The distance between vision & practice

I’m a pretty big fan of ol’ Bruce. First off, he’s a bloody fantastic showman. Few (if any?) are able to consistently keep up that incredible level of performance throughout an incomprehensible number of shows. I’m not exactly working in music, but I would sure as hell love to aspire for the same level of performance in my own work.

In addition, he’s somehow succeeded in maintaining integrity and credibility over all these years. I wouldn’t know if his indignation is entirely real (as I obviously don’t know the man), but I absolutely believe so. He’s simply that convincing.

I love the connection between young Bruce & old(er) Bruce made in the pretty great documentary “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town“. It shows a young man looking forward, and an older man looking back. They amazingly seem to want the same thing:

More than rich, more than famous, more than happy – I wanted to be great

So much to learn from this guy. In the movie, he also states that:

My work has always been about judging the distance between the American reality and the American dream… I’m always measuring that distance: how close are we, how far are we

And here we are, arriving at the core of this post: judging the distance between the way the world is, and the way it could/should be.

This is the way I work (or, to maintain the above logic, the way I should work).

Education is difficult. Which is why I like it.

Changing education is difficult to the degree, that many highly competent people don’t bother.

It’s simply too hard.

What interests me the most, working in this field, is judging the distance between what education is, and what education should be.

Where are we?

Where do we want to go?

How do we get there?

It’s always a matter of oscillating between practice and vision. Between what happens and can happen in educcational practice, and what we, on a visionary level, would like to achieve.

Vision

I’m not interested in engaging only with grand visions, nor am I interested in exlusively working with practice.

The space between the two, however, is where I want to be.

Rebellion underway?

I’ve been tweeting a bit about my current and future plans lately. Things are (as always) a bit exploratory and not completely decided.

Kinda how I like it.

It’s just that I’ve been feeling a bit stuck, and somewhat low on energy, and that, I don’t like. Not one bit.

Luckily, such situations always makes me come up with fresh new ideas and approaches, and I’m already well underway in exploring several exciting possibilities.

Whenever I find myself in a situation like this, I try to boil it all down to the bare essentials.

What do I like to do? How do I want to work in the future?

I’m identifying some basic guiding principles right now, and I’ll be writing about some of these in the coming weeks. For now, I’ll just say, that this (also) inspired me:

I like to see myself as a rebel (at least to a degree).

I’m not too good with accepting status quo if I see better solutions, and I like challenging established schools of thought. I don’t care about arguments build on tradition – “we do this, because we’ve been doing this for years…”.

If that’s an argument for anything, it’s an argument for contemplating change.

I think we need more people in education (and in general) to be or become rebels.

Don’t accept bad solutions founded in tradition. Don’t neglect what’s important (e.g. creativity, passion, innovation) because rigid structures seem to prohibit such pursuit by focusing narrowly on things that are less important (e.g. testing & control).

We need change, and we need a large group of people willing to instigate such change.

In short, we need rebels.