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[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
attribution:
I once read a
response from
some famous
person, after
she was once
again
applauded for
her ideas.
She wrote
about
how much more
it would mean
to her if rather
than thanking
her and telling
her how great
her ideas were,
people would
live out
those
ideas.
I like that.
We are living
out
your
ideas.
It’s so difficult to
attribute people,
when so many
influence you daily.
If you hear your
words, as many of
you will, know we
admire your art, your
vision, to set people
free. Free to be, to
notice, to dream, to
connect, and to do
what matters most.
A book is unattributable. -
Deleuz & Guattari
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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 & design:
A bit of insight into the book layout:
Thomas, who introduced us to Ivan Illich, starts us off with a
compelling forward.
Amanda focuses us on story.
Our table of contents was crying out to be non-linear, so we let it.
The rhizomatic model, that Mary Ann shares so beautifully,
reflecting her son’s learning, and Leslie shares so poignantly,
reflecting her own heart’s song, describes the essence of what we
have been prototyping. We hail Dave’s voice as expert.
We end each chapter with a short summary, a perspective from
youth, and one from parents. The five chapters represent five elements
we believe could scale this experiment across for anyone anywhere.
Next, a glossary-type communication effort, hoping to paint a
clearer picture of what we’re experimenting with.
And then, the begin being provides a bit of background of some of
the players. We want to point out though, that this is everyone, and
happening everywhere. It’s not about us, it’s about all of us.
We hope you find this as intriguing
and invigorating as we have. We hope
you believe, or begin to believe, with
each concept that might seem
ridiculous or risky, that the greater risk
is an ever perpetuating assumption,
that we are playing it safe.
This plan is encompassing and
obscure by design. It can be difficult
to take in. It may appear too simple,
or too complex. The goal of these
printed words is to share a short,
zoom out version. By doing so, we
hope that it’s easier to see how
each part is connected and vital.
Pictures, videos, and links are added
for further understanding. We tried
to write so that they are not
needed, link into them only as your
curiosity begs.
We don’t think any of this is new or
necessarily insightful, but perhaps
the combination is. Perhaps just
doing it is.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
forward:
We are seeking the
brilliance of the human
mind through freedom of
the human spirit. We’re
respectfully calling into
question our current
(seemingly blind, deaf,
and mute) allegiance to
our system of education
based on publicly
prescribed learning.
This book is a catalyst for mutative
change in our educational system.
To this end, be you is a living
artifact of sorts that represents
the oral histories, deep narratives,
research and ongoing movement
of real humans; their hopes,
dreams, disruptions and
unshackled praxis. Be you dares to
look critically at modern education
in form and function while also
offering resilient working examples
of resilient learning ecologies.
- Thomas Steele-Maley
This prescribed learning was
not crafted with ill intent, but
has undoubtedly sustained a
crippling dependency, an
addiction, at a global level.
Social change can and will
happen if we but question the
existence of the prescription
itself rather than continue our
efforts to improve its
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,
Deschooling Society, 1972
free ebook
or free audio
-high recommend
also Illich’s Tools for Conviviality
p o s s i b l e
t r a n s l a t i o n :
Rather than trying to motivate youth to learn our common
core curriculum through shiny things, like gaming, or fancy
technology, or the latest tools, or project based learning,
etc, let’s call into question our presumption that we must
teach certain things. Let’s 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.
Amanda on the
importance of story,
our story:
rhizome is what
the hero brings
to us.
it is a way of
learning that
allows us to get
out of our rows
of chairs.
the beginning
middle and
end
is our hero's
journey from
disenchantment,
lost faith, to the
seed of
possibility that is
sprouting.
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)
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 to
be happier. The boy obliged. And obliged. And obliged.
Parts of the boy started to die.
the middle is the awakening. the detoxing. passion connecting to passion. (the hero's
challenge. what we overcome. our bravery. our strength.)
.
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 which
problems are problems, aren’t boding us well.
story:
The world was very noisy, and very busy, and very
stressed. The world couldn’t see that the boy was dying.
One day, a man heard the boy crying and asked what was
wrong. The boy told the man that he had lost himself,
somewhere. The man leaned in. He hugged the boy.
the end is connecting. integrating. (bringing it from the singular to the we. the
community as classroom. our inspiration. our why.)
Once connected by their embrace, the man noticed the
boy. This made the man weep. He longed to be the boy,
himself, again. He wondered if he could. And the
wondering, woke him up. He began being. He became
himself. The man was very curious. Again. The man’s
curiosity took him everywhere. And the man was happy.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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]
How to set people free:
Create physical and mental spaces of permission,
where people can be themselves,
where they can find and craft their art,
where they don’t have to prove themselves,
where they are driven by wanted stress & structure,
where they can gather with others, per choice,
to do things that matter.
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
frees them up to focus on knowing their child. This knowledge allows them to
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.
why
Setting people free,
to be themselves.
how
Creating (physical & mental)
spaces of permission.
what
Soul peace
unleashes brilliant minds/art.
start
with
why
be you.
The first two years have been a
true disruptive innovation,
where we were working in the
shadows, in incubation,
testing and prototyping and
failing and learning.
We experimented with spaces
where people could tap into
their own genius, their own art.
Spaces free of proof,
credentialing, measurement.
We were seeking ways to
facilitate self-directed learning.
Our findings are not new.
Practicing them, however will
require a change in mindset.
It will require a culture of trust,
with (mental and physical)
spaces of permission.
Our findings via prototyping of this story …
why
Setting communities free,
to share themselves.
how
Creating (physical & mental)
spaces of trusting/giving.
what
World peace
allows for gatherings that matter,
per choice.
start
with
why
be us.
The second (one) two years’ focus
will be more on community, how
do we become us. This necessitates
more visibility, a coming out phase.
We are finding out what types of
gathering spaces our community
wants, needs, believes in, most.
This phase will be heavy on the art
of conversation. How do we listen
to each other without an agenda
on an ongoing basis. Web access
has shown us the value of
connection and ways to better
connect with the invisible, and the
silent, globally. We plan to use that
insight and tech to better listen to
each other, locally. We believe, for
any type of thriving sustainability to
happen within a community,
we must create, be, together.
Our ongoing vision of this story playing out…
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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 be
or what to be, we’re just creating that free space, once again. That space of 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.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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:
rhizome
It is an unbearably hot day as my
husband, son and I slowly motor
home to New Jersey from
Washington D.C. From the back of
the car I can hear my son talking
and I turn and see him hunkered
down in the seat, wearing
headphones and holding his phone
in one hand.
Who are you talking to?
Tom.
Tom?
Yeah, Tom from London.
‘Tom from London’ is a 13-year old
who plays Minecraft on my 12-
year-old son's server. He and a
dozen boys, ranging from 9- to 15-
years-old from North America,
Europe, Australia, and Asia, are
avid Minecraft players on the
server.
We are Pando: Rhizomatic Learning
Mary Ann Reilly also see her Lines of Flight and The Familiar Falling Away
Their play represents a contrasting
way to think about learning from
what is offered as usual fare at
schools. James Gee and Elizabeth
Hayes (2011) might classify the
boys’ play as an example of a
passionate affinity space where
“people organize themselves in
the real world and/or via the
Internet (or a virtual world) to
learn something connected to a
shared endeavor, interest, or
passion” (p. 69).
I think of passionate affinity spaces
as rhizomatic and want to suggest
that such learning offers us an
alternative to schooling. A
rhizome, the horizontal stem of a
plant, usually found underground,
sends out roots and shoots, each
of which can be self-sustaining.
Margie Driscoll (2004) defines rhizome
as:
a tangle of tubers with no
apparent beginning or end. It
constantly changes shape, and
every point in it appears to be
connected with every other
point (p. 389).
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Now think about the boys and their play. They hail
from across the globe and horizontally connect with
one another in this passionate affinity space where
they learn deeply.
For more than a decade, I have been considering how
the rhizome might function as metaphor and model
for education. The traditional view of education
situates schooling as a function of transference of
expert-determined content from teacher to student.
U.S. school systems tend to rely on hierarchy as the
privileged school organization method used to
distribute content and pedagogical practices, most
often in the form of sanctioned programs developed
by external experts and then purchased for teachers
who are told to transfer the content to students.
In contrast a rhizomatic learning community is a fluid
collective where participants dwell in the middle of
things and where learning emerges informed by a
blend of explicit and tacit knowledge. In conceiving of
rhizomatic learning, it helps to think of learners
resembling a sea of "middles,” who are continuously
formed and reformed based on alliances determined
by needs, interests, directions, questions,
redirections, assessments, and commitments. Unlike
the design of many traditional schools, a rhizomatic
learning space is based on joining and rejoining.
In rhizomatic learning, thinking resembles the
tangle of roots and shoots, both broken and whole.
Problem framing and decision-making rest with all
learners. Again, Driscoll’s description of rhizomatic
learning is important. She writes:
Break the rhizome anywhere and the only effect is
that new connections will be grown. The rhizome
models the unlimited potential for knowledge
construction, because it has no fixed points…and no
particular organization (p. 389).
Historically, when confronted with student
achievement concerns, there has been a tendency
to tighten control in an effort to increase learning
largely because what has counted as knowing has
been limited to a perceived ‘set’ body of content.
Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011)
describe this learning :
…as a series of steps to be mastered, as if students
were being taught how to operate a machine or even,
in some cases, as if the students themselves were
machines being programmed to accomplish tasks.
The ultimate endpoint of a mechanistic perspective is
efficiency: the goal is to learn as much as you can, as
fast as you can (Thomas & Brown, Location 327 of
2399).
tacit
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
In this mistaken schema, knowledge has been
consistently situated as stable—as that which
can be listed in a set of standards and given to
teachers to transfer.
But we know that knowledge is not stable
(Schon, 1983; Thomas & Brown, 2011). Thomas
and Brown state, "[m]aking knowledge stable in
a changing world is an unwinnable game”
(Location 503 of 2399). Knowledge actually
has never been stable, but given the disruptive
power of the Internet, what counts as
knowledge is a shifting matter that is more
easily recognized, especially by those holding
power whose concept of knowing in the past
was often situated as truth. One only has to
think of the Great Chain of Being to understand
how the sanctity of knowing was often a matter
of power.
In contrast to such certainty, Thomas and
Brown posit that there is a new culture of
learning informed by
a massive information network that
provides almost unlimited access and
resources to learn about anything…[and]
a bounded and structured environment
that allows for unlimited agency to build
and experiment with things within these
boundaries (Location 63 of 2399).
This new culture of learning is inherently
rhizomatic as it orients itself horizontally,
not vertically, requiring us to value tacit
knowledge. Tacit knowledge--knowing more
than one can tell--requires a decidedly
different type of learning environment than
what is currently favored at school where
knowledge transfer is the privileged
method. Tacit knowledge is not acquired
from other; it requires learning through
mind, body and senses and is facilitated by
experimentation and inquiry.
For gamers, like my son, experimentation
and inquiry are the methods most often
employed when solving design and game-
based problems. For the last several months
I have been researching the learning that
takes place inside my son’s Minecraft play
with his on-line friends. Five dominant
learning trends have emerged out of this
rhizomatic environment and one societal
insight.
convo
play
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
1.
Play matters and is a means by which learners
come to know their relationship to others. The
learning that happens between and among the
boys is play-based and informed by their interest in
experimenting and imagining. For example, my son
developed a vending machine in Minecraft.
Originally the buyer would place a coin in the
machine and would receive however many items
as s/he wanted. This proved to be a bit impractical
and over time rather dull and with the help of
another player, my son modified the idea so that
one coin would get a player one item. This idea
was later modified again so that the player would
also get his coin returned along with the item.
To make these alterations required changing the
wiring so that the machine reset after the item was
delivered and that the delivery of the new item
and the return of the coin were synchronized.
Making these changes happen required
playfulness, not linearity. As my son explained, “I
had to fool around a bit and test out ways to make
the pressure plate work. I couldn’t see how it
would be possible.” When I asked him why he
would return the coin to the player, he said that he
didn’t want to exclude anyone from playing.
Whereas everyone on the server had some coin
they could use, not all had the same. “I wanted
them to make a commitment by playing a coin, but
I didn’t want to take their coins. We’re friends.”
2.
Sustained conversation represents the
dominant method for inquiry and is suggestive
of the boys’ emerging sense of agency. My son
engages in sustained conversations via Skype
with the other players in order to brainstorm,
innovate, find multiple solutions, complete
tasks, hypothesize, and engage in play. Talk is
important and in the horizontal world of game
playing, it is not limited to or controlled by a
teacher. John Goodlad (2004) reported in his
research about schools that teachers “out-
talked the entire class of students three to
one” (p. 229). Central to these learners’
Minecraft play is the sense of agency they
possess.
