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robertogreco : enthusiasm   18

What If? And What’s Wrong? – Sherri Spelic – Medium
"According to Erikson’s analysis, Design Thinking favors those already positioned to benefit from and claim the best of what society has to offer. It stands to reason then those places where Design Thinking finds its most ardent supporters and enthusiastic practitioners will be among those with the resources of time, money and opportunity who can contemplate ‘What if’ questions in relative existential safety.

In his study of the lives of the vulnerable, Marc Lamont Hill challenges us to go beyond the headlines and video capture of numerous awful human interactions to see the system designs already in place which made those encounters more likely, more predictable, more damaging. He shows us the histories and patterns of disenfranchisement and exclusion of America’s vulnerable that are hiding in plain sight. Embedded in those patterns are hundreds of local, statewide and federal design decisions in urban planning, municipal budgeting, school district allocation, law enforcement strategy, and social service delivery all with the potential to support or suppress affected communities. The question ‘What’s wrong?’ is ever present in these contexts but when addressed with the kind of careful analysis that Hill provides we can name the elephant in the room, trace its origins, learn how it grew and was nourished over time.

Our students can see inequality. Many of them experience its injustices on a daily basis. Precisely here is where I would like to see us focus our educator energies: on helping students see and identify the faulty designs throughout our society that plague the most vulnerable among us. In order to dismantle and correct these designs and patterns, they must first be able to notice and name them. That’s the kind of design thinking I hope and wish for: Where ‘what’s wrong?’ drives our pursuit of ‘what if?’

I also imagine that would be a pretty tough sell in the current marketplace of ideas."
sherrispelic  designthinking  education  skepticism  criticalthinking  systems  systemsthinking  inequality  2018  marclamonthill  leevinsel  meganerikson  entrepreneurship  neoliberalism  optimism  enthusiasm  design 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Overstatements of 21st-Century Education Evangelists
"1. De-valuing the education most children currently receive
A favorite tactic of keynoters and their live-tweeters is to issue blanket condemnations of all current educational practice. While there is plenty wrong with what goes on in many classrooms today, such blanket statements simply denigrate the current nature of schools. I fear that this serves, outside the echo chamber, to further harm the reputation of education, schools, and teachers in the popular mind and thus detracts from the worth that children see in their own work and lives as students.

2. Humiliating and undermining the worth of educators
When gurus speak of the harm they believe done by “traditional” teaching and teachers (whatever these terms even mean), it adds to the general level of disrespect that the world at large seems to feel toward educators. This in turn devalues the experience of learning in the minds of students, as in #1, above. Educators tend to be people committed to doing right by kids; let’s honor this.

3. Exaggerating the failures of traditional educational systems
The educational practices of the past may have created the world today, but I don’t think that we can blame worksheets, lectures, or even boring textbooks for all of the world’s ills. I’m optimist and even romantic enough to believe that effective learning (and creative, thoughtful teaching) was taking place even before the Age of the Internet or even the “discovery” of Bloom’s Taxonomy. We can of course do better, and most of us are trying.

4. Mis-characterizing and undervaluing ethics education
There is ethics education and then there is coercive moral and character education. All attempts to help students understand, clarify (if you will), and form their own values are not examples of pernicious regimentation or egregious moral relativism. I am of a mind that education is indeed a deeply moral enterprise, and I believe that we ignore or scoff at this concept at our peril.

5. Undervaluing the teaching and mastery of fundamental skills like reading and arithmetic
The multiple C’s of 21st-century education are critical to effective educational experiences, but so are the old three R’s: effective reading and written communication and the ability to perform basic calculations and estimations. The deep flaws in the Common Core and its presentation do not make an argument for ignoring the idea that kids need to be able to read and extract information from multiple kinds of texts or that they need to be adept at writing and basic math. I’d go so far as to suggest that there actually some kinds of basic information that kids need to know (some basic place geography is one example, as retro as this idea may be) in order to more deeply understand the larger concepts and issues that could underlie both greater relevance and deeper engagement.

