What I’ve Learned Since Writing Wounded By School Kirsten Olson 10.17.12 Prepared for Steve Hargadon interviewhttp://www.stevehargadon.com/2012/10/wednesday- live-kirsten-olson-on-wounded.html
Message was originallyembargoed, dangerous. Now much more accepted.
• Joel Klein: “No one says K-12 is doing a great job.” (September 2012, Harvard Graduate School of Education)
Fundamental Problem Still Unsolved• School toxic to many individuals in it-- children and adults• Resource-wasteful, time-sucking, personally destructive• Turns people off to learning• Systems completely outmoded, ﬂoundering
Pockets of brilliance all over the country• Self-Enhancement Academy in Portland, OR• Minnesota New Country School, Henderson MN• NYC iSchool• Urban Academy NYC• Big Picture School, South Burlington VT
How do we put this brilliance together?• Organizing• Showcasing• Reclaiming the “values” conversation• What is the moral purpose of school?
IDEA Values (For School)• Courage/Bravery• Justice• Open-mindedness• Love of learning• Capacity for perspective-taking• Compassion
3 Big Paradoxes•Pleasure of learning...will lead us to dotough intellectualstuff
2. As “education” becomes untetheredfrom school, place andcommunity will matter more
3. We need to invest more in community/”place” (humans learn incommunity) in face of worldwide learning
1. Sector transformation won’t be a one-way, but dozens of ways• “Here comes everybody”• Grown in communities• Grown out of core values and what we think makes life meaningful• A “meteor shower” not a blacksmith’s anvil
2. Learning really is rocket science• Every brain is different• Brain incredibly plastic• Profoundly inﬂuenced by emotion, context of learning• Explosion of neurobiological knowledge also explodes old-fashioned school
3. State control of content will diminish• Yet commitment to places of caring for young people should increase• Radical redeﬁnition of role of “teacher”• We will increasingly teach/model/coach how to learn
4. “Choice” masks cynical individualism• Market solutions privilege the already privileged• Reclaim the moral commitment to children/young adults• Make the moral conversation part of the discourse• Caring is cool, caring is effective
Educational centers become• Places of hospitality, community “hearths”• Places of intellectual exploration• Places of inspiration and positivity• Places of creativity and perspective-taking• Focus on what is best in human beings