Stop and Think

There is a Chinese farewell I often reflect on, "may you live in interesting times". We are. Problem is we are so full on, living lives that are so crowded, multi-tasking most every minute of the day.

Our school Mission is "Dream, Grow, Shine, Reflect”. 

Dream represents Goal Setting. 

Grow represents our Action Plan to achieve the Dream. 

Shine is the Success Criteria - also what we will be doing or seeing when the goal is achieved.  

Reflect - reflection is possibly the most important piece in our cycle of learning and achieving.

It's also quite possibly the most missed piece in the puzzle that is our daily life.

Look at what is happening in the USA at present. General Motors has sucked billions in life-line funding and is still going down the gurgler. Our own economy is in a dire state, and what are we told? Consumption is the way out. We need to consume more. We need to get our mojo back and start putting things on the plastic again.

But how much stuff do we really need? How does spending more on more stuff help the bigger problem, which is not the economy (stupid - from Clinton's campaign), but is the fate of our world.

Al Gore might be seen as an annoyance and a bit of a geek, but he's on the money. If we stop global warming now, today, totally, it will still take 300 years before any noticeable difference is made to our world. 300 years!

We have a goal of developing life-long learners - maybe we should be focusing on how to grow long-life learners.

Have you heard of Global Dimming? Scientists were worrying about the effects of pollution, con trails and so on causing a dimming of the sun's rays here on earth. We need to address this they say - check out Bangkok where thanks to Global Dimming, you never see a 'blue' sky or the sun. 

However, other scientists have just analysed the data for the week immediately post 9/11. What did they find - the total ban on flights in that period caused a spike in Global Warming. Damned if we do and damned if we don't.

Clearly we are living in Challenging Times - and clearly the challenges are set to get much bigger. What we need is some very deep thinking, and some pretty serious forward planning.

What we get is quite different. Governments are elected for such a short term, it is not in their interests to take the long term view. You need to grab voter attention by hitting the right nerves - harsher penalties, bash the bludgers, oh and National Testing.

The solution , if it comes, will come from Left Field. It will come from Thinking Differently. It will not come from our schools though, because we will be too busy ensuring all our children meet the "standards" so that we can keep our funding.

Literacy and Numeracy are genuinely important, but they  are not the key to addressing the challenges we are facing. Focusing on Professor Flockton's "Evil Twins - Literacy and Numeracy” to the exclusion of all else (or most else) will rob us of the opportunity to delve deeply, to think deeply, to question, to challenge, to trial and to make errors.

I fear for the world my 12 year old son is set to inherit. I continue to hope that someone, somewhere will say 'stop - let’s think about this', and someone somewhere will listen.

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