up for good. This would give teachers/professors insight on what’s working, what kids are a good match for them. This would give kids insight into what teachers/styles would be best for them. And these decisions would be being made with their mentor(s) – not just a whim. From our research, for every kid that likes/dislikes a teacher or a style, there is typically a match for the opposite opinion. And beyond. Let’s bring people together per choice.
What if many of the health care problems can be solved simply by increased authentic relationships and increased authentic work? notice
How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip, and compulsive cell-phone use, simply because we don't do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is calling us to? 70-80% of people Dr's see - has nothing to do with health issues - Steven Pressfield, The War of Art notice
Dignity. Health. Joy. Love. Hope. The five things we wanted to spread while we were in Africa. We wanted the people there to experience all of the above but we were unaware and oblivious that we were experiencing all of it as well. Do they live in poverty? Politically, yes. They suffer from not having nearly as much things as we have. When I spent two weeks in Africa, the people there had more joy and more love than I have ever witnessed anyone have. I envied them. Are we in poverty? We’re missing something. It may not be toys or cars or giant houses. But it’s something. Needs? Relationships? Something. notice - Megan
What if most of what we do on a daily basis, is actually getting in the way? What if we took more time to know someone? What if the best medicine is to be known by someone? Ellen Langer, along with others I’m sure, has done extensive research on mindfulness, and how it plays out in every area of our lives. The simple act of noticing could change the room, the world, … even you. notice
There are more resources in an institutional setting.. people and things. Let’s focus on that. What if we provide resources.. and let people design their own school?
A new paradigm shift. The future… is sharing. The Mesh, Lisa Gansky Getting to the heart of the matter begs a … to deck for culture of trust
In finding hunger, in unleashing people, we found it best to deliberately not teach. Girls self-directing themselves in Spanish, after experiencing the pilot (self-directed) math the previous year, came to the conclusion that they felt more empowered in a space where the adult had no specific expertise to what they were trying to learn. They found, this wasn’t about no structure, but rather about self-structure. click to playif snipsnip fails, 3:40-4:18 click to play:09-:32
Thinking on space (physical, emotional, mental) .. A bit of history – (cont) Something about agendas, expected outcomes, proven methods, can keep us from delightful possibilities, from owning the learning. (click to play)
In trying to facilitate passion within expected curriculum, (actually anything already offered in the district), we found compromise in that inner drive. For example: Thinking on space (physical, emotional, mental) .. A bit of history – (cont) We tried to get Gabe to like math, through his connection with skateboarding. Even though we had the most incredible tutor, working with him. The design of the board didn’t work. The physics of the movement didn’t work. We need to let kids like Gabe work from the inside out. This could take time. We could look lazy. We need time and trust if we want this to last, to matter. If we want to find hunger. Gabe is gifted and talented. We just haven’t unleashed him yet. Gabe is not alone.
Community as a school: What we found, in order for this to work, self-directed, self-owned learning, school needs to be life, period. Kids need to be working on health, budget, environmental issues, etc, … per their passion, rather than us trying to fit any project/inquiry into the tidy and safe box we call standards or curriculum. We need to trust that what matters will show up. From Edutopia: For college ready use PBL school as life ..three factors that support the success of a young person: A solid relationship with an adult mentor, such as a parent, priest, teacher, or coach; A sense of mastery that develops An internal sense of meaning and purpose Perhaps better to say:For life ready use 1-1, PBL as we know it, …on steroids. Interdependency and beyond
Doing what has been considered standard doesn’t equate with success anymore. We need to be freeing kids up to be themselves. Giving them space to fail. Showing them we trust learning. That it is that fascinating and alluring. Lucas with a CSU student talking about space and permission to be.
Thinking on space (physical, emotional, mental) .. The making of a dream. A bit of history – (cont) Like we were learning/understanding about homeless people, and would later learn from student experience in the Lab, you really can do anything you want, but you have to want it. So we were beginning to see how a plan to redefine school really could change the world. We were beginning to see that if we could facilitate each person’s passion by providing resources and a sense of belonging through a culture of trust, with at the least a 1-1, face to face mentor, and permission and space to follow your fancy… guided, if need be, through detox… …well, we were beginning to see that this really could happen. Little could be huge. Amateur could be pro. Poor could be rich.
