Monday, October 8, 2012

the glue, the narrative

looking for the glue.. the cohesive structure george siemens talked about several years ago..

via diane here:

then nikhil here: mis-education-nation-why-were-student-voices-silenced-at-nbc-s-town-hall/

then     here: why-education-needs-a-new-brand

high recommended reads...

from the last:
So how do we make people care?

If we could devise provocative and ongoing messaging--a relevant pitch that appeals to people’s immediate lives and illuminates the possibilities rather than the problems in education--we could unify businesses, teachers, communities, and political leaders around a singular goal. We could move learning forward, let go of mediocre standards and encourage transparent communication within districts. By scaling success stories and applauding visionaries who have made real impact, we can compel citizens to start caring. Educational progress has been stifled by red tape, political mistrust, and inefficient practices for too long; these barriers will only be removed when we start viewing education as a priority.
Ultimately, we must re-brand education to invigorate the American public, to generate a sense of optimism, and to partake in risk-taking measures rather than circular, bureaucratic arguments. While the EdNation Summit underscored areas of opportunity in education, there were few discussions on how we can move beyond incremental, predictable improvements to truly revolutionize the education infrastructure. It is not enough to indulge in dreams. We must be able to make mistakes, to let go of what we know is not working, and demand solutions from our state legislatures and most revered brands.

working on facilitating curiosities - because.. well.. we've gotten good at killing creativity/curiosity.. we have a dependency on dependency.


found the above.. after i had written this up for aj.. so very fitting.

via this: a-misfits-calling-and-the-one-and-only-spot-at-misfit-camp/

Describe your calling in one sentence. *
Equity, everyone getting a go at finding the thing they can’t not do, at becoming indispensable.

What's the name of your project? *
a quiet revolution

Describe your project. *
Short version:
Redefining public education, changing the law’s focus from seat time and test scores to:
1. everyone is known by someone (relationship);  2. everyone talks to themselves daily (self-assess).

Long version:
Imagine freeing up all the people in school buildings, that 7 hrs a day, those 12+ yrs. Imagine those 16,000+ hours spent on knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do, rather than doing what you’re told. Imagine all the expert self-directed and life-long learners.
Imagine the solutions to problems that matter, are sitting in classrooms, and rather than solving real problems, we have them prepping for tests on ie: rationalizing a denominator.
Imagine that most of our problems might not even exist, [for one - global suicide rate is one every 40 seconds - most people aren’t getting a chance to be themself], if we weren’t so accepting of the current dogma: 5 year olds trained to sit still, color in the lines, and attain an age appropriate level of reading of books they often have little interest in.

We did imagine that. We imagined it so much, that now, we can’t not take it on. We are seeking to set people free, from this zombie-like mindset, of doing what we’re told. We no longer think it a ridiculous feat, but rather, marvel that most people seem to wonder if it’s legal to think for themselves. We are reclaiming the public in public ed. We are seeking to free up the self-directed learner in every person by facilitating their curiosities.

Our current dilemma, the solution is too simple for most (academics) to accept in a timely manner. [we believe the quiet revolution is happening, we are seeking to hasten it along - because life is too short to not]
The more we depend on proof for validation, the more we fear uncertainty (Descartes). What the world needs is self-directed passionate people. (ask any mom, any college admission office/prof, any CEO, ask yourself..)
The mental roadblock is, we have no means for credentialing self-directed learners in a world caught up in this data driven craze of proof. The too simple of a solution: set people free in spaces of permission where they have nothing to prove.

We’ve been in an intense mode of experimenting, with what it means to be human and alive. After four years in this incubator space, we believe we’ve come up with a narrative that could start anywhere, today, and go everywhere, changing the world for good. There are so many incredible innovations and projects and people, doing amazing things, but there is no glue, no cohesive structure, to make betterness (Haque) equitable.
Rather than scaling any of these innovations, we believe the answer lies in scaling the individual.

