If only more politicians did the same!And, I ain't just talking about taking an interest in allthingsenvironmental... Most of us HAVE a PERSPECTIVE on the environment. I mean we all "think" that looking after the environment is a “great” idea, don't we…something that is important…something that we need to care about? But many of us do not “do” enough…not all of us “walk-our-environmental-talk”!
Not so "out there", now…huh? So, what the heck does this have to do with LEARNing? EVERYTHING…. There is a huge difference between "thinking" that something is a "cool idea" – and “doing something” about that same thing. Or, even by working to make a "real difference" by:
…breathing it and
…putting it at the heart of your decision-making How many of us…and those we work for…can put our hands on our hearts and say we truly do this with student LEARNing?
I feel a "story" coming on! When I was much younger, I was (by some accounts) a half-decent teacher – but I also discovered I was a far better LEARNer. I worked my butt off…read like my hair was on fire…and realised I actually got better at the TEACHing "stuff" by doing more of the LEARNing "stuff". The problem was I actually thought it was all about "ME" – my TEACHing abilities, my TEACHing style, my TEACHing "stuff"... Sure, student LEARNing was important…but insofar as my “performances” contributed to that LEARNing…I actually believed that the LEARNing of my students was because of what I did! The "ego" on the bloke! This was until I travelled to Milwaukee – to a little place called Alverno – and (finally) “got” it:
People who knew that it was "service" to LEARNing that was important.
People who had decided to TAKE a curriculum PERSPECTIVE... Just like Jae Rhim Lee (without the “ninja PJs”) the faculty at Alverno realised that simply “having a perspective on curriculum” was not enough – if they wanted to make a "real difference" to the lives of their students, they had to TAKE a PERSPECTIVE on allthingscurriculum (and allthingsassessment, too). Alverno “got” that, to borrow from Ghandi, it had to “be” the change it wanted to see in Milwakee and Wisconsin – and decided to change the “rules of the game”…
Alverno got it so RIGHT…so many years ago! So, why do so few institutions not get it today?
More next time…