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Guerrilla Gardening and Paradigm Shifts June 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ms.M @ 8:43 am

I ran across an article about taking action in unexpected ways, actually it’s an article about “guerrilla gardening,” (or more specifically a particular guerrilla gardener), something I have never heard or thought about, but that gives new meaning to the idea of urban beautification projects. You won’t catch me planting flowers in abandoned newspaper and flyer boxes anytime soon, but I like the idea of it…of making the expected suddenly unexpected.  I put down that quote about paradigms in my last post because I’ve been thinking more about it, and this blog has become the storage shed for my random thoughts. It’s not necessarily paradigms that I’m thinking about but just the whole idea of how we each see the world, and why “change,” in general, is so difficult, both individually and on a grander scale. I’m not pulling for excuses, necessarily, for why change seems so slow–like watching a boiling pot slow–it’s just a fascination or a search for understanding on my part.

Anyway, paradigm shifts are my new topic of interest. And paradigm shifts call for something like this, like guerrilla gardening, to get people looking at their surroundings differently….or at least that’s what I think it calls for. Of course why i’m interested in paradigm shifts has as much to do with schools as it has to do with the environment or politics or anything like that. Well, it has to do with all three really. We all want change of some sort, whether it’s personal changes in our lives, or grander changes in the way things are done in our community or globally, and in schools there’s obviously this push for change as well. But the funny thing is that we want change without change, as odd as that sounds.  Even myself, I often catch myself wanting change without change.  We want things to change without disrupting our own paradigms of how things are supposed to go or what our role is or will be in the future. For example, we want students to be more motivated about their own learning, without changing the current learning process/models. We want teachers to be motivators and inspirational leaders, without changing a school’s culture and hierarchies. We want things to change, to be different, without necessarily thinking about how we have to also change in the process to make that change lasting. I never realized how much of an impact how we see the world has on all of us until now.

But what causes paradigm shifts? What besides guerrilla gardening can cause us to change the way we see things? I guess that’s what I have yet to figure out.


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