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09 April 2014 @ 04:44 pm
Grit Redux and then Something Totally Different  
Here is Alfie Kohn's take on grit.


One of the things I loved in this piece (aside from the whole thing since I think Kohn's work is simply incredible) is his reference to the Law Of Holes. Basically the Law of Holes states that when you are in a hole, you should stop digging.

Is that the problem with the latest round of reform movements? Instead of acknowledging that perhaps there are adjustments needed, the reformers dig in and refuse to consider another alternative. We had a term for this way back when: perseverating, the inability to shift responses. It points to an important difference: the difference between grit and obstinance, between persevering and perseverating.

This called to mind a phrase from Orson Scott Car's ENDER'S GAME, a reference to someone being smart without being reasonable. Perhaps that is part of my puzzlement, too, over the seeming unwillingness of the key agents in the reform movement to admit even the tinier bit of doubt. They are smart folks. But they are not at all reasonable. Take a look at Rhee throwing all manner of agreements into her recent piece in the Washington Post criticizing the opt-out movement. Look at Arne Duncan insisting his decisions are the right ones and that the only arguments are coming from those "white suburban mothers." And now there is the indication that the Obama administration may make CCSS part of ESEA authorization.

Talk abut digging holes! While they are standing in those holes shoveling up more dirt, we stand here on solid ground doing our best for kids.
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