Global Impact of School Transformation Pioneers

December 1, 2022

How the mighty ripples of school transformation have spread! I just spent two weeks working with Unity Grammar, a K-12 co-ed Islamic faith-based school in Sydney, Australia.  Yes, the clothing is different, and prayer time more frequent, but the hospitality, generosity, and fervor with which these edu-leaders want to change the traditional model of education…

Failure Of An Icon?: The Nuclear Family

November 5, 2022

Is the nuclear family, an icon of the 20th century American dream, a failed human experiment? Hidden within the seven weeks I spent on Leg 1 of Wisdom Road this fall was a feature of rural America that is becoming as extinct as the buffalo that once roamed the plains: large, extended families.  As I…

McGillis School: Living Their Mission of Values-Based Education

October 25, 2022

A visit to the McGillis School in Salt Lake City has made a fine end to Leg 1 of Wisdom Road.  McGillis is a K-8 school with several very interesting and almost unique elements that I think make it a sure bet to continue to thrive in this growing market. The first is that McGillis…

Wisdom Road Day #47: Joe White Mountain, Lakota Elder

October 22, 2022

Teaser:  Joe reports first hand from an elder who was at Custer’s Last Stand: the history books are wrong about how Custer died! If two families have a dispute of any kind, the older people would put on a feed  and they would call these two families together.  Then at the end of the feed,…

Wisdom Road Day 46: Sunday Morning On the Standing Rock

October 19, 2022

Somewhere on this Sunday morning, church bells ring to call the faithful to kneel before a stained glass reprieve.   There ain’t nothin’ short of dyin’Half as lonesome as the soundOn the sleepin’ city sidewalksSunday mornin’ comin’ down Kris Kristofferson My God, the hues and textures of autumn grassy plains tipped by low morning sunlight,…

Wisdom Road Day # 44: A Highlight of Both Trip and Life

October 16, 2022

The real core of our lives is simplicity. There is almost zero chance that anyone who reads this blog got to experience what I did. I don’t know many other things in life I can say that about. If a batch of still-warm chocolate chip cookies became sentient and knew how they were welcomed by…

Wisdom Road Day #40: My Young Nominee For Queen of the World

October 13, 2022

I had multiple people say to me, ‘I have never voted for a Democrat in my life. You will be the first one I vote for’. The young redhead in a funky multi-colored jacket that looked like it might have been sewn for a theater wardrobe greeted me at the door of the equally funky…

Wisdom Road Day #35: Is Rural America Dying or Just Evolving?

October 6, 2022

East-central South Dakota is a poster of American farmland; corn, soybeans, cattle, and silos, out to every horizon, punctuated by tiny hamlets with populations that rarely exceed two digits, and a few larger towns with a gas station, a truck repair shop, a few stoplights, churches, and a school.  Over the decades, the quintessential small…

Wisdom Road Day #33: Finding the Good

October 1, 2022

The things that break us are not the not the core stuff. It’s the ancillary stuff. An order of Benedictine nuns came to Yankton, South Dakota in the 1880’s and has been a mainstay of the town along the Missouri River ever since.  Today they share a campus with Mt. Marty University and the largest…

Wisdom Road Day 29: Small Town Struggles and Comforts

September 29, 2022

Were Muddy Mo’s a campus cafe there would be bad folk singers on a microphone late in the evening; and were it a bar it would be the kind with local brews on tap where everybody knows your name.  Instead it is a simple coffee shop in an old brick building on one of the…

Edu-Stop on Wisdom Road; Must See School

September 24, 2022

About four years ago I visited and reported on the personalized learning in elementary and middle schools in Harrisburg (South Dakota) School District.  Since then I have pointed all of my school network colleagues to Harrisburg; if you want to see what a transformed school of today/future looks and works like, get on a plane…

You Would Love South Dakota, Too

September 22, 2022

I live near San Diego where rain any more is as rare as Leap Days; a weather report of “partly cloudy and 25% chance of rain”means that all the prayers in the world won’t get those squalls to spin south below Los Angeles”.  On the Dakota prairie, that same weather report means something else entirely. …

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