Monday, March 11, 2013

New Zealand to San Diego

It was difficult to shift gears from an immersive trip in New Zealand, shore up an Edutopia post about my time in Italy, and start exploring San Diego... 

but I've managed so far ; )

Fresh off (actually a little fried) after 15 immersive days in New Zealand, I've landed in San Diego to catch up with an old friend, a player of mine from my coaching days back at CVU named Jeremiah Cook. It's been too long since I've seen him in person. He's been gracious enough to let me stay at his house here. Cook is a successful DJ here in San Diego and we've had some great conversations about the past, future, the trials of the music business and the explosive growth of social media marketing he's experienced in his craft. I'm looking forward to seeing him practice his craft tonight at a local club.

I'm also here to visit to High Tech High, a school I've been interested in for some time. I'll visit the school either today or tomorrow. I'm very excited to see their work finally and interview some of the folks who've seen their system evolve.

Turns out, Dan French is in town as well at a conference in San Diego this week. Pretty funny to venture to San Diego and have dinner tonight with a person who lives in your neighborhood back in Vermont. As usual, I always look forward to seeing him and catching up.

With all the travel (and time zones)... Italy, New Zealand and now San Diego, I'm anxious to see my family, rest up a bit and ponder the future. We'll have about two weeks at home and then we're all off to explore Europe to see more schools and continue my research in Reggio Emilia.

Here's what I'm pondering this morning...

The keynote speech in at the Reggio Winter Institute was delivered by Carla Rinaldi. I found her speech to be nothing short of brilliant, and it's the focus of the article I just submitted to Edutopia. Rinaldi spoke in the speech about 'continuity' and how it applies to education. I've read over my notes from Rinaldi's speech more than five times since my trip to Italy.
"Schools must open up the dialogue of learning past it's own walls. Then we see how valued community involvement and professional development is collegial work and shared professional development. In this practice of coming together… people begin to understand the incompleteness of their professionality and we develop an understanding of interdependence on our colleagues." 
Carla Rinaldi

This ties in with a conversation I had the lobby over lunch with Will Richardson at Educon. Will explained his investigation into how schools and community should now / could now exist. The explorations I've taken at Reggio Emilia and schools in New Zealand have me thinking along the same threads.

"In a culture of continuity, the person who is learning is the subject." 
Carla Rinaldi

What I'm seeing reinforces my longstanding belief that schools in the US need to change their practices to be more rounded... and healthy. Our growing penchant for academic rigor, and standardized testing is not balanced in so many schools I've encountered. So many people from the US I've met in my travels have said the same thing. 

Without a doubt... I could explore education around the globe full-time ; )

I'm off to get ready for the rest of the days adventures.


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