Some years ago, therefore, I hatched the idea of supporting such educators by convening a brain trustAutists conceptualise the world in terms of trusted relationships with unique people.The beauty of collaboration at human scale The Autistic way of developing trust is based on experienced domain-specific competence…. More of leading theorists, researchers, and practitioners to create – and then disseminate – concise defenses of various features of progressive educationProgressive EducationA movement based on connectivism & communities of practice -the networks we create for meaningful relationships, collaboration, & learning.A pulsating web of autonomous engagement.Growing and Expanding Progressive Education w/… More. I imagined a set of handouts, each consisting of a single (double-sided) sheet that responded to a common question. The idea was to lay out the case briskly, making liberal use of bullet points and offering a short bibliography at the end for anyone who wanted more information.
One of these “Why Sheets,” for example, might explain a teacher’s decision to create a curriculum based on kids’ questions. Or for setting aside time each day for a class meeting. It might defend helping students to understand mathematical principles rather than just memorizing facts and algorithms. Or it might lay out the case for avoiding worksheets, or tests, or homeworkAs a rule, the point of homework generally isn’t to learn, much less to derive real pleasure from learning. It’s something to be finished.The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get… More, or traditional bribe-and-threat classroom management strategies.
Eventually I started thinking about creating additional Why Sheets to help administrators defend enlightened schoolwide policies: why we don’t track students; why we push back against standardized testing and never brag about high scores; why we have multiage classrooms; why we’ve replaced report cards with student-led parent conferences; why we use a problem-solving approach to discipline in place of suspensions and detentions; why our commitment to building communityWhat I have always been hoping to accomplish is the creation of community.Community is magic. Community is power. Community is resistance.Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-First-Person-Stories-Twenty-First-ebook/dp/B082ZQBL98/ https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-Adapted-Young-Adults-ebook/dp/B08VFT4R9T/… More has led us to avoid awards assemblies, spelling bees, and other rituals that pit kids against one another.
In short, any practice that’s constructive yet still controversial would be fair game for one of these punchy handouts. The idea was to help educators explain why they do what they do – and, equally important, why they deliberately avoid doing some things. The sheets would be made available free of charge, uncopyrighted, and accompanied by an invitation to distribute them promiscuously.The Why Axis – Alfie Kohn
For organizations, the single biggest differenceOur friends and allies at Randimals have a saying, What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.Randimals We agree. Randimals are made up of two different animals… More between remote and physical teams is the greater dependence on writing to establish the permanence and portability of organizational culture, norms and habits. Writing is different than speaking because it forces concision, deliberation, and structure, and this impacts how politics plays out in remote teams.
Writing changes the politics of meetings. Every Friday, Zapier employees send out a bulletin with: (1) things I said I’d do this week and their results, (2) other issues that came up, (3) things I’m doing next week. Everyone spends the first 10 minutes of the meeting in silence readingThere are three types of reading: eye reading, ear reading, and finger reading.The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning Most schools and… More everyone’s updates.
Remote teams practice this context setting out of necessity, but it also provides positive auxiliary benefits of “hearing” from everyone around the table, and not letting meetings default to the loudest or most senior in the room. This practice can be adopted by companies with physical workplaces as well (in fact, Zapier CEO Wade Foster borrowed this from Amazon), but it takes discipline and leadership to change behavior, particularly when it is much easier for everyone to just show up like they’re used to.
Writing changes the politics of information sharing and transparency.Distributed teams are rewriting the rules of office(less) politics | TechCrunch