Friday, February 4, 2011

You've got to accentuate the positive...

Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

My recent experience at Educon has lead to a lot of soul searching and thinking for me. We talk so much about change in education, new skills, things students and teachers and administrators need to do differently. And yes there are many things that need to change, should change, have to change. But there are also many things that work really well in education, in the schools we went to, the schools we work in, the schools we visit, and the schools our children attend.

I just started reading The Power of Appreciate Inquiry. A Practical Guide to Positive Change. I am loving this approach which involves "uncover[ing] and bring[ing] forth existing strengths, hopes, and dreams-to identify and amplify the positive core of the organization." I think this approach has great potential to give us a new lens to identify where schools should be going.

So let's make the glass half full. What would you keep? What are you doing in your school that works? What are some of the essential elements of schooling that you feel should stay the same?

Here are a two of my keepers:
  • Face to face conversations between kids and adults when we are engaged and thinking and passionate about our ideas.
  • The energy that comes from searching, exploring and uncovering the answer to a burning question, in myself and in my students.
Appreciative Inquiry suggests that we get what we study. If we focus on what is wrong, we get more of what is wrong. "We do not describe the world we see, we see the world we describe."

What great things are happening at your school? How can we take those positive stories and build on them? Please share your keepers.

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