Many of you might know Roger Waters.  He was the main genius behind Pink Floyd.  I have been a fan for years.  I saw Roger Waters in concert – again – a couple of years ago.

As I was recently watching a favourite DVD of his – In the Flesh – I became aware of something that has been extremely significant for me.  Part of Roger Waters’ genius is not simply that he is an incredible musician, lyricist, showman and concert creator.  He encourages and supports each of his band members in being the best possible.  He elicits their genius and spotlights them.  He puts them forward to the front of the stage. He creates the circumstances for them to shine.  In doing so, the performance and impact of the band as a whole is raised significantly.

Oh I know this is not exclusive to Roger Waters.  Others do it.  But, it was this video that allowed it to come so clear to me in a slightly different light than before.

It is so consonant with my beliefs about collaboration and social knowledge construction and collective meaning-making.  I believe, as Marlene Scardamalia and Carl Bereiter of OISE do, that one should not just be in charge of one’s own learning but of the learning of the group as a whole.

It is also consistent with Schoenfeld’s notion that “Groups are not just a convenient way to accumulate the individual knowledge of their members. They give rise synergistically to insights and solutions that would not come about without them”

When individuals spend a great deal of their effort and time in nurturing and supporting the efforts and the genius of others, I am currently calling it the Roger Waters phenomenon.

Doug Peterson is a prime example of this phenomenon.  He demonstrates his own genius in much of his work and this impresses me.  But, it is his selfless promotion and support of others in the educational community that impresses me most.  He Retweets the tweets of others.  He tweets out the names of educators whom he follows in fine Follow Friday fashion.  He builds communities of learners and teachers in active ways that bootstrap all of us to be the best we can be.  And, in the end, this moves us towards a better world of education for those whom we ultimately serve.

Doug, you is my hero!  🙂

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