Teachers Teaching Teachers #275-Walk Out Walk On & Occupy w/ Mary Ann Reilly, Liam O'Donnell, Ann Leaness, Fred Mindlin-12.7.11

Post-Show description: 

Below the video here are notes and links on some of the threads we weave together on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers (Please subscribe: http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?feed=rss2 ). Participants in this episode’s Hangout are: Monika Hardy, Mary Ann Reilly, Scott Shelhart (and his daughter) , Liam O'Donnell, Paul Allison, Ann Leaness, and Fred Mindlin

We begin a conversation about Margaret Wheatley’s and Deborah Frieze’s book, Walk Out Walk On [ http://walkoutwalkon.net ], and we explore how the Occupy movements and Educamps might reflect some of the principles in this book.

Monika Hardy wrote recently that she is “absolutely swimming in Walk Out Walk On.” She goes on to explain:

We have been working on a quiet revolution the last four years in Colorado [ http://labconnections.blogspot.com ], both outside and in the public school system, in order to create the communities the authors, Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze share and describe so poignantly, so beautifully in their book.

Mary Ann Reilly joins us this week. Mary is also be inspired by Walk Out Walk On, and has been trying to get a group of teachers together to talk about the book. Mary is a progressive educator, artist, photographer, and writer of Deepening Literacy Learning: Art and Literature Engagements in K-8 Classrooms. [ http://infoagepub.com/index.php?id=9&p=p4b917a12e9f4a ] We are delighted when she is able to join our conversations at Teachers Teaching Teachers.

Ann Leaness joins us as well. Ann is a high school English teacher in Philadelphia, and she is a member of the edcamp foundation [ http://edcampfoundation.org ] board. Ann’s team began edcamp in Philadelphia [ http://edcampphilly.org ] in May of 2010. Walk Out Walk On is on Ann’s bookshelf too, and recently she wrote about “The Dissenters” [ http://lifewithl.com/2011/12/04/the-dissenters-part-1 ] in her blog:

I wanted to spark some interest and also to make this unit relevant for my students. To get started, I showed the students these two videos: “UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed” [ http://youtu.be/6AdDLhPwpp4 ] and “UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to car amidst protesters” [ http://youtu.be/nmfIuKelOt4 ] These videos sparked some interesting discussion about non-violence and the violent reaction. Some students were shocked by the violence of the direct pepper spraying on the docile students, and the lack of reaction on the students’ part. Why did they just do nothing? Why didn’t they fight back? They also remarked about the silence on the second video. We talked about the impact of that silence and the effect of the sounds of the heels hitting the pavement. Again, someone questioned why they didn’t get up and get in the Chancellor’s face.

Reading Walk Out Walk On, one can’t help but wonder if the Occupy Wall Street movement might a place to find “Communities Daring to Live the Future Now,” as it’s put in the subtitle of Walk Out Walk On.

One of the authors of the book, Deborah Frieze also wonders in a blog post last month, “Is Occupy Our Opportunity?”

In Walk Out Walk On, we found ourselves often in the conversation about “building the world we want today.” The communities we wrote about were walking out of failing institutions and walking on to experiment with new ways of feeding and sheltering themselves, of creating health and safety, of learning together and rebuilding relationships. This has never been about creating utopia. It’s about confronting the reality of our situation with new eyes, being willing to abandon limiting beliefs about what’s possible and who’s qualified to make a contribution. Walking on is an invitation for a different kind of social order to emerge in community. So, too, is Occupy. Dewey Square [Boston] is in some ways a microcosm of our society—for better and for worse, it amplifies our gifts and diseases. It places our social impoverishment under a microscope and invites us to do something different. It challenges us to re-learn what it means to be citizens who take responsibility for one another. [ http://www.deborahfrieze.com/2011/11/understanding-occupy-as-a-space-to-... ]

Also joining us on this episode of TTT is Liam O’Donnell, an award-winning children's author and educator [ liamodonnell.com/graphic-novels-books ]. He will help us wonder about communities and to talk about his work as an educator in the Occupy movement. He writes:

I’ve been bringing the Occupy movement into my work with Grade 5/6s studying government and protest (with videos, twinke fingers in the classroom, etc) As a member of the OccupyToronto Education work group, I can speak to the curriculum we're developing for schools around issues of social justice, and poverty.

