Monday, September 21, 2015

EduKare- Resilient Communities…

This post is initially written and published by Sean Grainger

By Sean Grainger

flickr photo via akaalias
“Seems to me if folks understand that EdUkare is about health and security and resilient communities, it would help clarify.”
Michael Josefowicz (@ToughLoveforX) tweeted the above a while back in the @EdKare stream, and the point deserves some attention. At the Twitter @edkare stream, Michael, Daniel Durant (@ddrrnt), I and others are involved in what I would call at this stage a global thought experiment in co-creating nemetics. Nemetics is a term that has evolved to explain phenomena surrounding the exchanges that occur in our emotional, cognitive and physical spaces.

To clarify, here’s some notes via Michael (with a few supplemental links added by me):
  1. Nemetics is based on three fundamentals: Nemes, NemiTubes and NemiSpheres. The focus of nemetics in an EduKare context is the study of neme exchanges called “NemeX”
  2. The term neme indicates a superset of replicators in all Complex Adaptive Systems. Replicators are memes, genes, “Lumenes”
  3. Memes are replicators in Cognitive Space. Genes are replicators in Physical Space. The term “lumenes” is coined by Mark Frazier, President of OpenWorld…for a free, resilient, and generous world (@openworld) in Emotional Space.
  4. “Neme” is an acronym for the fractal learning process of Complex Adaptive Systems. Notice (or not) Engage (or not) Mull (or not) Exchange (or not)… NemeX connotes the actual exchange in progress.
  5. Notice/or not, Engage or/not, Mull/or not, Exchange/ or not, and tweaking Time and Space is the basis for three dimensional Automaton Modeling Complexity.
  6. Physical Space is said to be Pwaves. Emotional is Ewaves. Cognitive is Cwaves. A Neme is said to Collapse ECPwaves to a Neme.
  7. A NemiSphere is a snapshot of entangled NemiTubes in which NemeX is constrained by Tacit and Explicit Rules.
I know, I know… clear as mud, right? Don’t worry; we’re all figuring this out as we go in what I would say is a real-time, distributed, online NemiSphere… hence the descriptor “thought experiment.” The boiled-down point illuminates the fact that we exist in society as an infinite series of complex adaptive systems; complex as identified by the absolute diversity of people, perspectives and levels of knowledge that exists within them, and adaptive as identified by the natural and intentional fractal ways that individuals and groups adjust to the social, emotional, cognitive and physical characteristics of their NemiSpheres.

flickr image via Song_sing

To ground all of this in a purpose-driven context, schools are if nothing else, complex adaptive systems. An EduKare approach within schools posits that the complex adaptive system describes the fact that kids are social, emotional, cognitive and physical beings that require individualized services and supports within a system that is complex because it is comprised of the litany of unique individuals (students, staff and others who support its purposes,) and adaptive simply because it recognizes and strives to meet the needs of each one of them.

EduKare schools are about health and security and resilient communities. They understand that before kids can learn in the cognitive spaces (Cwaves) they have to be stable and high-functioning in their social/emotional/physical spaces (Ewaves and Pwaves.) An EduKare school places the deliberate support of healthy Ewaves and Pwaves as their primary objective. For so many kids, the process will be quite efficient as many arrive at school in kindergarten as adequately well-adjusted in the social-emotional and physical domains… but there are those (and to be honest, we can’t seem to find an algorithm that would absolutely define predictive determiners,) that are not OK in the social-emotional and physical domains for any number of reasons. It’s virtually impossible to determine this in a clinical sense owing to the factor of resiliency. Resiliency is the X-factor that helps us determine how well-adjusted kids are when entering school, but more importantly, it is the known factor that provides a targeted focus for supportive adults to nurture increased levels of resiliency in the young people they serve. Resiliency can be nurtured and taught as evidenced by contemporary research in the fields of education, psychiatry, social psychology, medicine, social work, mental health etc. Until we know how resilient individual kids are (or are not,) and then begin work to support the requisite growth of resilience in all kids, we can’t optimally support learning.

Although we can’t know how resilient kids are upon entering school, we can embark on a process of learning their stories that helps us put the pieces of their resiliency profile together. In the context of nemetics, we have to notice these stories, mull (think) deeply about them and then make responsible, informed decisions about how we are going to exchange with the data they provide to support the growth of resiliency in all students, but particularly the more challenged ones. It’s critical to understand also that the primary writers of these stories are the students themselves; we simply support the process by empowering them to weave their own stories; to take ownership of their learning paths in a complex adaptive system we call the EduKare school environment.

Who does this in an EduKare school? Good question… In the first EduKare post at KARE Givers, I explained that an EduKare school is one that accesses the specialized skills of helping professionals in a wrap-a-round service provision model. Ideas for a Comprehensive, Integrated School-wide Approach is a UCLA paper from all the way back in 1977 that proves this is not a new idea, but perhaps one that will need a deeper NemeX process to divine where the rubber will meet the road in providing comprehensive, coordinated services for children in general. More specifically, the EduKare model posits that the locus of service provision should be based in schools; the places where kids spend a large part of their wakeful hours for thirteen years of their lives, and one that is designed to support learning. This point is key…

To optimally support learning, teachers need to be present and accountable for what they are trained to do; teach. The fact remains, however, that learning detractors are present in the social-emotional and physical lives of children… these detractors are part of their learning stories. In order to help learn these stories, and to help write them in a teaching and learning context, teachers need support from those other helping professionals that are trained to do what they do; mitigate social-emotional and physical detractors in the lives of children, (that will ultimately also detract from learning.)

What better place to coordinate these processes than the schools that conveniently dot our local landscapes, that reflect our diverse nature and that are designed as teaching and learning environments?

EduKare schools are fundamentally those that understand their role in promoting the health and security of resilient communities through the nurturing of healthy, secure and resilient kids and their families. EduKare teachers are those that fundamentally understand that support for the cognitive growth of their students depends largely on how effectively the social-emotional and physical needs they manifest are provided for. Working collaboratively with others who support these needs is the path to a successful EduKare service provision model.


Mull more over the book, Innovative Voices in Education: Engaging Diverse Communitiesfrom 17 ground-breaking educators and community leaders around the world who share passionate first-person accounts of how to engage students and families of diverse backgrounds.

Exchange @GraingerEd @NEMETICS

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