Collaborative Bumping

Working with others to create or invent, surely is one of the most powerful activities that humankind can ever be involved in. Whether it be in the music or fashion industries, in education or in your garage with your family at home. ‘Making stuff’, as my daughter calls it, has got to be ‘better than TV’.

Of course working with others is sometimes not easy. As we challenge each other to think ‘beyond’ or expect others to do certain tasks we find that those others ‘just don’t get it’, ‘rub us the wrong way’ and lead us to think we should probably ‘just do it ourselves’. But can we do it alone? While brilliant ideas or creations are often assigned to single individuals and their names are attached to awards and trophies to celebrate this, I would hope that all of those people would openly admit that they could never have done it by themselves.

As the teachers, parents, educationalists and I collaborate on the development of the material in this website and other projects, (here in New Zealand and around the world) we constantly ‘rub’ or ‘bump’ into each other. This collaborative bumping is inevitable. Sometimes it true bliss and as easy as taking a breath and sometimes it is an emotional rocket on its way to oblivion. Avoidance of big emotional bumps is human but working with or through them to gain the learning involved is a major factor in good collaboration. Bumping as we collaborate, should never be seen as a waste of time.

In this present world of incredible technology and passive absorption of ‘mindless’ information I wonder if our children are missing the importance of powerful learning because of the great care to avoid “bumps in the road”.  Surely the trick is to see, hear and embrace the bumps not avoid them!

February 10th, 2016