6. Proclaiming that entrepreneurship is the only path to a better future
I’ll go out on a limb and say that the idea that every child must learn to be a junior business tycoon is a little wacky. Sure, it’s great for kids to know how to create, organize, collaborate, and advocate around an idea, but the current penchant for learning more informed by Donald Trump’s The Apprentice than by John Dewey’s Democracy and Education makes me sad for kids.

7. Failing to take on the real issues in American education: equity and justice
As the fallout from Ferguson and the Garner case continues, I’m not hearing the technology and technique gurus working terribly hard to connect “21st-century learning” with issues of social equity and social justice—or straight-up racism and violence. We hear much about “empathy” in the context of collaboration and or PBL (of whichever sort, problem- or project-based), but it feels too much as though education for “innovation” and education for social justice live on opposite sides of the house. They shouldn’t.

8. Ignoring the limitations of technology and the continuing digital divide
Every time there is a power outage even society’s haves should be reminded that access to all the benefits of technology is not equitably distributed in our society. Furthermore, there is a tendency among what some folks I know call “technology triumphalists” to speak of technology as the universal cure to all of education’s ills. Research suggests that some learning actions (e.g., note-taking, even reading) happen more effectively when not mediated by gadgets, and even if this is a transitional state in our evolution toward homo gadgetus, we need to acknowledge that human interaction and certain kinds of manual action (call it “making,” if you like) still have value as part of the learning process.

9. Underplaying the issues that most imperil the world
Maybe they’re just too big and scary to contemplate, but climate change, persistent totalitarianism, and waves of intolerance and extremism are massive and omnipresent blips on the globe’s radar screen. There is danger in making education fear-based (although we weathered education against the backdrop of the Atomic Age air-raid drills and the imperatives of Sputnik Panic), but there is a compelling argument for having authentic and urgent global issues explicitly inform more of our teaching and learning.

10. Pretending that deeply reflective and creative thinking about education are their own invention
Perhaps it is that my immediate forebears were what I believe to have been thoughtful and even innovative educators, and perhaps is that I am fascinated by educational history, but I happen to be rather convinced that the generality the educators in the past were neither numb-skulled servants of the industrial state or child-hating cretins. Let’s give our ancestors in this enterprise credit for being caring, insightful, and creative men and women who were deeply committed to doing their best by the children in their classrooms. Just because some of those classrooms were single rooms with programs built around slates and McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers doesn’t mean that all teaching was horrid or that students were universally bored.

11. Failing to sustain their (our?) own enthusiasms
This might be the worst thing educational enthusiasts do to their (our?) schools, their (our?) colleagues, and their (our?) students. Every teacher can tell you about the serial enthusiasms that have washed over their schools in successive tsunamis of urgency, whether the urgency is based on market worries or sincere concern for students. And as everyone in schools knows, the defense mechanism that some educators develop against these tsunamis is cynicism that takes the form of passive(-aggressive) resistance to new ideas. As leaders we often haven’t done a great job of sustaining, or even making the case for sustaining, novel practices long enough to really see what really works or to build them into the culture of education."
education  petergow  2015  teaching  learning  policy  progressive  children  ethics  technology  edtech  purpose  history  enthusiasm  digitaldivide  equity  justice  socialjustice 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Paper Town Academy: John Green at TEDxIndianapolis - YouTube
"John Green is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green's books have been published in more than a dozen languages.

In 2007, Green and his brother Hank ceased textual communication and began to talk primarily through videoblogs posted to YouTube. The videos spawned a community of people called nerdfighters who fight for intellectualism and to decrease the overall worldwide level of suck. (Decreasing suck takes many forms: Nerdfighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight poverty in the developing world; they also planted thousands of trees around the world in May of 2010 to celebrate Hank's 30th birthday.)