Long version:
k. so i wrote out the project i’m totally embedded in. then i thought about it. then i rewrote it from a completely different angle. i streamlined it to it’s essence... to me personally.
you can see the about page of our site for a brief lowdown, the details, on the how we see this quiet revolution playing out. it’s all documented and fermented in the work/mission/project we’ve carried out over the last four years.. [in loveland - surreal no?]

my soul project then.. ? the unleashing of the this revolution. the coming out phase. it’s very critical, i’m thinking, that it be done with a bold and intentional focus on simplicity. it really doesn’t matter how sure any of us are of the solution, if people can’t hear it, taste it, see it, smell it, feel it, ...believe it. every day.
the last four years seem to me more like 20 years ..of intense research. this pursuit of equity, it wakes me every day. it keeps me up at night. sleep seems so trivial. the belief that people are good and that we have all we need tears at my senses most every moment .. why haven’t we yet moved forward on this?
i’ve seen too much, know too much. too many people have let me in, too close, too vulnerable. i’ve been privy to a wilderness space. i’ve seen a narrative that can change the world, via an equitable, and most important, a doable means, to give every individual a go.
i believe that in our cognitive mega-surplus, in our zombie-fied busyness, we’re missing a simple, a breathtakingly beautiful, solution. a solution every soul craves.

simplicity has it’s curse. Descartes (and many others) wrote about it often. our thinking, our cognition, our academics and rulers, those we applaud and hale, and ourselves, our own egos, keep us from simplicity. we can’t accept/imagine that simplicity is enough. we’ve trained ourselves to obsess with complexity. it makes us feel strong. but it’s false. nothing is provable. knowledge won’t save us. complexity is keeping us from embracing uncertainty. and uncertainty is all we have. we’ve got to learn to swim with it, be vulnerable in it.

simplicity has it’s blessing. this can turn on a dime. it needs no training, no prep. people just need to be set free. it can start anywhere, and go everywhere. if we scale each individual, we’ll see an exponentiated exponentiation.

help me guys. my project,.. it’s clarity for the coming out of the project we’ve been experimenting with the last four years. that public ed is the vehicle to social change. can we make this narrative so useful, so user friendly, so everyday-ish? how can we make it show up everywhere.. so that people can’t not miss its allure?
help me pulse this out.. it’s there. brilliant people, mostly youth, have found and crafted and experimented with it. i  have absolutely no doubt, it’s there. it’s here. among us.
how to make it easy on the hearts, and eyes, and ears, of people everywhere? that’s my project.
we have to give this a try. it’s a misfit solution. everyone is a genius, everyone is a misfit. every soul craves this free space..
once every 40 seconds, globally, someone takes their own life. that’s the war we can win. the war that will matter.
setting people free. waking them up. in spaces of permission and stillness, where they have nothing to prove.

i’ve seen it. it’s making me crazy we haven’t yet.
we can’t not.

people are good.
we have all we need.
help me wake us up.

a friend writes:
We are all misfits.  We all feel a little different, a little out of place, a little crazy.  Why? Because we have all been labeled in some way by someone else who doesn’t really know who we really are.  Labeled by parents, teachers, bosses, peers.  These labels create a prison that we put ourselves in, trying to live up to expectations and trying to prove to ourselves that we are worthy…trying to prove to everyone else that we are worthy.  This is useless energy spent on keeping our egos inflated and in full effect.  It all makes us crazy.  But if we change the mindset from what we “should” be, to being in a space of permission for who we “are”, we change our world.  We are worthy, we are who we are.  Not anyone else.  We have to be ourselves, because that is exactly how we live life fully.  Our souls crave it.  Every person on this planet can connect with this truth.  We want to be free…free to experiment, free to be ourselves, free to find that thing we can’t not do.  That’s why this is so important.  We need to change the system, because it is literally killing us.  We want to redefine public education so that we all embrace the “misfit” in ourselves.  Because different is good.  Be You.

Do you currently have a site for this project? *

In one sentence, how will this change your life?*
It already is, I’m learning to swim in perpetual beta, to embrace uncertainty, to set myself free, daily.

In one sentence, how will this change the world?*
People are good, we don’t need to micromanage them, we just need to set them free.


in reading today:

how appropiriate..

via diane’s & nikhil posts: the-glue-narrative