I’ve written and spoken before about the importance of sharing knowledge. I encourage it in my work and wherever I’m able, but I was reminded of its value in two events this week so I thought I’d at least note them — for my own benefit if not for others.
I’ve begun reading Dr. Myron Lieberman’s most recent (2007) book entitled “The Educational Morass”, in which he reviews a wide range of recent and still very “hot” issues in K-12 education. He provides a tour of much of the research and commentary on the topics, but perhaps as importantly, he also provides his opinion. He noted in the introduction that he does so not because he believes that his opinion is the only opinion to have, but because unless we share our opinions, openly and honestly, we cannot fully explore the key ideas surrounding a topic or objective. Dr. Lieberman shares his knowledge and insights not to direct others but to shed light and allow others a basis upon which to explore their own ideas. He does so as a way to measure progress in the debate and the resultant activities. While his opinions are controversial to many, he’s making an attempt to encourage what I’ve also discussed elsewhere as a listening rhetoric — one in which the objective is not winning arguments, but building clarity and collective insight. What a mature perspective and approach to demonstrate, and one that I’m still learning how to do with any consistency.
In the other event, big news actually, a friend and fellow board member, though we’ve never met, has announced that he will seek election as the state representative for his legislative district. Though we haven’t known each other long, Dr. Fred Baldwin, longtime School Director for the Carlisle Area School District, has shared his knowledge and insights on being a good board member with me and he regularly shares his experienced opinions with everyone on his blog, School Board Transparency. Dr. Baldwin is no slouch in the commitment category either, having 16 years on the school board, 12 as board president, and he willingly shares his experiences, resources, and encouragement with wit and great style reflective of his skills as a writer and historian. He has built up a strong reputation in support of education and his opinion on transparency is refreshing and challenging to the secrecy by and resulting distrust of government. His knowledge is definitely worth sharing across the state. We NEED more good eggs like Fred in public office and I look forward to listening to his rhetoric as he explores the new challenges of seeking, and soon executing, a legislative position for Pennsylvania.
Here’s hoping I can be as rhetorically mature as Myron Lieberman and as committed to excellence and openness for Pennsylvania as Fred Baldwin.