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Leadership for Living Systems: Purpose, Participation, and Feedback

By Devin Vodicka Given the dynamism and agency that is inherent in living systems, influence can be exerted from anywhere and at any time.  In Learner-Centered Leadership I shared how this view reframes leadership from a role or title to how we exert influence through our relationships.  At the heart of this influence is relationalContinue reading “Leadership for Living Systems: Purpose, Participation, and Feedback”

Predators and Pathologies: The Shadows of Living Systems

By Devin Vodicka It is important to be honest in confronting the reality that living systems have a dark side.  In natural systems, predators consume their prey for their own benefit.  Sentient beings develop pathologies, sometimes harmless and also sometimes very harmful to self and to others.  Suicide and murder are extreme examples and thereContinue reading “Predators and Pathologies: The Shadows of Living Systems”

Anything Becomes Possible: The Butterfly Effect and Living Systems

By Devin Vodicka The mechanistic view focuses on optimization of the parts with the idea that if each of the parts is better understood and improved the overall system will improve.  This approach became popular in organizational management in the early 1900s, largely driven by the influence of Frederick Winslow Taylor and his “Scientific Management”Continue reading “Anything Becomes Possible: The Butterfly Effect and Living Systems”

A Web of Mutual Influences: Expanding constraints to reconsider learning opportunities

By Devin Vodicka Is schooling synonymous with education? With learning? The mechanistic mindset takes a reductionist view and sees education as a closed system.  In a living systems view that focuses on interconnectedness and active agency, it is much more challenging to determine the boundary of any system.  As a result, while we may beContinue reading “A Web of Mutual Influences: Expanding constraints to reconsider learning opportunities”

Self-Care Strategies for Learner-Centered Leaders

By Devin Vodicka “The people who educate our kids are really exhausted. That’s teachers, school counselors, food service workers, and it’s principals and superintendents.” NPR – Schools will usher in another new year defined by the pandemic The educational news stories at the end of 2021 are alarming. The situation is so pervasive that EdSurgeContinue reading “Self-Care Strategies for Learner-Centered Leaders”

Let’s reimagine college admissions to create equitable learner-centered pathways

By Devin Vodicka Several years ago when we were running competency-based K-8 microschools in San Francisco and New York City we were confronted with the challenge of helping our students navigate competitive admissions procedures as they applied for selective high schools.  We quickly learned that the vast majority of the high schools wanted to seeContinue reading “Let’s reimagine college admissions to create equitable learner-centered pathways”

Networking and Learning Together: Celebrating a decade of Digital Promise

By Devin Vodicka This week I had the privilege of attending the League of Innovative Schools meeting in Washington DC.  It was one of the first in-person events that I have attended since the pandemic began and it was a wonderful opportunity to connect with others, share insights, and to celebrate the ten-year-anniversary of DigitalContinue reading “Networking and Learning Together: Celebrating a decade of Digital Promise”

From Research to Practice: How might we implement insights from the Science of Learning?

By Devin Vodicka This past week I had the opportunity to engage in two very interesting conversations about the Science of Learning through my involvement with the Global Science of Learning Education Network.  First was an engaging live chat with Glenn Whitman, a history teacher at St. Andrew’s where he also directs the Center forContinue reading “From Research to Practice: How might we implement insights from the Science of Learning?”

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