I like to read quite widely. My RSS feed is full of all sorts of seemingly random things that inform my thinking and sometimes these ideas provide real me with real challenges to what I believe. The challenge bit is quite intentional. One of the issues we sometimes face in education is the echo chamber we live in. We subscribe to the feeds of people we agree with or whose ideas have grabbed our attention. On Twitter we follow the so-called ‘thought-leaders’. We go to conferences where the EdTech and educational rock stars are speaking and running workshops.
But, will this give us a wide and varied diet of influences, ideas and inputs into our thinking? I was reading today about the Medici Effect. This refers …
“… to being open to transferring knowledge from different fields, e.g, from business to education. Education is excellent at being reflective and looking inwards, but very rarely does it seem to draw from other fields. Constantly be on the lookout for things you could use in your classroom. …. Having an open mind to ways those outside of education engage and educate is very valuable.”
(p43, Forget being the favourite: 88 ideas on teaching differently by Tim Bowman)
I agree with Tim completely here (and his book is an easy and enjoyable read). But it is the message in this quote that is key. How many of the influences on our thinking do we consciously look out for that are different from our own? How many from outside of the closeted world of education? How many from people we profoundly disagree with?