Why This Blog? Why Now? Why This title?

I am no longer blogging under duress. This part remains true: I had a blog once and I lost the password...and then, I gave up. I really am not a giver-upper, but there is a point of diminishing returns to anything that takes energy, passion, and vision and yet, doesn't work out. So, off I go again, wish me luck! AND knock on wood I have had luck. And it is sort of fun.

P.S. Why this title? I read this phrase today 6/16, don't remember where. I liked it. I'm using it. I might change it. It may or may not have relationship to the content.

Monday, September 3, 2012

About Enduring Understanding

If enduring ideas are what might be important and worth understanding 40 years from now....here is my running list: **

  • Living things try to survive
  • Motivation counts in trying to do or be something
  • There are many sides to issues...understanding is knowing all sides
  • There is diversity and sameness in the world
  • All structures have a function
  • The parts of a system interact
  • All things are parts of many systems
  • With freedom there is responsibility
  • People communicate in lots of ways for lots of reasons.
  • Communication is important to the human experience.
  • We construct meaning through a variety of media
  • You can be proactive or reactive
  • Within organisms there exists independence/interdependence/dependence
  • Patterns exist in the world and can lead to accurate predictions
  • At the moment…matter cannot be created or destroyed
  • We read to know that we are not alone
  • People have reasons for deciding if they like something or not
  • People are social creatures…they tend to do things together
  • All things in the universe are connected
  • The basis of innovation is close observation
  • People create for a variety of reasons
  • Nature inspires
  • Understanding impacts outcomes
  • Data informs position
  • Parts impact the whole
  • Problems guide inquiry
  • Structure impacts function
  • Perspective influences perception
  • Action by living things impacts all things
  • Beliefs inspired by observations reflect who we are

I also think, but haven't really articulated them well that the following have something enduring about them...maybe some of them belong under the idea that you have to know all sides of something to really understand it.

  • Energy and matter
  • Models and theories
  • Probability and prediction
  • Change and conservation
  • Time and scale
  • Cause and effect
  • Adaption and equilibrium
  • Impulsive and reflective
  • Individual and group
  • Fantasy and realism
  • Inhumanity and sensitivity
  • Chaos and cosmos
  • Objective and subjective
  • Static and dynamic

So why is the idea of enduring understandings so important? Well, past the idea that there is far to much   information (especially information that is constantly changing) in the world, something enduring is grounding. An idea, to come back to. An idea that all other ideas radiate from. I think there is something comforting about ideas that are enduring. Ideas that will last past supper, be with you when you wake up in the morning and when you get home from school in the evening. Ideas that will be with you 40 years from now.

I like the idea of enduring because so much is not. What do you think?

**my list comes from my thinking,  In Search for Understanding: The Case for a Constructivist Classroom; Brooks and Brooks, Jamie Bailey and the World Class Education team of Douglas County School District, and, most importantly, Pam Cogburn, fabulous art teacher, Debbie Rabideau, and my colleagues at The Renaissance School who wrestle with what is enduring everyday.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing/sharing this list. I found several that will match our Expeditions and genre studies - was that your intent or just the nature of enduring understandings? Either way, this is a great list and I will be referring back to it often when I plan. Thanks.