Image Credit: Zenera’s “Love to all my contacts*”

The great Scott Leslie recently tweeted about the dissatisfaction with the EDUPUNK debates happening on the bava, and a part of me deeply agrees with him. Perhaps I am getting sucked in again despite my sense of this whole concept as a generative metaphor for creativity. Perhaps the comment debate is becoming more of a grad school throw down than a deep reflection and understanding on how this idea might help us forge alternatives. I guess it is in the very logic of a charged idea and debate around questions of the future of education, leadership, and networks that are premised on people, not technologies, that this whole thing can get confused and entangled. I, for one, recognize that my strident calls against leadership and institutional hierarchy might inevitably begin to frustrate some and alienate others. And for this I am sorry, I just don’t know how else to say it.  I’m frustrated and tired, and I want more than anything to be face-to-face with the people whom I follow and respect throughout the internet.  I want to commune with them, talk with them, and reassure them that we have something more at stake than an argument or a disagreement, we have a future of thinking and acting together.

And if EDUPUNK precludes that future, then I will gladly walk away from it because it’s the people I respect and admire most who make this space different for me—less academic and more intimate and transcendent. I’m willing to embrace eduLURV because I don’t want to become a posterboy for choosing sides and being righteously right or officiously wrong. We have too much of that in our world. I want a third space, a new way of coming together that will not feel so fraught with the old clothes of feeling accomplished by besting another. I’m through being cool, I want much more, and I want it now—and no term or idea or concept or meme or ideology or prompt is worth endangering a movement that must necessarily consist of people who don’t agree and have strong opinions about what’s next and how we get there. Scott, I’m all about the eduLURV, and I want it to be a love supreme, strong enough to buoy tired souls and raze institutions in a single bound, brilliant enough to re-imagine education in a way we could only dream of in our philosophy.

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20 Responses to eduLURV

  1. I don’t think LURV really gets at the essence of DIY, though. Perhaps if we tease out the acronym a little, so people can more closely identify with some portion of the concept. And then, perhaps, form some consensus around some leadership?

  2. Luke says:

    Laboring Under Revolutionary Reformative Reconstructive Reconstitutive Reverberative Recondite Vision.

    Crap. Can’t get past the argument.

  3. Reverend says:

    Luke and D’Arcy,

    I feel your pain, I’m trying to get away from it, I really am. I don’t hate the South, I don’t, I really don’t.

  4. Alan Levine says:

    I’m for anything that does not have an acronym. WTF is eduLURV? LTTG 😉 (Late to the Game)

    Ow, I yhink I need coffee now.

    Don;t fret it, Rev, or waste time with hand-wringing. EDUPUNK on, LURV on, let the dust settle. We love you all the same, edupunk or no edupunk.

  5. Martha says:

    It’s interesting you wrote this.

    I’ve been getting increasingly uncomfortable with the tenor of the comments on the videos, in no small part, I’m sure, because I care about and respect both of the participants in this debate. My relationship and friendship with both you and Gardner colors my viewing and makes it hard for me to know how to respond to those who are seeing a dynamic that I, quite simply, chalk up to the tenor of vigorous debate that we’ve had in DTLT for years. Simply put, I see the entire thing through a “filter of caring” that allows me, I think, to notice more of the common ground than the uncommon ground.

    I’m also finding the “smack-down” metaphor uncomfortable. It would be fine if it were a way for some of us to privately (and humorously) contextualize this debate. But I’m aware, again, that the viewership of this video encompasses a wide circle, and I’m afraid that frame does a disservice to the respect and caring (there’s that word again) that I know you both have for each other.

    All that said, I have to note how incredibly civil, on the whole, the conversation on this blog has been about the entire issue. I think that’s notable given how easily conversations on the Web fall into troll-holes, snark-fests, and flame-wars. There has been very little (if any) of that, which in a way almost makes me sadder. I know most of the people participating in this conversation. I know how intelligent and well-intentioned they are. I know how much common ground they share. And I know how much they care about each other and these issues. It’s hard to see people you respect so deeply genuinely disagree on issues that have such high stakes for all of us. Particularly when I truly believe we are all on the same side.

