Mashup: Rita Pierson’s Champions and Daniel Simons’ Perceptions

(Spoiler:  This article contains spoilers about a video experience,  The Monkey Business Illusion.  If you’d like to have the purest experience, please watch the video and come back to read this article).

Mash up (verb) – to bring together two or more ideas with complementary elements to create a single track.

I can’t remember the first time I heard Rita Pierson’s TEDtalk, Every Kid Needs a Champion, but I do know that every time I have sought it out, or it has found me, it has been just the inspiration I need to re-inspire, refuel, and rally:

Teaching and learning should bring joy. How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be (Pierson, 2013).

Likewise, the first time I watched  The Monkey Business Illusion by Daniel Simons and his colleagues, I missed the scene in the middle of the video and the additional substitutions, too.  Focusing on the question at the beginning of the video, I experienced just what the researchers predicted – I understood it as I saw it, with my own perceptions. I saw exactly what I was looking to see.

With me so far?  Let’s mash them up-  

Every student deserves a champion and a flexible school system that supports their unmet needs, connects them to real-world experiences, and helps them be the best they can possibly be.  At the same time, the champion has to be aware of the lenses we don’t use – what are we paying attention to?  What are the needs of our students?  What opportunities are we able to offer them?  How might I teach this differently?
We hope in this newsletter, you find resources to inspire your thinking, challenge your perceptions, and most of all help you to be a champion for all the learners in your classrooms and communities.  

Jen Flo

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