Thomas and Brown (2011) explain, "unlike
traditional notions of learning which position
the learner as a passive agent of reception,
the aporia/epiphany structure of play makes
the player's agency central to the learning
process. How one arrives at the epiphany is
always a matter of the tacit. The ability to
organize, connect, and make sense of things is
a skill characteristic of a deep engagement
with the tacit and the process of indwelling"
(Location 1381 of 2399).
choice
spaces
players
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
3.
The players participate in
collaborative knowledge-making
(Cormier, 2008) in which they
share screens, work in tandem,
continue and revise one another’s
tentative ideas in an effort to solve
design problems and complete
tasks. Engaging in trial and error,
experimenting, making use of on-
line and off-line resources, and
altering established models are
some of the ways the boys
accomplish game-based tasks.
Interestingly when I ask my son
how something in the game came
to be he is unable to attribute it to
a single player.
The knowledge produced does not
belong to one person, but rather is
composed collectively. Dave
Cormier (2008) explains,
"rhizomatic model of learning…is
not driven by predetermined
inputs from experts; it is
constructed and negotiated in real
time by the contributions of those
engaged in the learning process"
(np).
4.
These rhizomatic learning
spaces the boys inhabit are
inherently native to their own
ground even as they involve
learners from across vast
geographic spaces.
Membership in the game
shifts and changes across time
and expertise is not
determined by social markers
such as age, race, or
credentials—although gender
does seem to be a condition
presently. As learners work
alone, in pairs, small groups,
and large collectives--new
alliances form and break.
The boys’ game playing
represents a rhizomatic map;
an open possibility that is:
“detachable, reversible,
susceptible to constant
modification. It can be torn,
reversed, adapted, to any kind
of mounting, reworked by an
individual, group, or social
formation” (Deleuze &
Guattari, 2002, p.12).
5.
The players choose to participate in
hard work each and every day. They set
tasks to be completed and establish
timelines to do so. As Jane McGonigal
(2011) reports: “Games make us happy
because they are hard work that we
choose for ourselves” (p. ). Choice
matters and learning is fun, although
sadly most of the boys do not seem to
characterize their play in the games as
learning. The exception to this is the
boy from Canada.
6.
Game play leads to developing novel
products in the virtual world that could
have implications in the actual world.
For example, a few months after my
son viewed images I had made in
Camden, NJ of partially demolished and
boarded buildings, he showed me a
self-repairing bridge and building he
had designed in Minecraft. He
suggested that if infrastructures such as
buildings and bridges could self-repair,
then people living in urban areas where
poverty and societal neglect have
dominated the landscape would be
able to live in better conditions.
learn?
what
did
you
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
When I ask my son what he has been learning
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
exchange for money to pay for the server; how
to explain an installation process of mods to
others; how to create a mod; how to anticipate
a partner’s play in a game; how to build a
structure with someone not in the same room;
how to imagine a place and build it; how to
give and take ideas; how to make mistakes in
order to progress in a game; how to build a
design based on someone’s idea; how to
script; how to model; how to resolve social
problems when they arise; how to use
resources, online and offline, to guide building;
how to make games inside of games; how to
make films and upload them to YouTube; and
how to narrow the focus of a film. During this
learning, the boys are also learning about one
another: siblings, where they live, currency,
geography, food, politics, and all things
Minecraft.
My son is adamant that this playing is not
learning.
It's not like school, he tells me repeatedly.
Sadly, I think he's right.
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
work hard and learn deeply? Continuing the current
push by federal and state governments for increased
school standardization is not an answer. An important
shift needs to occur in order for the tight grip of school
standardization to be loosened. Thomas and Brown
(2011) identify three critical dimensions of learning:
knowing, making, and playing. Such learning is
antithetical to standardization.
We need alternatives to the traditional method of
industrial schooling.
As we begin to name alternative learning experiences,
such as passionate affinity spaces, as viable learning--
the idea of school as the de facto response to the
question--“How do we educate children?”--will be
challenged.
Certainly, there have been alternatives to traditional
school raised and offered in the past. What makes
these times different is that in the past, it was difficult,
if not improbable, to connect innovators who were
challenging the status quo of schooling. That is not the
case today. Mass can be built by connecting those of us
offering alternatives. Connecting with one another is
rhizomatic.
connect
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
So it is not a single reform method that is being offered. We
have been too long trying to find a single reform. Rather, to
disrupt the established power of schooling requires a long tail
revolution. 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
and markets) at the head of the demand curve and
toward a huge number of niches in the tail.
As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially
online, there is now less need to lump products and
consumers into one-size-fits-all containers.
It's not about offering the reform answer, but rather remaining
in the middle where connections can be made and remade.
It's about each of us doing great work, not work that needs to
be replicated, but rather work that is unique, native to its own
ground. The challenge is to know we are there and to connect
our work.
To connect great work is an antidote to mass standardization.
Leveraging social media to share stories and work, to try on
tentative ideas, and to establish patterns are all critical.
Connecting and showcasing the small triumphs that alone may
feel insubstantial, yet together represents a mass.
This is the work before each of us. On my own, I am one
person. Alongside you, I am Pando*, a rhizomatic triumph.
Works Cited:
Anderson, Chris. (2004). The theory of the long tail. Retrieved on July
27, 2011 from: http://www.squidoo.com/longtail .
Cormier, Dave. (2008). “Rhizomatic education: Community as
curriculum.” Retrieved on 2.28.11 from
http://davecormier.com/edblog/2008/06/03/rhizomatic-education-
community-as-curriculum/ .
Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix. (2002). A thousand plateaus:
Capitalism and schizophrenia. London: Continuum.
Driscoll, Marcy P. (2004). Psychology of Learning and Instruction, 3rd
Edition. Allyn & Bacon.
Goodlad, John. (1984). A place called school. New York: McGraw-Hill.
McGonigal, Jane. (2011). Reality is broken: Why games make us better
and how they can change the world. New York: Penguin Press.
Schön, Donald. (1983). The reflective practitioner: how professionals
think in action. New York: Basic Books.
Thomas, Doug & John Seely Brown. (2011). A new culture of learning:
Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Create
Space: Kindle.
*Pando: Also known as the Trembling Giant, Pando is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen located in Utah. Each genetically-identical individual tree
(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 collectively weighs
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
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Take a listen to Leslie, aka @onepercentyellow,
if you’d like
to get more of a taste and color
and visual of rhizomatic learning,
how it is happening, has been
happening, 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.
purposeful play liberates from passivity.
community as curriculum.
-Leslie
Dave Cormier himself ...
explaining
rhizomatic learning.
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
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
ch. 1
conversation
with self
Imagine a mental space of permission, where no one is measuring or labeling you. A space to talk to yourself, question
yourself, become yourself. Pause. Breathe. Swim in vulnerability. Practice the art of self-reflection -- am I doing what
matters? Imagine, how we could change a space, a country, a person, if we focused on self-assessment rather than any
standardized assessment.
Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
Strip the layers/toxins we tend to burry ourselves in.
Detox. Get back to what matters, a natural state..
of curiosity.
(rhizomatic learning)
w
h
y
w
h
y
?
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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.)
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
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.
[for more on normality take a listen to: normal – why & what, or read Seth Godin’s We Are All Weird
change the conversation?
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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.
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.
s
e
l
f
-
r
e
f
l
e
c
t
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.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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’s 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
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 (passion plus persistence).
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.
people
+
why
=
c
h
o
i
c
e
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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 truly
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.
Enlivened people crave creative ways to share or expose their ideas, their code, their
tacit knowledge, their art. This energy unleashes adjacent possibilities. As more are
freed up to play, we become robust communities of practice (happy people).
a
l
i
v
e
p
e
o
p
l
e
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?
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
do we change the conversation?
v
i
d
e
o
speed
read
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, where
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’re
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.
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
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
We’re imagining as well, developing an app for detox .
Imagine texting what you noticed, what you’re
dreaming about, or what you connected, and within
the day, you receive 5 text #’s of people in your
community, or virtually, that were curiously pursuing
the same thinking/things. Imagine creating local and
virtual gatherings that matter, because they are per
choice. Imagine crowdsourcing curiosity.
For many years, people like Ivan Illich have written and talked about the importance of
non-prescriptive learning. They were yearning for the day that learning would be owned by
the learner. Today, there are pockets of this happening everywhere, but often still partially
prescribed, and access to these pockets is not equitable. [Equity not equality.] Equity will
come with more spaces of permission, spaces per choice. Scaling across thrives, grows
exponentially, when people are free to create.. it.
Our dream is to unleash people, to change how we spend the 7 hours a day we currently
call school. To focus on conduits/channels to communities of practice (gatherings with
your people), where the only standard is self-reflection. Making this change is a multi-
player game, bigger than any of us. But today, this can turn on a dime.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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.
Freeing people up, and then trusting them to carry it out, a simple plan.
free
people
We’re thinking of
detox, as a
temporary model
or tool. Once we
free ourselves (our
minds) to explore
self-directed
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
no reason for
detox. For the rest
of us, we’ve taken
extra space to
explain and
encourage it.
for more info/insight on the what of detox,
take a listen:
Affecting the research
The Human Speechome Project MIT Media Lab
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Again, the words are not magical: be, notice, dream, connect, do, but they have been
diligently sought after in order to capture a natural process of learning when a learner
is provided mental and physical spaces of permission to be. Wrapping that process in
user-friendly verbiage, we hope to create as much of an authentic means to practice
and 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.
2) 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. .
3) 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…?
conversation might matter to everyone? … the one going on in their head.
[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 has
previously determined who you are.
For some, for most even, this element
of detox could take quite a while. We have
become so used to pleasing others, to listening to other voices. We need to listen to
ourselves, to our gut, daily. We change daily.
While it’s difficult for some to be alone, many need space to listen from within. Spaces of
permission 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’s
not as much about finding good to do, as it is about finding that which you can’t not do.
begin being.
for more on be
books: buccaneer scholar, significance of life, tools of conviviality, mindfulness, we are all weird, linchpin, orbiting the
giant hairball
Not so much about balance, but of self-awareness, knowing when you’re off balance. - Meg Wheatley
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
notice. Step out of the routine and notice the unlikely. Ellen Langer writes in
Mindfulness and Colin Ward writes in The Child in the City, how focus on outcomes can lead
to mindlessness. Many of us need directions. We’re afraid to wander. We don’t embrace
failure as an opportunity. We get impatient with the unplanned, the unlikely, the undefined.
Yet, these are the very things that afford us spaces to make decisions based on the 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 an alternative if you
choose to live awake. Noticing alone could change the world.
for more on notice
books: mindfulness, child in the city, rework, walk out walk on, feynman
dream.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. We
need to boldly and gracefully confront reliability-thinking (proof/data speaks) of the
corporate world and of our traditions. We need to wonder and ponder. We need to
question assumed risk. Might we face a greater risk in playing it safe? Meg Wheatley in
Walk Out Walk On, quotes Paulo Freire - If you don’t have any kind of a dream, I’m sure it’s
impossible to create something.
for more on dream
books: linchpin, art of possibility, war of art, democratic ed, we are all weird, walk out walk on, stop killing dreams
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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 personalized
framework of why. That choice has the potential of ultimate empowerment. That choice
facilitates and enlivens a person’s curiosity, getting at a deep, intellectual, just in time
learning. Connections, our new currency.
for more on connect, higher ed & cities
books: 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 in
public ed. Youth’s drive, contrary to the belief of some, contrary to perceived activity or
inactivity, is not toward laziness. Youth crave hard work.
A great question for a healthy self-perpetuated feedback loop, am I doing this to finish or
am I doing this just to do, to be, to make? Remaining mindful of that mindset could set you
free to experience the richest of lives. Find and do that which you can’t not do.
for more on do
books: at work with thomas edison, reality is broken, rework, the war of art, linchpin, tools of conviviality
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
summing it up for ch 1:
conversation w/self
detox (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 permission
to be.
reflect
on
rhizomatic
learning
via
detox/process
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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 normally
don’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 do
big 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 with
ones 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 is
untouchable.
via parents:
Be: Who is your child? Who is your child when nobody is telling her what she should be
doing? 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 of
things are noticed when space is given to notice?
Dream: When left to her own devices, to what place does her mind travel? Is she dreaming
of singing? Dancing? Gardening? Baking cookies? Riding on the space shuttle?
Connect: Facilitate times for her to connect with others who dream of singing. Others who
dream of dancing. Or gardening. Bake cookies with her if that's her dream. Bring space to
her in whatever way within your means.
