We are delighted to announce the release an ebook entitled, Breathe: A Vision and Framework for Human-Centered Learning Environment. This 14,000 word text offers a challenge to the dominant frameworks and priorities of the education ecosystem. Dr. Bernard Bull, the author and founder of BLL, argues that the priorities that dominate decisions and discourse in contemporary education stem from the growth of both an industrial and technological age. In such an age, the values that gain the greatest attention (and resources) include priorities like technology, mass production, quantification, and efficiency. All of these are good and important, aiding in the development of many benefits in society. Yet, Bull argues that none of these serve as a solid foundation or framework for a humane, inspiring, and transformational approach to education. For that, we must turn to what the best contemporary research as well as wisdom from the past. These sources offer us a different and deeply human set of priorities, ones that truly offer the the promise of a education system that can consistently inspire and transform.
This short ebook is not a stand-alone work. Rather, it serves as an educational manifesto, one that calls for discourse, our best and deepest thinking, and a series of follow up writings, tools, and educational resources intended to help schools and educators apply the concepts in the book.
Bull explained, “This is the shortest of my published works, but in some ways, I consider it the most significant. It isn’t my best writing, but wrapped within the simple and sometimes inelegant words in this book is a set of ideals that I believe can and should transform the future of education. The vision that I share in this book is the foundation for my work over the next one to two decades. I have every intention of focusing at least the next decade of my professional career striving to make this vision and ever-growing reality in contemporary education. To take the ideals seriously in this book and for them to truly spread and influence the modern education ecosystem, I envision a long list of future resources: competitions, events, think tanks, strategic partnerships, research projects, whitepapers, exemplars, instructional design and curriculum development tools, experiments, educational technologies, and more. This is only the beginning.”
At present, these projects are housed in the Human-Centered Learning Environment Lab at BLL. In the near future, it is possible that this lab will be discontinued or augmented with a collection of labs that are focused upon one or more of the priorities described in this initial manifesto.
In the meantime, Bull explained his initial goal for this book. “I wanted to write something short and accessible, something that a group of educators could purchase for a few dollars, read together, and use as as source of discussion and inspiration. I also see school leaders securing a copy for groups of faculty and/or board members to use as an impetus for thinking though the future of their learning communities. Even more, my dream is that this book will find its way into the hands of educational dreamers, difference-makers, and discontents who will be inspired to launch new schools, learning communities, or projects that embody the human-centered priorities described in the book.