robertogreco + mission   23

On Quality Higher Education: An Essay in Three Installments, Part 1 | Howard Gardner
[Part 2:
Part 3:

Quotes below from various parts]

"Of the 1000 students whom we interviewed at length on ten disparate campuses, depressingly few report the experience of exploring new topics and acquiring new ways of thinking as central to their college experience."

"The principal purpose of a liberal arts education should be the achievement of academic and cognitive growth. Any other purpose needs to be deeply intertwined with these academic and cognitive priorities. By the conclusion of a four-year education in an institution that calls itself a liberal arts school, or that claims to infuse liberal arts significantly into a required curriculum, all graduates should have been exposed to a range of ways of thinking that scholars and other serious thinkers have developed over the decades, sometimes over centuries. Students should have ample practice in applying several ways of thinking; and they should be able to demonstrate, to a set of competent assessors, that they can analyze and apply these ways of thinking. Put specifically and succinctly, graduates should be able to read and critique literary, historical, and social scientific texts; exhibit mathematical, computational, and statistical analytic skills; and have significant practical “hands on” immersion in at least one scientific and one artistic area."

"When we began our own study some years ago, we were completely unprepared for two major findings across a deliberately disparate set of campuses. We found that challenges of mental health were encountered everywhere, and were, for whatever reasons, on the increase. And across campuses, we found as well (and presumably relatedly) that a large number of students reported their feeling that they did not belong; they felt alienated in one or another way—from the academic agenda, from their peers, from the overall institutions. And to our surprise, this alienation proved more prominent among graduating students than among incoming students!"

"When we began our own study some years ago, we were completely unprepared for two major findings across a deliberately disparate set of campuses. We found that challenges of mental health were encountered everywhere, and were, for whatever reasons, on the increase. And across campuses, we found as well (and presumably relatedly) that a large number of students reported their feeling that they did not belong; they felt alienated in one or another way—from the academic agenda, from their peers, from the overall institutions. And to our surprise, this alienation proved more prominent among graduating students than among incoming students!"

"Indeed, if non-academic goals—say, social or emotional development—are to be reached, they are likely to be reached as a result of the presence of appealing role models on campus and the way the institution itself is run and addresses challenges. If consistent modeling is ingrained in the culture of an institution, most students can be expected to live up to these high standards. To be sure, mental health and belonging issues may need to be specifically supported by trained professionals (either on or off campus)."

"At such times, institutions are tested as they have not been before. And higher education faces a clear choice: the sector can continue to claim, against the evidence and against plausibility, that it can repair the various fault lines in the society. Or it can reassert the major reason for its existence and strive to show that, in the present challenging climate, it can achieve what it was designed to achieve. If it fails, the whole sector is likely to be so fundamentally altered that the vision we’ve described will have disappeared—and perhaps for a very long time."
liberalarts  howardgardner  wendyfischman  highered  highereducation  mentalhealth  purpose  mission  belonging  criticalthinking  vocation  vocationaleducation  onboarding  missiondrift  cv  lcproject  openstudioproject  goals  meaning  meaningmaking  colleges  universities  economics  institutions  academia 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Unspoken Rules | Practical Theory
"I love using this clip as a way to spur people to think about the unspoken rules, policies and procedures that exist in schools.

[embedded video: ]

The overwhelming majority of schools have a student handbook, codes of conduct, etc… but often, those are only the stated policies, and often, the unstated policies are as much what govern the school as anything else.

And while it’s my contention that we don’t want to create schools where every last behavior / idea / action is regulated by some 400 page handbook of student and teacher behavior, we also want to be aware of — and reflective about — the unspoken rules and practices of our schools. When we are, we create more intentional schools where the ideas and systems that power our communities are transparent and understood.

It’s worth noting, as well, another reason it is so very important to unpack unspoken policies. Schools live in the world – and that world is one where issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism continue to do great harm. One very powerful way to combat the inequities of our world is through intentionality. When we examine the unspoken practices of our schools, we can unpack the questions, “Who is benefiting from this behavior? Who is harmed by it? And how can we ensure that the practices of our school are equitable?”

And, for me, this practice starts with adult behaviors and practices. It’s why I care so deeply about the relationship between a school’s mission and vision and the systems and structures that enable that mission. When mission and vision are shared and deeply understood and believed by everyone, and when the systems and structures that govern the school are aligned with that mission, then the practices – both those in the handbook and those that are not – can align and be understood by all.

