The personal learning network for educators
Educators live in them largely because of the pedagogical walls built individually over the years to teach children narrowly focused content using textbooks. Even within a school there is little communication between educators leading to closed practices. Further complicating this is the unwillingness to reframe the context and practice of education, and without an entrepreneurial spirit teaching students how to learn stagnates. Individual educators stuff themselves into silos without connecting to colleagues to innovate and create.
As I read Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum I am interested in a community of teachers who talk daily (think crowdsourcing) to continually innovate their practices. It is this merging of ideas between members of a team of teachers that develops what Bruce calls Creative Intelligence. Creative Intelligence goes up when people work together to discuss education and teaching to develop refine methodology putting new ideas into action. The scope of this post is not to cite creative education practices, but to clearly state that the collective is able to generate and implement innovative and creative teaching and learning easier than a single person. Openness to the thread of innovation in such discussions and learning opportunities with colleagues is the difference between a traditional and transformative teacher. You want to be transformative.
The playing back and forth of ideas generates new thoughts not previously thought about. Sounds odd but it's true. The phrase "I never thought about it like that." rings true because the dynamic exchange of ideas is what pushes the boundaries of traditional education thought into new pedagogical pasture waiting to be plowed for new ideas and possibilities. This wide open pasture gives us freedom to explore what could be instead of what is. It is the spirit of "what's possible" that makes the blood rush in the educator's veins to engage students driving the learning process. Another way to think about this is the entrepreneurial spirit that pushes the limits to find new ways of solving problems teaching students differently than before.
If education is to change then educators need to stop building and reinforcing silos and develop a greater crowdsourced Creative Quotient. Often I see and hear educators calling for change while doing it on their own. Reform will not take place this way because one person can only influence a small sphere of people. Many working together, from all over the world, opens discussions, ideas, hearts, and minds to what is new and needed. Many working together have a wider sphere of influence rapidly changing education to its next best form.
Band together with your colleagues and determine what needs to change where you and develop a group Creative Intelligence that innovates education where you are.