"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, December 18, 2006

Planning for Planting

During these shortest of days, it is the time that some begin to think about new Springs, new beginnings, new opportunities once the insanity passes.

I offer these mild bromides to all policy and curriculum writers, whether middle school or middle life ones:

10 Sane Bromides With Implications for Educational Renewal
  • There should be no single path to learning or living. Diversity and adaptability in biological and social worlds are key to survival.
  • The strength of a democracy can be gauged by the levels of participation and the continuing sustenance by its constituents.
  • Economic success without personal happiness is misery; personal happiness without economic well-being is a myth.
  • Real freedom is composed of equal proportions of liberty and responsibility.
  • The greatest threat to freedom is a shortage of trust. As trust recedes, policing moves forward.
  • Civilization requires both conservation and growth. Too much of either is the source of all moral and intellectual ill health.
  • Leadership, in the classroom or the boardroom, requires equal proportions of support and challenge. Support without challenge breeds complacency and false competence. Challenge without support breeds intimidation and withdrawal.
  • The offering of opinion is an eliminative act and serves a purgative purpose. Understanding, on the other hand, is the metabolic act that sustains human organizations.
  • Ethical caring occurs at the intersection of cool reason and warm compassion.
  • Play that is neither therapeutic nor constructive is never fun.

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