Do: Give her the tools to sing, dance, garden, bake, and travel to the moon. Give her the
space to do those things.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Linda and Gage encourage each other to find new ways to notice, dream, connect, do,
…and eat. These spaces of permission allow for more natural connections. We are
working toward families taking back time to grow together.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
ch. 2
shared
spaces
Imagine spaces filled with resources you’re craving. Imagine that in sharing, we find we have all we need. Imagine spaces
filled with people, addicted to learning and sharing. Imagine meeting up with your people, there.
Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
Crowdsource, create, reinvent, and then
share, .. physical spaces. City as floorplan.
Your community becomes your school.
(rhizomatic spaces)
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
If we fix the cities, we fix the world. - Tony Hsieh
In the US, when you say real life people tend to define it as:
outside of school. - Michael Wesch
The end of this plan,
youth crafted two years
ago, has community as
school, with the entire
city as the floorplan.
The high school
buildings become
resource centers and
meet up spaces. There
is a city-wide art hall
and engineering hall,
forensics hall. The town
acts more like a
university campus..
where people are
walking and biking to
and from buildings
through the course of a
day. University/school
as coffee house even.
Dave Cormier, community as curriculum
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
One great advantage to this is that now
school becomes life.
Learning is considered natural again
and 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.
Where people can roam, … in the wilderness.
..wilderness areas are vital for the human spirit and for creativity.
As we offer more options for learning, we find we don’t need more resources. When
we simply start talking to people in our community, we come to find out, the lady down
the street has been translating Japanese for years, the man across the street is a lawyer
on the board for a homeless safe house, a woman across town is a local university
researcher, looking into the Antarctic ozone layer. We’ve got locals building robotic
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.
nomadic spaces
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]
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
within one person,
the more
evidence
of life
and
learning.
These shared spaces
begin to let Joe
be Joe.
each
person
is
eclectic
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
The time, money, and people we currently spend on classroom management and policy is
no longer needed. Imagine if we instead of compulsion, we offer exposure. Imagine if we
simply facilitate connections (virtual and local) to gatherings that matter. We have been
heavy on the options that currently aren’t being offered, but that doesn’t mean we wish
what already exists will go away. The focus here is on everyone. The people who love
lectures, chemistry, school math, want to be a doctor,.. they will benefit from this freedom
as 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. - Downes
MOOCs [Massive Open Online Courses] model this disruptive space/learning online
incredibly well in higher ed. It’s open, participatory, distributed, and supports life-long
learning. 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 will
enable 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
video: video describing this mesh mentality of space. http://vimeo.com/20320782 scale free schools
books: big picture, democratic ed, child in the city, the mesh; deschooling society, buccaneer scholar, tools for conviviality, for the love of
cities, triumph of the city, and Zappos downtownproject
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
summing it up for ch 2:
shared spaces
city as floor plan (rhizomatic spaces):
Finding and utilizing shared (mesh) spaces. The city as one great big
resource center for its people. City as school. City as university. City alive.
share
rhizomatic
spaces
via
city
as
floorplan/mesh
[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 all
connected.
via parents:
It was Toni Morrison who said, "You really need the whole village [to raise a
child]." 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 community
where the love of learning is shared by all, everywhere. A community of
trust and unlimited learning opportunity.
qr code to this video
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
ch. 3
connections
Imagine choosing your people. Imagine gathering with people you choose. People crazy about the same thing you are
crazy about. Imagine a network of your eclectic people, because you are eclectic. Imagine fittingness (eudaimonia) vs
fitting in.
Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
Find people and things that help you
become you. Revel in being known by
someone. Embrace interdependency.
(rhizomatic connections)
The term interdependency came as we were researching laws for homeless teens. While
some states allow 14 year-olds to declare independence, often resulting in homelessness,
some are trying to restate that to a declaration of interdependence, where each teen is
matched up with an adult. If we want to create spaces of permission, where learning is
accomplished through living, we feel this interdependency will provide stability in the
potential, 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 the
community around you, there are incredible mentors and teachers and unlikely topics, in
unlikely places. That’s not even tapping into virtual resources. We are recovering from a
year where we thought virtual was all we needed. What we found was that within the
school system, Skype didn’t always work, and sometimes the time zone issues kept us from
meet ups we were craving. Turns out it was good that virtual didn’t always work. It brought
us back to local. Face to face. The global web is teaching us how to better tap into our 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 global
connection and insight, yet you maintain your local culture. Perhaps we maintain and
nourish a person’s unique culture through interdependency.
individualism
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
actively seek out a variety of appropriate people and resources for diff situations
- the person has become the portal.
networked
These connections provide needed support, safety, accountability. The belief that you are known by someone
is a most liberating feeling, an incredibly vial piece to freeing your mind up to being, to becoming you.
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.
c r e a t e serendipity
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Some resources we are falling in love with,
that help …
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 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.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Dale of uncollege.org writes about creating serendipity
Very similar to our vision, once again, of detox on a phone app. Text your self-reflection.
Some hours later, get 5 text #’s of people in your same town, with similar reflections. Meet
up in one of the town’s spaces of permission.
..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.
More connections like this happening here. (Dale’s city as university post included.)
Steve with readitfor.me has a potential game changer as well. Once you are set free to
learn via choice, you find books to be very addictive, (if you hadn’t already). You find you
want to know more of your art. You want to get into the heads of great thinkers of your
art. We’re thinking Steve’s growing resource
of book summaries could become a wikipedia
of books. We’re imagining people growing his
site, 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 an
ever changing visual portraying an individualized network (ameba).
Not to mention, allowing the learning to drive that ameba.
beingknown = wellbeing
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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.
This surpasses the issue of school, of achievement gaps, even of learning. This takes on
the 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 (often
unquestioned) dependencies, ie: feeding the test scores, the number crunch.
We are because we belong. We are all connected. - I Am (documentary by Tom Shadyak)
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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 Wheatley
This 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 just
something we are dealing with because perhaps, we just aren’t normal.
That misunderstanding can soothe us into apathy, or it can create a resistance large
enough for us to rally about our rights and declare independence. While independence
seems a better space than what we may be currently experiencing, a declaration of
interdependence can be, not only more liberating, but more meaningful, as it has
relationship, connection, at its core.
Nothing live lives alone. Life only and always organizes as systems of interdependency.
-Meg Wheatley
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
summing it up for ch. 3:
connections
interdependency
(rhizomatic communities):
Your support system. Your people. The essence of relationship. Being known
by someone. Actualizing the potential when we live, learn, and be, per
choice. Finding the gatherings that matter to you.
gather
rhizomatic
communities
via
interdependency/choice
[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 were
made. We plan to connect everyone with at least one person.
via parents:
This is a means to ground someone in a safe block. They are
connected to someone. Like the buddy system. So in all the chaos of
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 to create holistic lip balms, ointments.
Sierra will soon be the youngest yoga instructor in the nation, with plans to build a local food
pharmacy as well as a wellness center. Connections are feeding the hunger of her mission.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
ch. 4
facilitators of
curiosity
Imagine someone listening deeply to you, without an agenda, and then strewing/offering resources that match up with
your 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
Become usefully ignorant. Listen. Practice
vulnerability in context. Decide to deliberately
not teach. Rather, mentor alongside.
(rhizomatic expertise)
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
If you are lucky enough to be connected to someone per passion, or be known by some
youth, one key element toward facilitating self-directed learning, is to deliberately not
teach. We live in a world that is
so used to directions, so used to
being told how and what to
do, it’s hard for many of us to
function on our own. In most
learning situations and
opportunities, we seek out
the perceived expert, sit in
their path, and wait to be
filled. This mindset disables
and disengages the
indispensable person from
within. This pattern, tradition,
training, encourages
mindlessness.
If the goal is self-directed learning, if the desire is youth who know what to do when they
don’t know what to do, if the aim is for youth to fall in love with learning, then the
mentor, needs to be positioned, physically and mentally, alongside. Alongside, doing
their own thing, modeling what it is to learn, what it is to be.
click for live doc of the be you web
The word assessment is derived from the Latin verb, assidere, which means, quite literally,
- to sit beside.
I don’t know…
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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 McWilliams
Mentors available to the youth, and ready to learn from the youth are most beneficial. The
mentor’s mindset should be that of keen interest and inquiry into what is going on in the
youth’s head, not the mentor’s.
Sugata Mitra calls this the method of the grandmother: friendly but not necessarily knowledgeable in that topic.
Wrongologist, Kathryn Schulz
As mentors, listen without an agenda, demonstrating and communicating genuine patience and caring. Encourage the
expression of ideas, even (and especially) if they are different than our own. Rather than alarm, try to honestly
understand the underlying sentiment, in order to more fully understand.
For an effective mentor, “I don't know” is always an okay answer. “I don't know” is an opportunity to access and use
resources together. When we don't 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 deliberately
not 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.
As mentors, we should underscore the importance of learning and working for oneself and
one's own self-improvement. The youth should understand that they alone assess their
progress, without outside influence. We also need to recognize the effect of inappropriate
praise. Praise shackles youth to a course of pleasing others, rather than themselves.
Amy Lewark
unschooling mom
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Most of us are convinced that learning only comes from teaching. That thinking can create
an unhealthy dependency. Dependency on someone else teaching us and/or someone
else 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
Natural, self-induced feedback loops help encourage self-directed learning by focusing on
hard 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 modeling
vulnerability in context. We’re redefining No Child Left Behind to be this vast exposure to
mentors 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 and breathtaking ways.
No need to conjure up non-essentials to practice rigor.
A person cannot teach another person directly; a person can only facilitate another's learning.
- Carl Rogers, 1951
Prepare people for uncertainty. - Dave Cormier
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
The reward is brilliant minds set free, to be.
We will be absolutely blown away by brilliance only when we offer support and create
these types of spaces. Spaces where the heart of the matter, the very heart of the
matter, the only agenda, is the curiosity, the curriculum if you must, residing within
each person, each youth, each learner. A rhizomatic space, community, learning, where
there 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.…harvest invisible intelligence.
- Meg Wheatley
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Partial Freedom is no freedom.
- Krishnamurti, The Significance of Life
Pseudo-freedom may be worse than no freedom at all.
- Steve Denning
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion
obtains no hold on the mind.
-Plato
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 mind
subservient and dull; and if this is what we desire, then education through compulsion is an excellent way
to proceed. - Krishnamurti
The child is the result of both the past and the present and is therefore already conditioned. If we
transmit our background to the child, we perpetuate both his and our own conditioning. There is radical
transformation only when we understand our own conditioning and are free of it. To discuss what should
be the right kind of education while we ourselves are conditioned is utterly futile.
Ed & the Significance of Life -high recommend (pdf)
summing it up for ch 4:
facilitators of curiosity
mentor alongside (rhizomatic expertise):
A means to realize and utilize the expertise in everyone.
harvest
rhizomatic
expertise
via
mentor
alongside/
listening
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
via young people:
Neither the mentor or the student is greater, they are feeding
off of each other.
via parents:
Often I learn more from my child than I can take in, if I’m
listening. ie: I asked my two and a half year old what came
first, 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 off teaching each other about music,
dance, leadership. They’re modeling the potential when the 7 hours a day is owned
by a person, living out a culture of trust.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
ch. 5
conversation
with others
Imagine a world where we don’t feel the need to manage people, to play defense, to fake that we know things for
validation. Imagine a world where people and connections are our gold. Imagine believing in each other so much that
each person feels valued, right now.
Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde
Break down walls. Assume good and become rich.
Realize communication is never finished. Cultivate
a culture of trust. Question ego, that incessant
need to prove ourselves.
(rhizomatic currency)
people agenda
Clay Shirky tells a story of ten daycare centers in Israel in his book, Cognitive Surplus. The
story 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 and
very few parents came late and not by very much. Then they imposed approximately a
three dollar fine on 7 of the 10 centers. The number of late parents increased, and stayed
elevated even after the fine was dropped. Shirky explains, the parents see the day care
workers as participants in a market transaction rather than as people who’s needs should
be respected. Parents viewed workers time as a commodity. They assume the fine
represents full price of the inconvenience they were causing.
He goes on to explain the difficulty, once a new mindset for the relationship has
occurred, to go back to the culture of trust and humanity. Dealing with one another as a
market can fundamentally alter relationships.
Have we turned relationships into marketing transactions, that now require such a large
overhead that we have lost the art of living? Are we trusting and valuing people? Or are
we trusting and valuing paperwork that basically represents mistrust? And that takes
billions a year to run in public ed alone.
greenabout people
We could be educating the world, but policy keeps getting in the way. - David Wiley
Cease to settle. - Ivan Illich
Well over 50% of our time in all areas of life seem to be spent on policy, on
management of a system created because of mistrust. While the mistrust isn’t
necessarily blatant, it’s a learned habit. It’s how it has always been. The system
makes us dependent upon the system. We often default to seeking proof and
validation 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 Wheatley
Perhaps 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.
people
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
To the right, find:
our aup for tech use,
our dress code,
our house rules,
our play and work rules,
our common core,
etc...
remix,
original
via
Will
Richardson
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’s
imagine 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. Imagine
having time to be you. Imagine not having to prove yourself, not having to document
yourself proving yourself. What if adolescence through mid-life crisis is actually a direct
result of our publicly prescribed curriculum…
If it’s your art, you’ll do anything to give it away. - Seth Godin
Imagine 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 fish
bowl view.
