Winter break is always one of my most sacred times to read and absorb new information from news, Twitter, books and journals. Some is purely for fun and entertainment, while I also try to bring in something to push myself professionally and just to get to asking more questions. One book I picked up this year was The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. This book focuses on decision making trends of the individual, groups, corporations and government institutions and how this process is carried out. While not specifically focused on education, The Wisdom of Crowds has many applications to the world of K-20 education and its evolution in the future. Surowiecki’s collection of extensive research, coupled with his easy to digest writing style, makes this book as fascinating read on the possibilities of educational leadership reform. Throughout the book I found many parallels to how I, and many others that I know, use their PLNs (personal learning networks). When faced with a challenge in my classroom, with colleagues or in my school, I often consult the diverse backgrounds, experiences and opinions in my PLN. Their input and ideas, as well as their willingness to challenge mine for the benefit of the right decision, are critical in my own professional decision making now. Maybe I should start calling it my DMN (decision making network) and it will catch on!
Posted on December 26, 2009 by Kelly Hines