This week's food for thought comes from Tamra Excell, CMASAS co-founder and proud owner of adorable ferrets.
Elsa is still learning how to be a ferret. Early shelter life impacted her, but she is watching the others and learning.>
Sometimes she misses the point.
Today I watch as Ching Shih picks out her favorite food from the mixture and scurries under the bed to her personal stash, storing and eating only the best food. Elsa has been watching this for weeks. Today Elsa decides to “help” Ching Shih by grabbing any bitof food – often the large, least favorite pieces - and adds them to Ching Shih’s stash. She then gets very excited because she did the thing! A ferret thing!
The result is that Ching Shih now has a mix similar to the original.
At first glance, Elsa is doing the same thing as Ching Shih. She just missed an important detail of the behavior, not to mention its whole purpose.
As you might expect, my education geek’s brain instantly draws the comparison to how many schools will try to copy what CMASAS is doing, even including several details. They just miss the important ones, and the whole purpose. The result is that their school is similar to the original that people are trying to get away from.
Drawing a direct comparison to the above ferret cuteness, we aim to offer the best. Since student needs are very personal, the “best” is also personal. It requires empowering students to have the strongest voice in their education. Nurturing personal agency, and ultimately self-actualization, is at the heart of what we do. It’s the whole purpose.
So next time you see a program that says it’s self-paced but then has due dates, or says it’s personalized but uses only canned curriculum, just remember they are confused ferrets. They often really think they are doing the thing! They just missed the point.
To a remarkable future,
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