There are ways to unpack the invisible or unspoken policies. Some questions a faculty can ask itself to spur the process:

• How are “everyday” decisions made at the school?
• Who is tapped to get work done when it falls outside the scope of an established job description?
• What voices are around the table when an issue arises?
• What is our first reaction to student behavioral issues?
• How are parents involved in the decisions of our school?
• Do we examine the mission of the school when we make big decisions? Small decisions?

And, inside the individual classroom, teachers can do this work as well with questions such as this (and these can be asked school-wide as well):

• How is the mission of the school made manifest in my class?
• Who does my grading policy benefit?
• How do students figure out how to succeed in my class?
• Why are the seats arranged in my classroom the way they are?
• Where is there space for students to influence the governance of my classroom?
• How does every student find space for their voice in my classroom?

And so on… I’m sure everyone can think of more questions to add to the list.

The purpose is that every school can be intentional in their process. We can unpack the unspoken (and spoken) rules such that we can create schools that more purposeful and more equitable in the ways in which they function."
chrislehmann  2016  schools  lcproject  vision  purpose  education  teaching  howweteach  rules  codeofconduct  studenthandbooks  behavior  power  community  communities  decisionmaking  voice  mission  grading  policy  grades  seating  governance  classrooms 
february 2016 by robertogreco
As we approach the twenty-first century it is... - Notes + Links / Casey A. Gollan
"As we approach the twenty-first century it is correct to say that the United States has become a nation of institutions…Nearly a century ago a French sociologist wrote that every institution’s unstated first goal is to survive and grow, not to undertake the mission it has nominally staked out for itself.

Thus the first goal of a government postal service is not to deliver the mail; it is to provide protection for its employees and perhaps a modest status ladder for the more ambitious ones. The first goal of a permanent military organization is not to defend national security but to secure, in perpetuity, a fraction of the national wealth to distribute to its personnel.

It was this philistine potential that teaching the young for pay would inevitably expand into an institution for the protection of teachers, not students - that made Socrates condemn the Sophists so strongly long ago in ancient Greece."
military  bureaucracy  growthmentality  growth  survival  mission  putpose  institutions  sophists  socrates  dumbingusdown  johntaylorgatto  self-preservation  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
Mission Possible SF
Comprehensive portrait of the Mission, really worth a closer look (and thought). Love the orientation too.
cartography  maps  mission  sanfrancisco  design  census  berkeley  geography  coffee  gangs  population  noise  via:TomC 
june 2012 by robertogreco
What does your school stand for? « Re-educate Seattle
"What does it stand for? What is its mission? What does it believe in? What outcomes does it consistently deliver? Is there a match between what the school offers & what kids & families want?…

Finally, it’s unlikely that a match exists between the school & families because the school has never really figured out what it’s trying to accomplish. Many families have reduced their hopes to merely surviving the ordeal w/ a minimum amount of pain.

One of the best things we can do to help transform our schools is figure out—specifically—what they’re trying to accomplish. & that doesn’t mean all schools should have the same mission. In fact, each school should have its own unique mission.

Once that’s established, schools can go about the business of connecting w/ families that are a good fit for their particular mission. Either that, or they can continue declaring “academic achievement for all” & stumbling on the never-ending “reform” treadmill."
education  values  mission  missionstatements  tcsnmy  clarity  purpose  outcomes  lcproject  teaching  learning  community  parents  students  stevemiranda  pscs  publicschools  2011  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Uptown Almanac | San Francisco: Where 20-Somethings go to Retire
"Uptown Almanac is basically a crappy blog about San Francisco culture and general bullshit.  Yeah, Uptown is a term often associated with New York City, which is some city like San Francisco on the east coast.  But really, it means any residential part of town away from the main center.  We all live "Uptown," be it in the Mission, SOMA, Potrero, Lower Haight, or even the Sunset (but fuck the Sunset).<br />
The blog is made up of a few pendejos (who mostly live in the Mission but whatever):"
sanfrancisco  blogs  mission  culture  humor  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | Video on
"Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers -- and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling." [See the comment thread for mixed reactions.]
leadership  management  innovation  entrepreneurship  business  apple  culture  education  marketing  motivation  ted  strategy  tcsnmy  why  vision  purpose  lcproject  whyhowwhat  mission  howto  organizations 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: The Goal of a Charter School
"If the charter movement as a whole is going to change these aggregate stats, they're going to have to purge the schools that lack a singular focus on achievement as measured by test scores, graduation rates and other placement stats. In fact, I'm getting the feeling that process is already starting. Whether that reflects the spirit of community initiative and innovation that launched the charter idea is another question."
sinister  tomhoffman  progressive  achievement  accountability  co-optingamovement  education  publicschools  purpose  mission  missionstatements  history  localcontrol  community  forprofit  charterschools 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Civil Branding » The MUJI 'Enough' message
"MUJI is not a brand...does not make products of individuality or fashion, nor...reflect popularity of its name in prices. MUJI creates products w/ view toward global consumption of the future. This means that we do not create products that lure customers into believing that “this is best” or “I must have this.” We would like our customers to feel the rational sense of satisfaction that comes not w/ “This is best,” but w/ “this is enough”. “Best” becomes “enough”.

