Sunday, October 30, 2011

MAC Week 2-BP1: Art of Possibility

Zander & Zander (2000) Art of Possibility, put into words several concepts and ideas that I have not been fully able to express. I believe in thinking outside of the box. A concept often quoted but never fully realized by those of us who use that term. But I have, for quite awhile thought outside of the box, which is why I do the things that I do the way I do them. Zander & Zander (2000) stated, “all life comes to us in narrative form; it's a story we tell.” This is how we learn, from the stories that we are taught about the past, the stories that we hear, the stories that we tell others and ourselves. Zander & Zander also stated, “It’s all invented anyway, so we might as well invent a story or a framework of meaning that enhances our quality of life and the life of those around us.” I like this statement so much, and I think it’s a wonderful way to look at life. I also liked the idea of the paradigm shift, shifting the framework to allow for the outcome that you want.

On the first day of class, I express to my students as we review the syllabus that they all start out with A’s and they decide if they will maintain them. It works for a shore time but the students still begin to be stressed over assignments and grades. I appreciated how the “A” concept was articulated and feel even more confident that I can relay the “possibilities” to my students so that they are empowered. I thought that the exercise of having the student’s write a letter from the future was brilliant. To gets students thinking about themselves in a different way, they write the script, and this gives them more control. It gives students the opportunity to verbalize the best of what and who they are. Zander & Zander also stated, “The only grace you can have is the grace you can imagine.”

All of this leads to the chapter on “being a contribution.” Deciding, making a conscious decision that you “have worth” and have something significant to contribute to the world changes how you function in the world. Understanding that your presence makes a difference in the world. It reminded me of George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. Clarence the angel who had to earn his wings shows George what the world would be like without him. We often feel that if it’s not some front page, 10 pm newsworthy thing that we do, it’s insignificant. But I have found that just saying hello to someone you pass on the street makes a world of difference. “The only grace you can have is the grace you can imagine.”


  1. I'm so glad that you are experimenting with your students, removing the A barrier to free them to look past the grades. Good luck.

  2. Rosetta, Using the example of It's A Wonderful Life was great! I teach students with different learning styles and backgrounds just like the rest of us, and I can see how by doing small things like saying hello to them or praising them on something and showing interest came really turn their day around.

  3. Rosetta,
    I think you summed up my ideas about this book so far when you said that it "put into words several concepts and ideas that I have not been fully able to express." I think we have been spoiled by our experiences so far in the EMDT program, as these concepts seem to have filtered through to us over the past 10 months, even though they may not have been specifically defined for us. The ideas put forth by Zander and Zander in the book almost seem to universal themes throughout our journey through this program, but it was nice to have them pointed out to us in a concrete way. We, as students in this program, are setting forth to change education, and the readings this week really drive this home.

  4. Agreed with Shawn, you have done a splendid job at summarizing this book up thus far. I have to say that your metaphor to "Its A Wonderful Life" was a great comparison to the book. Teaching your students to look past the grades is great and prepares them better for the real world. Who gets graded in the real world? Its only used within schooling. Everyone can make a difference in this world, or make a world of a difference to a single individual and you, I feel have done both. Thank you so much for sharing with us your thoughts on the selected reading.