We’re seeking to expose the goings on in the emergence of, a healthy community
conversation. Can we use things we’re learning from the transparency of the web to break
down walls that tend to keep us locally at bay? Can we offer the freedom to *lurk, to build
trust? The means to listen-in, unacknowledged, until we hear people we had a beef with did
indeed have more than one story, or that other people really are interested in listening and
then 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 bring
virtual experts in, just in time, to free up our thinking about getting-in places, and focus more
on becoming us?
As we emerge individually, because of self-conversations, can we also use tech to help us
emerge and share openly, because of community-conversations.
*lingering and persistent, though unsuspected or unacknowledged
summing it up for ch 5:
conversation w/others
culture of trust (rhizomatic currency):
This is about people. Each person matters right now. Each one the unique
thumbprint 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 we
gain. We assume good, together. It is there we discover brilliance, beauty,
breathtaking balance, peace.
give
rhizomatic
currency
via
trust/people
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
via young people:
Money isn’t as important as humans. You shouldn’t
be trying to thrive from money, but trying to seek
other human beings.
via parents:
This is a People Agenda. People are valuable. Treat
them 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 create and share more spaces of
permission to be. Learning from failure, learning from transparency. Loving
people enough to dream big.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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
- Adam Mackie
glossary
of
sorts
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
adjacent possibilities
Steven Johnson’s TED
The potential and
serendipity created when
you notice and connect the
unlikely.
Incremental potential
solutions to help people
caught in conflict or looking
for 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 Illich
Trying to get away from acting, being people that we aren’t for
whatever reasons, and instead, doing what matters most to us.
Art is that interesting piece inside each one of us. It’s that thing you
can’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 or
delinquent or depressed.
We get so worried about, and expended in, a means to improve or to
prove. 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 fuss
was. The kids already wonder. The art, the sharing of that art, because
you 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]
On the other hand, and strikingly
more of a risk, yet more overlooked,
denied, or accepted, too many people
aren’t getting what we think are the
basics now. They may be playing the
school game so well that it appears
they are, but legitimately getting the
basics has been proven time and
again to be false when they enter the
job force or arrive at the university
campus, and are unable to perform
expected basics. Kids in the lab are
thinking that as much as 75% of kids
either cheat or cram the day before a
test, so that a week later, they don’t
remember.
Even by their own measures and
prescribed basics, test scores
continually reveal a great disconnect.
ie: It’s hard to go through a day of real
life without engaging in mathematical
thinking. School math, however, per
the common core standards, isn’t
necessarily practical, useful, or basic.
Have you rationalized a denominator
or conjugated an imaginary number
lately? And if you have, how common
do you think that is?
the basics
The most common question we
get is “What about the basics?”
Find a great answer to that on
the site of the - Brooklyn Free
School.
The answer is a question...
“What are the basics?” Perhaps
that’s what we need to
redefine per an individual, per
their community.
The basics as defined by school
is a very limited and restrictive
set of skills. The word basic is
often referred to as essential.
Essential translates to
absolutely necessary or
extremely important. If we
deem something as basic it
should by it’s nature show up
as we live, ... no?
For those worried about basics
that might not show up, these
can be strewn, offered, and
exposed. But our urge to
mandate perceived basics,
most often cripples and
compromises the learner.
more
here
in
options
We’re
making
too
many
decisions
based
on
too
little
information.
-
Anya
Kamenetz
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
community of
practice
Getting together with
your people and doing,
making or learning
something you all just
can’t not do.
The coming together is
because of that thing
and that thing is what
you make or do.
Community is built
from each ones love
for that thing.
ie: I love to train dogs,
or make kites. I find
people in my city or
virtually that shares
that same love. We
connect and immerse
ourselves in that topic.
We become a
community practicing
that art.
Wikipedia’s more
formal definition.
connected adjacency
Many have said there will be no revolution within the system, within the institution.
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 in
education, even though many are breaking away to charter schools, online schools,
homeschooling and unschooling, the masses reside in the system. Through a
connected adjacency mentality we exist both in and out of the system. We spend
more of our time playing offense, than defense.
Nothing is for everyone, so we seek to facilitate non-prescribed learning. We’re
currently creating spaces of freedom for a very small percentage to get at authentic
experimentation and innovation. Spaces to test new ideas out within a community.
Spaces where failure won’t affect or offset the whole, but unexpected, unknown, and
delightful success will certainly and pleasantly benefit the whole.
Saul Kaplan, connected adjacency; google 20%
%
Deborah Frieze on two loop 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
culture
What if transparency is the new currency? What if
knowing people, being known, building a community,
holds more value than what most of us end up
spending most of the hours in a day doing or getting.
We’re thinking school has perpetuated a corporate
America long beyond it’s need to be, if it ever was a
need. We’re thinking technology wants to free us up
and 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 you
want to know how good someone is, take a look at how
well the people around them are doing. Most of what
we’re suggesting, doing, and being, will only thrive in a
culture 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 Visions
for 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.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
disruption (as per Clay Christensen)
[a quiet revolution]
By design, we are
currently in the
shadows at the left
end of the upward
exponential curve.
As we begin being,
those most in love
with the idea,
experiment, fail,
and tweak,
continually
making and being.
We’re experimenting with *transparent shadows:
o 800+ raw footage videos on youtube
(51295monk)
o facebook group (tsd innovation lab)
o info and update site (labconnections)
o stand alone site, (be you.)
* Transparent shadows: We are still obscure to
those not intentionally seeking us out, because we
aren’t selling, pushing, or prescribing anything.
We believe obscurity is key to self-directed
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
not selling or pushing, we believe we’re creating
something your soul might just be craving.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
Where is this quiet
revolution/disruption headed?
We are seeking more spaces of permission to
be, for everyone. So while the shadows have
boded us well, we are emerging from them to
secure 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-player
mentality. It begs more collaboration, more
insight, more of a coming together, than many
of us are used to. It begs a mindset most of us
are not used to. It also brings with it more
benefit. The right end of the upward
exponential curve. It certainly delivers more
happiness.
James Paul Gee, affinity spaces; death of the
expert (from dmlcentral); rhizomatic models;
more resourceful slidedeck
books: Clay Christensen, Disrupting Class; Jane
McGonigal, Reality is Broken; Ellen Langer,
Mindfulness; Jason Fried, Rework; Tony Hsieh,
Delivering Happiness; Carol Dweck, Mindset;
John Hagel & John Seely Brown, Power of Pull,
Seth Godin, We Are All Weird
equity
Equity doesn’t mean equal. Equity involves
personalization. It begs choice. It allows for
redefinition of success per individual, per community.
The achievement gap is a misnomer when we
prescribe what the gap is about. None of the data
we’ve been gathering, and spending most of our time,
energy, money, and people on, has a statistically sound
basis. Everything is variable. Everything is debatable.
ie: PISA, the test most often referred to when comparing
countries, has it’s main focus on math. Math, many say, is more
universal because there are relatively few barriers due to
language. Yet, the math on these tests are more likened to
school math, than mathematical thinking. This can translate to a
competition between countries on a topic that is very restrictive
and not beneficial to most people. We’re suggesting a more
equitable means to monitor growth, if you must. We’re
suggesting we model more of a self-directed feedback loop,
comparing personal bests.
Equity will come when we free people of a
predetermined outcome. Equity will come when we
offer resources per choice and facilitate self-directed
learning. Equity fades the more we focus on a means
to improve standardization.
ie: We realize many more resources if we allow people to look
at and use what they have. Many people have and prefer cell
phone use, so why insist everyone have an ipad. Save the
money for the few that don’t have anything, but again, let them
choose their means of access. We’re thinking a good start for
choice of connection or access involves laptops, phones, bikes,
bus passes…
If one day they were to
seek equal work rather
than equal pay - equal
inputs rather than equal
outputs - they could be
the pivot of social
reconstruction.
Growth (of gaps of
inequity) would stop if
women obtained equally
creative work for all,
instead of demanding
equal rights over the
gigantic and expanding
tools now appropriated
by men.
When maddening
behavior becomes he
standard of a society,
people learn to compete
for the right to engage in
it. envy blinds people and
makes them compete for
addiction.
- Ivan Illich
People
have
all
the
skills,
creativity,
and
ingenuity
they
need.
-
Meg
Wheatley
….
that’s
our
equity.
indispensable
Original thinkers, provoateurs, people
who care. People we can’t dispose of or
outsource. People who are vital. What we
want/need are indispensable people.
- Seth Godin, Linchpin
knowmadic learner
A creative, imaginative, and innovative
person who can work with almost
anybody, anytime, and anywhere.
Industrial society is giving way to
knowledge and innovation work. Whereas
industrialization required people to settle
in one place to perform a very specific role
or function, the jobs associated with
knowledge 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
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
perpetual beta
Never ending, never done beginning. Always fresh,
mindful, and new.
It's dirty and wholesome. It's the way that knowledge
actually is, rather than the way we try to package it so
that it can be measured. - Dave Cormier
One thing people have said that have visited the be
you house, is that every time they come it’s
different. Routine can cripple us. Doing things in
order to finish them, can compromise us.
We’re practicing, embracing, and modeling
perpetual beta. Through our eagerness to learn from
ourselves and others, we share our mistakes. We
seek to hold ourselves accountable to a continual
freshness and mindfulness.
This does however, unsettle people at first.
People think they need definition.
Can you explain something that is always changing?
Luckily, people’s souls crave aliveness.
It is perhaps because we have not learned to recognize
and respect existing order in unfamiliar forms that we
are frightened of social change, unwilling to support
and work with the forms that peoples find for
themselves.
- Mary Catherine Bateson
people agenda
Our desire is to be green about people.
To value, embrace, and delight in what it means to
be human and alive. [a favorite quote from Carol
Black’s beautiful film, Schooling the World]
We’re experimenting with how to listen with no
agenda.
We believe that every actor has a reason, and that
deep within, everyone has a desire to do good. We
believe this space of trust awakens people, and
that awakened people are indispensable. We
believe the paradigm shift a people agenda begs,
is that it be based on a culture of trust where
community is the curriculum, non-prescriptive.
(more on this in chapter 5)
When we refer to youth, we intend that to mean
you, to whatever degree you decide - youth.
read more about this philosophy here: people
agenda
or this slidedeck: respect for every voice
Dave Cormier, community as curriculum
books: linchpin, buccaneer scholar, significance of
life, cognitive surplus, mindfulness
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
rhizome
has no beginning or end; it is always in
the middle, between things,
interbeing, intermezzo. The tree is
filiation, but the rhizome is alliance,
uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the
verb 'to be,' but the fabric of the
rhizome is conjunction, 'and . . . and . .
. and' (pp.24-25)
Break the rhizome anywhere and
the only effect is that new
connections will be grown. The
rhizome models the unlimited
potential for knowledge
construction, because it has no
fixed points…and no particular
organization (p. 389).
a tangle of tubers with no
apparent beginning or end,
constantly changes shape, and
appears to be connected at
every point with every other
point (p. 389).
All life organizes into networks, not
neat boxes or hierarchies. – Meg
Wheatley
prescribed learning
The issue is with publicly
prescribed learning... not with
getting better at doing publicly
prescribed learning.
- Ivan Illich
To date, much of our attention,
even in the field of online
learning, has been focused on a
system of learning centered on
the class or cohort: groups of
students studying the same
curriculum pace through the
same set of learning activities.
(Fenning, 2004) We continue to
organize classes in grades,
sorted, especially in the earlier
years, by age. Time continues to
be the dominant metaphor for
units of learning, and learning
continues to be constrained by
time. As it was ten years ago, the
model is that of a group of
people starting at the same time,
studying the same materials at
the same pace, and ending at
the same time.
- Stephen Downes
Mary Catherine Bateson on
chocolate milk
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
self-directed learning within
public ed - or open source
The environment that they
happen to be in, whether it be a
productivity tool, hobbyist web
page, or online game, constitutes
(at that time) the personal
learning environment. Resources
from across the internet are
accessed from that environment:
resources that conform to the
student’s needs and interests,
that have been in some way pre-
selected or favorably filtered, and
that may have been created by
production studios, teachers,
other students, or the student
him or herself. Content –
interaction, media, data – flows
back and forth between the
learning environment and the
external resources, held together
by the single identity being
employed by the learner in this
context.
