#69 – The Power of Community with Peter Block

It’s a new month as we turn into September 2019 and that means a new theme for our podcasts and for our conversations in MLC, our Modern Learners Community. Podcastwise, I’m a little sad that our dive into the theme of Story in August is over. What I’ve learned is that we tell stories in schools in more ways that we realize, and that the narratives that we create have a huge influence on how kids and teachers experience school on a daily basis. I really hope you enjoyed that series.

But now we’re moving on to our next theme, “Community.” It’s another one of those words that we use often but don’t fully define when it comes to our systems and practice. And At a moment in the world when so many things seem to be moving apart, we want to take a look at how we might work to bring things together, to create closer bonds, especially of course in the context of schools. In other words, what does learning within community look like, and what practical steps can we take to make community, rather than individuals, the operating system of schools.

Just a reminder, we do have some structure to this. As we do each month, we’ll use the four parts of our Modern Learners Lens to guide our podcast conversations. This week, we’ll focus on how community is built on our beliefs. Next week, we’ll ask how our ideas about community are changing given the modern contexts we live in. Our third framing will be around classroom practice; what happens when the community becomes the curriculum? And finally, we’ll explore how cultures in schools change when community is placed at the center.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to kick off this series with the person who wrote the book on community, literally, Peter Block. Through his company Designed Learning, Peter has worked with thousands of people to use the community-building skills he writes about. And let me just say that his book “The Answer to How? is Yes” should be on every school leaders list who is looking to engage in meaningful conversations around change.

In this episode, Peter and I discuss the definition of community, the ways in which schools are focused on competition and individualism, and how to build a different narrative for what learning looks like in schools. Be prepared to be challenged and inspired all at once.

Hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget, if you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe and give us a rating and review on your favorite podcast app.

Real fast, inside of MLC+ this month, we are discussing Peter’s book. Join us!

1 thought on “#69 – The Power of Community with Peter Block”

  1. Minute 5’00″” to 5’30” sums it up for me. Our ed structures teach students to please the authority as a sensible way to succeed. Is that the mega-lesson we’re looking to spread? What are the ramifications for us, in any culture, of internalizing that message?

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