I have referenced Seth Godin in several posts. In 2010, I wrote on Seth Godin, the Two Percent and Education, and how we spend so much time investing in small groups of people. In 2011, I wrote on Seth and our Edu Language, looking at how organizations often adopt new words in lieu of real change. This past week Godin wrote another post that struck yet another chord, “I Get It“. He writes:
No need to read the whole book, I can just glance over the Cliffs Notes… I get it.
I don’t need to hear your whole pitch, just show me the summary slide… got it.
No, I already heard about your vacation… remember, I saw the Instagram feed.
Him, why would I go out with him? I read his match.com profile.
You’re probably smart enough to ‘get it’ merely by reading the 140 character summary of just about anything. But of course, that doesn’t mean you understand it, or that it changed you. All it means is that you were quickly able to sort it into an appropriate category, to make a decision about where it belongs in your mental filing cabinet.
The best experiences and the biggest ideas don’t fit into a category. They change it. They don’t get filed away, they transform us.
It’s entirely possible that you can process and file more information than anyone who has come before you. And quite likely that this filing is preventing you from growing and changing and confronting the fear that’s holding you back.
You get it? No you don’t. Not yet. Because all you’ve gotten is a tweet.
Read the book. The whole thing. Use the product. A few times. More than a few times.
Immersed. It can change you.
From where I stand, given some of the current conversations and debates regarding K-12 education, often, just below the surface, is whether K-12 schooling is an experience or a collection of credits. Yes, ‘I get’ that we are always looking for more ways for students to earn credits. And, I get this — we are recognizing students’ learning outside of school through external credits, partnering with post-secondary schools, encouraging dual-credits, and we are developing online learning opportunities to expand how students can earn more credits. All of this, is good. It is part of the pathway to personalization. We are finding ways to formally recognize learning outside of school, to recognize learning that occurs at a university level while a student is still in high school, and learning online is an experience I think all students should have before graduation.
But, there is a ‘but’. K-12 is not about collecting credits — it is bigger than that. A K-12 education is about learning content, but it is also about experiencing citizenship, being part of a community we call “school”. Classes are about more than “just tell me what is on the test.” In my most recent post, I shared my TEDx presentation, my hopes and dreams for my own kids, and it was about experiences and relationships. The most powerful lessons I learned in school were built around people and events, not content. It is really difficult to quantify this, but Seth is right, if you are immersed in the school experience, “It can change you.”
In fact, it will change you. So, let’s not move away from educational growth and transformation; let’s ‘get it’ and not turn learning and schooling into a race to collect credits.