What if... diverse crops > mono crops?

What if school were about cultivating diverse crops of learners rather than a single breed of learner?

How might the nourishing of those differences lead to healthier individual “crops” as well as a healthier ecosystem of learners… who will become leaders?

Inspired by “Sir Ken Robinson: How to Create a Culture For Valuable Learning”:

“The education system is commonly compared to mechanization, a ‘factory-model,’ designed to push cookie-cutter children through in age-based batches. Robinson finds industrialized farming to be a better metaphor because it deals with living organisms. Farmers went from an organic model of farming that prioritized crop diversity, rotation, and fertile soil to a system of monocrops that easily fall prey to pests, which in turn are killed with chemicals. The focus is on output and yield, which increased with chemical fertilizers. This system does what it was designed to do—it produces a lot of food, but at the expense of the environment.

“ ‘The way you increase the quality of our children’s experience, their life chances, it's not by focusing on yield, but on focusing on the culture of the school,’ Robinson said. A healthy mix of mentorship, arts, physical education, academic subjects and more creates the ‘healthy soil’ in this analogy, the environment in which kids can flourish. Author Paul Tough also talked about strong learning environments as the key element to success in his book Helping Children Succeed.”


Each Wednesday we share a “what if” scenario. These are not suggestions as much as provocations.

If you have a “what if” scenario you would like to share, just send an email (and indicate whether you would like it attributed it to you).


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Christian Talbot