The Common Ground Collaborative (CGC) is a non- profit organization headquartered in the USA, with Regional Offices in Europe and Latin America. The CGC has grown in impact and influence since our founding in 2014. Our members include international and national schools, both independent and public.
We work with everyone from new schools in Quito to well-established independent schools in Toronto. We work in public school districts in the USA and in public ‘experimental schools’ in China. We work with partners, both nonprofit and for-profit, to reach thousands of learners currently mired in learning poverty.
Our primary process is conversation. When schools join the CGC, they do not adopt a fixed programme, they join a conversation. Together we puzzle out what is best for the school, or other organization, co-creating customized models in context, using the CGC’s acquired experience and practical models.
Our theories are built backwards from decades of experience in leading, teaching and learning in multiple contexts and cultures and yet are rooted in decades of research and acquired wisdom drawn from the rich well of progressive, constructivist education.
We hope that you will find our work interesting, and perhaps intriguing enough for you to contact us with a view to joining our global conversation.
Edward de Bono suggested that humour is the highest form of intelligence. I laughed a lot when I read that.
One thing that's funny, although maybe 'funny peculiar', is that 'aha' and 'haha' are separated by one letter only.
'When populations are geographically separated, they will diverge from one another, both in the way they look and genetically. These changes may occur by natural selection or by random chance (i.e., genetic drift), and in both cases result in reproductive isolation'.
We're Homo Sapiens. Distinguished by our large brains. Programmed to learn. It's in our nature, but, strangely, not in the nature of our schooling systems. Just a few examples: The nature of DIVERSITY, CONNECTIONS, CURIOSITY, and CONVERSATION.
A few years ago, I was hired to lead a fine, well-established school, with a brief to co-create something 'extraordinary'. Since the core purpose of schools is learning, I imagined that the road to extraordinary would lie in learning transformation, which I equated, at the time, with ' a new curriculum'.
David Perkins' great book, 'King Arthur's Round Table' states that 'organizations ARE conversations'. Michael Fullan observes,' We are all sense-makers, and our best sense-making tool is conversation'. That statement highlights a long-standing if hidden, division in education...between those who see education as information-passing and those who see it as meaning-making.
There are various forms of inquiry, including full-on 'open inquiry', where learners generate all their own questions. This post is not to push any single form. Dogma is unhelpful. In CGC, we provide 'Unpacking Inquiry', a handy guide to different forms of inquiry, graduated via degrees of learner independence.