. -Stephen Downes
Educational delivery
systems will recognize
the identity of the
student making the
request and will
coordinate with other
online applications
(which may include
commercial brokers,
open resource
repositories, or
additional student
records) to facilitate the
student’s learning
activity.
-Stephen Downes
from 2008
self-directed learning
Knowing what to do
when you don’t know
what to do.
- Erica McWilliams
This comes about through
experience and just in time
learning. Self-directed learners
are life-long learners. Their
drive comes through listening
to the curiosities from within.
Their drive to dream, connect,
and do is second nature.
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
space
What distinguished
programmers at the
top performing
companies wasn't
greater experience or
better pay. It was
how much privacy,
personal workspace
and freedom from
interruption they
enjoyed. If you have
talented and
motivated people,
they should be
encouraged to work
alone when creativity
or efficiency is the
highest priority.
- Adrian Furnham
solitude
The most spectacularly
creative people in many
fields are often introverted.
-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
Gregory Feist.
Without great solitude, no
serious work is possible.
- Picasso
We're often so dazzled by
charisma that we overlook
the quiet part of the
creative process.
When we take a stance diff
from a group's we activate
the amygdala, a small organ
in the brain associated with
fear of rejection. Gregory
Berns calls this "the pain of
independence.”
private spaces of solitude – Susan Cain
time &
lucas
[a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
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
success as slidedeck as ebook
click to hear Adam recite.. swimming in compromise
lucas
channing
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft
be you book - draft

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be you book - draft

  • 1. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
  • 2. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n]
  • 3. attribution: I once read a response from some famous person, after she was once again applauded for her ideas. She wrote about how much more it would mean to her if rather than thanking her and telling her how great her ideas were, people would live out those ideas. I like that. We are living out your ideas. It’s so difficult to attribute people, when so many influence you daily. If you hear your words, as many of you will, know we admire your art, your vision, to set people free. Free to be, to notice, to dream, to connect, and to do what matters most. A book is unattributable. - Deleuz & Guattari
  • 4. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] a collaboration from around the world. dedicated to you.
  • 5. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] structure & design: A bit of insight into the book layout: Thomas, who introduced us to Ivan Illich, starts us off with a compelling forward. Amanda focuses us on story. Our table of contents was crying out to be non-linear, so we let it. The rhizomatic model, that Mary Ann shares so beautifully, reflecting her son’s learning, and Leslie shares so poignantly, reflecting her own heart’s song, describes the essence of what we have been prototyping. We hail Dave’s voice as expert. We end each chapter with a short summary, a perspective from youth, and one from parents. The five chapters represent five elements we believe could scale this experiment across for anyone anywhere. Next, a glossary-type communication effort, hoping to paint a clearer picture of what we’re experimenting with. And then, the begin being provides a bit of background of some of the players. We want to point out though, that this is everyone, and happening everywhere. It’s not about us, it’s about all of us. We hope you find this as intriguing and invigorating as we have. We hope you believe, or begin to believe, with each concept that might seem ridiculous or risky, that the greater risk is an ever perpetuating assumption, that we are playing it safe. This plan is encompassing and obscure by design. It can be difficult to take in. It may appear too simple, or too complex. The goal of these printed words is to share a short, zoom out version. By doing so, we hope that it’s easier to see how each part is connected and vital. Pictures, videos, and links are added for further understanding. We tried to write so that they are not needed, link into them only as your curiosity begs. We don’t think any of this is new or necessarily insightful, but perhaps the combination is. Perhaps just doing it is.
  • 6. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] forward: We are seeking the brilliance of the human mind through freedom of the human spirit. We’re respectfully calling into question our current (seemingly blind, deaf, and mute) allegiance to our system of education based on publicly prescribed learning. This book is a catalyst for mutative change in our educational system. To this end, be you is a living artifact of sorts that represents the oral histories, deep narratives, research and ongoing movement of real humans; their hopes, dreams, disruptions and unshackled praxis. Be you dares to look critically at modern education in form and function while also offering resilient working examples of resilient learning ecologies. - Thomas Steele-Maley This prescribed learning was not crafted with ill intent, but has undoubtedly sustained a crippling dependency, an addiction, at a global level. Social change can and will happen if we but question the existence of the prescription itself rather than continue our efforts to improve its deliverance.
  • 7. 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, Deschooling Society, 1972 free ebook or free audio -high recommend also Illich’s Tools for Conviviality p o s s i b l e t r a n s l a t i o n : Rather than trying to motivate youth to learn our common core curriculum through shiny things, like gaming, or fancy technology, or the latest tools, or project based learning, etc, let’s call into question our presumption that we must teach certain things. Let’s 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.
  • 8. Amanda on the importance of story, our story: rhizome is what the hero brings to us. it is a way of learning that allows us to get out of our rows of chairs. the beginning middle and end is our hero's journey from disenchantment, lost faith, to the seed of possibility that is sprouting. 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) 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 to be happier. The boy obliged. And obliged. And obliged. Parts of the boy started to die. the middle is the awakening. the detoxing. passion connecting to passion. (the hero's challenge. what we overcome. our bravery. our strength.) . 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 which problems are problems, aren’t boding us well. story: The world was very noisy, and very busy, and very stressed. The world couldn’t see that the boy was dying. One day, a man heard the boy crying and asked what was wrong. The boy told the man that he had lost himself, somewhere. The man leaned in. He hugged the boy. the end is connecting. integrating. (bringing it from the singular to the we. the community as classroom. our inspiration. our why.) Once connected by their embrace, the man noticed the boy. This made the man weep. He longed to be the boy, himself, again. He wondered if he could. And the wondering, woke him up. He began being. He became himself. The man was very curious. Again. The man’s curiosity took him everywhere. And the man was happy.
  • 9. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] The unmet need of our story: People feeling free enough to be themselves, to practice and share their unique art/gift/genius.
  • 10. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] How to set people free: Create physical and mental spaces of permission, where people can be themselves, where they can find and craft their art, where they don’t have to prove themselves, where they are driven by wanted stress & structure, where they can gather with others, per choice, to do things that matter. 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 frees them up to focus on knowing their child. This knowledge allows them to 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.
  • 11. why Setting people free, to be themselves. how Creating (physical & mental) spaces of permission. what Soul peace unleashes brilliant minds/art. start with why be you. The first two years have been a true disruptive innovation, where we were working in the shadows, in incubation, testing and prototyping and failing and learning. We experimented with spaces where people could tap into their own genius, their own art. Spaces free of proof, credentialing, measurement. We were seeking ways to facilitate self-directed learning. Our findings are not new. Practicing them, however will require a change in mindset. It will require a culture of trust, with (mental and physical) spaces of permission. Our findings via prototyping of this story …
  • 12. why Setting communities free, to share themselves. how Creating (physical & mental) spaces of trusting/giving. what World peace allows for gatherings that matter, per choice. start with why be us. The second (one) two years’ focus will be more on community, how do we become us. This necessitates more visibility, a coming out phase. We are finding out what types of gathering spaces our community wants, needs, believes in, most. This phase will be heavy on the art of conversation. How do we listen to each other without an agenda on an ongoing basis. Web access has shown us the value of connection and ways to better connect with the invisible, and the silent, globally. We plan to use that insight and tech to better listen to each other, locally. We believe, for any type of thriving sustainability to happen within a community, we must create, be, together. Our ongoing vision of this story playing out…
  • 13. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 be or what to be, we’re just creating that free space, once again. That space of 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.
  • 14. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] table of contents: live doc of table of contents
  • 15. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] essence: rhizome It is an unbearably hot day as my husband, son and I slowly motor home to New Jersey from Washington D.C. From the back of the car I can hear my son talking and I turn and see him hunkered down in the seat, wearing headphones and holding his phone in one hand. Who are you talking to? Tom. Tom? Yeah, Tom from London. ‘Tom from London’ is a 13-year old who plays Minecraft on my 12- year-old son's server. He and a dozen boys, ranging from 9- to 15- years-old from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, are avid Minecraft players on the server. We are Pando: Rhizomatic Learning Mary Ann Reilly also see her Lines of Flight and The Familiar Falling Away Their play represents a contrasting way to think about learning from what is offered as usual fare at schools. James Gee and Elizabeth Hayes (2011) might classify the boys’ play as an example of a passionate affinity space where “people organize themselves in the real world and/or via the Internet (or a virtual world) to learn something connected to a shared endeavor, interest, or passion” (p. 69). I think of passionate affinity spaces as rhizomatic and want to suggest that such learning offers us an alternative to schooling. A rhizome, the horizontal stem of a plant, usually found underground, sends out roots and shoots, each of which can be self-sustaining. Margie Driscoll (2004) defines rhizome as: a tangle of tubers with no apparent beginning or end. It constantly changes shape, and every point in it appears to be connected with every other point (p. 389).
  • 16. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Now think about the boys and their play. They hail from across the globe and horizontally connect with one another in this passionate affinity space where they learn deeply. For more than a decade, I have been considering how the rhizome might function as metaphor and model for education. The traditional view of education situates schooling as a function of transference of expert-determined content from teacher to student. U.S. school systems tend to rely on hierarchy as the privileged school organization method used to distribute content and pedagogical practices, most often in the form of sanctioned programs developed by external experts and then purchased for teachers who are told to transfer the content to students. In contrast a rhizomatic learning community is a fluid collective where participants dwell in the middle of things and where learning emerges informed by a blend of explicit and tacit knowledge. In conceiving of rhizomatic learning, it helps to think of learners resembling a sea of "middles,” who are continuously formed and reformed based on alliances determined by needs, interests, directions, questions, redirections, assessments, and commitments. Unlike the design of many traditional schools, a rhizomatic learning space is based on joining and rejoining. In rhizomatic learning, thinking resembles the tangle of roots and shoots, both broken and whole. Problem framing and decision-making rest with all learners. Again, Driscoll’s description of rhizomatic learning is important. She writes: Break the rhizome anywhere and the only effect is that new connections will be grown. The rhizome models the unlimited potential for knowledge construction, because it has no fixed points…and no particular organization (p. 389). Historically, when confronted with student achievement concerns, there has been a tendency to tighten control in an effort to increase learning largely because what has counted as knowing has been limited to a perceived ‘set’ body of content. Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011) describe this learning : …as a series of steps to be mastered, as if students were being taught how to operate a machine or even, in some cases, as if the students themselves were machines being programmed to accomplish tasks. The ultimate endpoint of a mechanistic perspective is efficiency: the goal is to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can (Thomas & Brown, Location 327 of 2399).
  • 17. tacit [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] In this mistaken schema, knowledge has been consistently situated as stable—as that which can be listed in a set of standards and given to teachers to transfer. But we know that knowledge is not stable (Schon, 1983; Thomas & Brown, 2011). Thomas and Brown state, "[m]aking knowledge stable in a changing world is an unwinnable game” (Location 503 of 2399). Knowledge actually has never been stable, but given the disruptive power of the Internet, what counts as knowledge is a shifting matter that is more easily recognized, especially by those holding power whose concept of knowing in the past was often situated as truth. One only has to think of the Great Chain of Being to understand how the sanctity of knowing was often a matter of power. In contrast to such certainty, Thomas and Brown posit that there is a new culture of learning informed by a massive information network that provides almost unlimited access and resources to learn about anything…[and] a bounded and structured environment that allows for unlimited agency to build and experiment with things within these boundaries (Location 63 of 2399). This new culture of learning is inherently rhizomatic as it orients itself horizontally, not vertically, requiring us to value tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge--knowing more than one can tell--requires a decidedly different type of learning environment than what is currently favored at school where knowledge transfer is the privileged method. Tacit knowledge is not acquired from other; it requires learning through mind, body and senses and is facilitated by experimentation and inquiry. For gamers, like my son, experimentation and inquiry are the methods most often employed when solving design and game- based problems. For the last several months I have been researching the learning that takes place inside my son’s Minecraft play with his on-line friends. Five dominant learning trends have emerged out of this rhizomatic environment and one societal insight.
