Thursday, July 20, 2006

BLC '06 November Reign

Quite a bit to process after hearing Alan speak on new school design.
Perhaps most interesting was the fact he didn't talk about building buildings. He spoke mainly on what to do before or instead of building buildings. An interesting proposition given the topic at hand.
One piece that stuck out, was something he said at the end of the session, "If I were designing a new school, one of my main design principles would be that students own the learning."
It's not necessarily how we design the buildings; it's how we design the learning.
The applications to Phoenix are obvious. We are a prime candidate for implementing each aspect of the conference. When Alan spoke of having us write scenarios as to what a student's day would look like if a school were to implement everything that has been mentioned in the conference, I thought to myself, "I want to live it, I don't just want to write it."
Talking with Jenny during and after the session was good. She told me she gets terrified every time she hears Alan speak. I can understand that.
I told her I just enjoy being surrounded by people who think in similar ways.
Phoenix Academy is populated by a group of students who figured out long ago that the schools owned the learning. As such, they learned to sit back and slide through, not seeing the relevance.
I anticipate some interesting results next year as I turn over ownership. Socrates indeed.
Dangerously, children have not just been relieved of the duty of providing for the family's welfare, they have to a surprising extent been relieved of the duty of providing for their own welfare.
Will Richardson brought up this point in both of his sessions I saw, saying his children were already conditioned to look to the teacher for information and direction. Is it a sense of entitlement, a sense of surrender, or something else. Whatever the case, it surely does not bode well.
This is, I think, the reason Jenny was terrified. I don't get terrified in the face of these propositions.
I feel Alan does not intend to terrify, but perhaps realizes things must appear dyer before people are stirred to act. I take all of this as a call to arms. It's about time teachers started a revolution rather than simply being revolted.
More later.


Flannery Alden said...

What scares me the most is Alan's dire portrait of the future. He says it with so much certainty that I'm compelled to believe it with the faithful heart of a loyal parishoner. His presentations always make me feel like I'm in church and I need to jump up and yell "Amen, brother!"

I like to see the future as all butterflies and bunnies; being confronted by such apocolypses shakes me to the core. And his solutions sound so right, I want to agree with him like he's Hitler and I'm a scout leader in the Hitler Youth. I realize that his intentions are much better than old Hilter, but the kind of zealotry he inspires in me frightens me.

Listening to Alan November is like constantly being in checkmate.


Flannery Alden said...

"It's about time teachers started a revolution rather than simply being revolted."

Indeed and word.