I rewrote Seth Godin’s blog entry for today: Organizing for joy. I hope he doesn’t mind. The word “joy” made it irresistible.
Traditional schools, particularly large-scale high schools, are organized for efficiency. Or consistency. But not joy.
Traditional schools crank it out. Students show up. They pay attention. They get grades and awards to measure success.
The problem with this mindset is that as you approach the asymptote of maximum efficiency, there’s not a lot of room left for improvement. Making another 4.0 GPA student, offering another AP class or teacher-proof curriculum isn’t going to boost learning a whole lot.
Worse, the nature of the work is inherently un-remarkable. If you fear individuality, if you teach students like cogs, if you have to put it all in a rule book and a grade book, then the chances of an amazing education are really quite low.
These schools have students who will try to cut corners and cheat, instead of motivated learners eager to pursue knowledge.
The alternative, it seems, is to organize for joy. These are the schools that give their students the freedom (and yes, the expectation) that they will create, connect and surprise. These are the schools that embrace students who make a difference, as opposed to searching for a grade to assign or a rule in the handbook that was violated.