What one word describes your vision of the highest goals of learning? What do you hope to exude as an educator? Of what do you want your school to “reek”? In a January #satchatwc a prompt along those lines started a list, and I have continued to informally gather those words at #onewordK12. So far I have collected, completely anonymously, more than 200 responses. Next week I am going to take a risk…and hopefully really add to that total…when I start my keynote to some 1,200 educators at the annual CISC Symposium in Anaheim with that question. Hopefully there will be plenty of Twitter users in the crowd and in about one minute we will really add to this crowdsourced knowledge base!
After that first Saturday, I wrote that the word “grit”, which has received so much attention, was only mentioned once. Update: I still only have one mention of “grit” in 200+ responses. Why? I think that, despite a best selling book that attempts to capture what we really want out of learning into a catchy single word, “grit” is not, in fact, what real educators see as the most important element of learning. We don’t actually know what that word means, so to rush and embrace it is wrong without a lot of additional discussion.
Rather than asking teachers, students, and parents “should ‘grit’ be a focus of our school?”, why not ask them “what do you value about great learning?”, and see what they say?