Monday, February 27, 2012

Crowd-Sourcing Dreams

It's not that Seth Godin is saying anything novel.  But it is that he is leveraging via his appeal and his connections a will for others to think about learning and public schooling. I'm half-way through Godin's manifesto, Stop Stealing Dreams and want to recommend that you take a couple of hours and read it and then get some others to do so as well and then let's talk about it and see what we can put together and what we can dismantle.

I know that a lot of artists stop by my blog and so I am appealing especially to you.  Godin says that an artist "is someone who brings new thinking and generosity to his work, who does human work that changes another for the better" (section 39).  I think we know that and certainly I recognize those qualities and actions in the work and heart of so many of you.

Godin writes (from section 39):
The future of our economy lies with the impatient. The linchpins and the artists
and the scientists who will refuse to wait to be hired and will take things into
their own hands, building their own value, producing outputs others will gladly
pay for. Either they’ll do that on their own or someone will hire them and give
them a platform to do it. 
The only way out is going to be mapped by those able to dream.
I have invited Arne Duncan to a Google hangout I plan to host to discuss the manifesto and what in our national ed plan is supportive of a pedagogy of dreams and what is in the way of children dreaming powerfully.  I'll post the date and time and let you know.


  1. Replies
    1. Thinking about you and what you are composing with others in CO as I read Godin's text.

  2. Read Godin's manifesto yesterday - quite a lot to ponder/grapple with/act upon. Thanks for this post - wonderful.


  3. Totally agree with Shannon. Would love to be a part of this shared reading experience. Hope Arne Duncan responds!

  4. I have scheduled this weekend to re-read and contemplate Godin's manifesto and other writings. He has much to say and I have much to learn and do.

  5. >It doesn’t matter that neither of these is true. What matters is that finding a path that might be better is just too risky for someone who has only one chance to raise his [or her] kids properly.

    (Wow. I didn't even notice that 'his' at first. Not why I posted it...)

    My son was at a freeschool for a few years. It didn't seem like a risk to me. I know so deeply that they need to play to learn. But I called it a big experiment one day, and one (lovely, sweet) parent said "I don't want my kids to be part of an experiment!" I remember her reply often. And this passage tells why.

  6. Section 69. He claims that people don't do the more sensible thing on their computer out of fear. I disagree. I read Future Shock maybe 40 years ago. What I remember most is the part about the stress of change speeding up.

    There's too much to keep track of, and if typing google in Bing, to find Facebook works for you, then you've cut down on the silly computer details you need to learn. The author's solution (get Firefox, use a bookmark) will not work on all systems, nor is it the best for all levels of computer users.

    The need to keep the new amount of info pouring in down to a manageable stream is important.

  7. Anecdotes can help us understand more deeply, or they can mislead:
    >The Harlem Village Academy, like most charter schools, has no teacher’s union. No tenure, no contract-based job security. The thing is, the teachers here are more engaged and have more job satisfaction across the board than just about any school I’ve ever visited.

    He may be right about this one school. And I can tell you about the fabulous school Deborah Meier wrote about in The Power of Their Ideas, in which they created a special shorter and more flexible contract with the teacher's union. In my opinion, unions protect some very important workers - teachers. But they also usually protect the status quo.

    >In a post-industrial school, there is no us and them. Just us.

    Only if that post-industrial school is set in a post-capitalist society. In our society, money = power, and those of us who teach are not the ones with that sort of power.

    [OK, I'll stop now. If I want to write any more, I'll post on my own blog and link here.]