Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm thinking I'm not in Kansas anymore...

School life in a relatively small town in northwestern Alberta is exciting. Exciting though, I suppose, is relative. When I sit back at the end of the day and I reflect on what I had to deal with, and look at some of the experiences peers in other locations have to deal with, they don't seem to compare on the surface.

I'm currently reading Current Issues and Trends in Education and (again) on the surface I do not have a great deal of experience with some of the issues and trends I have read about to this point. Racial diversity in a gateway urban setting such as San Francisco or New York City is different than racial diversity in Grande Prairie. Violence in some larger school jurisdictions just does not compare to the school violence we experience.

Education here seems to be quite different than education in, say, San Francisco. Is it?

I have given this a great deal of though over the last couple of days and I think our overall experiences are not substantially different, but rather they are reflective of the scale of our differences. I believe the issues and trends occuring in our little old town are more similar than I first thought. They are just smaller. I think.

During my next Ed.D. class, Social Contexts and Contemporary Issues, I am going to get a chance to see if this theory holds true. I look forward to the opportunity to compare and discuss the at-risk students in my environment with those in larger, more globally representative urban settings. I'll get to compare the educational experiences of our first nations students to that of the Asian-Americans and Hispanics. Etc. I am looking forward to this more than any course I have taken in a long time. I have reflected on this at great length and I think the challenges we face in all of education really do align despite the surface differences.

My guess is it comes down to our systems.

I look forward to the learning I am going to experience with my peers from Hawaii, LA, Las Vegas, etc. I think at this point kids are kids, and the skills we must possess to address their needs are the same. The needs differ somewhat though, and I look forward to testing my hypothesis.

For anyone that stops by to read this...what do you think? Am I naive? Missing something? Outright wrong? Drop a comment and let me know what you think....


Monday, May 18, 2009


Well, I'm feeling a bit like I've been shot through an orchard and hit every tree!  But, the first five-day residency of my doctoral program is over.  It has been a whirlwind of dissertation practice, research methodology, scholarship-practitioner-leadership, and writing styles. It will likely take a week or so for me to synthesize the content, but WOW, that was some week.  One thing I learned?  I have some peers in this program who are pretty amazing people.