[See also: AND AND
full text: ]
muji  enough  sustainability  harmony  disharmony  branding  marketing  purpose  tcsnmy  consumption  future  mission  message  unproduct  postconsumerism  postmaterialism 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The Wisdom Manifesto - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review
"scarcest, rarest & most valuable resource in world today is wisdom...isn't about what you "value" — about how everyone values you. To get wise, articulate your essence: the change you want to see in the world. That means literally crafting a statement of intent about "the world", like Google: "to organize the world's information & make it universally accessible."...Wisdom...requires space for experimentation & play — for people to find new ways to change the world. Google's 20% time is going the way of dinosaur — & so, unfortunately, is its wisdom. If you don't get time at work to ignite wise ideas, ask for some, or better yet: take some...Wisdom's battle is the real one: never to compromise your essence, the way you want to change the world. Wise organizations — like wise people — spend time every day examining whether the rot of compromise has led, unintentionally, to self-defeat...Set an example...ceaseless quest for learning...Strategy is obsolete. It's time to wise up."
management  creativity  business  economics  society  success  socialenterprise  wisdom  strategy  umairhaque  tcsnmy  learning  organizations  leadership  administration  value  mission 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Avoiding "if they like x, give them more of x" - (37signals)
"He’s [David Simon] talking TV. But when launching a business, there’s a lot to be said for starting from a point of view and knowing what you want to say too. When you do that, you have an anchor for everything you do moving forward.
tcsnmy  focus  purpose  lcproject  administration  mission  37signals  davidsimon 
january 2010 by robertogreco
“the purpose-idea”: ten questions for mark earls | Gapingvoid
"Third, “Brand” is what you get as a result of doing great , not a good guide to what to do — it’s the sco­re­board, not the game.
branding  herd  purpose  hughmacleod  markearls  tcsnmy  mission  focus  communication  advertising  marketing  administration  leadership  management 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Week 235 – Blog – BERG
"When a studio is really working, people & ideas feed off one another. Code or design will reveal an opportunity or problem. An idea will be floated. Someone will take it, reference something they know (an unusual style of photography; rare game format from 80s; nature of time & space), spin it & throw it back. Ideas fold & stretch. & then, somehow, something simple and to the point will appear, & that’ll be the new direction. It doesn’t matter what people are working on, everyone has something to do. There a kind of multiplier effect, the more people are in flow, in the studio. What I try to concentrate on is enabling this studio-wide flow. When it’s working well I’m buoyant, exuberant. What blocks it? Concerns about direction, time, support, money; overwork; unhappiness; lack of confidence in the work; lack of openness to critique. How can it be steered? Enthusiasm & passion, examples & influences, shared values. What do we value? That which is: Popular. Inventive. Beautiful."
berg  berglondon  mattwebb  management  administration  leadership  flow  work  mission  tcsnmy  passion  morale  enthusiasm  well-being  motivation  happiness  confidence 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Doors of Perception weblog: Aalto University
"The University has stated that it will will "make a positive contribution to Finnish society, technology, economy, art, art and design, and support the welfare of both humans and the environment".
aaltouniversity  education  helsinki  finland  missionstatements  mission  highereducation  universities  sustainability  design  resilience  colleges  problemsolving  tcsnmy  technology  art  society  greatergood  life  well-being  noblesseoblige 
june 2009 by robertogreco
"A dean has the power to lead a school in a particular direction, and not in others. Together with this power comes the responsibility to have, and communicate, a clear idea of what that direction is, so that faculty and students know where they stand. If they agree, they freely stay and work together; if they disagree, they can leave, or not join the school at all. A dean, acting also through department chairs, sets the tone of a school—whether it is to be experimental or rooted in traditional values—and also its character—egalitarian or autocratic. A great school cannot be all things to all people. Intelligent choices can be made only when the available choices are clear. A dean who lets a school be pushed this way and that by its own internal struggles within the faculty and the students is a failed leader, and the school suffers. A great dean is not afraid to lead in the direction he or she thinks best. The courage to do that is the essence of the job description"

