It might seem weird to quote myself, but I was just re-reading an old post that jumpstarted this whole analogy of “schools as ecosystems,” and this passage so succinctly captures it that I can only quote it verbatim:
There are links between food growth and education that I think should be elucidated. When you grow food, you are not simply growing a product, you are sustaining soil life. The more vibrant and diverse that soil life is, the more abundant, sustainable, and healthy your final product is. In education, you are not simply building student dendrites and promoting academic development, you are cultivating a community. The more inclusive, diverse, and vibrant that community is, the better the academic and other outcomes will be for students. We don’t need research to tell us this.
This is the philosophical axiom that underpins my thinking on education.
As a side note, the core reason why I blog is not to gain influence and recognition (though that would certainly be nice), but because blogging serves to refine and develop my thinking and to capture my thoughts in time. I have a notoriously terrible memory and will not remember much of anything (have you seen Memento? Yeah, that’s me). By recording my thoughts in the form of digital writing, I am able to go back in time and remember how I’ve thought through something before (all the way back until 1998). It’s like a digital extension of my mind. Educators are always saying, “Why reinvent the wheel?” So that’s why I bother writing — so I can think something through and continue building, splicing and weaving my thoughts further down along the road. Just in case you were interested.