Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Book I Contributed to on Interdependent Thinking

Power_of_the_Social_Brain
I have had the good fortune to both write the forward for this Teachers College Press book and contribute a chapter.

The Foreword focuses on the value of “thinking together”. The chapter I wrote is titled: “Creating and Influencing Momentum: The Challenges and Power of Adults Thinking Interdependently”.

Additionally, I work with Patricia Reeves with the Courageous Journey and she wrote a chapter on the Courageous Journey titled: “In The Company of School Leaders”.

The book is officially released soon. It can currently be ordered from Amazon.

Here is what a couple of reviewers have said: ”As the authors point out, as a society and in our institutions, we spend almost no time learning how to think, learn, and work together. Thinking with others is its own skill, and it is high time people thought about how to optimize this skill. This is exactly what this book seeks to do.” –Matthew D. Lieberman, Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Bio-behavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

”A rare and relevant publication for all who care about a universally human enterprise.” — Robin Fogarty, author and education consultant, Robin Fogarty and Associates

And this is from the publisher:

‘Cooperative learning has been demonstrated by research to be one of the most highly effective teaching strategies, but simply putting students in a group is not enough. The authors of The Power of the Social Brain see “interdependent thinking” as the missing piece of the collaborative puzzle. This authoritative book provides research from the neurosciences and education along with practical strategies to help groups function more effectively and thoughtfully. By adding the “cognitive dimension” to cooperative learning, this book will help readers apply strategies of successful group work in classrooms and professional educational learning communities.’

Focus Forward

Read more about appreciating the present wile setting your sites on a preferred future by checking out these three posts:

https://jerryjennings.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/apprecitive-inquiry-is-in-part-about-asking-q/

https://jerryjennings.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/130934146/

https://jerryjennings.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/appreciate-the-present-dream-about-the-preferred-future-and-move-toward-the-dream/

Appreciate the present, dream about the preferred future and move toward the dream!!

The future is a terrible thing to waste. And yes, the future is unknown.

What is known is that: 1.) we are here today and 2.) how we act and what we focus on today that will potentially impact the future.

So, each of us has some choices about – how we act and what we focus on.

We face many challenges of:

poverty – local, regional and global,

thinking trough our interconnectedness and interdependence (our social responsibility) to improve sustainability – at the micro and macro levels,,

fast paced technological change leaving some far behind,

tapping and developing the potential of all young people through educational opportunity around the world, and

many more challenges.

Let’s ask ourselves: What kind of future do we want for our communities, our region our world?  How much do we value the common good?

My answers can be summed up by this Gandhi quote: “I do not believe in the doctrine of the greatest good for the greatest number.  The only real, dignified doctrine is the greatest good for all.”

As the United Nations encourages improvement in situations around the world it describes ‘development’ as meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” – from the World Commission on Environment and Development’s (the Brundtland Commission) report Our Common Future (1987).

This thinking is consistent with the Great Law of the Iroquois Nation which is often quoted as: “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation.”

seventh_generations

Behaving in ways that respect the future and the common good is not a new idea.

I believe that for me and other persons living today, that there are real accessible ‘practices’ and ‘points of focus’ that do address issues of the common good.  They may not be easy to discover or act on, yet how we act and what we focus on matters.

The future of our children and grand children, let alone the futures of generations yet to bone – these futures should be our motivation.  The challenges are many for each of us to “grow” these efforts.  And the future is worth it!

Let’s use the present to get to the future.  How can we build upon our current strengths and opportunities to move toward a desired future?

Action is a better than doing nothing.