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A Meandering Blog Meander, Neander, Bystander, V-ander
Meandering is a pretty well-known term - derived from the very curvy Meander River in Turkey, which was itself named after Meander (Maiandros), the Greek River God - “Meander’s River.” The term now describes the path of anything which follows a winding and indirect course, or even the course itself.
Unfortunately, meandering sometimes is presented as movement that is aimless, or without a clear direction. In reality, the paths of rivers follow very specific physical rules - the degreeof gradient and the volume of water determine the character of the riverbed. Rivers that meander follow the same physical rules as rivers that are very straight. Just different ground, nothing more. Rivers that move all over the place are no less rivers than those that have straighter river channels. They are, perhaps, curious.  They are perhaps patient. Or stubborn.  As are our students, often.
Some people have destinations that they can arrive at on a…
The Educational Journey via Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell was an American scholar who studied and  myth and wrote the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces.  His thesis is that the heroic quest is a fundamental story - perhaps even a universal human experience.  George Lucas openly admits  that he wrote Star Wars pretty much straight from Campbell’s work.

Campbell believed that the story of the Hero’s Journey, or Quest, is particularly powerful and that it is common to all cultures and might even be incorporated into our human psychology.

What I have always thought, although it is not  explicit in his work  but is obvious to many educators (1.2 million results show up if you Google “Joseph Campbell and Myth applied to school” -  I am in no way the first  person to explore this!)  is that the Quest also fits the pattern for the emergent adult who goes through our world, from preschool to graduation, and thus also is a universal story for education, and the rites of passage that we still …

All Things Closed Can be Opened

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All Things Closed Can be Opened (Even Minds) -  And It’s Usually Not That Hard. Exploring the “Philosophy” of Education


The Unbroken Seal On Tutankhamun’s Tomb, 1922 - 3,245 Years After Being Closed  Not exactly Fort Knox. 
So why do we make our own profession seem so closed at times? 
Consider this quote by Zygmunt Bauman: “In a liquid modern life there are no permanent bonds, and any that we take up for a time must be tied loosely so that they can be untied again, as quickly and as effortlessly as possible, when circumstances change - as they surely will in our liquid modern society, over and over again.”
Things written like this are EXACTLY why Americans don’t value philosophy much. I understand that, too - Americans are practical. Philosophy should open minds. If it is cryptic or opaque, it opens nothing. Much of what passes for postmodernist philosophy is like this. 
American Noam Chomsky is considered quite avant garde. He a Marxist, activist, linguist and self-declared philosopher, spe…

Divergent Qualities of Quality

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The Dark Side of the Moon, 1973 Examining Divergent Qualities of Quality
The Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd's 1973 album, has been (rather subjectively, of course) called the “Greatest Album Of All Time” by several groups and publications and other “rock and roll” organizations.  It is an amazing work for the pre-digital age. It was Pink Floyd’s eighth album. The album has 9 “tracks” but the songs all tend to blend into each other except for the pause between The Great Gig in the Sky and Money because that is the change from side A to side B of the vinyl album.  It premiered in the London Planetarium. It has sold over 15 million copies and is the 26th best-selling album of all time - just behind Journey’sGreatest Hits.

The album is also known for weirdly synchronizing with the move Wizard of Oz - for example, the same point at which you would turn the record over lines up with the change from the first film reel (black and white) to the second reel (color) which of course, aligns …

Being At-Risk - the Basics

​Being At-Risk - the Basics
​I've been in several meetings lately where "at-risk" is the topic, whether very young children, school-age students, or addiction-related. ​The term does have some specific meanings and I would like to get all of us at Blue River Valley on the same page with it. 
Risk in and of itself is simply a measurement of the probability of exposure to loss or harm, and in our business being at-risk means that a student is in one or more categories that statistically indicate that the probability for loss and harm in school success is higher than normal. For students who are at-risk the harm is often​ defined in academic terms, for example, the failure to complete high school, failure in classes, repeated disciplinary referrals, or absence. 

​ But not all academic risk has an academic cause. ​
Risk management is a process by which those probabilities are reduced by deliberately designing and insertingcontrol measures into an environment of risk.
For stude…