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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Teaching Well: Concerted Cultivation

I have always felt that the one of the most important reasons why the school system where I work is successful is because of the collective efforts towards concerted cultivation. Rather than lots of "one size fits all" solutions, over time the system has looked for ways to teach, support, and inspire every individual. This has been a hallmark of the system, and one reason why I've stayed there so long and also why I brought my own sons to the system for a good education.

In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell describes concerted cultivation in this way, ". . .an attempt to foster and assess a child's talents, opinions, and skills." "Concerted cultivation promotes confidence, assertiveness, and a sense of entitlement--"an attitude perfectly suited to succeeding in the modern world."

I was inspired to write about this today as I re-watched the video (see below) I took at ECET2 of Jeremy Collier leading educators in the song, We Shall Overcome. What if no one took the time to help Jeremy cultivate this amazing talent? Not only Jeremy, but all of us would have lost out on this tremendous gift. As I continue down the road of teaching and learning well, I want to think more about how I can help to cultivate every child's talent, passion, and interest as I teach. I also want to think about how we might do that as a learning team of invested students, families, educators, leaders, and community members.

How do you and your colleagues educate with concerted cultivation? What do you do to make sure this happens in your learning/teaching organizations?