Although they have long since resumed textual communication, the brothers continue to upload two videos a week to their YouTube channel, Vlogbrothers. Their videos have been viewed more than 200 million times, and their channel is one of the most popular in the history of online video. Green has more than 1.2 million followers.

Big Idea: "The Paper Town Phenomenon"

When we think of education as a school-based phenomenon, we do a disservice both to students and to the rest of us. Green argues that we should imagine education as a kind of cartography, and discuss how online communities are helping to build learning maps that will encourage students. From YouTube to tumblr to the Khan Academy, the line between education and entertainment is blurring, and as these tools reach more and more people. The youth of today are quietly becoming the best-informed, most intellectually engaged generation in world history."
via:lukeneff  johngreen  papertowns  trapstreets  learning  zefrank  youtube  curiosty  education  opportunitycost  howwelearn  communities  online  web  internet  community  conversation  passion  enthusiasm  schools  schooliness  maps  mapping  cartography  exploration  learningspaces  vlogbrothers  2012  lifelonglearning  unschooling  deschooling  learningnetworks  nerdfighters 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Beyond Face | The Public Amateur
"[T]he artist becomes a person who consents to learn in public. This person takes the initiative to question something in the province of another discipline, acquire knowledge through unofficial means, and assume the authority to offer interpretations of that knowledge, especially in regard to decisions that affect our lives. The point is not to replace specialists, but to enhance specialized knowledge with considerations that specialties are not designed to accommodate.

Specialization has brought about marvelous achievements. But under increasing complexity and fragmentation, the need for overviews of how vectors of power-knowledge intersect has become more imperative than ever. Our culture asks too high a price of society when it insists on narrow professional specialization. Conforming to this demand divides our intellect from our emotions, our imagination from our efforts, our pleasure from our worth, our verbal and analytic capacity from other creative talents, and our ethics from our daily lives. The result is frustration and disempowerment for the individual and shortsightedness for society as a whole."

"The amateur has transparent relations to her object. She approaches and ultimately appropriates the object of knowledge out of enthusiasm, curiosity or personal need. She learns outside the circuits of professional normalization and reward, things the artist was once presumed to resist.

Anyone can develop expertise and, if motivated enough, can even become an authority. The amateur can be as narrow as the specialist or as amorous as the polymath lover of knowledge. The category of the Public Amateur is not confined to artists. It’s a growing polyglot array of people who want to operate equally from the gut and the brain."

"Artists are expected to have publics, however small or large, but for better or worse, they are not expected to know much. An artist who wants to perform learning can leverage whatever claim to a public she is able to accrue, and initiate processes she hasn’t mastered, putting the very notions of professionalization and credibility on the stage.

This is an activation of metalanguage, something that artists do all the time. When I perform the acquisition of knowledge in the symbolic resonance that is art, I am inviting new conversations about knowledge itself. By placing this activity in the realm of aesthetics, I subject it to our questions about what we care about."

[via: ]
trickster  art  artists  lcproject  openstudioproject  base619  amateurism  amateurs  beginner'smind  learning  workinginpublic  learninginpublic  howwelearn  cv  specialization  generalists  specialists  clairepentecost  publicamateur  enthusiasm  curiosity 
may 2013 by robertogreco
The prime mover — The Sea of Fog — Medium
"when you move through the world believing the best about people at all times. Jim’s beliefs became self-fulfilling prophecies, because he told people these things he believed about them—great things, improbable things—and they believed him. (You wouldn’t think so, but it requires tremendous courage to tell people great things about themselves, particularly in private. Amplified accolades at retirement dinners are easy; whispered appraisals across the desk divider are not.)

Grace: when you extend an offer of allegiance to everyone around you. Jim’s allegiance was not the allegiance of what can you do for me, nor was it the allegiance of you will bring honor to my house. Instead, it was the allegiance of… we are here together.