  • 18. convo play [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 1. Play matters and is a means by which learners come to know their relationship to others. The learning that happens between and among the boys is play-based and informed by their interest in experimenting and imagining. For example, my son developed a vending machine in Minecraft. Originally the buyer would place a coin in the machine and would receive however many items as s/he wanted. This proved to be a bit impractical and over time rather dull and with the help of another player, my son modified the idea so that one coin would get a player one item. This idea was later modified again so that the player would also get his coin returned along with the item. To make these alterations required changing the wiring so that the machine reset after the item was delivered and that the delivery of the new item and the return of the coin were synchronized. Making these changes happen required playfulness, not linearity. As my son explained, “I had to fool around a bit and test out ways to make the pressure plate work. I couldn’t see how it would be possible.” When I asked him why he would return the coin to the player, he said that he didn’t want to exclude anyone from playing. Whereas everyone on the server had some coin they could use, not all had the same. “I wanted them to make a commitment by playing a coin, but I didn’t want to take their coins. We’re friends.” 2. Sustained conversation represents the dominant method for inquiry and is suggestive of the boys’ emerging sense of agency. My son engages in sustained conversations via Skype with the other players in order to brainstorm, innovate, find multiple solutions, complete tasks, hypothesize, and engage in play. Talk is important and in the horizontal world of game playing, it is not limited to or controlled by a teacher. John Goodlad (2004) reported in his research about schools that teachers “out- talked the entire class of students three to one” (p. 229). Central to these learners’ Minecraft play is the sense of agency they possess. Thomas and Brown (2011) explain, "unlike traditional notions of learning which position the learner as a passive agent of reception, the aporia/epiphany structure of play makes the player's agency central to the learning process. How one arrives at the epiphany is always a matter of the tacit. The ability to organize, connect, and make sense of things is a skill characteristic of a deep engagement with the tacit and the process of indwelling" (Location 1381 of 2399).
  • 19. choice spaces players [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 3. The players participate in collaborative knowledge-making (Cormier, 2008) in which they share screens, work in tandem, continue and revise one another’s tentative ideas in an effort to solve design problems and complete tasks. Engaging in trial and error, experimenting, making use of on- line and off-line resources, and altering established models are some of the ways the boys accomplish game-based tasks. Interestingly when I ask my son how something in the game came to be he is unable to attribute it to a single player. The knowledge produced does not belong to one person, but rather is composed collectively. Dave Cormier (2008) explains, "rhizomatic model of learning…is not driven by predetermined inputs from experts; it is constructed and negotiated in real time by the contributions of those engaged in the learning process" (np). 4. These rhizomatic learning spaces the boys inhabit are inherently native to their own ground even as they involve learners from across vast geographic spaces. Membership in the game shifts and changes across time and expertise is not determined by social markers such as age, race, or credentials—although gender does seem to be a condition presently. As learners work alone, in pairs, small groups, and large collectives--new alliances form and break. The boys’ game playing represents a rhizomatic map; an open possibility that is: “detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification. It can be torn, reversed, adapted, to any kind of mounting, reworked by an individual, group, or social formation” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2002, p.12). 5. The players choose to participate in hard work each and every day. They set tasks to be completed and establish timelines to do so. As Jane McGonigal (2011) reports: “Games make us happy because they are hard work that we choose for ourselves” (p. ). Choice matters and learning is fun, although sadly most of the boys do not seem to characterize their play in the games as learning. The exception to this is the boy from Canada. 6. Game play leads to developing novel products in the virtual world that could have implications in the actual world. For example, a few months after my son viewed images I had made in Camden, NJ of partially demolished and boarded buildings, he showed me a self-repairing bridge and building he had designed in Minecraft. He suggested that if infrastructures such as buildings and bridges could self-repair, then people living in urban areas where poverty and societal neglect have dominated the landscape would be able to live in better conditions.
  • 20. learn? what did you [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] When I ask my son what he has been learning 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 exchange for money to pay for the server; how to explain an installation process of mods to others; how to create a mod; how to anticipate a partner’s play in a game; how to build a structure with someone not in the same room; how to imagine a place and build it; how to give and take ideas; how to make mistakes in order to progress in a game; how to build a design based on someone’s idea; how to script; how to model; how to resolve social problems when they arise; how to use resources, online and offline, to guide building; how to make games inside of games; how to make films and upload them to YouTube; and how to narrow the focus of a film. During this learning, the boys are also learning about one another: siblings, where they live, currency, geography, food, politics, and all things Minecraft. My son is adamant that this playing is not learning. It's not like school, he tells me repeatedly. Sadly, I think he's right. 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 work hard and learn deeply? Continuing the current push by federal and state governments for increased school standardization is not an answer. An important shift needs to occur in order for the tight grip of school standardization to be loosened. Thomas and Brown (2011) identify three critical dimensions of learning: knowing, making, and playing. Such learning is antithetical to standardization. We need alternatives to the traditional method of industrial schooling. As we begin to name alternative learning experiences, such as passionate affinity spaces, as viable learning-- the idea of school as the de facto response to the question--“How do we educate children?”--will be challenged. Certainly, there have been alternatives to traditional school raised and offered in the past. What makes these times different is that in the past, it was difficult, if not improbable, to connect innovators who were challenging the status quo of schooling. That is not the case today. Mass can be built by connecting those of us offering alternatives. Connecting with one another is rhizomatic.
  • 21. connect [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] So it is not a single reform method that is being offered. We have been too long trying to find a single reform. Rather, to disrupt the established power of schooling requires a long tail revolution. 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 and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. It's not about offering the reform answer, but rather remaining in the middle where connections can be made and remade. It's about each of us doing great work, not work that needs to be replicated, but rather work that is unique, native to its own ground. The challenge is to know we are there and to connect our work. To connect great work is an antidote to mass standardization. Leveraging social media to share stories and work, to try on tentative ideas, and to establish patterns are all critical. Connecting and showcasing the small triumphs that alone may feel insubstantial, yet together represents a mass. This is the work before each of us. On my own, I am one person. Alongside you, I am Pando*, a rhizomatic triumph. Works Cited: Anderson, Chris. (2004). The theory of the long tail. Retrieved on July 27, 2011 from: http://www.squidoo.com/longtail . Cormier, Dave. (2008). “Rhizomatic education: Community as curriculum.” Retrieved on 2.28.11 from http://davecormier.com/edblog/2008/06/03/rhizomatic-education- community-as-curriculum/ . Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix. (2002). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. London: Continuum. Driscoll, Marcy P. (2004). Psychology of Learning and Instruction, 3rd Edition. Allyn & Bacon. Goodlad, John. (1984). A place called school. New York: McGraw-Hill. McGonigal, Jane. (2011). Reality is broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world. New York: Penguin Press. Schön, Donald. (1983). The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books. Thomas, Doug & John Seely Brown. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Create Space: Kindle. *Pando: Also known as the Trembling Giant, Pando is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen located in Utah. Each genetically-identical individual tree (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 collectively weighs 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
  • 22. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Take a listen to Leslie, aka @onepercentyellow, if you’d like to get more of a taste and color and visual of rhizomatic learning, how it is happening, has been happening, 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. purposeful play liberates from passivity. community as curriculum. -Leslie Dave Cormier himself ... explaining rhizomatic learning.
  • 23. 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
  • 24. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] ch. 1 conversation with self Imagine a mental space of permission, where no one is measuring or labeling you. A space to talk to yourself, question yourself, become yourself. Pause. Breathe. Swim in vulnerability. Practice the art of self-reflection -- am I doing what matters? Imagine, how we could change a space, a country, a person, if we focused on self-assessment rather than any standardized assessment. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde Strip the layers/toxins we tend to burry ourselves in. Detox. Get back to what matters, a natural state.. of curiosity. (rhizomatic learning)
  • 25. w h y w h y ? [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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.) 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 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. [for more on normality take a listen to: normal – why & what, or read Seth Godin’s We Are All Weird change the conversation?
  • 26. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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. 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. s e l f - r e f l e c t 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.
  • 27. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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’s 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 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 (passion plus persistence). 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. people + why = c h o i c e
  • 28. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 truly 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. Enlivened people crave creative ways to share or expose their ideas, their code, their tacit knowledge, their art. This energy unleashes adjacent possibilities. As more are freed up to play, we become robust communities of practice (happy people). a l i v e p e o p l e 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?
  • 29. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] do we change the conversation? v i d e o speed read 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, where 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’re 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. 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
  • 30. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] We’re imagining as well, developing an app for detox . Imagine texting what you noticed, what you’re dreaming about, or what you connected, and within the day, you receive 5 text #’s of people in your community, or virtually, that were curiously pursuing the same thinking/things. Imagine creating local and virtual gatherings that matter, because they are per choice. Imagine crowdsourcing curiosity. For many years, people like Ivan Illich have written and talked about the importance of non-prescriptive learning. They were yearning for the day that learning would be owned by the learner. Today, there are pockets of this happening everywhere, but often still partially prescribed, and access to these pockets is not equitable. [Equity not equality.] Equity will come with more spaces of permission, spaces per choice. Scaling across thrives, grows exponentially, when people are free to create.. it. Our dream is to unleash people, to change how we spend the 7 hours a day we currently call school. To focus on conduits/channels to communities of practice (gatherings with your people), where the only standard is self-reflection. Making this change is a multi- player game, bigger than any of us. But today, this can turn on a dime.
  • 31. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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. Freeing people up, and then trusting them to carry it out, a simple plan. free people We’re thinking of detox, as a temporary model or tool. Once we free ourselves (our minds) to explore self-directed 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 no reason for detox. For the rest of us, we’ve taken extra space to explain and encourage it. for more info/insight on the what of detox, take a listen: Affecting the research The Human Speechome Project MIT Media Lab
  • 32. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Again, the words are not magical: be, notice, dream, connect, do, but they have been diligently sought after in order to capture a natural process of learning when a learner is provided mental and physical spaces of permission to be. Wrapping that process in user-friendly verbiage, we hope to create as much of an authentic means to practice and 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. 2) 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. . 3) 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…? conversation might matter to everyone? … the one going on in their head.
  • 33. [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 has previously determined who you are. For some, for most even, this element of detox could take quite a while. We have become so used to pleasing others, to listening to other voices. We need to listen to ourselves, to our gut, daily. We change daily. While it’s difficult for some to be alone, many need space to listen from within. Spaces of permission 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’s not as much about finding good to do, as it is about finding that which you can’t not do. begin being. for more on be books: buccaneer scholar, significance of life, tools of conviviality, mindfulness, we are all weird, linchpin, orbiting the giant hairball Not so much about balance, but of self-awareness, knowing when you’re off balance. - Meg Wheatley
  • 34. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] notice. Step out of the routine and notice the unlikely. Ellen Langer writes in Mindfulness and Colin Ward writes in The Child in the City, how focus on outcomes can lead to mindlessness. Many of us need directions. We’re afraid to wander. We don’t embrace failure as an opportunity. We get impatient with the unplanned, the unlikely, the undefined. Yet, these are the very things that afford us spaces to make decisions based on the 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 an alternative if you choose to live awake. Noticing alone could change the world. for more on notice books: mindfulness, child in the city, rework, walk out walk on, feynman dream.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. We need to boldly and gracefully confront reliability-thinking (proof/data speaks) of the corporate world and of our traditions. We need to wonder and ponder. We need to question assumed risk. Might we face a greater risk in playing it safe? Meg Wheatley in Walk Out Walk On, quotes Paulo Freire - If you don’t have any kind of a dream, I’m sure it’s impossible to create something. for more on dream books: linchpin, art of possibility, war of art, democratic ed, we are all weird, walk out walk on, stop killing dreams
  • 35. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 personalized framework of why. That choice has the potential of ultimate empowerment. That choice facilitates and enlivens a person’s curiosity, getting at a deep, intellectual, just in time learning. Connections, our new currency. for more on connect, higher ed & cities books: 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 in public ed. Youth’s drive, contrary to the belief of some, contrary to perceived activity or inactivity, is not toward laziness. Youth crave hard work. A great question for a healthy self-perpetuated feedback loop, am I doing this to finish or am I doing this just to do, to be, to make? Remaining mindful of that mindset could set you free to experience the richest of lives. Find and do that which you can’t not do. for more on do books: at work with thomas edison, reality is broken, rework, the war of art, linchpin, tools of conviviality
  • 36. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] summing it up for ch 1: conversation w/self detox (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 permission to be. reflect on rhizomatic learning via detox/process
  • 37. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 normally don’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 do big 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 with ones 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 is untouchable. via parents: Be: Who is your child? Who is your child when nobody is telling her what she should be doing? 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 of things are noticed when space is given to notice? Dream: When left to her own devices, to what place does her mind travel? Is she dreaming of singing? Dancing? Gardening? Baking cookies? Riding on the space shuttle? Connect: Facilitate times for her to connect with others who dream of singing. Others who dream of dancing. Or gardening. Bake cookies with her if that's her dream. Bring space to her in whatever way within your means. Do: Give her the tools to sing, dance, garden, bake, and travel to the moon. Give her the space to do those things.
  • 38. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Linda and Gage encourage each other to find new ways to notice, dream, connect, do, …and eat. These spaces of permission allow for more natural connections. We are working toward families taking back time to grow together.
