Wolf Wisdom - Starving Scorn in #EdTech?

Paging through my feeds in GoogleReader--a moment of lucidity amidst the sinus drain/coughing illness that has plagued my days and nights--it occurred to me how much scorn we bloggers have collectively heaped upon an uncaring world. Forgive me for looking up scorn in the dictionary:

Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/scorn 
I also noticed the contemptuous speech in a public debate between colleagues arguing opposing viewpoints aimed at achieving the same goal--a quality education for our children, a vibrant ecology for teachers, students, and parents involved in teaching, learning and leading. At first, I thought I was the only one to witness the scorn in the conversation, but then others brought it to my attention in conversation. "What was that person thinking?" 

The truth is, what am *I* thinking? I haven't done it yet because the idea just occurred to me today while skimming blog RSS feeds, but I shudder to dig the beam of wood out of my own eye when these splinters are so visible:
We seem to be stuck … arguing over which factory-age solutions we should try without fully understanding the implications of the context we are in and the new functions we need education to perform. (Source: Trace Pickering as cited in Dangerously Irrelevant blog entry)
Except for the fact that the education policies of the Obama administration don’t allow for “tinkering”, and certainly there’s precious little room for dreaming. For the vast majority of students in this country, the instructional emphasis is on learning to get the right answer on the standardized test. Period. (Source: Tim Stahmer, Assorted Stuff Blog)
Change is not, I repeat, not imminent in the schools in your area. Wide-scale improvements, especially originating from within the schools themselves, I guarantee are impossible. Despite the wishful thinking in teacher and administrative preperation programs, professional journals, and educational conferences; despite the amount of money pumped into teacher training; and despite the seeming unhappiness of  politicians and the public, your schools will remain unchanged into the foreseeable future (and I can see a very long way) with any differences being cosmetic only. (Source: Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog)
These are only a few of the rich examples available to us online...the blog entries are worth reading in context and in full. All show some disdain for the way things are today, whether it's federal, state, or local educational agency that's providing the leadership.

My favorite scornful comment came today via tweet in response to a link to the Dangerously Irrelevant blog entry cited above:

Perhaps, I need to find a new way for bringing about change in schools today. Shall I lay aside my scorn? Ah, an old story comes to mind that I must remember to apply to my own life:

The Legend of the Two Wolves
One evening an old Cherokee looked into his grandson's eyes and asked,  "My son, I see fear in your eyes what is troubling you."
The boy responded, "Often I feel as if two wolves are living inside me, one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way. But...the other wolf... ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his pain and fear are so great.
"Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit and are always struggling against each other."
With tears streaming down his face the boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one will win Grandfather?"
Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one you choose to feed."

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Sandy Kendell said…
Good food for thought. I sometimes worry our discussions around improving educational practice might not be taken seriously because of the sarcastic/negative tones often injected. Among ourselves this might primarily be therapudic venting, but we must also consider that those outside of the education profession - politicians, parents, & business leaders - are also witnessing our public comments. And we need those folks to see us as knowledgeable professionals, not angry or bitter disenchanted complainers, if we want to have any hope of building bridges and making progress.

Interestingly, this is the second time in a week that I've come across the two wolves story, after never having heard I before. I think I'm being reminded to feed the right wolf!

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