Editors note: This is a guest post by Michael C. Obel-Omia, Head of School, Paul Cuffee Charter School in Providence, RI at the Critical Transformative Leadership and Policy Conference, UMass Dartmouth 17 November 2012.
Because you have been sitting quietly listening to us for the past thirty minutes, I want to engage you. I’ll speak later about this passé teaching technique that we are employing, but for now, let’s elicit your voice. Consider the Empire State Building. Tell me, do you think important work occurs there, yes or no? There is no wrong answer, friends, just speak up and let me know what you think. Think about the White House. Does important work happen there? How about the US Capitol Building? How about our own State Capitol Building? Does important work occur in those spaces? How about the Louvre—ah, I love your responses now; it takes a work of true art to elicit a full-throated response from you?! How about the Taj Mahal or the Palace at Versailles? How about a garage?