    On the question of leadership (which, quite frankly, I think is the more interesting aspect of this debate than the actual EDUPUNK meme/theme), I have to come down on Gardner’s side. And mainly that’s because I have, personally, benefited so much from relationships with great leaders. I put both Gardner and Jim in that category, despite the latter’s unwillingness to characterize himself that way. I do not see *great* leadership as paternalistic (although I would certainly use that word and other worse words to characterize bad leadership); the word I keep coming back to in this comment to is the one I would use to characterize great leadership: Caring. Caring about the work we do. Caring about the people we are. Caring about the communities we are building. And caring about fostering new leaders who will, in turn, care about new leaders.

    I’m probably over-simplifying an issue that for many people involved in this conversation is far more nuanced, deep, and tempestuous. If I am, forgive me. But this way of thinking about leadership–as a function of caring–works for me. It helps me understand my mission, the work we do, and the people whom I work with on that mission — and for whom I care a great deal.

  6. Martha says:

    I don’t know where that dangling “f” came from.

    I swear I wasn’t about to swear. 🙂

  7. Martha says:

    Although, apparently, that’s allowed on the Bava.

  8. Scott Leslie says:

    Jim, the very fact that you post this, and engage so sincerely in the threads *once again* trying to define “edupunk” is evidence enough of your enduring eduLURV. Personally, I really disliked the framing of the “battle royale” – I get the intended humour but it doesn’t really come off that well.

    Just know, no amount of posting on the term “edupunk” will get me to stop reading the Bava (unless that’s the only thing it devolved into, hardly a danger) though my standings in the Bava 10 might suffer a bit. And no amount of discussions on “edupunk” will prevent me from trying to live rightly. You know what I mean.

    “Raze institutions in a single bound” – oh that is just too juicy. I can almost see the look on your face when you wrote that, ya punk.

    And I’m kinda shocked that nowhere in any of these discussions has anyone quoted

  9. damn…I don’t have full time to devote to this! I can only offer quotes:

    “Undermine their pompous authority, reject their moral standards, make anarchy and disorder your trademarks. Cause as much chaos and disruption as possible but don’t let them take you ALIVE.” -sid

    “Today everything’s a conflict of interest,” -sid

    “We’re really quite nice and friendly, but everyone has a beastly side to them, don’t they?” -sid

    “The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.” -rand

  10. Neal says:

    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
    and rightdoing there is a field.
    I’ll meet you there.
    When the soul lies down in that grass
    the world is too full to talk about – Rumi

    The essential problem with a competitive debate is that it presumes a right and a wrong, a good guy and a bad guy. It can be more polarizing than constructive, unless we come back to the focus.

    What is the focus? What is it we are trying to build together? Coming from that perspective has a greater chance of creating something new and valuable, I believe. Creation in community. Follow the focus. Consider the human beings.

  11. Now you are speaking my language, friend! I can’t wait to SPREAD my LOVE all over everybody!

  12. The wonderful thing about Tiggers…..Is Tiggers are wonderful things…..Their tops are made out of rubber…..The bottoms are made out of springs…..They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy…..Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun…..But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is…..I’m the only one…..The wonderful thing about Tiggers…..Is Tiggers are wonderful chaps…..They’re loaded with vim and vigor…..They love to leap in your laps…..They’re jumpy, bumpy, clumpy, thumpy…..Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun…..But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is…..I’m the only one…..Tiggers are cuddly fellows…..Tiggers are awfully sweet…..Everyone else is jealous….. That’s why I repeat…..The wonderful thing about Tiggers…..Is Tiggers are wonderful things…..Grrrrrrrrrrrrr ! ! ! !

