Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let's reach for the stars!

I have a few excellent quotes which are worth sharing.

The first from Stephanie Pace Marshall an American educator and space astronaut. She knows all about the courage to reach for the stars. She writes about creating 'new minds' for an ever evolving future.

'The liberation of genius and goodness of all children, the creation of new minds, and learning communities that invite and challenge the wonder and awe of the human spirit'.
'Is this,' she asks of her fellow teachers, 'the work you want to do?'

Continuing this evolutionary line Leonard I Sweet writes:

'The future is not something we enter.The future is something we create.'

And Physicist Ilya Prigogine who says:

'The future is uncertain, but this very uncertainty is at the heart of human creativity.'

American educator Glickman encourages us to reach for the stars and gives us a warning about the trap of rationality:

'Today, measuring the accomplishments of students, teachers, and schools by standardised test scores and handing out rewards and punishments for reaching or failing to reach sate and federal standards has become commonplace.

In such a climate, we typically err too much on the side of avoiding failure by relying on externally approved "Research based" programmes, teaching methods, and assessments...

What we lose in the bargain is imagination. Failure cannot go unchallenged, but what we have today is our own failure to imagine new possibilities and the worth of what has already worked well. There is no tragedy in reaching for the stars and falling short; the greatest tragedy is never reaching at all.'

Canadian educator Dean Fink writes 'we have to shake off the shackles of conformity and compliance and imagine, create, do something.'

As John F Kennedy said in the 60s:

'Some men see things as the are and ask why? I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

It was George Bernard Shaw who said 'that all progress depends on unreasonable men' ( and woman).

In the current environment of crisis it is time for new thinking and what better place to start than in schools that have the challenge to educate 'new minds for a new millennium'.

As Lucy said to Charlie Brown
'you cant solve new maths with an old maths mind! Or was that Einstein? He said you can't solve present problems with the minds that created them in in the first place.

Now is the time to be 'unreasonable' because we sure are in fine mess?

As Stephanie Pace Marshall asks, is developing such future minds 'the work you want to do'


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

kia ora Bruce!

Some great words here - thanks for those.

"Now is the time to be 'unreasonable' because we sure are in fine mess?" is a good one. It reminds me of Ashleigh Brilliant's, "The time for action is past - now is the time for senseless bickering."

Catchya later
from Middle-earth

Bruce said...

Hi Middle Earth

I have always liked the 'gist' of R D Laing, the 1960s pyschologist's, poem Knots which went something like: 'When I do not know what to do I pretend to know, the trouble is, after a while, I do not know what I am pretending and what I know so I pretend I know everything.'

There is a lot of pretending going on!

The 'fine mess ' line is from Laurel and Hardy.