Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
                How are you and Mrs. Claus? How about the elves and the reindeer? I hope that it’s been a great year for everyone in the North Pole.
                My wish list this year is pretty simple—one item. A second Earth.
I’m basing this request on an article I read recently: “In 20 Years, We Will Need a Second Earth.” It’s based on simple math. Really simple math based on some basic facts about our consumptive habits.
I know this second Earth request is a longshot, so I’m glad this isn’t a total doomsday scenario. There are glimmers of hope, particularly when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint. But we’ll really have to change our dietary habits. I imagine some other new ways of living will be required.
How’s that going to happen? I haven’t figured out the exact plan in detail just yet. But I do know that we have to help young people develop the ability to consider all the possibilities, particularly those that produce new paradigms. The ones that got us in this jam aren’t going to get us out of it. Schools have to reconsider what it means to prepare students for their future.
So if the second earth thing doesn’t work out (maybe I haven’t been nice enough), help me to lead a school in which…
·         students keep alive their innate curiosity and desire to explore;
·         they learn to ask important questions and to seek meaningful answers;
·         they use technology in powerful, purposeful ways;
·         the focus is on what students learn, not what is taught;
·         rigor becomes about individual growth, not the current demand for more and faster that actually harms learning because of the stress it engenders;
·         a large part of what students learn is their place and purpose in life.
Thanks, Santa. Ultimately, this is up to other educators and me. Parents, too. But I know you can help. After all, every December you do an amazing job of defying that whole time-space continuum thing. And it’s pretty vital, given that possible need for a second Earth notion.


Ann Binford said...

I think you need to add a new sun to your Santa request. I read recently that the sun is quite old and near the end of its life span. A new earth without a youthful sun to accompany it might not be a pretty picture.

Todd Howard said...

What an insightful message that we can all apply to our everyday lives. I had the pleasure of attending a lecture of a fairly well respected scientist who claimed by 2100 we will need 4 1/2 planet earths to sustain our current demands. You don't just go out and pick one up though. I like your backup plan! Thanks.