Our public education system is designed for domestication.
And, as designed, it successfully transforms many of our audacious, curious, and playful students into individuals that are paralyzed by perfectionism, tentative about taking the initiative and unwilling to throw themselves and their work into the real world out of fear of failure. Yet, our economy is placing more and more emphasis on creativity, adaptability, and global consciousness. So, how do we get them to shed their submissiveness, rediscover their uniqueness, and share their vision of the world with the rest of us?
REWILDING is a pedagogy designed to get our students to:
- Remember the audacity of their childhood
- Recognize the system of expectations in which they are submerged
- Reignite their agency and take responsibility for their own freedom
The REWILDING classroom is a place of extreme student autonomy, authority and responsibility.
The classroom is no longer structured around the teacher’s relative expertise. It is structured around a project – a big project.
REWILDING requires different skills from the teacher and their students.
The role of the teacher is transformed. They become a mentor, coach, and counselor. They nudge, cajole, encourage, and makes deep investments in building loving trusting relationships with their students. And, more importantly, as they collaborate with their students they become a student of their students. Students choose their own objectives, set goals, design their own programs, and learn in their own way. They take on their fears, reconsider their histories, rewrite their narratives, and challenge their internal commentary of self-doubt.
The Essential Elements of REWILDING include:
- Community: The project is too big to be done alone. It can only be accomplished if the teacher and their students successfully build a trusting loving community committed to making change.
- Culture: The teacher and their students must articulate a set of promises that influence their actions and shape the dialogue they have within themselves, with each other, and with the communities they work with.
- Commitment: The teacher and their students must commit to do the work. The success of the project is the result of an interdependent process. One person’s choice to do or not do work has ramifications for the entire class. Commitment is everything.
Rewilding is a pedagogy designed for action. The teacher and their students must leave the classroom, enter into the world, implement their project, and allow reality to judge the worthiness of their work. Rewilding influences the tone, attitude and approach of my Collision-Happy Courses.