Inspiring school in Harlem: what if we grounded ourselves in our bodies from early on? 
One of the most inspiring parts of the Transformative Learning conference at Columbia U this year was a visit that we arranged to the Thurgood Marshall Lower School in Harlem. Wow. These students practice gratitude, compassion, checking in to their feelings, reflection, meditation daily. They even have classroom charters grounded in how they want to feel. These have extended to even family charters. When I asked Cameron, our 7 year old guide and peer mediator what he liked about the school he told me" I like that we share our confidences." Gulp. Imagine a world full of these practices? This is what meditation can be, I believe. An ability to be in step with ourselves so we can be in step with others.







Slithy Toves 

Photos: Maggy Burns

Hiking today with Maggy in Ferguson's Cove. It really looked like this. Delight and gratitude. This too. Joanna gets the prize for naming the furry vegetation in the pond "slithy toves" from Jabberwocky which Maggy knows by heart!

Frustrating the Experiential Learning Cycle: A Hologram? 
I'm presenting this paper at the Transformative Learning conference at Columbia University in New York early November. Also part of the mentoring and coaching committee. We organized for conference participants to visit Thurgood Marshall Academy, a middle school in Harlem doing incredible things with meditation, mindfulness and conflict transformation. Can't wait. I'm tacking on a weekend with my girlfriends too. How many fun things can I pack into a long weekend?

Abstract

A key element of transformative learning is experimenting with real-world problems. Indeed, David Kolbís experiential learning cycle continues to be pivotal. Yet cycles, even spirals, donít capture the dynamism now possible with online and blended learning. Frames have never had more possibility to engage with such a diversity of experiences, bodies, communities and learning spaces. How to bring feminist and critical pedagogy to these spaces? This paper works to extend the learning cycle with a hologram which helps to capture online multi-dimensionality.

Holographic visualization offers multiple dimensions, movement, refraction, frustration, doubt. Likewise, online learners can be supported to move freely where they find meaning between their online community and their own deliberations. All the while, they are embedded in life and work. This messiness and muddling is key to the transformative potential of online learning. The lag between insights and practical experimentation is gone. The space also collapses gender and power dynamics in interesting ways as learners shape their own paths and voices at their own pace for reflection. Facilitators and peers can act more like coaches, real-time in real messiness.



Community land trusts: Reclaiming the commons  
We are working on a Community Land trust in the North End of Halifax- North End Land Trust

Vision
Re-claimed land for living, working, playing in ways that grow connections and commons.

Purpose
The North End Land Trust (NELT) is an organization of residents, societies and enterprises committed to a vibrant neighbourhood, local economy and food bio-system. Nothing is more central to who we are and to justice than land. The NELT will acquire land and property incrementally, and steward it for long-term public benefit under a community owned land trust model. Public benefits may include affordable housing, cooperative and co-housing, non-profit spaces, community gardens, local employment and learning. NELT will take land out of the market, hold it in commons and in perpetuity, and lease it to residents through long-term leases.

Paul Sander Jackson from Wessex Community Assets discusses how Community Land Trusts and other community led asset owning organisations are reclaiming commons across England. Click on the link below.

  |  related link
Meridian 7: Fireflies 






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