One of the reasons why I enjoy the community of practice model is due to the process of ongoing learning. To be a life long learner we then are admitting that we do not yet know everything, and I found this to be very true on the 2nd day of our community of practice “We see, we feel, we change” that took place on November 12th.
We began the day by watching Simon Sinek talk about leadership and that we need to start with ‘why’ in our practice. Why do we need to think differently, why do we need to see leadership function from a why perspective first. How do we teach from the why out? Resources are the what, strategies are the how, but why we need to do this should be our start.
When leadership flows from our sense of self it extends into our circle of influence and we need to be culturally responsive and culturally responsible to those cultures we are engaging with and teaching about. When world views collide, one is at risk of becoming marginalized and left in a dependent state. How can learning be engaging or empowering from a disadvantaged point of view? Dr Ottman posited that it takes a generation (12-25 years) for society to change, with the last Indian Residential School in Canada closing in 1996, we are at the mid-point of a change and there remains work to be done.
We next reviewed the MindshiftChangeModel by Rolf Smith which challenges us to think differently and that real change happens at an internal place, if we want to think differently. People tend to change with they are shown a truth that influences their feelings. With that emotional connection, we need to have a deep sense of understanding of the culture of our students. Until we have that connection, change remains difficult.
While watching the DVD Muffins for Granny, a project Nadia McLaren completed to understand her grandmother and the experience the Indian Residential School had on her, my learning moment materialized. One of the Elders shared his first day of the IRS he was sent to and how the statue of the Crucifixion of Jesus had impacted him. He expressed his wonder in the film about how could people do that to another human being and what did He do to deserve that: because the Elder did not want to end up like that. While that impression certainly leaves one to ponder, this was not the learning moment: for me it was that this Elder had no idea who was being depicted in the statue. That was a big shift in thought for me.
Addressing misconceptions needs to be done to not only facilitate a mind-shift but also cause us to ask why? Why do I have those thoughts and are they accurate? Misconceptions cause divisions in society and as educators, we can use our circle of influence to empower society to grow and shatter misconceptions. With going through a mind-shift, we need to allow ourselves time to not only self-reflect but patience as well.
Day 3 will be held on December 3rd and in the short time between sessions, members of “We see, we feel, we change” will be engaged in learning with Dr Ottman though BlackBoard and more readings.