Voices of learners inform the compelling purpose of our roles as educators – why we exist. The voices of learners, if we listen to them, also call us to question whether 20th century “command and control” structures and practices serve contemporary learners well.
In the first decade of my work as an educator, I had the chance to watch Dr. Bill Glasser interview local high school students about their experiences in school. Not even one of the mostly “teacher pleaser” kids on stage chatting with him in front of a district-wide assembly of educators could describe their high school experiences as creating joy, passion, or interest in their learning. That was 1986. In describing his perspective on the foundational work needed to create quality learning opportunities, Glasser that day explained to educators why the coercive environment we often create in school does little to meet what he labeled as the…
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