John Lennon claimed that the iconic Rubber Soul and Revolver albums were products of the same creative recording session. On a slightly lesser scale, I suppose, this post is a second page to my previous post, which was entitled Viewbook Considerations. Scott Allenby, whose new "Academic Lens" blog enriches our Academic Page, observes that my point (which I will review in the next few paragraphs) is supported by TED speaker Malcolm Gladwell and others. And the point--at a basic level--is that independent schools need to be truly different to truly flourish.
But the fact is that independent schools tend to comprise a conservative industry, fearful of change and slow to risk. When Ronald Reagan was elected President, an educational consultant asked me if I regretted--from a marketing perspective--that Proctor boys were not wearing coats and ties. I was stunned by the question, because the notion of conforming to trends is so foreign to this school. And, to be honest, it is far better to target a segment of the market by being truly remarkable, than to strive to appeal to the middle of some bell curve.
Fear is a crippling emotion. I fear that American education is fearful of true creativity. It doesn't have to be that way. What would happen if we sent a bunch of students on a schooner to the Caribbean, or to study in China, or partner with schools overseas? I think we have proved that daring to be true to novel ideas works.
The very existence of this blog (and its support from above) is testimony to concepts Seth Godin and other 21st Century theorists espouse: be iconoclastic; be true to passion; be so remarkable that people tell their friends. That's the formula.
Jesser pins a pic:
You might think it's a different topic, but to my mind it's totally related: Ed Barkowski posted an email at 6:40 last night indicating that 79 students were enjoying the Wise Community Center. How cool is that?!
Many schools are too into message control to post images like these on their sites. I'm going to do it. You tell me why.....
I love this sign, offered on Facebook by Ann Luskey '85. Potential is easily thwarted by fear, and fear is fabricated by us. We have to recognize this.
The topic is "What makes a school great?"
Sam and George.
Colby with a point to make.
Separated at birth?
Laura, who made my highly prized coffee cup!
Austin is not just a soccer and lacrosse player.
This is going in the corner...
Connor surveys the landscape.
What makes people feel they have the right to take your picture without permission?