Blog Archives

Visualizing a Vision

I was a college graphic design drop-out in a previous life. While I’m intrigued by technology, I’m also fearful of our reliance on it.

That said, I am a visual person so when asked by Austin for something in writing I started this visualization. Its only the tip of the iceberg and a rough draft but it brings the concept into bite size pieces. It will also help when getting input from those in different specialty areas.

The wisdom gleaned from speaking with Terezia and Kim was to start with small and concentric circles of organisers as the concept expands, have key pillars (and possibly guiding principles as well) clearly defined before bringing others in, yet equally important is moving from ‘I’ to ‘we’ as soon as possible. There are a number of individuals who have shown interest in the concept but they are mostly advisors. Creating the visualization aided in drafting the following summary for Austin.

The summary of the concept is: a proposal to the TDSB to create a new alternative school based on three pillars; 1) equity and diversity within a 2) holistic learner-centred education through the use of 3) democratic decision making. 

The program begins with a paradigm shift towards, what Thomas Armstrong calls, a Human Development Discourse (vs. an Academic Achievement Discourse). The holistic program, similar to Whole Child Education developed by John (Jack) P. Miller, supports the students understanding of and part within the interconnectedness of the world. Exploration of interdisciplinary curriculum is student driven (and designed, dependant on developmental stage) while mentor (teacher) encouraged. Mutual trust, respect and caring are the cornerstones of the “Beloved Community”.

Next steps include an expansion of the Nodemap and conversations with Jenn Chan about building community meetings sooner rather than later.