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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 1.26.2024

“Are you with me now” A J Ryder


A Day in the Life -

It was just one of those days. Andrea and I had a series of meetings that started at Port of Los Angeles High School (POLAHS) where over the years, we have developed a nice partnership. This time, Andrea facilitated professional development on the International Big Picture Learning Credential (IBPLC). Then, we had time with Harbor Freight Fellows to develop social media content for the skilled trades. Our last meeting at POLAHS was with Jass Stewart from the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools. Way over a decade ago, Jass worked at Big Picture directing our principal professional development for the Alternative High School Initiative. This meeting was focused on work we will do to set up B-Unbound programming with the Alliance. Next, we took a short walk to meet with Mike Lansing, the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor (BGCLAH) and Dominique Marino who directs their workforce and real-world learning programs. BGCLAH is the largest private child development agency in the South Bay. Years ago, Mike was also an LAUSD school board member. By the end of the meeting, we were ready to partner with them on their real-world learning work with 14–24-year-olds that includes more Harbor Freight Fellows.


Next, we took a break from the face-to-face world and had a Zoom with Viv and Gabby about next steps in the process for IBPLC to become an international credential. When Gabby talked about their latest student from Barbados being accepted for admission into Bryant University and how open Bryant was to accepting more students using an IBPLC, she had no clue that the first Big Bang was held there. Lots of BPL history on this campus and hopefully more to come.


Being in Los Angeles we had to act like typical Angelenos so, when it was time to go to our next meeting, we took not one, but two cars. When we got there, Gary Reeves arranged meetings with Junhoo Lee, former head of Cyber Security for the Federal Reserve who is now developing a platform for students to get paid for their IP; Jeffrey Wallace the Executive Director of LeadersUp and Lorna Johnson who among her many accomplishments served on President Obama’s Advisory Committee on Healthcare and was an Olympic qualifying athlete. Lorna is doing a show called IconZ featuring famous women and connecting them to young women. She will be visiting New Village Girls Academy.



AI Misinformation and Manual Arts Training


Last Saturday, one of my woodworking friends, Doug Stowe sent me an article he wrote about how manual arts and training has been one way to combat lies told with words and images over the generations. The latest set of falsehoods potentially coming from AI. In the article, Doug creates an argument for how manual training has been used as a method of education that helps individuals and communities question what they hear and see by using their hands. Froebel’s kindergarten “was intended to help children find their own interconnectedness with all life and with each other.” 

And, the Sloyd Education of Uno Cygaenus and Otto Salomon “aimed at developing a wholesome society in which students knew how to make a living, how to better understand themselves, and how to get along with each other.  


Although I knew this history of manual arts and vocational schools, I did not know how much governments repressed these forms of education because they knew that “It is easy to juggle with words, to argue in a circle, to make the worse appear the better reason, and to reach false conclusions which wear a plausible aspect. But it is not so with things. If the cylinder is not tight, the steam engine is a lifeless mass of iron of no value whatever. A flaw in the wheel of the locomotive wrecks the train. Through a defective flue in the chimney the house is set on fire. A lie in the concrete is always hideous; like murder, it will out. Hence it is that the mind is liable to fall into grave errors until it is fortified by the wise counsel of the practical hand.” Case in point,  Germany outlawed kindergarten.



“We hold these truths…”


All that said, we don’t have to go too far back in our own history to find that words can be very tricky. The founders of the Declaration of Independence wrote words that ignored people of different races, classes, genders and abilities not theirs. Maybe the next twenty years will see not just sophisticated technologies but sophisticated human ways and means that educators can form partnerships with communities and technology to gain real insights about learners and learning that truly hold these truths to be self-evident.


Next week, I’m in Winnipeg with Sonn. We have this opportunity for influence both district and Province levels. Our former principal of Seven Oaks is now an elected official in the House of Commons. Matt Henderson is the Superintendent of Winnipeg School Division and Brian O’Leary is Deputy Minister of Education. We already have three schools in the Seven Oaks division. It is going to be one heck of a week.


Happy Birthday Etta James – On the seventh hour of the seventh day, seventh of the month seven doctors say – You gotta girlchild comin’ – I’M HERE!


Enjoy the weekend!


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