  • 39. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] ch. 2 shared spaces Imagine spaces filled with resources you’re craving. Imagine that in sharing, we find we have all we need. Imagine spaces filled with people, addicted to learning and sharing. Imagine meeting up with your people, there. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde Crowdsource, create, reinvent, and then share, .. physical spaces. City as floorplan. Your community becomes your school. (rhizomatic spaces)
  • 40. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] If we fix the cities, we fix the world. - Tony Hsieh In the US, when you say real life people tend to define it as: outside of school. - Michael Wesch The end of this plan, youth crafted two years ago, has community as school, with the entire city as the floorplan. The high school buildings become resource centers and meet up spaces. There is a city-wide art hall and engineering hall, forensics hall. The town acts more like a university campus.. where people are walking and biking to and from buildings through the course of a day. University/school as coffee house even. Dave Cormier, community as curriculum
  • 41. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] One great advantage to this is that now school becomes life. Learning is considered natural again and 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. Where people can roam, … in the wilderness. ..wilderness areas are vital for the human spirit and for creativity. As we offer more options for learning, we find we don’t need more resources. When we simply start talking to people in our community, we come to find out, the lady down the street has been translating Japanese for years, the man across the street is a lawyer on the board for a homeless safe house, a woman across town is a local university researcher, looking into the Antarctic ozone layer. We’ve got locals building robotic 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. nomadic spaces 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
  • 42. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 within one person, the more evidence of life and learning. These shared spaces begin to let Joe be Joe. each person is eclectic
  • 43. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] The time, money, and people we currently spend on classroom management and policy is no longer needed. Imagine if we instead of compulsion, we offer exposure. Imagine if we simply facilitate connections (virtual and local) to gatherings that matter. We have been heavy on the options that currently aren’t being offered, but that doesn’t mean we wish what already exists will go away. The focus here is on everyone. The people who love lectures, chemistry, school math, want to be a doctor,.. they will benefit from this freedom as 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. - Downes MOOCs [Massive Open Online Courses] model this disruptive space/learning online incredibly well in higher ed. It’s open, participatory, distributed, and supports life-long learning. 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 will enable 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 video: video describing this mesh mentality of space. http://vimeo.com/20320782 scale free schools books: big picture, democratic ed, child in the city, the mesh; deschooling society, buccaneer scholar, tools for conviviality, for the love of cities, triumph of the city, and Zappos downtownproject
  • 44. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] summing it up for ch 2: shared spaces city as floor plan (rhizomatic spaces): Finding and utilizing shared (mesh) spaces. The city as one great big resource center for its people. City as school. City as university. City alive. share rhizomatic spaces via city as floorplan/mesh
  • 45. [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 all connected. via parents: It was Toni Morrison who said, "You really need the whole village [to raise a child]." 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 community where the love of learning is shared by all, everywhere. A community of trust and unlimited learning opportunity.
  • 46. qr code to this video
  • 47. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] ch. 3 connections Imagine choosing your people. Imagine gathering with people you choose. People crazy about the same thing you are crazy about. Imagine a network of your eclectic people, because you are eclectic. Imagine fittingness (eudaimonia) vs fitting in. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde Find people and things that help you become you. Revel in being known by someone. Embrace interdependency. (rhizomatic connections)
  • 48. The term interdependency came as we were researching laws for homeless teens. While some states allow 14 year-olds to declare independence, often resulting in homelessness, some are trying to restate that to a declaration of interdependence, where each teen is matched up with an adult. If we want to create spaces of permission, where learning is accomplished through living, we feel this interdependency will provide stability in the potential, 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 the community around you, there are incredible mentors and teachers and unlikely topics, in unlikely places. That’s not even tapping into virtual resources. We are recovering from a year where we thought virtual was all we needed. What we found was that within the school system, Skype didn’t always work, and sometimes the time zone issues kept us from meet ups we were craving. Turns out it was good that virtual didn’t always work. It brought us back to local. Face to face. The global web is teaching us how to better tap into our 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 global connection and insight, yet you maintain your local culture. Perhaps we maintain and nourish a person’s unique culture through interdependency.
  • 49. individualism 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 actively seek out a variety of appropriate people and resources for diff situations - the person has become the portal. networked These connections provide needed support, safety, accountability. The belief that you are known by someone is a most liberating feeling, an incredibly vial piece to freeing your mind up to being, to becoming you. 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.
  • 50. c r e a t e serendipity [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Some resources we are falling in love with, that help … 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 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.
  • 51. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Dale of uncollege.org writes about creating serendipity Very similar to our vision, once again, of detox on a phone app. Text your self-reflection. Some hours later, get 5 text #’s of people in your same town, with similar reflections. Meet up in one of the town’s spaces of permission. ..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. More connections like this happening here. (Dale’s city as university post included.) Steve with readitfor.me has a potential game changer as well. Once you are set free to learn via choice, you find books to be very addictive, (if you hadn’t already). You find you want to know more of your art. You want to get into the heads of great thinkers of your art. We’re thinking Steve’s growing resource of book summaries could become a wikipedia of books. We’re imagining people growing his site, 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 an ever changing visual portraying an individualized network (ameba). Not to mention, allowing the learning to drive that ameba.
  • 52. beingknown = wellbeing [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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. This surpasses the issue of school, of achievement gaps, even of learning. This takes on the 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 (often unquestioned) dependencies, ie: feeding the test scores, the number crunch. We are because we belong. We are all connected. - I Am (documentary by Tom Shadyak)
  • 53. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 Wheatley This 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 just something we are dealing with because perhaps, we just aren’t normal. That misunderstanding can soothe us into apathy, or it can create a resistance large enough for us to rally about our rights and declare independence. While independence seems a better space than what we may be currently experiencing, a declaration of interdependence can be, not only more liberating, but more meaningful, as it has relationship, connection, at its core. Nothing live lives alone. Life only and always organizes as systems of interdependency. -Meg Wheatley
  • 54. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] summing it up for ch. 3: connections interdependency (rhizomatic communities): Your support system. Your people. The essence of relationship. Being known by someone. Actualizing the potential when we live, learn, and be, per choice. Finding the gatherings that matter to you. gather rhizomatic communities via interdependency/choice
  • 55. [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 were made. We plan to connect everyone with at least one person. via parents: This is a means to ground someone in a safe block. They are connected to someone. Like the buddy system. So in all the chaos of this freedom, they are not lost.
  • 56. [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 to create holistic lip balms, ointments. Sierra will soon be the youngest yoga instructor in the nation, with plans to build a local food pharmacy as well as a wellness center. Connections are feeding the hunger of her mission.
  • 57. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] ch. 4 facilitators of curiosity Imagine someone listening deeply to you, without an agenda, and then strewing/offering resources that match up with your 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 Become usefully ignorant. Listen. Practice vulnerability in context. Decide to deliberately not teach. Rather, mentor alongside. (rhizomatic expertise)
  • 58. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] If you are lucky enough to be connected to someone per passion, or be known by some youth, one key element toward facilitating self-directed learning, is to deliberately not teach. We live in a world that is so used to directions, so used to being told how and what to do, it’s hard for many of us to function on our own. In most learning situations and opportunities, we seek out the perceived expert, sit in their path, and wait to be filled. This mindset disables and disengages the indispensable person from within. This pattern, tradition, training, encourages mindlessness. If the goal is self-directed learning, if the desire is youth who know what to do when they don’t know what to do, if the aim is for youth to fall in love with learning, then the mentor, needs to be positioned, physically and mentally, alongside. Alongside, doing their own thing, modeling what it is to learn, what it is to be. click for live doc of the be you web The word assessment is derived from the Latin verb, assidere, which means, quite literally, - to sit beside.
  • 59. I don’t know… [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 McWilliams Mentors available to the youth, and ready to learn from the youth are most beneficial. The mentor’s mindset should be that of keen interest and inquiry into what is going on in the youth’s head, not the mentor’s. Sugata Mitra calls this the method of the grandmother: friendly but not necessarily knowledgeable in that topic. Wrongologist, Kathryn Schulz As mentors, listen without an agenda, demonstrating and communicating genuine patience and caring. Encourage the expression of ideas, even (and especially) if they are different than our own. Rather than alarm, try to honestly understand the underlying sentiment, in order to more fully understand. For an effective mentor, “I don't know” is always an okay answer. “I don't know” is an opportunity to access and use resources together. When we don't 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 deliberately not 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. As mentors, we should underscore the importance of learning and working for oneself and one's own self-improvement. The youth should understand that they alone assess their progress, without outside influence. We also need to recognize the effect of inappropriate praise. Praise shackles youth to a course of pleasing others, rather than themselves. Amy Lewark unschooling mom
  • 60. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Most of us are convinced that learning only comes from teaching. That thinking can create an unhealthy dependency. Dependency on someone else teaching us and/or someone else 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 Natural, self-induced feedback loops help encourage self-directed learning by focusing on hard 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 modeling vulnerability in context. We’re redefining No Child Left Behind to be this vast exposure to mentors 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 and breathtaking ways. No need to conjure up non-essentials to practice rigor. A person cannot teach another person directly; a person can only facilitate another's learning. - Carl Rogers, 1951 Prepare people for uncertainty. - Dave Cormier
  • 61. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] The reward is brilliant minds set free, to be. We will be absolutely blown away by brilliance only when we offer support and create these types of spaces. Spaces where the heart of the matter, the very heart of the matter, the only agenda, is the curiosity, the curriculum if you must, residing within each person, each youth, each learner. A rhizomatic space, community, learning, where there 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.…harvest invisible intelligence. - Meg Wheatley
  • 62. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Partial Freedom is no freedom. - Krishnamurti, The Significance of Life Pseudo-freedom may be worse than no freedom at all. - Steve Denning Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. -Plato 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 mind subservient and dull; and if this is what we desire, then education through compulsion is an excellent way to proceed. - Krishnamurti The child is the result of both the past and the present and is therefore already conditioned. If we transmit our background to the child, we perpetuate both his and our own conditioning. There is radical transformation only when we understand our own conditioning and are free of it. To discuss what should be the right kind of education while we ourselves are conditioned is utterly futile. Ed & the Significance of Life -high recommend (pdf)
  • 63. summing it up for ch 4: facilitators of curiosity mentor alongside (rhizomatic expertise): A means to realize and utilize the expertise in everyone. harvest rhizomatic expertise via mentor alongside/ listening
  • 64. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] via young people: Neither the mentor or the student is greater, they are feeding off of each other. via parents: Often I learn more from my child than I can take in, if I’m listening. ie: I asked my two and a half year old what came first, the chicken or the egg. He said, the nest.
  • 65. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Hannah and Tim get together daily. They trade off teaching each other about music, dance, leadership. They’re modeling the potential when the 7 hours a day is owned by a person, living out a culture of trust.
  • 66. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] ch. 5 conversation with others Imagine a world where we don’t feel the need to manage people, to play defense, to fake that we know things for validation. Imagine a world where people and connections are our gold. Imagine believing in each other so much that each person feels valued, right now. Most people are other people. - Oscar Wilde Break down walls. Assume good and become rich. Realize communication is never finished. Cultivate a culture of trust. Question ego, that incessant need to prove ourselves. (rhizomatic currency)
  • 67. people agenda Clay Shirky tells a story of ten daycare centers in Israel in his book, Cognitive Surplus. The story 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 and very few parents came late and not by very much. Then they imposed approximately a three dollar fine on 7 of the 10 centers. The number of late parents increased, and stayed elevated even after the fine was dropped. Shirky explains, the parents see the day care workers as participants in a market transaction rather than as people who’s needs should be respected. Parents viewed workers time as a commodity. They assume the fine represents full price of the inconvenience they were causing. He goes on to explain the difficulty, once a new mindset for the relationship has occurred, to go back to the culture of trust and humanity. Dealing with one another as a market can fundamentally alter relationships. Have we turned relationships into marketing transactions, that now require such a large overhead that we have lost the art of living? Are we trusting and valuing people? Or are we trusting and valuing paperwork that basically represents mistrust? And that takes billions a year to run in public ed alone.
  • 68. greenabout people We could be educating the world, but policy keeps getting in the way. - David Wiley Cease to settle. - Ivan Illich Well over 50% of our time in all areas of life seem to be spent on policy, on management of a system created because of mistrust. While the mistrust isn’t necessarily blatant, it’s a learned habit. It’s how it has always been. The system makes us dependent upon the system. We often default to seeking proof and validation 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 Wheatley Perhaps 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.
  • 69. people [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] To the right, find: our aup for tech use, our dress code, our house rules, our play and work rules, our common core, etc... remix, original via Will Richardson
  • 70. 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’s imagine 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. Imagine having time to be you. Imagine not having to prove yourself, not having to document yourself proving yourself. What if adolescence through mid-life crisis is actually a direct result of our publicly prescribed curriculum… If it’s your art, you’ll do anything to give it away. - Seth Godin Imagine having time to do your art. And then loving it so much that you can’t not give it away.
