Issue 48

January 11, 2018

Seth Godin

Individuals who push their organizations, who inspire other individuals to change the rules, thrive. Again, we're back to leadership which can come from anyone, anywhere in the organization.

Dear Pioneers,

What’s becoming clearer to me—now more than ever—is that because learner-centered is a mindset or paradigm shift, it impacts how we see and approach everything. One aspect of that shifted mindset is relating to everyone as a learner—not only young people but also the adults who support those young people as learners.

Moreover, we continue to notice that the paradigm has learners and learning at the center at every level of the system. In fact, no matter what part of the system you look at, you will see a fractal of the learner-centered paradigm.

For example, last week, I had the privilege of participating in a panel conversation on the Shift Your Paradigm podcast, hosted by Randy Ziegenfuss and Lynn Fuini-Hetten. During our conversation, we dug into learner-centered leadership, one of the many fractals that emerge from this transformational work. To reiterate, this fractal mimics overall principles of the learner-centered mindset. We discussed how all learner-centered leaders:

  1. Are learners themselves. They don’t have all (or even most) of the answers. They are actually more interested in asking the right questions.
  2. Have a vision—held and shared by them and the community they are leading. 
  3. See people as capable, curious, and wondrous. When there’s a question they don’t have the answer to, they are willing to have their teams—adults and young people—discover the answers themselves and share their discovery with the community.
  4. Embrace failing as a necessary part of the learning process—for the young people and the adults.
  5. Put the young learners’ interests and learning at the center of any question or inquiry, rather than emphasizing what is easiest or most convenient for the adults. 

These were just a few of the takeaways I’ve had so far from the Shift Your Paradigm podcast series. Take a listen to the latest episode and past episodes. I can assure you I’ve only scratched the surface of what there is to discover.

Continuing this theme of learning, we have a great issue of Pioneering to launch us into the new year. Enjoy the story of NuVu Studio in Massachusetts and follow it up with a wonderful collection of stories from 2017 that highlight the multidimensional diversity the learner-centered movement encompasses.

Happy New Year,


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