[list of posts in this series here: ]
lebbeuswoods  education  architecture  leadership  administration  tcsnmy  mission  management  focus  teaching  learning  faculty  socraticmethod 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Russell Sage Foundation - The Money Myth: School Resources, Outcomes, and Equity - W. Norton Grubb
"Effective schools distribute leadership among many instructors and administrators, and they foster a sense of both trust and accountability. These schools have a clear mission and coherent agenda for reaching goals. Underperforming schools, by contrast, implement a variety of fragmented reforms and practices without developing a unified plan. This phenomenon is perhaps most powerfully visible in the negative repercussions of No Child Left Behind. In a frantic attempt to meet federal standards and raise test scores quickly, more and more schools are turning to scripted “off the shelf” curricula. These practices discourage student engagement, suppress teacher creativity, and hold little promise of improving learning beyond the most basic skills."
administration  management  publicschools  schools  tcsnmy  leadership  mission 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Museum 2.0: Deliberately Unsustainable Business Models
"The underlying dysfunction...often an inability to focus on anything but survivability. To make it, museums need to survive AND succeed...important for museums to undergo an exercise in which you list out two types of things: 1. core services that people depend on and need to survive. ... 2. services you provide that make you awesome. What drives people through your door, gets them excited, and connects them passionately with your content? You should be able to point with pride to both the ways you support the community with reliable, consistent services and supreme awesomeness. The desire to survive will always exist, whether you run a small institution or a giant one. It's human nature to want to keep your job and keep doing what you're doing. The challenge is not to make it your primary goal."
museums  focus  mission  tcsnmy  machineproject  sustainability  lcproject  markallen  ephemeral  intentionallyephemeral  ephemeralinstitutions  openstudioproject  pop-ups  survival  survivability  risk  risktaking  success  2009  ephemerality 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Malcolm Gladwell on meaningful work and curiosity - (37signals)
"Gladwell: Meaningful work is one of the most important things we can impart to children. Meaningful work is work that is autonomous. Work that is complex, that occupies your mind. And work where there is a relationship between effort and reward — for everything you put in, you get something out…
malcolmgladwell  charlierose  37signals  collaboration  leadership  management  administration  mission  meaning  life  work  cv  teaching  parenting  autonomy  mind  effort  reward  curiosity 
january 2009 by robertogreco
The Brand Gap
"1. A brand is not a logo. 2. A brand is not an identity. 3. A brand is not a product. So what exactly is a brand? It's a persons gut feeling about a product, service or organization, because brands are defined by individuals, not companies, markets, or publics. It's a gut feeling because people are emotional intuitive beings. In other words, it's not what you say it is. It is what **they** say it is... We tend to base out buying choices on trust. Trust comes from meeting and beating customer expectations...A charismatic brand is a product, service, or organization for which people believe there's no substitute... Any brand can be charismatic...[just follow] five disciplines of brand building: Differentiate. Marketing today is about creating tribes. Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter?...Collaborate...Innovate...Validate...Cultivate."

[In many ways the message boils down to knowing who you are as an organization (your mission) and staying to true to that core definition.]

[via: ]
mission  missionstatements  branding  marketing  focus  authenticity  administration  management  leadership  trust  innovation  confidence  substance  perception  tcsnmy 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Marketing, branding, education-ing « Learn Online
"Cathy Sierra planted that seed in my head back in Feb 2007 with her post Marketing should be education, education should be marketing. Ever since then I’ve been on the look out for a good marketeer who is ready or willing to talk about education. Next week I’m meeting with a marketing researcher which I hope will lead me to something interesting in terms of what marketing and education speak could do for one another."
marketing  branding  education  schools  kathysierra  tcsnmy  authenticity  focus  management  administration  leadership  mission  missionstatements  trust  substance  perception 
november 2008 by robertogreco
The Management of the University of Oxford.... Facing the Future
"What Cornford correctly perceived was that precedent is relevant only in an institution that lacks confidence in its present and future ability to reach conclusions on a rational basis. Sadly, little has changed in the last hundred years."
management  administration  academia  universities  colleges  schools  mission  future  leadership  change  reform  politics  economics  negotiation  people 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - Tools for Big Love
"best predictor of longevity for system...not to inspect business model but answer: Do the people who like the place/building/system/product take care of each other? Not just object of veneration but mutual care of fans? Do they run on love?"
organizations  management  lcproject  schools  design  business  longevity  longnow  kevinkelly  clayshirky  economics  love  society  web  internet  social  community  gamechanging  predictions  schooldesign  mission  administration  leadership 
march 2008 by robertogreco

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