How Might a Culture of Powerful Ideas Emerge?
David Ng

What is the right context for beginning this process? How large or small of a community/culture would be best for starting a virtuous cycle? Is it a classroom, a division, a school, a family of schools?

Do you know of an example of a culture of this sort in the current educational landscape?

For myself and my own experiences in education, what I have witnessed is that these islands of practice/culture survive despite the external pressures of the system — and that they are remarkably fragile. Where a Board is interested in expanding the influence of this type of school culture, they usually do so by transferring (breaking up) the staff into other schools. This would seem like a good idea, but it only results in diffusing the influence of these educators and losing the cumulative effect of having them together in the same building.

There is generally little thought put into how to transfer or infect this kind of culture into other contexts in the system. There is a belief that if it is a good idea, it will somehow just happen and people will get on board. Unfortunately, I have never seen this work.

I further wonder whether the traditional structures of schools/Boards/geography is an impediment to this kind of culture development. With the internet and technology we no longer are limited to close communication and collaboration with those close to us.

Do we need to reconsider the concept of educational culture in order to get the results we want? I wonder also whether this is what Graham Brown-Martin is getting at with his article:

Do we need to create the context ourselves in order to ‘grow’ the results we desire? How would we go about doing this? I would love to connect with other learners out there (anywhere!) who want to engage in this kind of work.

What we call this process? Are we terraforming the educational landscape?

Thanks David.

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