  13. Steven Egan says:

    Okay, now, the thing to remember about edupunk is that it is a spontaneously community expanded thing that has been continued in the hope doing something more without loosing ourselves, our sense of humor or our values in the doing of whatever it is that comes from it.

    SO, to me the question becomes similar to that posed by Gardner as a natural progression from Jim’s views and input on the concept and purpose of edupunk. Whether Jim intended to be the leader or not, he was the authority as the creator of the phrase and post that started the whole thing. What’s next, that comes out of edupunk? I think that’s the thing Gardner is looking for that will come out of the creative edupunk discussions.

    Maybe I’m totally off here, but that’s my take on this.

  14. Steven Egan says:

    Innovation, the final frontier.

    These are the voyages of the movement Edupunk. It’s continuing mission to explore strange new possibilities, to seek out new tools and new implementations, to boldly go where no edtech has gone before.

    More Edupunk-Star Trek fun:

  15. Cole says:

    I don’t really care what it is called — why do we need to call what we are pushing for anything but reform? I know “EDU reformist” doesn’t quite get Wired to publish a picture of you, but in the back office of academic computing centers all over the world there are those of us who are working hard to subvert the party line and create new opportunities to engage around fresh ideas.

    Education is just as jacked up as our climate, economy, and the rest of it all … and it deserves the attention of smart people to make it better. I for one am throwing all my energy into education — it is just too important to ignore.

    I was never into punk, so it doesn’t resonate with me … but I can tell you this much, I can trash a hotel room with the best of them. In the last few months the whole edu landscape has been like a hotel room for me — I just want to jack things up. I guess the big differences for me are that I want to positively influence my colleagues to do the same and then I want to clean up the mess afterwards. I don’t care about smack downs, battle royals, or the rest of it … I know where we are all coming from and I’d like to keep our eyes pointed at where we need to be going.

    Just my two cents.

  16. Edupunk is important.

    To me, it was never meant to be a polarising statement (others reacted to make it so). It was a statement that made tangible the things that a large number of us felt. At the time it wasn’t extreme, it was an icon we could rally around.

    I am disappointed, but comfortable that it been made out to be an extreme stand point. Remember the notorious conservatism of the education sector, and let that be our reality check.

    I am disappointed because to me – the strengthened voice of edupunk is only the beginning of what might be possible, a pull to a new way of doing. But now that there is the backlash and neurotic nay saying, what might have been possible will not be. We have to negotiate a middle ground.

    So I am comfortable with it being seen as an extreme, because with out it the middle ground is not at all where I can see myself working. Edupunk (now) represents a wing, without it those like me are forced to operate and negotiate in a middle area that is no where near where we want to be. Those nay sayers and LURVers should respect Edupunk for its original intent, and for its respected following, and give it the generosity of existence and recognition.

    And Jim, I hope you stand firm for it and know that you ARE at the table, and what you unwittingly did (and continue to do) is give others a space at the tables everywhere. Listen to CogDog and Steve Egan’s first comment.

    Don’t sweat it mate. Don’t take this too seriously. Live in the moment, and keep it light hearted.

  17. Tom says:

    Oh, you meant music with the punk reference. I’ve been so confused.

    I thought you meant one of those sticks that you use to set off fireworks.* I’d thought Sid V had invented this device and that there were many, many wooden match purists out there unhappy about that.

    Now the argument makes even less sense.

    *more fitting perhaps and less prone to long, long debate-acles- too late to claim a different etymology?

    PS I actually wrote my thesis on post punk firework societies and their subsequent group dynamics

  18. Les Nessman says:

    if nothing else, edupunk has proven a hypothesis that did not need proving – what a humourless bunch of gits populate higher ed. ugh. I love how there are now ‘LURVers.’ get over it.

  19. Ed Webb says:

    Love is a revolutionary force man – I can dig it.

    Particularly if we get to kick over some motherloving statues.

  20. Reverend says:

    So, should I make t-shirts and bumper stickers for eduLURV or what? I’m not really getting a sense of how to proceed from this comment thread to be honest with you.

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