  • 71. 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 fish bowl view. We’re seeking to expose the goings on in the emergence of, a healthy community conversation. Can we use things we’re learning from the transparency of the web to break down walls that tend to keep us locally at bay? Can we offer the freedom to *lurk, to build trust? The means to listen-in, unacknowledged, until we hear people we had a beef with did indeed have more than one story, or that other people really are interested in listening and then 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 bring virtual experts in, just in time, to free up our thinking about getting-in places, and focus more on becoming us? As we emerge individually, because of self-conversations, can we also use tech to help us emerge and share openly, because of community-conversations. *lingering and persistent, though unsuspected or unacknowledged
  • 72. summing it up for ch 5: conversation w/others culture of trust (rhizomatic currency): This is about people. Each person matters right now. Each one the unique thumbprint 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 we gain. We assume good, together. It is there we discover brilliance, beauty, breathtaking balance, peace. give rhizomatic currency via trust/people
  • 73. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] via young people: Money isn’t as important as humans. You shouldn’t be trying to thrive from money, but trying to seek other human beings. via parents: This is a People Agenda. People are valuable. Treat them as such. Facilitate trust.
  • 74. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Peter and monika are working on ways to create and share more spaces of permission to be. Learning from failure, learning from transparency. Loving people enough to dream big.
  • 75. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 - Adam Mackie glossary of sorts
  • 76. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] adjacent possibilities Steven Johnson’s TED The potential and serendipity created when you notice and connect the unlikely. Incremental potential solutions to help people caught in conflict or looking for change to keep moving. corey
  • 77. [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 Illich Trying to get away from acting, being people that we aren’t for whatever reasons, and instead, doing what matters most to us. Art is that interesting piece inside each one of us. It’s that thing you can’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 or delinquent or depressed. We get so worried about, and expended in, a means to improve or to prove. 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 fuss was. The kids already wonder. The art, the sharing of that art, because you can’t not, is its own reward. lucas… doing happy
  • 78. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] On the other hand, and strikingly more of a risk, yet more overlooked, denied, or accepted, too many people aren’t getting what we think are the basics now. They may be playing the school game so well that it appears they are, but legitimately getting the basics has been proven time and again to be false when they enter the job force or arrive at the university campus, and are unable to perform expected basics. Kids in the lab are thinking that as much as 75% of kids either cheat or cram the day before a test, so that a week later, they don’t remember. Even by their own measures and prescribed basics, test scores continually reveal a great disconnect. ie: It’s hard to go through a day of real life without engaging in mathematical thinking. School math, however, per the common core standards, isn’t necessarily practical, useful, or basic. Have you rationalized a denominator or conjugated an imaginary number lately? And if you have, how common do you think that is? the basics The most common question we get is “What about the basics?” Find a great answer to that on the site of the - Brooklyn Free School. The answer is a question... “What are the basics?” Perhaps that’s what we need to redefine per an individual, per their community. The basics as defined by school is a very limited and restrictive set of skills. The word basic is often referred to as essential. Essential translates to absolutely necessary or extremely important. If we deem something as basic it should by it’s nature show up as we live, ... no? For those worried about basics that might not show up, these can be strewn, offered, and exposed. But our urge to mandate perceived basics, most often cripples and compromises the learner. more here in options We’re making too many decisions based on too little information. - Anya Kamenetz
  • 79. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] community of practice Getting together with your people and doing, making or learning something you all just can’t not do. The coming together is because of that thing and that thing is what you make or do. Community is built from each ones love for that thing. ie: I love to train dogs, or make kites. I find people in my city or virtually that shares that same love. We connect and immerse ourselves in that topic. We become a community practicing that art. Wikipedia’s more formal definition. connected adjacency Many have said there will be no revolution within the system, within the institution. 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 in education, even though many are breaking away to charter schools, online schools, homeschooling and unschooling, the masses reside in the system. Through a connected adjacency mentality we exist both in and out of the system. We spend more of our time playing offense, than defense. Nothing is for everyone, so we seek to facilitate non-prescribed learning. We’re currently creating spaces of freedom for a very small percentage to get at authentic experimentation and innovation. Spaces to test new ideas out within a community. Spaces where failure won’t affect or offset the whole, but unexpected, unknown, and delightful success will certainly and pleasantly benefit the whole. Saul Kaplan, connected adjacency; google 20% % Deborah Frieze on two loop 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
  • 80. culture What if transparency is the new currency? What if knowing people, being known, building a community, holds more value than what most of us end up spending most of the hours in a day doing or getting. We’re thinking school has perpetuated a corporate America long beyond it’s need to be, if it ever was a need. We’re thinking technology wants to free us up and 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 you want to know how good someone is, take a look at how well the people around them are doing. Most of what we’re suggesting, doing, and being, will only thrive in a culture 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 Visions for more see slidedeck: more resourceful
  • 81. 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.
  • 82. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] disruption (as per Clay Christensen) [a quiet revolution] By design, we are currently in the shadows at the left end of the upward exponential curve. As we begin being, those most in love with the idea, experiment, fail, and tweak, continually making and being. We’re experimenting with *transparent shadows: o 800+ raw footage videos on youtube (51295monk) o facebook group (tsd innovation lab) o info and update site (labconnections) o stand alone site, (be you.) * Transparent shadows: We are still obscure to those not intentionally seeking us out, because we aren’t selling, pushing, or prescribing anything. We believe obscurity is key to self-directed 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 not selling or pushing, we believe we’re creating something your soul might just be craving.
  • 83. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] Where is this quiet revolution/disruption headed? We are seeking more spaces of permission to be, for everyone. So while the shadows have boded us well, we are emerging from them to secure 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-player mentality. It begs more collaboration, more insight, more of a coming together, than many of us are used to. It begs a mindset most of us are not used to. It also brings with it more benefit. The right end of the upward exponential curve. It certainly delivers more happiness. James Paul Gee, affinity spaces; death of the expert (from dmlcentral); rhizomatic models; more resourceful slidedeck books: Clay Christensen, Disrupting Class; Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken; Ellen Langer, Mindfulness; Jason Fried, Rework; Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness; Carol Dweck, Mindset; John Hagel & John Seely Brown, Power of Pull, Seth Godin, We Are All Weird
  • 84. equity Equity doesn’t mean equal. Equity involves personalization. It begs choice. It allows for redefinition of success per individual, per community. The achievement gap is a misnomer when we prescribe what the gap is about. None of the data we’ve been gathering, and spending most of our time, energy, money, and people on, has a statistically sound basis. Everything is variable. Everything is debatable. ie: PISA, the test most often referred to when comparing countries, has it’s main focus on math. Math, many say, is more universal because there are relatively few barriers due to language. Yet, the math on these tests are more likened to school math, than mathematical thinking. This can translate to a competition between countries on a topic that is very restrictive and not beneficial to most people. We’re suggesting a more equitable means to monitor growth, if you must. We’re suggesting we model more of a self-directed feedback loop, comparing personal bests. Equity will come when we free people of a predetermined outcome. Equity will come when we offer resources per choice and facilitate self-directed learning. Equity fades the more we focus on a means to improve standardization. ie: We realize many more resources if we allow people to look at and use what they have. Many people have and prefer cell phone use, so why insist everyone have an ipad. Save the money for the few that don’t have anything, but again, let them choose their means of access. We’re thinking a good start for choice of connection or access involves laptops, phones, bikes, bus passes… If one day they were to seek equal work rather than equal pay - equal inputs rather than equal outputs - they could be the pivot of social reconstruction. Growth (of gaps of inequity) would stop if women obtained equally creative work for all, instead of demanding equal rights over the gigantic and expanding tools now appropriated by men. When maddening behavior becomes he standard of a society, people learn to compete for the right to engage in it. envy blinds people and makes them compete for addiction. - Ivan Illich People have all the skills, creativity, and ingenuity they need. - Meg Wheatley …. that’s our equity.
  • 85. indispensable Original thinkers, provoateurs, people who care. People we can’t dispose of or outsource. People who are vital. What we want/need are indispensable people. - Seth Godin, Linchpin knowmadic learner A creative, imaginative, and innovative person who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere. Industrial society is giving way to knowledge and innovation work. Whereas industrialization required people to settle in one place to perform a very specific role or function, the jobs associated with knowledge 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
  • 86. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] perpetual beta Never ending, never done beginning. Always fresh, mindful, and new. It's dirty and wholesome. It's the way that knowledge actually is, rather than the way we try to package it so that it can be measured. - Dave Cormier One thing people have said that have visited the be you house, is that every time they come it’s different. Routine can cripple us. Doing things in order to finish them, can compromise us. We’re practicing, embracing, and modeling perpetual beta. Through our eagerness to learn from ourselves and others, we share our mistakes. We seek to hold ourselves accountable to a continual freshness and mindfulness. This does however, unsettle people at first. People think they need definition. Can you explain something that is always changing? Luckily, people’s souls crave aliveness. It is perhaps because we have not learned to recognize and respect existing order in unfamiliar forms that we are frightened of social change, unwilling to support and work with the forms that peoples find for themselves. - Mary Catherine Bateson people agenda Our desire is to be green about people. To value, embrace, and delight in what it means to be human and alive. [a favorite quote from Carol Black’s beautiful film, Schooling the World] We’re experimenting with how to listen with no agenda. We believe that every actor has a reason, and that deep within, everyone has a desire to do good. We believe this space of trust awakens people, and that awakened people are indispensable. We believe the paradigm shift a people agenda begs, is that it be based on a culture of trust where community is the curriculum, non-prescriptive. (more on this in chapter 5) When we refer to youth, we intend that to mean you, to whatever degree you decide - youth. read more about this philosophy here: people agenda or this slidedeck: respect for every voice Dave Cormier, community as curriculum books: linchpin, buccaneer scholar, significance of life, cognitive surplus, mindfulness
  • 87. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo. The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the verb 'to be,' but the fabric of the rhizome is conjunction, 'and . . . and . . . and' (pp.24-25) Break the rhizome anywhere and the only effect is that new connections will be grown. The rhizome models the unlimited potential for knowledge construction, because it has no fixed points…and no particular organization (p. 389). a tangle of tubers with no apparent beginning or end, constantly changes shape, and appears to be connected at every point with every other point (p. 389). All life organizes into networks, not neat boxes or hierarchies. – Meg Wheatley prescribed learning The issue is with publicly prescribed learning... not with getting better at doing publicly prescribed learning. - Ivan Illich To date, much of our attention, even in the field of online learning, has been focused on a system of learning centered on the class or cohort: groups of students studying the same curriculum pace through the same set of learning activities. (Fenning, 2004) We continue to organize classes in grades, sorted, especially in the earlier years, by age. Time continues to be the dominant metaphor for units of learning, and learning continues to be constrained by time. As it was ten years ago, the model is that of a group of people starting at the same time, studying the same materials at the same pace, and ending at the same time. - Stephen Downes Mary Catherine Bateson on chocolate milk
  • 88. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] self-directed learning within public ed - or open source The environment that they happen to be in, whether it be a productivity tool, hobbyist web page, or online game, constitutes (at that time) the personal learning environment. Resources from across the internet are accessed from that environment: resources that conform to the student’s needs and interests, that have been in some way pre- selected or favorably filtered, and that may have been created by production studios, teachers, other students, or the student him or herself. Content – interaction, media, data – flows back and forth between the learning environment and the external resources, held together by the single identity being employed by the learner in this context. . -Stephen Downes Educational delivery systems will recognize the identity of the student making the request and will coordinate with other online applications (which may include commercial brokers, open resource repositories, or additional student records) to facilitate the student’s learning activity. -Stephen Downes from 2008 self-directed learning Knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do. - Erica McWilliams This comes about through experience and just in time learning. Self-directed learners are life-long learners. Their drive comes through listening to the curiosities from within. Their drive to dream, connect, and do is second nature.
  • 89. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] space What distinguished programmers at the top performing companies wasn't greater experience or better pay. It was how much privacy, personal workspace and freedom from interruption they enjoyed. If you have talented and motivated people, they should be encouraged to work alone when creativity or efficiency is the highest priority. - Adrian Furnham solitude The most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted. -Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Gregory Feist. Without great solitude, no serious work is possible. - Picasso We're often so dazzled by charisma that we overlook the quiet part of the creative process. When we take a stance diff from a group's we activate the amygdala, a small organ in the brain associated with fear of rejection. Gregory Berns calls this "the pain of independence.” private spaces of solitude – Susan Cain time & lucas
  • 90. [a q u i e t r e v o l u t i o n] 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 success as slidedeck as ebook click to hear Adam recite.. swimming in compromise lucas channing