Thursday, June 4, 2009

सेच्कोन्द Life

We, in my school district, had just begun to toy with the idea of acquiring some un-real estate in Second Life, when those of us who could actually, maybe, get it done, decided to retire from public service. That's a bit over-wrought, of course, as I am sure there are some others around who are of a virtual education bent, and who will pick up the slack, carry on the momentum towards the inevitable.

My "this year" seniors have stepped off into the world, and one by one, each benefited from being able to realize the power of their own inspirations। They ventured into the virtual reality of their interior landscapes to seek an ecology of the mind.

With or without a cartoon avatar, when we in education engage our students in seeking their own truths, the outcomes are always releases of enormous energy, coupled with growing self-realization that the only real empowerment for doing things comes from within ourselves.

This year, one kid was headed for finishing up high school with nothing to show for all that time, and he knew it. Was not even considering taking on any more frustration by going to college.

The word-for-word exchange between us:

"What are you interested in?"

"I like to walk in the woods."

"So, go build yourself a park. You know, like a national park or something, if that's what you have in mind?"


The next thing I knew, (next month) he's asking me for college recommendations to five schools near wilderness centers in the Rocky Mountains. The next thing I knew(two months later) he's handing me a copy of his published journal on hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Pennsylvania.

It just occurred to me, writing this post, it's kind of like the joke us Boomers have about how the world used to be all black and white, like Pleasantville

Monday, March 16, 2009

Reflection on the Nature of the Creative Workplace

It's Monday,and I'm sifting through the older posts, and going back and forth with Gardner's The Undisciplined Mind, and, very randomly, but with purposeful randomness, I have been reflecting on the curricular fact that my classes have been watching Shakespeare in Love, noting the constructiveness of the medium that was the Shakespearean theatre -- was "school" for the times: the question of his authorship, not really in doubt, for me, as the lively classroom of those times in that place seem analogous to these times: much to borrow from, much to be made anew, for all time to come. The creative workplace, the discipline of creativity, in the face of boundless resources, the 21st Century Classroom. Here I am, my mind adrift in Cyberspace (thanx, Mr. Gibson)


As I see it, Chapter 6 of Howard Gardner's The Disciplined Mind speaks of the "expert" who continually confronts the "misconceptions" and "inadequate representations" of undisciplined or "unschooled" understanding towards developing "enhanced understanding". This dynamic pushes back at the limits of the traditional, familiar, content-driven curricula. As I see it, Gardner points towards high school as the place to initiate the primary cognitive apprenticeship of adulthood.

Still digesting the "disruptive" nature of the integration of technology into education, there seems to be plenty of opportunity for disruption in these tricky economic times!

"We go forward without the facts; we learn the facts as we go along." Henry Ford

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Midterms 0809

I decided that the time had come to incorporate the Harrington Project with a genuine senior midterm -- after all, nothing to lose at this point. I have been surfing and lurking, and have seen some amazing things. Nothing quite like the Harrington Project, though. Will get back to you on how the midterm worked out.