Cultivating collaborators, revisited

This post assembles a short-list of measures that enhance the building of a trust-full, generative group interested in personal, professional, and institutional change.  It feeds back into face-to-face group meetings items from an earlier post “on integrating face-to-face dynamics into the structure and expectations of online platforms.” Read more of this post

A project-based learning experiment in feminist pedagogy

This post documents a conference presentation on project-based learning (PBL) as implemented in a course on gender, race, and science, co-taught four times for the Boston-area Graduate Consortium on Women’s Studies. Evaluations of the course document a tension between initial discomfort and subsequent appreciation: “you might think you aren’t sufficiently grounded by the course [but] being on the other side of it now, I see it works out beautifully.” (read more…)

The global Paleyian university

For this case borrow the internet further so that offices, classrooms, or the university can be retrofitted. Not rebuilt from scratch, but respecting the infrastructure that is already in place.  (source)

Instead of a retrofit, this design sketch promotes inversion or turning inside out or perhaps gastrulation. (In the embryological process of gastrulation the initial ball of cells invaginates so that some of the outside is now inside and that new inside is in interaction with the outside, creating a new interactions.)  Unpacking that picture, we have three steps:  Read more of this post

Every-year Apprentice

What skills do we need to apprentice on? As soon as I began a list, I saw that the answer was many. There are many skills that we might wish we had developed before we needed them, to avoid getting into a crisis or being overwhelmed when the need arose. This led me to imagine a society in which we make time as part of everyday, every-week, every-year life to be an apprentice, and to serve as the guide to apprentices. Read more of this post

A graduate program based on trust, self-directed learning, responsibility (individual and collective), and kindness in each interaction

My design sketch for case 2 ( in the course is to play with the idea that the CCT program could be like a combination of Vivian Paley’s classroom, exemplified in the year described in The Girl with the Brown Crayon (, and the Sudbury Valley School (see block quote just below). A tension that the design of a “free-CCT” tries to address is between the openness of the child and adults being prepared to cut corners to get to the goal of the degree they need, to allow their work and family responsibilities to squeeze their studies, and to think they know what and how they need to learn. Read more of this post

Design change for individuals in/and society

This post presents a series of contrasting models for thinking about how to change individuals, society, and individuals in their social context. It addresses the first case in the course Design for Living Complexities. Read more of this post

Non-equivalences in relation to racially charged killings

The morning news presents an equivalence – police feel worried after five police were killed by a sniper in Texas; African-Americans are scared and outraged at yet more instances of police killing of black people. In one sense, it should be straightforward to see that the equivalence is false. Read more of this post

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