Bold vs. Rogue

courtesy of m4rtin's on Flickr

I received an email today that I wish I hadn’t.

It made me think.  Obsessively.  Nonstop.

Bob Dillon (@ideaguy42), one of the organizers of the upcoming #edcampstl, an unconference on all things educational in February, posed a very interesting question:

This week, we are thinking about being BOLD and being ROGUE. What would a bold school look like? What would happen if your school went ROGUE?

THAT reminded me of a post by Will Richardson (@willrichardson) on his blog where he asked:

What qualities do “Bold Schools” share?

He posited that there are nine different characteristics: learning centered, questioning, authentic, digital, connected, literate, transparent, innovative, and provocative.

But then I got to thinking, “What would happen if we took BOLD a step further into ROGUE?”  The term ‘bold’ implies something that remains in the realm of possibilities, that there are probably even schools with these (maybe not all, but at least one) characteristics already in place.  ‘Rogue’, however, to me implies a truly out-of-the-box mindset – a situation where 99.9% of teachers, parents, and administrators would yell, “Foul!” before the idea even obtained fledgling status.

For example, a boldly collaborative school would engage the parents, the learner, the community-at-large, and a network of national or even global partners in an open environment where authentic learning takes place using real-time data.  A roguishly collaborative school would have ad-hoc learning groups, meeting anywhere anytime they wanted/could, since the learning group would be comprised of people from all over the world – not necessarily the same age, since learning would be by interest and ability.

Using the characteristics outlined in Will Richardson’s blogpost, here’s a quick rubric-style table of how I think BOLD schools would differ from ROGUE schools:

CHARACTERISTIC BOLD ROGUE
AUTHENTIC Lessons use real-time data in real-life situations.  Writing is in response to current events or current needs. Physically going outside the school to collect data, students would be involved in publishing their own science journals, literary critiques
DIGITAL Everyone has a computer; most work is done digitally.  Still internet filters and limits on some social media Everyone has a computer supplied by school and whatever else they bring in.  Free access to everything, 100% paperless
CONNECTED learners are connected with the outer world with emphasis on US connections. Learners connected with global emphasis.  No set time frames to learning because of globalization
TRANSPARENT Every student has regular correspondence with their own Learning Network. School very open to community. Every student product is available for anyone to see.  Assessment is by a committee of peers and adults.
INNOVATIVE Risk-taking is encouraged As long as no one gets killed in the process, go for it.
PROVOCATIVE leaders advocate for change in local, state, and national venues. students, teachers, and leaders advocate for global change and equality. Projects are results-oriented.
LEARNING CENTERED students and teachers promote emphasis on becoming a learner over becoming learned. Everything is questioned, and a main thread of instruction is how to constructively question and search for new meaning.
COLLABORATIVE Cross-curricular assignments/projects between students, teachers, schools No set subject-area classrooms.  Meeting spaces for ad-hoc groups depending on learning decisions/goals.
REFLECTIVE Students and teachers in regular personal reflection. Students and teachers in regular, published personal reflection with the addition of comments by others.
INCLUSIVE Everyone in the community is included in the learning process. Community members and parents are continually coming in and out of the school as instructors and assessors.

What do YOU think a ROGUE school would look like?

~Matt

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