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May 29, 2008



I like how you frame this. It is about culture.

Traditionally school culture has been quite separate from the rest of society, indeed from the cultures of the learning domains that schools 'teach' (math, history, etc...).

In a traditional school culture that has very distinct lines between teaching and learning and that has specific acceptable behaviours, any kind of outside of classroom communication, besides teacher calling home to talk about Johanne or Johnny's behaviour in class (academic or otherwise), would be poo-pooed.

But to a culture that emphasizes authentic learning and communication for that end, well, this would look like a natural act of communication given current technologies.

Unfortunately, there are few school cultures that do emphasize those traits.

"The way to change the culture is to change the conversation."- Joel Henning

More instances of real conversations - via texting or other modes - between students and teachers may just bring us closer, though.



Like how you're playing around with these ideas beyond my initial set-up.

I'm going to piggy-back on the Henning quotation by echoing it. During my time as a school design/planning consultant, we often talked about the 'language of school design' needing to become shared language, not just privy to those who are professional designers.

Once the 'code' of language is cracked and used in similar ways on both sides of the table, then innovative solutions are possible...and the community can truly embrace what is built in the years to come.

One more thing.

I sense that we have to a have a new vision of the culture we crave before language can make a substantive change. Our greatest weakness, I feel, is that we use the past to define our future; even worse, we really do not grasp the underlying cultural norms of today that were simply meant to be short-term solutions years before.

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