Networks, Communities, and Families

 

One of my favorite things about learning are the sticky moments. Those moments when a great conversation or idea "sticks" with you for a few days, a week or a lifetime. Each year the genesis of many of these moments begin at a learning event called Educon at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. A school based on inquiry provides an environment for all of us to inquire as to whether our beliefs about education need continuous adjustment. 

 

The conversation that continues to stick with me this year surrounded the idea of networks, communities, and families. What defines each and whether one evolves into the next? In education, we talk about professional learning networks, communities of practices, and classroom families. We throw around these terms because, in general, we have a loose sense of their importance in growing as learners and feeling a sense of belonging, but without examination, these terms can mean everything and nothing at the same time. They can lose their purpose, and they can result in a mushy outcome that feels like a waste of time and energy. It has me thinking about how we can do better with the intentional development of these things. 

 

What currently is stuck in your contemplation space? What questions are you examining? What questions are you generating so students can do the same?