Sunday, January 31, 2010

Provocating discussion and planning for extreme change in our futures

In this Ted Talk Ian provocates ideas on innovation to come, the ability to regenerate limbs and make the special olympics obselete, the archaic system of governance to cope with global changes to communities, lifestyles and the threats of biochemistry.
Ian also makes sure we consider, who is left out of all this, the poor, the illiterate, he is a realist and I like his thinking. While I am excited about innovation, the more powerful man becomes over the planet and its resources, the more potential there is to share for the greater good and think beyond one's self or to continue to widen the gap between cutures, between rich and poor, young and old, literate and illiterate.
I believe like Ian that the world needs a new model of leadership, one that has representatives of all cultures, gender, age and skill base. I have been thinking about distribution of wealth and power since coming across this image of the APEC economic summit. While Obama would now make a nice visual replacement for Bush in this powerful group, the mix is still sorely lacking females and youth...

My wish would be that children are a huge part of that future leadership model, part of economic and other planning for extreme change in their future communities;
There are many things that can be achieved at local/community level to ensure that children receive the support they need to develop well, are protected from harm and are actively included in the life of their community/city. Children and young people are more than capable expressing their opinions on and influencing decisions about their community/city.

For example did you know that UNICEF NZ is promoting the concept of CFCC? - an initiative based on the Child Friendly Cities programme, inspired by initiatives in Europe. CFCC aims to awhi local authorities to consider the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) as a framework for community development and growth so that children and young people are valued as important stakeholders in any decisions made about urban and community planning. Isn't that a great start!

I can think of one extraordinary kindergarten who respect children's ideas and their rights to plan responses to learning. Carlyle Kindergarten in Napier notices children's wonderings and interests and involve them in planning mini-excursions outside the service. Children select where they would like to go to extend their knowledge, for example on bus conducting or mechanics, and which of their peers would also benefit from this experience with them because they share the same passion or questions, awesome mahi team :)

Some other ideas are...

Co-writing learning stories with children and deciding on next steps for learning
Timely and proactive consultation with whaanau on collaborative responses to the learning story

Active consultation with children on the content and arrangement of group times, rules, routines

Joint decision making in positive guidance opportunities-let the children come up with solutions for consequences to behaviour with respect to each other's wairua

Providing access to children to the most current and relevant information on their world through the internet

Protection of children from harm-take an active stance on educating what it looks like to be a good friend and the expected treatment of others-role model respectful relationships yourself-do you yell across the room at children when you would not accept this treatment yourself?

Instant response to observations of neglect and harm-connecting families with support agencies and advocating for no tolerance to violence-emotional or physical

Giving children choices in the planned and emergent curriculum, a voice in their learning, why not consider doing discussing planning stories and learning opportunities in small groups as opposed to as a team in non-contact

In the future its going to be vital that children have a strong sense of their rights and the rights of others. They will need to make decisions on things we can not yet imagine, the more opportunities we give them to do so, the more likely they are to make great ones!

Just in case you havn't heard of UNCROC or want to familiarize yourself again with children's rights under the convention click here.

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