Community vs. Clubhouse

José Luis Vilson writes a blog on education, specifically middle school math education. He emphasizes how much of education is supporting past and present injustice. A recent post, Where We Belong, captures a key aspect of current society and education in the United States. He contrasts clubhouses with secrets handshakes and communities that are welcoming to all interested. Clubhouses often focus in who is excluded (e.g. Calvin and Hobbs’ “No Girls” treehouse).

The clubhouse is so easy to do. Welcoming communities requires care, attention, and stewardship from a big heart.

There is a second important point in his post, including the people doing the work, asking their opinions and experience, and giving them the power to help manage the system. The Toyota Production System gave the factory floor workers the power to stop production when something wasn’t working and get it corrected. José Luis Vilson was the first working math educator to give the keynote address. To put a point on it, all previous addresses were largely untested hypotheses presented by academic as if they were proven laws. People have been suggesting including the workers (factories) and users (buildings) for years. Progress is being made and it’s slow.

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