RT @namahoney: “@SirKenRobinson: Why students with "learning differences" have lessons for us all: http://t.co/42m1JDzF4O”. Achievement. Diversity. Lives.
"...Last Saturday, I made my professional debut at the AT&T Park, celebrated home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. At 10.00 am I was sitting by the dugout in the bright morning sunshine, waiting to be called onto the famous field. An excited crowd of several thousand people was buzzing with anticipation. As I looked out across the manicured green diamond, it was a moment to reflect on the improbable turns our lives can take. I was born in England. I live in Los Angeles. I don’t play baseball and I don’t understand it. Yet here I was, about to be center stage at the hallowed scene of so many World Series triumphs. (Should it really be called the World Series when there are no other countries involved?)
Fortunately, I wasn’t there to pitch balls but to pitch ideas, as a guest speaker for the annual conference of an extraordinary gathering of parents, students and educators. The Parent Educator Network is a broad coalition of students and adults that aims to facilitate educational success for students with learning differences (LD). Founded in 2003, PEN has become the Bay Area’s premier grass roots resource for parents, professionals and students dealing with learning issues.
PEN convenes conferences, lectures and workshops that bring local and national practitioners to speak to parents and educators. It runs SAFE Voices, a group for LD teens, with volunteers from local educational and psychological professionals. It also runs school advocacy and support groups, which train parent volunteers in local schools to liaise with the administration and to network with other parents to discuss common issues.
In 2009, PEN students launched the Education Revolution, a full day of workshops, conversations and events day dedicated “to understanding each child’s individuality in learning as the basis for creating new educational environments”. With characteristic ambition and energy, EdRev has been held each year at the Giants’ Stadium and it gets bigger every year too. This year’s event also included a fascinating keynote from Dr L Todd Rose of the Harvard Graduate School of Education on “the emerging new science of the individual and its implications for education, the workforce, and society.” Dr Rose and I developed similar themes..."