Unlike Mr. bin Laden, the blogger was not operating from a remote location. It turns out he is a 21-year-old American named Samir Khan who produces his blog from his parents’ home in North Carolina, where he serves as a kind of Western relay station for the multimedia productions of violent Islamic groups.I think there’s a lot to think about there (a whole lot), but it also reminded me of something someone said at a recent convening I attended. I don’t mean to offend anyone with the following statement, but I think it’s also worth thinking about. They made the statement that the most successful Professional Learning Community they knew of was Al Qaeda. They have a passion for their subject, are trying to meet a perceived need, have individual cells that are operating both independently and in conjunction to try to achieve their goals, make effective use of technology, and have a strong belief they can change the world.
The point this person was making was two-fold (I think). First, that PLC’s aren’t necessarily a good thing in and of themselves - even if they’re successful - it depends on their purpose and goals. So as we utilize PLC’s in our schools, we need to keep in mind that the goal is not successful PLC’s, the goal is student learning and growth.
And second, that a small group of people with passion, commitment, and a belief they can make a difference can change the world. If our PLC’s operate with those same attributes and beliefs, then why can’t we change our schools – and the world - for the better? This brings to mind two of my favorite quotes,
I think as we work on our school's vision and implementing PLC's, we need to continue to ask, "Why not?"
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead
Some men see things as they are and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were and ask, "Why not?"
– Robert Kennedy