Developing “groundbreaking field trips”

Developing “groundbreaking field trips”

Developing “groundbreaking field trips”

By Dave Carlson, CEO and co-founder of MindShift (a lifelong learning program)

In one of his many press interviews about Field Trips, recent senior movement leader Bob Livingston, shared with me a story he’d never heard before.

Richardson is a long time national field leader and teacher who is also the Senior Movement Associate for the National Education Association. He is also a world-class school trip leader. He was on a field trip to school recently with four experienced school field trips.

But they weren’t to say thank you to a hometown hero.

They were to thank Dr. Vicky Dodge, the inventor of the first child iDOT scanner. The iDOTscan scanner allows parents to scan drivers licenses and gun permits and upload them into the iDOT site.

Amazingly, the world’s first tour guide is now a member of Congress!

And the tour guide who left his tour of the wealthy’s mansions and private clubs with his fees still has the daughters, the schooling and the spirit of generosity and public service.

When Livingston asked if Dodge would teach the four school field trip leaders to do their own iDOTscan at home, his 40 year old guide, Jamie told him yes, within 24 hours.

The teachers became “public servants.”

They learned about iDOTscan’s $50 billion market potential and developed the most liberal policy in the nation on gun permit processing. They gave that policy to the US Capitol as a gift.

The nationally recognized school field trip leaders and tour guides that Livingston had called “your extraordinary field organization” decided that life is about contributing to the public good, and about making other people “wonder.”

It’s a message echoed at several of MindShift’s popular curriculum experiences. For example, in our “Practical Economic Principles,” middle school and high school students are taught about “the rules of the game of economics” and its beauty in practical ways.

The students invest time in development of the explanations, and stand as an economic force of a new vision and new way of thinking, and are sustained by the power of their own enterprise as they re-use and improve upon the ideas of others. The “game of economics” can include literally billions of dollars in unexpected benefits, and we’re asking students to think about it.

I’ve seen first-hand that both the changing economy and the rising need for worker education have made the economic principles of practical economics more relevant than ever.

Are schools taking the right approach to making “groundbreaking field trips”?

Perhaps we’re seeing the results.

Now our students are identifying with “the greatest inventor in history.” They are returning to school more motivated to give back, and to help other people.

That’s what mindShift has taught all our students over the years.

MindShift is a learning and leadership program for men and women who want to be transformational leaders and change agents – and we feel that there are fewer “change agents” and “transformative leaders” in education than there should be. But the programs we’ve taught them are non-repressive and gentle.

We’ve taught them to think about economics, social justice, and sustainability in innovative ways that move students away from training for white collar jobs that don’t pay well and toward sustainable careers in community organization, leadership and leadership change.

There’s much we still have to learn, and we need the best thinking in education today to develop those changes.

Continue reading at MindShift.com.

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