Systems change, new visions, equity, and how police reform and school reform are similar

**

Image for post
Image for post

This is a cleaned up and slightly edited transcript of an interview I did with Chris McNutt for the Human Restoration Project Podcast. The content was interesting enough to warrant sharing in a different medium (pun intended). You can listen to the podcast here.

**

Hello and welcome to Episode 79 of our podcast at Human Restoration Project. My name is Chris McNutt and I’m a high school digital media instructor from Ohio. Today, we’re joined by Dr. Erin Lynn Raab.

Erin is the co-founder of REENVISIONED, a movement to redefine the purpose of school. REENVISIONED aims to change the conversation of school away from standards, norms and improving the status quo and toward flourishing, justice, and thriving democracy. Erin and her co-founder, Nicole Hensel, both graduates of the Stanford Graduate School of Education, aim to collect 10,000 stories of students, teachers and community members to develop a shared vision of what school could and should be. …


Resilience is more important than efficiency in a crisis

A shorter version of this piece was originally developed for Nobl Collective.

********

When suddenly, everything we’ve taken for granted is called into question; when the rules are uncertain; when the future is unpredictable; when we personally and collectively feel anxiety or experience depression; when solid businesses are in jeopardy and our five-year strategic plans have been thrown out the window…

This is a time for resilience.

Resilience is the ability of people, teams, or systems to adapt, thrive, and/or return to their baseline faster after adverse experiences happen.

In a moment of truly global crisis, individuals who practice resilience will both feel better and do more; and resilient teams will adapt to the new challenges and landscapes with new strategies rather than fear or resignation. …


Image for post
Image for post
Pence advocating for School Choice 6/23/2020

School choice has been a hot topic for years and, given Mike Pence’s recent attack on Joe Biden for supposedly not supporting school choice, it is likely to be a key concept in the upcoming political debates on schooling and equity.

This administration under Betsy Devos’ Department of Education has doubled down on school choice. The basic argument is, if wealthy parents are able to choose their schools through where they purchase homes, wouldn’t it lead to more equitable outcomes if poor parents were given options to choose as well?

But don’t be fooled: using school choice to organize our schooling system will never lead to a more equitable system, and it will undermine our democracy in the process. …


When the world feels uncertain and scary, cultivating resilience is resistance.

What is Resilience?

Dealing with change, setbacks, loss, and grief is an inevitable and normal part of life.

Resilience is the psychological strength that allows some people to adapt, thrive, and/or return to their baseline faster after adverse experiences happen.

Resilient people are emotionally agile — they don’t ignore bad events or negative feelings, nor do they wallow in negative emotions. They have a “fitting” emotional response — neither overblown, nor callous, nor insensitive. They feel the grief, the anger, the frustration, the joy, the celebration, and they allow and feel each.

Allowing all of the feelings and sustaining energy can be particularly hard when you are caring for others, when you are experiencing the effects of micro and/or systemic bias, and/or when you spend your time fighting for the reform of an unjust system. …


How might we engage school communities in asking beautiful questions?

This was originally written as a thought piece for Education Reimagined.

This Moment: A Challenge and an Opportunity

In the history of public schooling, we have never encountered a moment like this — a moment where the normal daily routines have been interrupted for everyone at once at on all levels.

Amidst all the challenges this moment has thrown at us, we’re also presented with an incredible opportunity: we can step back and reimagine what the school experience could be and what we want it to be.

And, if we want our society to be more equitable and more just, then we have to.

We won’t be the first to reimagine school…


I’ve been grappling, again, with what to do with the feelings of anger, anguish, helplessness, grief, fear, and despair after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, which are just the most recent and most publicized lives lost to a systemically and systematically racist, unequal society.

As a first step, I decided to do the following:

  1. Take stock of where I’ve been: Create a List of What I’ve Read and Done
  2. Synthesize What I’ve Learned
  3. Consider How to Do Better: Compare What I’ve Done with Recommendations — e.g.


#7 of 7 research-backed ways to become more resilient

Being in “flow” is when you are so absorbed in doing an activity that nothing else seems to matter.

Image for post
Image for post
Like a lioness on the prowl: when in flow, you’re simply present and focused on the task at hand. This Lioness was spotted in Kruger National Park.

Time seems to stop, you forget yourself, you’re focused on the challenge at hand, and you feel in control — you’re not worried about failure or perception of others.

It’s so enjoyable that you will do the activity even at great cost, just for the sheer sake of doing it[i].

In other words, flow happens when you find the activity you are engaged in to be “autotelic” — derived from two Greek words, ‘auto’ meaning self, and ‘telos’ meaning goal — as in, the goal (and enjoyment) is contained within the activity itself.


#6 in 7 research-backed ways to grow more resilient every day.

It’s often thought that if you’re happy *then* you’ll be grateful, but studies have shown that, actually, causation likely goes the other way: if you’re grateful, you’ll be happier.

And, you’ll also be more resilient to the inevitable challenges life throws your way.

Dealing with change, setbacks, loss, and grief — and global pandemics , it turns out— is an inevitable part of life. Resilience is the psychological strength that allows some people to adapt, thrive, and/or return to their baseline faster after adverse experiences happens.

Fortunately, a person is not “resilient” or “not resilient”: you can always grow your resilience because resilience is a set of skills that can be grown through practice, not a static trait of individuals.


#5 of 7 research-backed ways to become more resilient.

Resilience is the psychological strength that allows some people to adapt, thrive, and/or return to their baseline faster after adverse experiences happen.

Dealing with change, setbacks, loss, and grief is an inevitable and normal part of life. Resilient people are emotionally agile — they don’t ignore “bad” things or negative feelings, nor do they wallow in negative emotions. They have a fitting emotional response — neither overblown, nor callous, nor insensitive. This allows them to recover faster.

Fortunately, a person is not “resilient” or “not resilient”: resilience is a set of skills that can be grown through practice, not a static trait of individuals.


#4 in 7 research-backed ways to grow resilience in times of uncertainty.

Dealing with change, setbacks, loss, and grief is an inevitable and normal part of life.

Resilience is the psychological strength that allows some people to adapt, thrive, and/or return to their baseline faster after adverse experiences happen.

Resilient people are emotionally agile — they don’t ignore “bad” things or negative feelings, nor do they wallow in negative emotions. They have a “fitting” emotional response — neither overblown, nor callous, nor insensitive.

Fortunately, a person is not “resilient” or “not resilient”: you can always grow your resilience because resilience is a set of skills that can be grown through practice, not a static trait of individuals.

About

Erin Lynn Raab, Ph.D.

Solving systemic problems to create a more just, loving world. Transforming education for human flourishing and thriving democracy. Co-Founder @ REENVISIONED.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store