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If Educators Want Real Change, We Have to Work Together

Educators have to stand in solidarity so they can once again feel safe enough to dream—and do—big things


Now that the longest, most expensive—and possibly craziest—election season in history has ended, many of us in the education community have paused to reflect on how we can push President Obama to use his influence to steer education policy in a better direction. One of my favorite reflections comes from educator and author Sam Chaltain. A key challenge he issues to those of us who care about public education is to figure out how we can navigate certain tensions—between vision and mission; between the art and science of teaching, etc—to create schools that work for all learners, and can sustain a just, equitable, and democratic society.

In order to actualize this in any systemic way, we need to address an often-overlooked barrier to forward movement and positive change: safety, or rather, the lack thereof. This is the elephant in the room, rarely articulated but viscerally apparent to anyone who understands the lived reality of schools in this social and political climate.

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The Three Most Important Questions in Education

Educator and writer Sam Chaltain shares some revolutionary ideas about learning and freedom in his recent TedxSinCity talk.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6-VRO8G5LE

Educator, writer, and organizational change consultant Sam Chaltain is on a mission. He wants to shift conversations about education away from divisive discussions about unions and back to what should be the actual point of school: learning. For the last several years, he asked everyone from big names like Arne Duncan to everyday people (like you) about their most powerful education experiences, which he then compiled into his recent book Faces of Learning. While the narratives show that effective education is challenging, engaging, supportive, relevant, and experiential, they also put the spotlight on what we should be asking to get us closer to that ideal.

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