The most important word in our language is love. The second is balance — keeping things in perspective. - John Wooden
As a long-time advocate of balance, I like the graphic above. In my article, Change from the Radical Center of Education Teacher-Librarian, June 2008, I suggested that "radical centrists" in education, adopt to the following principles if one is to truly make change...
- Adopt an “and” not “or” mindset.
- Look for truth and value in all beliefs and practices.
- Respect the perspective of the individual.
- Recognize one size does not fit all (kids or teachers).
- Attend to attitudes.
- Understand that the elephant can only be eaten one bite at a time.
- Make sure everyone is moving forward, not just the early adopters.
- Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”
- Believe measurement is good, but that not everything can be measured.
- Know and keep your core values.
As I read the papers, listen to NPR, and even read friends' and relatives' Facebook posts, I can't help but feel the country, if not the world, is ever more polarized and less centered. "If I can't get everything I want, I don't want anything at all!" is the mantra of the decade.
Schools that produce believers rather than thinkers are failures. Schools that produce graduates who are capable of exhibiting, empathy, thinking critically, developing multiple "right" answers, and changing one's beliefs based on evidence are successful.
It doesn't feel like we've done a very good job. Yet.