Monday, May 6, 2013

Let's do things with people rather than to people...

Quote: "Oberle says he's happy to hear from the clients, advocates and parents. He also says if the timeline for the cuts is too aggressive, the government may have to adjust its expectations. "If we can't do things with people rather than to people, then that's not acceptable and we will adjust our timeline if we have to." he said."


Momentum around "inclusion" in every aspect of life seems to be gaining force recently. I process these things both as a parent and a teacher and sometimes that means conflicting thoughts and feelings. As a parent, there is a level of fear around the safety of your child and a question of ensuring they will have the services that they need to live a meaningful and connected life. How can they access the world without these "very important services". 

Today on Facebook, I came across this visual...

Is this what we are really trying to do in education? Hold corks underwater? Are we trying to inhibit the cork from what it does simply by the nature of what it is? When we look at little children and the way they explore the world and compare them to students as they move for highschool, do we ever stop to wonder if this is the natural progression of growing up or if perhaps there is something in this idea of holding corks underwater that results in those of us in education taking the desire to inquire out of the students we teach? How do we foster that exploration and excitement for learning? How is this connected to the current movement that we are seeing around adult disability services? Is is somehow tied to the lines that I've highlighted and put in red in the original quote here.

 And then as I continued to scroll through my Facebook feed today, I came across this...
I am part of a six person PLC in our division this year related to the Daily 5 litearcy/management structure. In our past session we ended up talking theory some of the time. We talked about literacy interventions and contrasted it with the message in the book "Beyond Leveled Books" which speaks to the need to explicitly foster a love and passion for reading in our students. It speaks to using books that will set students up to develop their own strategies rather than guiding them through the strategies. Is leaves you wondering if facilitating a love and fascination for books might be more effective in creating readers than direct and comprehensive guided reading instruction.

In the end, it probably is about balance but it seems in times when we get uncomfortable with the idea that we may not actually be as needed as we have always believed we are, our instict is to pull back and look for something that has "accountability measures" that further justify doing things the way we have always done them. 

But what if we are wrong? What if it is our job is to faciliate discovery rather than to impart wisdom and knowledge? What if we are defining our jobs the wrong way?  

My passion is linked to creating equality for people with complex learning disabilities and differences but I ultimately believe that by looking at things in the extremes, we come to see things that exist in the more subtle.  

I'm ending with a talk that is worth thinking about in the middle of all of this...

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