We are here together. You could call it a low bar; I call it an open door. And the fact that it was so plentiful made the fierceness and durability of Jim’s support even more remarkable. Basically, it made you feel like you’d won the lottery…"
encouragement  toaspireto  accolades  allegiance  enthusiasm  optimism  trust  grace  jimnaughton  2012  robinsloan 
december 2012 by robertogreco
On Negative Criticism : The New Yorker
"I’m reminded of a great scene from a great movie—Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” in which the protagonist, an actor (played by Stephen Dorff) strips naked for a massage. His masseur (not his usual one) prepares to administer the massage by taking off his own clothes, telling the actor, “I feel that if my client is naked, it’s more comfortable if I meet them on the same level.” The relationship, of course, is not on the same level— the actor is prone and vulnerable and the masseur looms above, active and handling the client—which renders their nakedness altogether incomparable. There’s no particular method for practicing criticism, no technique to prescribe and no tone to recommend, any more than there is for art. It’s a matter of sensibility—and of sensitivity."
dwightgarner  jacobsilverman  negativecriticism  music  art  film  enthusiasm  via:caseygollan  richardbrody  2012  sensibility  sensitivity  criticism 
august 2012 by robertogreco
girl passing through: John Green, excerpt from his 2008 speech at the Alan Conference
"My eleventh grade English teacher was a guy named Paul MacAdam. I got a D in the class, and I only got the D because I wrote a paper about Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye over the summer. I was a crap student: I didn’t read; I didn’t participate; I didn’t turn in papers, or when I did, it was embarrassingly obvious I hadn’t read the books. I also skipped class a lot. It was in the morning, and I didn’t think very highly of morning classes.

I actually said that to him once. He took me aside after the bell rang one day and said you’ve been missing a lot of class, and I was like, “Yeah, I don’t think too highly of morning classes.” I was a real peach.

But when I did go to class, I was usually the last person to file into the room. One thing I remember about that class: Mr. MacAdam always held the door open for us until the bell rang. We’d walk in, and he’d greet each of us. He always held the door open until the bell started ringing, and I’d come in last, three seconds before the bell rang, staring at my untied sneakers, stinking of cigarette smoke, and he’d say, “Mr. Green, always a pleasure,” and then he and the class would talk about the book. Say it was Slaughterhouse Five. I hadn’t read it, of course, but they would talk about it, and MacAdam would get to talking about war and the nonlinear nature of time and how Vonnegut had stripped down the language to tell the nakedest of truths.

But the discussion was always so interesting—these big, hot, fun ideas seemed to matter so much. So I read the books. I never read them when I was supposed to read them; I’d read them a week later, after I’d already gotten an F on my reaction paper. But I’d read them. In essence, I was reading great books for fun. MacAdam didn’t know it, of course. He probably still doesn’t know it. But it didn’t matter whether I was worthy of his faith; he kept it. He still held the door open every day for me. He still treated me like I was the smartest kid in the class, still took me seriously on those rare occasions when I’d raise my hand, still listened thoughtfully to me when I’d give him my reading of a passage I could comment upon only because he’d just read it out loud. He believed I was real, that I mattered. I wasn’t yet able to understand that he mattered, but he was okay with that. He just kept holding the door open for me."
johngreen  teaching  learning  education  listening  2008  schools  engagement  patience  conversation  enthusiasm 
july 2012 by robertogreco
A Sit-Down With Joichi Ito, The Drop-Out VC Leading MIT's Media Lab | Co. Design [Worth reading the whole thing.]
"It’s not about being a generalist. I like to go deep in a lot of things…deep enough to contribute. If I like scuba, I become an instructor…music, I become a disc jockey…movies, I want to work on a movie set. I don’t become a world class academic in that field, but I get good enough to understand the nuances. & then, because I have experience in so many fields, it gives me a pattern that other people don’t have. For me, being unique and having friends who are unique is a really important thing…

