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What Is the Role of the Affiliate?

morrell_ernest2I heard Ernest Morrell speak at the #OCTELA17 Conference this past weekend.

He shared a dozen noteworthy ideas about literacy teaching and learning, but ever since I’ve been carrying around two about our students:

1) Our #1 problem in education is student engagement.
2) After next year, all our K-12 students will have been born in the 21st Century.

Ernest’s words echoed a talk he gave to affiliate leaders 4 ½ years ago at the Affiliate Breakfast at Convention.

During that talk, he asked

  • What will it mean to be literate?

  • What will it mean to teach literacy?

  • What is the role of the professional organization in this process?

  • What is the role of affiliates?

  • What should be our takeaways from this talk and this convention?

About professional organizations, he noted,

“Professional organizations will have to evolve to become places where people participate in a continual process of knowledge production…We speak more powerfully when we have a united presence, a solid research foundation, a strategy for advocacy, and 50,000 or so close friends to join in the chorus.”

And about affiliates,

“Affiliates can serve as the intellectual and ideological home for teachers who are trying to find their way in these conflicting times. Affiliates are physical and digital spaces for the playing with ideas, for asking big essential questions, and for being informed in our pursuit of learning, of doing what’s right, not just what is sanctioned.”

ALM2016

True then and true now.