“We can rebuild the entire system around passion instead of fear.” ~ Seth Godin
Because if we want a better education system that doesn’t dictate from atop an ivory tower, we must build it ourselves, we must be ready for battle, we must be revolutionary.
The research is there, we’ve seen that carrots and sticks don’t work. So why do we keep relying on rote memorization and obedience as markers of learning? How do we speak truth to power? Or perhaps more importantly, how can we encourage students to speak truth to power, when as educators, we are often seen as the power in the room?
Palmer recommends we strive to seek an “academic culture that invites student to find their voices about the program itself”, which in turn creates opportunities for support from faculty and staff. However, I don’t quite buy in to the call-and-response way of building culture. I strive to understand and recognize ways we are interconnected. We must work together to create the kind of world we know is possible. We can stand up and with one another even in battles that are not our own; laying a foundation for brave spaces. Demonstrate warriorship and the courage required to speak out against the status quo, to have unpopular views, and to break silence in pursuit of positive cultural transformation. Be willing to engage in uncomfortable conversations and make mistakes with one another, rather than avoid difficult topics.
We need to entrust our students with these messy problems and encourage them to speak about the ways and means learning is a choice and a pursuit to gain greater participation and be a better human in our society.
“Our task is to learn how to build smart rooms—that is, how to build networks that make us smarter” ~ David Weinberger
For myself, smart rooms and networks must remain rooted in empathy and compassion for others. My hope is to plant seeds of leadership and grit in to the classroom so that students will feel empowered through knowledge and training.