Monday, April 13, 2009

Welcome to Learning Street

In recent years, I've been left to wonder, where the learners are... not among students, but among my professional colleagues.

Leadership is best modeled when we support others in way-finding, experimentation, and risk-taking. If educators expect their charges to take risks in extending their learning with the support of teachers, then each of us, should at times explore new instructional practices with the guidance of supportive colleagues.

Working in what Vygotsky called the zone of proximal development, is best accomplished with colleagues who, through varied interests and experiences, can offer unique supports to co-learners. In an environment that supports collaborative exploration and open sharing, it won't take long for teacher-learners to act as mentors for other colleagues.

Educators often look for leaders to mentor their own personal & professional growth; but if it is true that the corner office is where creative ideas go to die, then you might be better off looking to your peers to fulfill your personal learning needs. Fortunately, the educational blogosphere is filled with many knowledgeable colleagues, each of whom is ready to nurture fellow learners.

Photo Credit: Brian Lewandowski & Michael Toy
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