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Educational Transformation: The Death Valley Bloom

By LeaderTalk Contributor — December 07, 2009 1 min read

Last week I heard Sir Ken Robinson mention the Death Valley Bloom of 2005. He suggested that we check it out on the Internet. I did, and I thank Sir Ken for leading me to explore this amazing phenomenon.

Death Valley, California is unique because it contains the lowest, hottest, driest location in North America. Nearly 550 square miles of its area lie below sea level. It is one of the hottest places on earth, attaining the second-highest temperature ever recorded, 134 degrees F. in 1913.

It contains the lowest point in the western hemisphere -- 282 feet below sea level near Badwater.

In this harsh environment life seems rare.

Plants and animals work hard to survive. The landscape is barren, dusty, and devoid of color.

Death Valley averages less than 2″ of rain per year.

In the fall and winter of 2005 there were unusually heavy rains that dumped almost 6.5″ of rain on the desert floor.

Soon after an incredible transformation took place.

Wildflowers began to appear.

Entire hillsides began to come alive with flowers.

Splashes of color replaced the barren expanses of desert.

Death Valley was completely transformed in what has been referred to as the ‘Hundred Year Bloom”.

When we work towards transforming our schools, it sometimes feels as if they will never change.

We look out at the landscape of reform and see a vast desert.

Things look hopeless.

We don’t know where to begin. We get discouraged.

The Death Valley Bloom should give us hope.

The seeds of change are right there below the surface all the time; in ourselves and in others.

As Sir Ken Robinson explained, they are merely waiting for the right conditions to bloom.

I love that thought. I believe it.

In order to transform teaching and learning we need to be the rain.

Make Rain!

pete

Cross Posted at Ed Tech Journeys

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