When I was in Hollywood, I realized that if I wanted to be a Hollywood producer, I’d have to spend 120% of my time talking to only Hollywood people. It’s the same in every industry or with traditional academics. But the Media Lab is a place where you can sit around & talk about everything deeply & that’s the whole point…here I’ve been stitching this thing together & being called this crazy scatterbrained ADD guy when in fact, what I’ve been trying to do already exists at the Media Lab…"
joiito  mitmedialab  generalists  dilettante  depth  dropouts  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  education  learning  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  2011  careers  optimism  leadership  administration  enthusiasm  medialab 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Drinking the Kool-Aid - Wikipedia
"According to scholar Rebecca Moore, early analogies to Jonestown and Kool-Aid were based around death and suicide, not blind obedience.[5] The earliest such example she found, via a Lexis-Nexis search, was a 1982 statement from Lane Kirkland, then head of the AFL-CIO, which described Ronald Reagan's policies as "Jonestown economics," which "administers Kool-Aid to the poor, the deprived and the unemployed."

The widespread use of the phrase with its current meaning may have begun in the late 1990s. In some cases it has taken on a neutral or even positive light, implying simply great enthusiasm. In 1998, the dictionary website defined the phrase as "To become a firm believer in something; to accept an argument or philosophy whole-heartedly."

The phrase has been used in the business and technology worlds to mean fervent devotion to a certain company or technology."
english  wikipedia  suicide  drinkingthekool-aid  kool-aid  phrases  jonestown  obedience  criticalthinking  srg  devotion  enthusiasm 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Transitions | teach4aliving
"After the interview, a nun pulled me into the hall and said, “You have to be careful about how you share your enthusiasm. It scares some people.” I’m so grateful for her pointing out one of my character flaws in such a gentle way. I know now what she means…

I asked him a direct question, “How do I avoid founders syndrome?” A lot of people who are at the ground floor of starting new schools don’t last. This is a huge concern of mine. I’m a strong willed person who can also be down right pouty when I don’t get my way. I want to be one of 5 Lead Teachers. I don’t want to be the quasi-administrator of the school because that will kill many of the democratic teacher led initiatives. Jamie’s response was a verbal backhand to my face. He said, “You have to remember who the school belongs to. It belongs to them out there (pointing to his students), and they allow me to teach here. I’m lucky enough to work for them…Give away power at every opportunity.” Servant leadership in action."
enthusiasm  transitions  founderssyndrome  michaelmccabe  teaching  schools  cv  tcsnmy  characterflaws  scaringpeople  leadership  administration  lcproject  democracy  democraticschools  2011 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - A Little Bit About Enthusiasm and Hype
"If you want to make things people are enthusiastic about, you must start with a message or content people can be excited about. Sincerely. Enthusiasm isn’t some sort of icing you can smear on top of anything. Do that, and it’s hype. Hype at its best is embraced and then quickly forgotten. At its worst, it’s loathed.

One has to start with good stuff, whether that be a great message, a great product, or a great idea. Designing largely is professional piggy-backing on other people’s content (and sometimes inventing your own.) Garbage in, garbage out. Start with good stuff."
advertising  frankchimero  design  philosophy  tcsnmy  content  substance  enthusiasm  message  value  longevity  memory 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Jonathan Harris . Oct 27, 2009 [Los Angeles]
"These days, new things become old things so quickly, and novelty so easily disintegrates into triviality. With new ideas (especially beautiful ones), you want to spread them far and wide like gospel, so all can share the joy, but at the same time you want to keep them private and preserve their beauty so you can do something with them before they become trite."
ideas  time  triviality  enthusiasm  sharing  privacy  preservation  jonathanharris  losangeles 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Your blog sucks. And your work. And probably mine too.
"we “visual” people need to get off of our asses & write. Sounds painful, but I’m not talking about standardized-test/public-school, 5-paragraph-format, “This-leads-me-to-conclude” writing. I’m talking about real writing that communicates. Intended outcomes are labeled, process is documented, & you say why something was made into being. Tell me why.

