I was pleased to see Joe Bower (@joe_bower) provide some information on a recent post that gave an example of just how long dialogue has been going on regarding the nature of learning and thinking processes supported in schools.

See his reference to a 1961 letter to the editor here.

I often hear that ideas and philosophies cycle in education, and possibly every 20 years or so.  Are these calls to shift the focus cyclical, or have they always been “out there”?  I am leaning towards the latter.

I was well aware of these questions and concerns in the 90s, and now well again, 20 or so years later.  I am thinking there may be a few factors that thwart the fruition of changes for schooling and education, whether the ideas are cyclical or consistently “out there”.

But, I have had some renewed hope.  We have social media now.  And not so much about social media itself, but how it is being used to enhance outreach and dialogue with others about education.  Chris Wejr (@MrWejr) wrote about the same recently, “It is not social media that is changing education, it is the people involved in education who are collaborating by sharing great ideas and challenging others to continue to grow as learners.”  His full post here.

Even after only one year of interacting on Twitter and reading blogs by educators and parents, it seems clear to me that there is no shortage of passion, commitment, talent, and motivation to transform schools into environments that support relevant, personal learning and foster thinking skills needed for life-long learning and problem-solving.  Through social media we have become more in touch with others working towards change in education and implementing strategies to do so.  This increased awareness and learning from others impacts our local work and personal situations, and inspires us.  But can it continue to grow bigger than that?  Are there other ways that we should be using it to support broader changes that we want to see and be a part of?

I am hoping that the impact of social media connecting makes up for what may have been missing in the past to implement changes in education.  I hope I can be proven right that social media will help stop some of the cycling of missed opportunities to transform schooling and education to be relevant to student learning and our world.  I am sure we could wait it out for inevitable change, but is the opportunity to build and create more cohesive changes here right now?

Create it or wait?

“Reason is the only way to change what we’re creating……but reason sometimes turns into another word for waiting….” (lyrics from, “Stop, I don’t want to hear it anymore”  by Melanie Safka)