Comparing graduation in 6 years is a way to penalize colleges that serve students with lower average SES & SATs

A. Two colleges; one has retention rate 90% of the other. After 4 years, the graduation rate of the lower-retention college will be 66% of the other. 66% looks much worse than 90%.

B. Retention rate is easy to calculate, so use this to compare colleges and for any particular college to set a target. Read more of this post

PBL: project- or problem-based learning — an updated guided tour

PBL can be thought of in terms of the following elements, which are played out in relation to a number of tensions.(updates) Read more of this post

Vanzetti on gardens after 5+ years in prison & 10 months before execution


Communter (a grassroots alternative to Uber)

Communter (Community and Unter playing off Uber, but emphasizing support from underneath not above) is designed to facilitate non-commercial support within a community, beginning with help transporting the elderly to libraries, shops, medical appointments, and concerts, but extending in whatever ways the community members invent (e.g., designing a permaculture plot for a household, providing company in the form of sitting with the person, gardening together, etc.)

(This proposal arose as a “Design sketch” on Case 4 of Design for Living Complexities: What would it look like for a community to integrate the elderly into community life and enable their full participation? How would the transition to there from where we are now be organized?)
Read more of this post

A reflection template based on Parker Palmer’s “There is a season”

Use this reflection template whenever you are ready to pause and take stock before proceeding either: from one phase to another; on from an activity or event; into dialogue with others; or at a branch point when choosing an activity or path to pursue. Copy the template page or print it out, then for each of the items, note “plus-delta”—one thing you did well during the phase/activity/event and one thing that could be developed further next time.

Reference: Palmer, P. J. (2000). “There is a season,” p. 95-109 in Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Extending Play: “Stuck busters”

This design sketch builds on the 4P’s of the Lifelong Kindergarten (LLK) — Projects, Passion, Peers, Play (see  It is a response to the case for the 2nd topic, Play, of the July 2014 Design for Living Complexities course. Read more of this post

Design for Living Complexities: an open course has begun

This course explores critical thinking about design in a range of areas of life and its complexities. It started July 14 and continues for 3-4 weeks. The recorded presentations and subsequent discussion are taking place on google+. See for other options for participation and links to more details about the course. An overview of the course is below. Read more of this post


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