Friday, September 18, 2009

"Connectedness" - Recommended Reading

"What is connectedness? It is a sense of being a part of something larger than oneself. It is a sense of belonging, or a sense of accompaniment. It is that feeling in your bones that you are not alone. It is a sense that no matter how scary things may become, there is a hand for you in the dark. While ambition drives us to achieve, connectedness is my word for the force that urges us to ally, to affiliate, to enter into mutual relationships, to take strength and to grow through cooperative behavior."  Excerpt from Ned Hallowell's essay "Connectedness" - see citation below.

That's what first came to mind when I read a request for recommended readings to be offered in Centers for improving Teaching/Learning.

I did a quick Internet search and found the full text of Hallowell's essay, along with some other comments and quotations, in the last posting of 1995 that I wrote for the AAHESGIT Listserv
Here are some excerpts from my own comments:

"Education can provide the excuse and the means for transforming society...for better or worse; and
Information technology can provide the excuse and the means for transforming education...for better or worse.

"As enthusiasm and opportunities increase for using information technology to change the core processes of education -- teaching and learning -- more people are afraid of losing important elements, of having cherished values dismissed.
Those of us committed to using information technology to improve education need to be sure that we are advancing fundamental human values and a better quality of life -- and not only for a few of our closest friends.

Sadly, we are still
"...unraveling the fabric of trust, loyalty, and connectedness that holds us together as a nation, as communities, and as organizations.
"...pushing more people out of economic security, out of having a fixed "place" in society. ... rushing to reduce support services and subsidized essential resources for all those least able to provide them for themselves.

Too many seem to be ignoring the:

* cumulative value of long-term mutual commitment to common goals;

* pain of those unable to earn livable wages and secure minimally livable levels of healthcare, education, food and housing;

* increasing difficulty of sustaining viable communities;

* growing gulf between those who can amass wealth and those who cannot.

Includes "Connectedness" by Edward Hallowell - last chapter in the book:
Finding the Heart of the Child: Essays on Children, Families, and Schools by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D.
Published by National Association of Independent Schools (December 1997) ISBN-10: 0934338922 ISBN-13: 978-0934338929
This chapter reproduction and distribution via AAHESGIT on the Internet was authorized by Richard Barbieri, Executive Director, Association of Independent Schools in New England.

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