Thinking on space (physical, emotional, mental) .. The making of a dream. A bit of history – (cont) The crazy notion that each kid could essentially have their own self-made plan, allowed us to envision the entire community as one school. Visions from the previous year of the library being the hubof the school …. … morphed into the idea of the highschool buildings becoming the hubs, or the resource centers, for the entire town. The town as one big school. Like a uni campus. Resources, lectures halls, science labs, art hall, engineering hall, everything/everyone is available – per choice. click to hear original Lab description
The beauty of becoming yourself, making yourself, noticing more and being more mindful, is that it empowers you to let go of yourself. You start working for that something bigger than… … that something beyond. You start needing others. You start knowing others. You find yourself dreaming. Dreaming boldly. So now, in sketching such spaces of collaboration, we’re using YOUmedia as an existing visual. We’re thinking the only way the following floor plan can happen is if each person has, at the very least a declaration of interdependence. Dream boldly with us. Let’s start today. What’s next… is now.
the Lab: Imagination & Play Pre K-5: vast exposure through games, logic, programming, … dabbling with mentors other than parents 6-8 focus: ongoing exposure, solidifying mentors, working on small personal network Design/prototypes: i&p , be you web, and Patchwork Create a space to house our best resources for the arts. Create a space to house our best resources for engineering. 9-12 – quasi college – Design/prototypes: the Met, detox, and your school design it 12+ - quasi career Design/prototypes: Cathy Davidson, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke Teachers– google 20% as learners, Teacherpreneurs Your pd design it
over the next year. This is a rough sketch of the buildings in our town, the colored ones part of our vision...
Existing buildings morph into resource centers, meeting spaces, with specialty buildings shared by the community.. over the next 3 years.
Facilitated per 1-1 mentors and rateyourprofessors.com type matching. Our vision last year for world school – beyond face to face Pre-k through 8th – exposure - design via i&p , be you web, and Patchwork 9-12 – quasi college – design via the Met, your school design it 12+ - quasi career - design via John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke Over the next 3 years…
Not so far off. Not so ridiculous. So many are already doing cool things… let’s just start calling it all school. Let’s use the 650 bill for that, not have to wait for the weekend, or after 3 or the summer.. We can’t even keep up with all the innovations/learnings/etc: Luma and the Independent Project and … and … We just need to make sure we don’t pigeon-hole. Which we all want to do once we find something cool. [How do you think the curriculum was founded?] We need to focus on: nothing is for everyone. We’re thinking the glue is: Some process for learning how to learn, such as detox. So that everyone is left hungry for more, and knowing how to feed that hunger in the future. The process of knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do, being usefully ignorant, as second nature. Some means to facilitate the craziness of differentiating to infinity. Declaration of interdependence with 1-1 mentors and beyond. School/prof/project per choice with a type of rateyourprof local match ups.
FAQ : What about those that don’t want to learn when given the choice? - Academy kids were most excited - 1-1 mentors will be our safety net, homeless, literal/figurative - interdependency What if I like class? - refer to CONNECTed – there will be classes – it will just be the ones that choose to be there.. - maybe 5-10 who get together for a city project - and they hire out a teacher, etc How did this all start? - lot’s of things but this in particular What about the basics? - our best, most concise answer we give up to the Brooklyn Free School - current thoughts on basics: web access, esp to wikipedia, more so the more we share there a culture of trust embedded in a community both local and virtual simple. certainly not cake. we can’t not.
previously slides are one story deck of the narrative deck: The entire narrative deck can be accessed here.. Or you can go to the next slide to access another story deck…
as story 4-39: mindset - the skinny 40-79: redefining success: school as a business … community as a school 43-49: the dandelion effect 50-53: is respect for every voice a part of your soul 54-63: we don’t need more resources, we just need to be more resourceful : on health & wealth 64-72: Joi Ito as an exemplar – nothing is for everyone 73-79: declaration of interdependence - as glue 80-89: findings in failings : history (deliberately not teaching, homeless analogy) : detox (process/what, unpacking/why, doing/how) 90-95: vision/floorplan 96-97: connected adjacency 98: suggested book reads 99: faq 100-111: mindset Suggestion per parents, if you were only going to look at 2 things: slide 31 and detox. just out: awakening indispensable people via videos warning – poor quality – ieslidedeck with voice