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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Teaching vs. Learning

A new semester is about to start. one of the main weaknesses of education is the paradox of the mentor. Teachers (not all) assume that in order for learning to take place there must be a pre-established boundary of respect. The boundary that is traditional is the teacher is the master and the student is the learner. The line is never blurred.

I experience a blurring of lines that makes each person in the learning community a teacher and each person a learner. In order for this to happen i must be a learner. I look forward to creating processes and opportunities for all of us to learn from each of us. Many complexities and subtleties exist in the application of that scenario. To not approach the scenario is to never discover the complexities. To never discover the students and teachers in the room. To never discover oneself.

I look forward to knowing by knowing each person. I look forward to the learning of the semester. A friend of mine who has much experience with universities and respected masters has been known to proclaim that if one is searching for the intellectual realities they can not be found at universities. how sad and also how true.

Friday, August 3, 2007

On My Mind

One of the advantages of living with a thirteen year old is the view from the top. My son has taught me about me, about him, about communication, about education, about peace and about my father to mention only a few. The issue on my mind today is why do we persist in doing things in ways that we know does not work?

School structures designed over 100 years ago are working diligently to improve without actually changing anything. When leadership is presented with information that informs them of the required systems reformation the answer is almost always agreement and then an explanation on exactly why that just would not work, in this place or at this time, or with these resources. So we carry on doing it wrong but in a better and improved fashion.

If I think about it this model, "to know but to do nothing", plays out in a plethora of social institutions (banks, marriages, governments, corporations, religions, etc). We are getting gifted at this scenario. That's what it is. I wonder just why it is?