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In a recent (January 30th, 2012) New Yorker article on “Groupthink,” author Jonah Lehrer observes the following: The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks. Lehrer's statement, grounded in decades of research in social psychology, is that the most constructive form of collaboration is one in which a diverse group of people, i.e., those from different discipline areas and backgrounds, engage in “the vigorous exchange of clashing perspectives.” Educators who have participated in effective PLCs have learned that some degree of conflict between group members is not only healthy but, in many cases, necessary to move the group forward. However, when strongly-opinionated individuals are unwilling to even consider differing perspectives, progress is unlikely. Perhaps ...

Leveraging Education Goals: Academic Success and Whole Child Success
Leveraging education goals: Academic success and whole child success

“What does your ideal school look like?”

Wendy, a colleague, asked me that question as we were discussing her recent visit to Finland. Comparing schools we've visited in countries as diverse as China, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Poland, and now Finland helps us unearth assumptions about education that we didn't know we'd made.

I had recently read about Finland's dedication to equity in its schools and had cited the ...

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