On the heels of unleashing EDUPUNK on the internets (see here for more), I’ll give the first of, hopefully, many examples of what EDUPUNK is—examples being one way at defining EDUPUNK if you should be so brave. I have a few of my own in mind, so here goes the first.
Keira McPhee’s front lawn is EDUPUNK!
Keira is featured front and center on the cover of last weekend’s Vancouver Sun (click the image for the article).
Keira Mcphee is an extremely cool cat, and my favorite permaculture freak. And while I may be biased because she has invited me graciously into her house on several occasions to break bread and talk seriously about the world, culture, and everything in between, but I don’t really think that’s the case. Why? Well, because Keira is more than a friend, she is a sterling example of taking your beliefs to the streets. She has converted her front lawn from a useless showpiece that consumes unknown quantities of wasted energy and resources, into a lush, fecund organic garden that burgeons with the fruits of her labor. She is an activist, teacher and mentor all at once.
Let there be no question about it, Keira and her garden are EDUPUNK! And she uses some of the most powerful of technologies, that of the shovel and hoe, but such tools have been used for far less imaginative and inspiring purposes in the hands of others.
You can read the article from the Vancouver Sun here, see the photo gallery here, and the video here.
Image above care of the Glusniffer himself.
Hey, can I give a little shout out here for an edupunk close to my own heart? My wife Sian lobbied our kids school for 6 months before they agreed to let her start a Native plants garden outside one of the school entrances. She has organized it all, gotten donations of plants from nurseries and from parents who already have native plants in their gardens, and is currently in the process of getting the beds ready for planting next week. That will involve some of the classes getting to take a break from the classroom to come outside and learn more about the plants, how to plant them and how to care for them throughout the year. I wish I had a URL to point you too, but alas this is one of those “real life” projects. Anyways, I mention it not only because I’m a proud partner of this edugeek, but also because I know Sian and I are both always inspired by Keira’s example.
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Keep the EDUPUNK examples coming. Sian offers another moment of possibility which challenges are all consuming notions of progress and laden with the possibilities of opening up moments within the life of a school to something besides the good citizen, “good government bullshit,” to quote Ray Liotta from Good Fellas.
What i dig on from both Sian and Keira’s examples is how far afield they may seem from what we do at first, but at the same time just a little discussion reveals how these are people-centered movements are based on, to steal from Candide, a “commendable plan.” For even if we don;t live in the best of all possible worlds “we must cultivate our garden.” And here are to examples that the edTech folks might learn from rather than playing roger the robot when Bb sells them back the fruits of their own labor. When you grow, tend, and smoke your own, you can sleep with a bit more peace.
Keira is an inspiration and even though I’ve never met her I still think the example she leads with is an important one.
She had a great blog post a few months ago called Sustainable Non-Coercion, definitely a good read.
I keep saying I want to learn how to do those sorts of things, but its kind of hard to go it alone, just got to keep on moving forward.
Edupunk! That’s a title I could get behind and I totally appreciate the linking of what I’m doing with the ed tech bloggers, as well as Sian’s example of grassroots activism. These are definitely the kinds of activities that inspire us in the work and play of the Sustainable Living Arts School.
Once the demands of the growing season diminish a bit perhaps I’ll get back to the web, which certainly is as vital set of tools and the spade and fork. Though I’m not much of a digger. Most of my work in the garden is in collecting other people’s leaves, grass and other organic material and laying it down as a thick mulch. We feed the soil and the soil feeds us…which is a lot like what happens when you blog your learning.
Thanks for the shout out and rock on!
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