On April 27th 2017 I had the honor of speaking at an alumni function for my high school alma mater, Tabor Academy. When I’d been asked to speak back in January, the first thing that came to mind regarding what to talk about was a quote by the 13th poet philosopher Rumi:
“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”
He’d said. This was a far cry, I thought, from what the leaders of my educational history would want me to speak about I realized immediately. I mean wouldn’t they cringe at the idea of favoring curiosity over knowledge? But then I did some digging to find out what Tabor had become since my days there back in the early 90s and came across Tabor’s new headmaster, John Quirk’s vision for “Exceptional Readiness.” I got the Goosebumps.
“Our Society cannot thrive on business as usual. Too many students are graduating from high school and college unprepared for the intellectual, social and spiritual demands of the 21st century life. Our world needs a rising generation of young people who will look over the known horizon and navigate their way toward unexpected ideas and solutions. We need citizen-students who demonstrate leadership with conscience; who are capable of critical thought, un-swayed by history or current fashion. More, than ever, we need to fill the world with individuals who possess initiative, optimism and a desire for personal action as never before. At Tabor we envision this as “exceptional readiness” for every Tabor student.”-John Quirk, Head of School
I was so excited by John’s “Exceptional Readiness” that I started thinking about what could happen if we DID favor curiosity over knowledge in education. This is the talk it inspired.
Regarding Consenses in Education:
Consenses has developed a unique arts curriculum for a classroom setting in which students collaborate to create Interpretive Chains. In the process, they learn tolerance and empathy through “listening” to others, not through their words, but through various art forms.
Consenses has conducted successful pilot applications of its Interpretive Chain curriculum in ten different schools and thirty-one classrooms. Feedback from more than ten educators who collaborated with Sally Taylor on these pilots testifies to the Social Emotional Learning impact. By enabling communication through a medium other than language, Consenses is uniquely effective and powerful at spreading the message that everyone’s perspective is equal and valid.