I want more writing like Liz Danzico’s or Jason Santa Maria’s. I want thoughtful documentation of what it’s like to make stuff. Marco Arment, developer of Tumblr & Instapaper, does that exceedingly well. He lets us into the process, explains decisions & keeps us posted on his thoughts about his work & the things corollary to his development concerns. So, based on that, I ask you this: are we trying to keep design a mysterious black box? Because if that’s what you want, you’re doing a damn good job of it…

To do meaningful curation, it requires knowledge in multiple areas…Great designers are prone to have a wide base of knowledge."
frankchimero  writing  classideas  communication  process  criticism  curation  blogs  blogging  design  glvo  generalists  knowledge  bandwagons  enthusiasm  marcoarment  lizdanzico  jasonsantamaria  realwriting  tcsnmy  toshare  topost  thewhy  thinking  sharing  value  curating 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) - The Nature of Education, Educational Development and the Rhythm of Growth, Universities and Professional Training [via:]
"3 stages...[1] educational experiences begin w/ immediate emotional involvement on part of learner. primary acquisition of knowledge involves freshness, enthusiasm & enjoyment of learning...curriculum ought to include appeals to spirit of inquiry w/ which all children are natively endowed...[2] precision concerns "exactness of formulation"...discipline in various languages & grammars of discrete subject matters, particularly science & technical subjects, including logic & spoken languages...most students & teachers are familiar in organized schools & curricula. In isolation...barren, cold, unfulfilling & useless in personal development of children. edu system excessively dominated by...precision reverses myth of Genesis: "In Garden of Eden Adam saw animals before he named them: in traditional system, children named animals before they saw them"...[3] Generalization...incorporation of romance & precision into some general context of serviceable ideas & classifications."
alfrednorthwhitehead  education  progressive  inquiry  stages  learning  tcsnmy  unschooling  schools  schooling  traditional  knowledge  enthusiasm  engagement  loveoflearning  precision  romance  generalization 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Week 235 – Blog – BERG
"When a studio is really working, people & ideas feed off one another. Code or design will reveal an opportunity or problem. An idea will be floated. Someone will take it, reference something they know (an unusual style of photography; rare game format from 80s; nature of time & space), spin it & throw it back. Ideas fold & stretch. & then, somehow, something simple and to the point will appear, & that’ll be the new direction. It doesn’t matter what people are working on, everyone has something to do. There a kind of multiplier effect, the more people are in flow, in the studio. What I try to concentrate on is enabling this studio-wide flow. When it’s working well I’m buoyant, exuberant. What blocks it? Concerns about direction, time, support, money; overwork; unhappiness; lack of confidence in the work; lack of openness to critique. How can it be steered? Enthusiasm & passion, examples & influences, shared values. What do we value? That which is: Popular. Inventive. Beautiful."
berg  berglondon  mattwebb  management  administration  leadership  flow  work  mission  tcsnmy  passion  morale  enthusiasm  well-being  motivation  happiness  confidence 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics: Subterranean Tutoring
"I make stuff because I love to, and because it is also subterranean tutoring. Kids don't miss much. When tinkering is part of the household pattern...gets set in unconscious level. When tools are ever present, there's permission to make a mess. When pare
children  childhood  education  geek  parenting  science  teaching  tutoring  learning  environment  enthusiasm  leadership  modeling  kevinkelly  lcproject  osmosis  gamechanging  unschooling  deschooling  tinkering 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Nano geekery and otherwise « Speedbird
"Our tools are nothing but frozen maps of our needs, desires, lacks and weaknesses...we’d be far better off recognizing these all-too-human qualities...than lunging after some maximally improbable transcendence."
technology  society  future  nanotechnology  singularity  perspective  skepticism  criticism  enthusiasm  adamgreenfield 
march 2007 by robertogreco

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