Also, in a recent blog post, “How Twinkle Fingers turned my classroom into a General Assembly” Liam writes:

Instead of shouting out agreement or disagreement, students showed their “Twinkle Fingers” of agreement or their down low twinkles of disagreement. Confusion or questions were shown by making a letter ‘C’ shape with their hand. This “General Assembly Guide” [ http://www.nycga.net/resources/general-assembly-guide ] from the New York City General Assembly shows what each symbol looks like. And to ensure all voices were heard, not just the loudest, a “stack” or speakers list was put on the chalkboard. [ liamodonnell.com/feedingchange/2011/11/how-twinkle-fingers-turned-my-classroom-into-a-general-assembly ]

Fred Mindlin also joins us to reflect on his nine years of “living at Black Bear Ranch, one of the original 60's "back to the land" hippie communes, and perhaps the only one which survives on the same terms on which it was founded: radical free.”

Enjoy and plan to join us for follow-up episodes on Walk Out Walk On in the coming weeks.

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

19:56:32 Paul Allison: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113993022447291199374/posts/ZdKWfkWriko
19:59:04 Paul Allison: http://www.walkoutwalkon.net/
20:58:29 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Hello Kels
20:58:36 Kelsey: Hello
20:59:18 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): can you see the livestream?
20:59:23 Kelsey: The video is very quiet. I'm having a hard time hearing it.
20:59:57 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): is your computer volume up all theway
21:00:02 Kelsey: yes
21:00:19 Peggy George: Hi Scott, Paul and Kelsey :-)
21:00:28 Kelsey: Hello
21:01:04 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Hi Peggy. Kelsey is my 13 yo daughter watching from another computer
21:01:17 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): http://liamodonnell.com/feedingchange/2011/11/how-twinkle-fingers-turned...
21:01:38 Peggy George: how cool is that!!! Welcome Kelsey!
21:02:13 Kelsey: Thanks. I'm enjoying myself
21:02:41 Peggy George: it takes awhile to get going but it's always interesting (at least to me)
21:03:07 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Peggy, is the stream audio ok?
21:03:14 Peggy George: it's great for me
21:03:20 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): ok
21:03:58 Peggy George: Hi monika! Welcome to this side of the world :-)
21:04:21 fmindlin: Fred's commune story;
21:04:27 liamodonnell: hello all :)
21:04:40 Kelsey: hello
21:05:05 Peggy George: it's always confusing which chat to type in but I'm only in this chat at EdTechTalk.com/live and so I'm not confused :-)
21:05:36 Peggy George: we'll be seeing the people on the camera who are in the Google Hangout and participating in the audio chat
21:07:46 aleaness: Me too!
21:09:36 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): This is the "official" chat
21:09:39 Peggy George: this technology is amazing!! Love it!!
21:09:41 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Out-Learning-Communities-Currents/dp/16050973...
21:10:20 Kelsey: audio is much better now, thank you
21:10:57 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): You are welcome. Not sure why the headset is louder. May need a rooboot (later)
21:11:07 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): reboot
21:11:09 Peggy George: I wish I could copy and paste in this chat, but I can't. :-( It would be great to captures some of these quotes and share some of our own.
21:12:08 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Peggy, you can chat with me on skype or google chat and send me links, etc. I can copy/paste
21:12:31 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): The scilence in that video was amazing
21:12:38 Peggy George: thanks for the offer. I may try that...
21:13:40 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8775ZmNGFY8
21:14:13 Peggy George: @Scott-it's not fair that you can copy/paste!! Mac discrimination :-)
21:14:40 Paul Allison: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113993022447291199374/posts/ZdKWfkWriko
21:14:44 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Yes, but I don't access to a "genius". I have to DIY my own issues
21:14:46 Peggy George: and then the experts leave the community...
21:15:54 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Kelsey, these are the co-authors of a book.
21:16:30 Kelsey: That video is amazing, but what is the significance of the pictures they were taking?
