Posts tagged with the category Education
Do Zero-Tolerance Policies in our Schools Work? Wrong Question!
An Oklahoma first grader was suspended recently for making a gun gesture with his hand because the gesture violated the school district's zero-tolerance policy against weapons and violence, according to news reports. That's just one in a handful of stories making headlines today. Stories of kids being expelled for having nail clippers or...
A Growing Need for Systems Thinking to Design a New Future
Having just returned from the 2011 Systems Thinking in Action conference, I continue to believe that building the capacity for all children to think systemically is the key to shaping a new world. The more we recognize that problems are rarely simple cause-and-effect, but rather complex threads of interconnected actions and inactions, we can begin...
Complex Change Calls for Cross-Sector Collaboration
I had the opportunity last week to help facilitate a session for non-profit, business, technology, education, and media leaders who came together for the inaugural summit of ConvergeUS. Co-Chaired by TechNet’s CEO, Rey Ramsey, and Twitter’s Co-Founder, Biz Stone, ConvergeUS drives technology-based breakthroughs for critical social...
Rethinking the Complexity of Learning Organizations
Today’s educational system is wrought with complexity—from the work of educating students to the lack of financing in heated political climates. Working in the educational system can be complex, but it can also be rewarding. The challenge is finding the right people with the right passion who are able to view the world from a systemic...
Humanistic Education: Remembering Our Interconnectedness
This is the first week of the fall semester at Saybrook University and we launched it with the residential conference in San Francisco. We are a distance learning institution, but the sense of community and connection that I have with colleagues and students is deep and real. At commencement on Friday, the room was filled with the overflowing...
Helping students “get a voice” through collective courage
I have been working with Laurie Mandel, Ed.D., founder and Executive Director of Get-A-Voice™, recently. As I dove deeply into her philosophy, I ended up revisiting elements of systems knowledge intermingled with a motivation to establish conscious school cultures—from the student level! After nearly two months of work, these...
No Shortcuts to Social Justice
Are you old enough to remember when “the Internet” was just getting big? Do you remember what people thought it was going to be? It was going to revolutionize democracy and do away with racism (because we’re all one color behind the screen); it was going to level the playing field between rich and poor because we...
The testing scandal of the day isn't about who cheated: it's about who didn't
Who do we punish? Who do we blame? Or do we have a better option? A state investigation of the Atlanta public schools released last week identified 44 schools and at least 178 teachers and principals that systematically corrected student test answers in order to artificially inflate scores on the state’s mandated competency...
What Should You Learn in College?
I've followed the emerging rules for higher education by the U.S. Department of Education with interest, but also trepidation. While I'm all for accountability in higher education, my concern is that what can be documented is not always the real learning and growth that a student experiences. This past year I've seen two powerful...
Performance Evaluations That Can't Deal with Ambiguity, Can't Deal with Reality
Don’t think you can’t be fired for doing the right thing. This week, San Francisco Weekly reported on the case of Frank Lee, a San Francisco cop who may lose his job because he didn’t execute a search warrant fast enough. The catch? The search warrant turned out to be illegal and Lee, a homicide investigator,...
A Sustainable Earth Needs Lobbyists More Than It Needs Visionaries
In a recent column, Thomas Friedman proclaimed that “the Earth is full.” We’ve reached the point where we have too many people using too few resources, and trying to keep on keeping on this way will only lead to more trouble. The good news, he suggests, is that this makes fundamental transformation inevitable. Friedman...
Hate is Supported by Many Systems
Are you a hateful person? The answer may depend on where you live. Culturally, we think of emotions as individual things: If you “love,” it is “you” loving. Jealousy, anger, and fear are also all matters of the individual psyche. But believing that emotions are this particular is only a partial truth. There is increasing...
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