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What would it look like if Netflix ran a school?

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To What Do We Owe Our Fidelity?

Today was one of those magical work days — not so much because it was chaotic and crowded (it was), but because it was jam packed with interesting people and conversations. It began with University of Gloucestershire professor Philip Woods (an expert on democratic leadership and school governance); it ended with the fabulous Traci Fenton of WorldBLU, an organization that is identifying, and helping to create, democratic business cultures around the globe; and it featured a remarkable mid-afternoon tea with Sir Ken Robinson — yes, that Sir Ken Robinson — who is writing a new book and imagining lots of new and powerful ways to connect people to their passions. Through all these conversations and exchanges, I’ve been reflecting on a question I’d never thought of quite so explicitly before. It surfaced during my morning conversation with Professor Woods: “In the work that we do, to what do we owe our greatest fidelity?” I think this question gets at the heart with the issue I have with both extremes of the current education reform landscape. On one side is the old guard, for who I think the answer to the question would be either “the children” or “democratic learning.” I

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Arne Duncan’s Learning Story

Check out the first in our ongoing series with the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss, who will post a different person’s learning story every week between now and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act. Have a story of your own to share? Visit rethinklearningnow.com and tell us who helped you use your mind well.

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Name the Book Competition — Round 2

On Thursday, I formally submit the manuscript for the book of learning stories (estimated release date – February 2011) and it still doesn’t have a working title. However, many of you have written to share your feedback, and I think it’s time for an updated list of finalists. Remember — whoever submits the winning entry gets a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice. Learning to Matter: 50 Powerful Stories of How Learning Experiences Shape Who We Become (from Pennsylvania’s Charlotte Hummel) Minds on Fire: 50 Powerful Stories of Learning & Teaching — in School & in Life (from Virginia’s Bruce Price) The Book of Life: 50 Stories About the Life-Changing Power of Learning To Use One’s Mind Well (from Australia’s Troy Jones) Your nomination — just post a comment in this thread and share your idea. OK, people — what should it be?

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Washington Post to Feature a Story a Week for 2010 (and beyond?)

Great news! Beginning tomorrow morning, the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss will feature a new learning story each week between now and the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (whenever that is). Fittingly, the series will begin with the learning story of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. But there’s still time to share your own story and have it featured — go to rethinklearningnow.com and tell us about your most effective teacher, and/or your most powerful learning experience!

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