West Point On The Eno River ∞ Durham County, North Carolina ∞ Photo by Jodi Wert, July 2019
"The whole is other than the sum of its parts."
- Kurt Koffka, Gestalt Psychologist
As an Education Integrator, it is a privilege and honor to accompany teachers, families, and communities as they explore the gaps between aspirations and reality; identify and amplify the unique gifts of individuals within a system; and integrate people, systems, and environments to support civic and social wellbeing. I believe unfettered, unpostured frameworks potentiate each person’s creative capacity to pour outward to endless possibilities, improving the collective by factors. One drop of water joins a river, merges with the sea, turns a tide. The Education Integrator’s role is to support life and learning together in abundance, creativity, and possibility.
Though new to education, in other areas the Integrator role functions as a connector, mediator, synthesizer, and facilitator. In 1967, Harvard Business Review wrote that an Integrator’s job is to “achieve collaboration between highly specialized people spread throughout all organizational functions and levels.”* More recently, EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System), notes that entrepreneurial organizations must have a Visionary and an Integrator. A thriving Visionary has creative, passionate drive, and the Integrator makes that vision happen.**
While I’m definitely fueled by creative visions and clear dreams, I operate in the Integrator role. In education, the Integrator deepens individual and collective understanding of how to shape educational culture, and how to live more deeply and consistently into dreams for a just world. Education Integrators create rich mediums for individuals to discover and nurture their highest potential with integrity and purpose.
As an Education Integrator, I’ve engaged in continuous exploration of pedagogy and artistry. I love to think about thinking, and to help teachers explore the ways that children investigate and make connections. It is natural for me to welcome children's and teachers’ ongoing expressions through a multitude of mediums. I believe learning is socially situated, and delight when adults collaborate with children on rich inquiry-based threads, adding value to education, and, moreover, creating a map of continuity for life and belonging together.
The truest gift I bring as an Education Integrator is authentic presence. Young children amplify this gift by meeting it with their own abundance. Open, static-free connections allow an insightful sensing into children and clear understanding of their perspective. This facilitates effective partnership with them, rooted in their immediate interests. As an Education Integrator, I help teachers attune to children’s experiences, and develop their own capacity to be present - first to themselves, and then to their students. From this place, we are able to explore other tools to hone the crafts of social constructivist practices and inquiry-based approaches.