21:17:19 Peggy George: thanks for always doing such great blog posts about the webcast, Paul!! Really helpful to have the link!
21:17:26 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdDLhPwpp4 She is the head of teh university where the pepper spray incedent occured
21:18:37 Kelsey: we saw that video at school
21:18:41 Peggy George: so great to have you in the conversation, too, Liam! :-)
21:19:11 liamodonnell: happy to be here :)
21:19:21 fmindlin: youtu.be/X2kfzVKCzoQ Fred's commune story
21:19:28 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Peggy, if you have a question for the hangout, I can relay for you
21:19:38 Peggy George: hope you'll jump into the conversation--assuming you're in the Hangout
21:19:44 Peggy George: thanks Scott
21:20:49 Peggy George: @fmindlin can you add the http:// to your link so it is clickable? I can't copy/paste it into my browser
21:21:12 Kelsey: What audience were they trying to reach with this book? Students? Teachers?
21:22:10 Peggy George: @Kelsey--I would guess the audience would be adults and people who want to bring about change in communities/the world
21:22:40 Kelsey: like the people in the Occupy movement
21:22:59 Peggy George: yes but obviously teachers can capture the ideas and bring them to their students
21:23:05 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): monika hardy: not sure scott.. i think it would resonate with all
21:23:32 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): (monik's response from the other chat"
21:24:18 Peggy George: I agree it would resonate with all but I'm not sure the intended audience included students...teachers can make that happen though
21:24:39 Peggy George: that's a great question from Liam!
21:24:49 Kelsey: I visited the Occupy St. Louis camp when I was there. it was amazing.
21:24:55 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Much of the content is not suitable for all. teachers must become the filter.
21:25:14 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Being a filter is a HUGE respnsibility.
21:25:43 Peggy George: @Kelsey--did you find yourself wanting to be part of Occupy St. Louis or were you just interested in seeing it first-hand?
21:26:56 Peggy George: lots of opinions for sure but hard to figure out what the real message is--seems to be different for different people so we don't know how to support it
21:27:15 Kelsey: I think it would have been a great experience to take part in history in the making like this, but we just happened upon the camp when we were walking around the city park.
21:27:41 Peggy George: is anything happening in terms of actions for next steps or is it just talk?
21:27:47 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Did you speak with anyone, or did you just observe?
21:28:51 Kelsey: We spoke with one woman, but it was cold, so we left. I wanted to come back to talk to the protestors, but we ran out of time. :(
21:29:25 Peggy George: @Kelsey was your first-hand impression the same as what you were hearing reported on TV?
21:31:06 Peggy George: a photo blog would be an amazing outcome of the experience
21:31:12 Kelsey: not at all. Its being portrayed as violent, dirty, and disorganized, but i really felt that these people were organized and passionite about their cause. it made me wish that i lived in a bigger city where protests took place.
21:31:22 Peggy George: Posterous really lends itself to photo blogging :-)
21:31:49 Peggy George: very interesting @Kelsey! Valuable observation!
21:33:58 Kelsey: She makes a very good point.
21:35:01 Peggy George: a lot of our politicians are "local"--does that make them good leaders?
21:37:10 Peggy George: @Liam--does that approach lead to lots of leaders with no followers?
21:38:37 liamodonnell: @peggy we are all leaders
21:39:04 liamodonnell: there are ppl who take charge of specific actions
21:39:18 liamodonnell: so things do get accomplished
21:39:37 Peggy George: true but in that context how do you manage action and movement towards common goals when it's hard to figure out what the common goals are?
21:39:46 Kelsey: When you think about it, everyone is "local" to somewhere. Every world-changer had to satrt off somewhere. MLK started in Atlanta, Ghandi in Porbandar.
21:39:58 Kelsey: people are local to somewhere
21:40:00 Peggy George: good point Kelsey
21:40:29 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Kels, Peggy and I took a vote. You should be blogging.
21:40:50 Peggy George: absolutely!!! You would be an amazing blogger Kelsey!
21:41:07 Peggy George: you have ideas and messages that need to be shared with others
21:41:13 Kelsey: I would rather find an online debate team. I am a very opinated person.
