Tag Archives: jim pulliam

A Lesson to Be Learned from Canadian Geese

This morning, a rather warm morning  I stepped out of doors to run an errand.  Upon leaving the building I heard a familiar sound.  The sound emanated from a flock of Canadian Geese,  flying rather low, headed South. The call of the Canadian Geese was very familiar as I was reminded of my experiences while working or visiting my Aunt and Uncle on their working ranch.  It was a beautiful sight and a treat to hear their call or honk.

Did you know that a flock of Canadian Geese will fly, at times,  1,500 miles in a twenty-four hour time period.  A Canadian Goose is a social bird remaining in their flock throughout the year.   The V formation while in flight is well known.  There is a lead “honker” with the others following or drafting behind.  Eventually, the honker flying “point” will wait for the others to pass him falling to last in line for a rest.

I pictured this as a metaphor,  an example of  a strong social behavior, teamwork,  flying  in formation with the intent of not only drafting but disciplined in supporting the flock.   How often do we as individuals or organizations practice this type of behavior?  A behavior that is supportive, organized and disciplined in the best interest of the flock.

We as beings can do the same.

Join the Conversation: AI in Schools

Our proposal for the 2012 WAIC was accepted. Next stop, Belgium. 

The Center for Appreciative Inquiry, a branch of the Company of Experts, is pleased to announce that its proposal, “The Macon Miracle: Connecting Strengths, Reinventing Education, and Helping Children Flourish”, was accepted for the 2012 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in Ghent, Belgium.

This year’s World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (WAIC) emphasizes Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as “a theory and practice of connecting people and generating new possibilities”. In 2011, we had the opportunity to work with Bibb County School District in Macon, Georgia. The Macon Centreplax Arena was filled to near capacity with almost 4,500 people in attendance. Participants consisted of internal and external stakeholders, such as: teachers, janitorial staff, bus divers, parents, community members, and city and state officials. This is the largest AI Summit to date!

Superintendent Dr. Romain Dallemand’s mission was to design a new educational system with the collaborative efforts of the community at large. “Our District and community must decide where it wants to be 20 and 50 years from now, and that journey begins with building a new education system that meets the need of all children,” says Dr. Dallemand. “The new system will be built with the engagement of our entire community because that is the only way in which it will be successful.”

Using Appreciative Inquiry as our tool, we facilitated large and small group sessions to discuss the future of the District and community, as well as to begin identifying the goals, ideas, and strategies that would define “The Macon Miracle.” Our workshop proposal for WAIC noted that workshop participants will learn how the large-scale summit was organized, what emerged from the two days, and where the school district is headed next. In addition, workshop participants will engage in conversation around AI and strength-based schools, positive school culture, and innovative practices in teaching and learning from around the world. We invite those attending to join us in these exciting discussions.

We will keep you updated on the time and location of our presentation as details unfold.

Learn more about the ‘Macon Miracle’:
Visit the Macon Miracle landing page.
View videos from the Core Team and Summit here.
View pictures from Day 1 Summit here.
View pictures from Day 2 Summit here.

“Jim’s of Wisdom”

looking-through2What do you dream? What does your dream look like? My dream is to give every individual the opportunity to be a student. My passion is to provide students the skills to become learners. Where do we start? Does every learner learn the same as you? Some years ago I was asked, “Did you see Aristotle today”? I was taught by Artistotle, not in my primary years but in those years that followed. I experienced a series of lectures, required readings and assessments based what I had learned. In most cases we still expect learners to follow Aristotle. “Learners vote with their feet”. The students of today are no different than ones of yesterday. The only difference is they have the opportunity of choice.

In our K-12 schools the choices range from private, public, charter, home schooled or online. Today is yesterday with tomorrow presenting a different beginning. Today’s learner has the opportunity to choose where they go to learn and how they learn. A professional acquaintance asked, “How do we identify or locate the polished stones”? His definition of a polished stone is a learner that academically excels in content and subject matter in a specific discipline. The question is not, how do we find the “polished stones” but how do we create them? What is your dream today? My dream is taking a kaleidoscope, holding it to my eye and “Imagining more than I can see”.

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About the Author:

Jim Pulliam retired after thirty-four years of public service in the California community college system and four years in the K-12 system in California. Jim’s professional experience includes serving as a faculty member, dean, provost and founding Superintendent/President of a California Community College District. Jim has been certified by Company of Experts.net as an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator. Read More>

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