Built right into the DNA of the voicEd vision is a commitment to being open to a diversity of perspective and opinion. Although easier said than done, the talk AND action that are going to move our thinking forward when it comes to education in this country will require two things. First, we need to be very explicit about what we value when it comes to our young people, our educators and our communities. And when I say we, I mean all of us who hold shares in our systems of education. Not only the people who participate directly in our formal systems of schooling, but everyone who opens their front door in the morning and heads out into the wider world. All of us have a stake—and a voice—in the values that form the foundation of our systems of education.
These values are the WHY of education. They are the stuff of vision and unless we maintain a strong commitment to exploring those values and holding them in front of us, we could end up almost anywhere. We need to be fierce about their importance in the lives of our children and in the lives of other peoples’ children as well.
This space called voicEd is designed for this type of exploration. It’s designed for more than one author, more than one perspective and more than opinion. It’s based on the belief that, while it may be comfortable and affirming to find folks that agree with us, the potential for change and growth occur only when we encounter ways of thinking that challenge us, make us uncomfortable and, at times, downright angry.
Which brings me to that second requirement for moving forward. While our commitment to the why needs to be very strong, we need to hold our beliefs about the what and how a little less tightly. I’m encouraging us to approach the voices here—even the ones that really resonate—with a sense of curiosity and intrigue. If I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that no one is born with horns! The opinions that we hold are seldom planted in marshmallow or meringue. Instead they are part of a strongly-rooted view of the world and are not to be categorically dismissed. So I believe that voicEd provides an opportunity to begin to look a little more critically at those world-views—our own included. And we can only do that if all of us who step forward to write in this space, as well as those who comment here, are committed to that sense of curious exploration.
For those of you who stepped forward immediately to become authors on voicEd—thank you for your time and for your perspectives. For those of you who might be considering a role as a writer here, I encourage you go to the “Sign up to Participate” page and put your name forward. And for those of you who are here as readers, I hope that you take the time to commit to engaging in the conversation by sharing your unique perspective and getting to know the perspective of others here.
I’m thrilled to be able to open this space to anyone interested in Canadian Education. As of today, it is no longer my space, but our space. And your voice is right here!