flickr photo via Takanori Ishikawa
When I shop for new stuff I have a tendency to look for unique qualities in whatever I'm shopping for. Even in the most mundane consumer items I find myself being impressed by qualities that set them apart from their more predictable comparables. An element as simple as color can make an item look totally exclusive... at least until you buy it and bring it home; then all you see for the next few weeks is similar items in the same color. I know of what I speak; this happens every time I buy a new vehicle. When I'm not looking for it, I don't see the color I ultimately choose to buy. After I buy it, I see it everywhere. The thing is we become situationally blind to that which we aren't looking for. This inattentional blindness prevents us from perceiving things that are essentially hiding in plain view.
About a month ago I wrote "EduKare- A new paradigm for struggling urban schools." I thought it was a decently unique and creative take on positive education reform, and it initiated some really, really good dialog. Interestingly enough, as these dialogs evolved, so did my understanding that there were other people who had bought the same colored car, so to speak. I am very encouraged to know that there is a vibrant cohort of global educators who believe, like me, that improving the education system can be done much cheaper, better and faster than masses of education reform revolutionaries assert.
A network of like-minded people is emerging. A quick visit to the #EduKare Twitter stream is an indication that the concept has resonated with people who see opportunity to innovate and improve the education system. They are builders. Regardless of their particular vantage point, they are engaged in the process of constructing a system that is responsive, efficient and identifies individual students and their families as clients to be served through creative and customized pedagogy. Projects around the world like purpos/ed in the UK, the Disruption Department and Knowledge Works in the US, are intriguing examples of teachers taking the high road toward transforming education. Many other individual teachers, and to be honest, non-teachers who are invested in the education system in one way or another have also chimed into the conversation.
I'd like to give a tip of the hat to these projects and people, and am so interested in furthering deeper connections between them. It's very exciting to know that people are believing in public education and perceiving where it should go to serve students compassionately and proactively.