Connect Facilitate Change
Posted on: March 2nd, 2015
by Stephen Hurley
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Open the Door—We’re Changing in Here!

Here’s some thinking that has been rattling around in my brain for the past few weeks. It was sparked by an invitation to be part of a parent engagement evening on 21st Century Learning at Guardian Angels Elementary School in Brampton. I welcome your feedback and references to anyone else whose brains might be tackling similar lines of thought! 

School-Work Dynamic

Living and Learning in the 20th Century; Stephen Hurley, 2015

When my parents were growing up, the path seemed to be clear and, dare I say, rather simple. School was a place where skills and knowledge were acquired, remembered and evaluated. The workplace was where that knowledge and those skills were applied and honed. If more skills were needed along the way, a worker might be asked to “go back to school” for further acquisition. The space in between formal education and the workplace—life at home and in the community—was reserved for leisure time, personal growth and service projects. (In fact, it was here in this not-school/not-work environment where we found—and continue to find—some of the best examples in which acquisition and application were combined)

Three fairly separate contexts—three modes of being. Not a great deal of talk in schools of applied knowledge and not a great deal of talk of workers as learners. … Read the rest

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A Year of Living Creatively
Posted on: January 13th, 2015
by Stephen Hurley
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A Year of Living Creatively

I know that I’m not alone in admitting that I’m a big consumer of TED Talks. I usually watch one the first thing every morning and will, quite often, load up my Smartphone with a number of random talks just before heading to the gym during the week. More often than not, I find something inspiring about each of them. More often than not, I share the links with others.

There was something about this particular TED talk that inspired me in a different sort of way. It’s likely one of the most unassuming excerpts that I’ve encountered—not flashy or glamorous in any way, but interesting enough to move me to action.

You see, I’ve grown up loving music and, although I’ve played in churches, bands and restaurants for most of my life, I’ve never really identified myself as a musician. That said, whenever I sit down at a piano, something happens to..well…my soul. That’s the best way that I can describe it!

My hands seem to develop a mind of their own and I’m transported to a world of imagination and creativity.

Although I naturally gravitated to my grandmother’s piano at a very early age, we didn’t own a piano of our own until I was eight or nine years old.… Read the rest

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Posted on: January 2nd, 2015
by Stephen Hurley
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Living on the Edge

 

My father loved to live on the edge. I’m not saying that he was a high sensation seeker, a risk-taker or someone that was known to actively seek out novelty or innovation. In fact, he was a stalwart conservative, liked the familiarity of home and was one of the few people that I know that had absolutely no interest in new technologies.Dad_chair

No, Dad’s love of the edge was different. As an introvert (a discovery that I only made about my father in the final years of his life), he found energy in quiet places, away from the crowd—off the beaten track. Several years ago, I bought what was once a one-room schoolhouse in Erin Township. Dad loved coming up on a Friday evening, spending the night and telling me stories about growing up on the farm.  For Dad, a couple of days in the middle of nowhere was actually somewhere.

Dad loved being out in the garden. For sure, he loved seeing the results of his labour every summer but I suspect that more than anything, he did his best thinking while cutting the lawn or digging a flower bed.

As a career banker, Dad was often called on to attend business functions.… Read the rest

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