21:41:20 Peggy George: hahahaha
21:41:23 Kelsey: and thank you
21:41:30 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Write a good blog and the debate will come to you.
21:41:33 Peggy George: on your own blog you are entitled to your own opinions
21:42:07 Kelsey: If you help me set one up, I'll start writing.
21:42:08 Peggy George: group consensus might be very difficult with the Occupy folks
21:42:33 Peggy George: @Kelsey-so simple you won't need any help!! Just sign up and start writing :-)
21:42:42 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): You have a Google account. We can set up a Blogger blog in 2 minutes.
21:42:49 Peggy George: Youth Voices is a great place to start blogging too!
21:43:30 Kelsey: i'll let you know when I get started : -) And dosn't liam run Youth Voices?
21:43:37 Peggy George: Paul does
21:43:41 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): No, Paul does
21:43:47 Kelsey: close enough.
21:44:13 Peggy George: I'll be waiting to see your first blog post!!
21:44:55 Peggy George: will those things that get organized be sustained or will they fade away in a few months (similar to many social media groups)??
21:45:31 Kelsey: I'm excited to write it!
21:46:11 Peggy George: that's not an answer
21:46:35 Kelsey: ask again. persistance is key
21:46:47 Peggy George: I just know many social media groups get started but unless someone really works to sustain it, it just fades away
21:46:59 liamodonnell: i'll answer peggy! :)
21:47:15 liamodonnell: ur right - that wasnt a real answer
21:47:23 Peggy George: thanks :-)
21:48:18 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Kels, be sure to tell your social studies teacher about this event. We can send him a link to the recording when it is posted.
21:48:39 Kelsey: He'll like it.
21:49:44 Kelsey: There has to be a better system of streaming it. the people are inturrupting each other and the videos are switching around.
21:50:04 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Come downstairs and watch my screen.
21:50:35 Peggy George: it needs to go beyond talking though
21:50:43 Kelsey: Can i say hi to everyone on the camera while i'm down there?
21:50:51 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): yes.
21:51:05 Kelsey: cool. i'll be down there in a second
21:52:32 Kelsey: i'm one my way down now.
21:52:43 Peggy George: is that the message the kids are getting when they see it in action? just curious...
21:53:06 Peggy George: or is it the teachers who are helping to see and understand the message??
21:54:11 Peggy George: Angela Maier's campaign "YOU MATTER"
21:54:33 Peggy George: she's an incredible contributor in our chat tonight!!
21:54:51 Peggy George: hard to believe she is only 13 years old!
21:56:07 Peggy George: that would be really helpful--thanks Paul
21:56:12 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): she is much wiser than her peers
21:56:26 Peggy George: I"m sure she is!!!
21:56:52 Peggy George: what do you do when it's time to vote and you don't like/support any of the candidates?
21:58:30 Peggy George: love that story!
21:59:38 Peggy George: that would be wonderful to see--a teacher guide to help teachers know ways of using the materials/ideas in their classrooms
22:00:36 Peggy George: anyone
22:00:43 liamodonnell: thanks!
22:00:45 Peggy George: how do you talk about that with students?
22:02:36 liamodonnell: @peggy - u can read about it on my blog: http://liamodonnell.com/feedingchange
22:02:50 Peggy George: that would be interesting--sort of like we don't want Walmart in our neighborhood...
22:02:59 Peggy George: thanks @Liam. I will read it
22:05:49 liamodonnell: np peggy - would love to hear ur thoughts on it :)
22:05:52 Peggy George: @Liam I have a grandson who will love your graphic novels! He's 9 years old
22:06:33 Peggy George: that has been an incredible "book talk" among other things and sure makes me want to read the book!
22:07:15 Peggy George: LOve it!!
22:07:38 Peggy George: she's going to blog about this experience as her first blog post :-)
22:07:45 Peggy George: I can't wait to read it!!
22:08:23 Peggy George: I agree Monika. It will move our conversations forward
22:08:52 liamodonnell: cool! that's the perfect age for them, peggy u can find them here: http://liamodonnell.com
22:09:21 Peggy George: thanks!
22:09:50 Peggy George: I know they are going to inspire him to want to write his own books. :-)
22:09:58 Peggy George: thanks everyone!
22:10:36 Peggy George: that works Paul
22:10:40 Peggy George: good night all
22:11:06 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): goodnight. Kelsey wants to come back next week