Young children will often question their parents. Their natural inquisitiveness, and perhaps their resistance to being told to do something they do not want to do, results in them blurting out “Why?”
As we grow older, we stop asking “why” and our focus shifts more to the “what” and the “how” of life. As adults we focus on our family, career, leisure, vacations, church, friends, etc. – the “what” of life. We often will attend “how to” seminars or purchase “how to” books to advance our “what” of life. But we seldom ask WHY! ‘Why’ is defined as the cause, reason, or purpose for doing something. It speaks to the very core of who we are and the reason for our existence.
Becoming Imaginal: Finding Your Big WHY
In my book, Becoming Imaginal, I ask the question,
“What drives people to do extraordinary things? Many people seem content living ordinary lives, which are marked by a pursuit of comfort rather than significance. And there are those who live from an entirely different orientation to their lives, willing even to sacrifice comfort for the significance of a vision pursued, and eventually fulfilled.”
– Becoming Imaginal: Seeing and Creating the Future of Education, 2013
In Becoming Imaginal, I introduce the concept of finding your Big WHY. The Big WHY is more than having a sense of purpose in life. I would argue that most people live as if life was meaningful, even if it is a self-serving purpose. The Big WHY is about purposefully making a difference in our world; having a cause that is bigger than yourself. Imaginal Leaders are those who have shaped the world we live in. Not only do they possess a deep sense of purpose, they possess a driving vision to create something new like Steve Jobs, to transform their world like Mahatma Gandhi, or to help the needy like Mother Teresa.
Imaginal Leaders take action to change their world!
In 1997, Apple launched the following icon ad narrated by the late Steve Jobs…
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them,
glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
While some may see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
We are Crazy Ones
Our graduate profile states that our students will be able to pursue their vision without limitation by achieving academic excellence and becoming Imaginal Leaders; those “crazy ones” who think they can change their world. We have earned the right to ask our students to become Imaginal Leaders since we have taken on the challenge ourselves. Our vision at Master’s is to transform education first locally here at Master’s, and, upon success, to take Profound Learning global. Currently, Profound Learning is being implemented in schools in Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Africa. Our vision of transforming education around the world truly puts us in the category of being Crazy Ones.
Why is Master’s an R&D School?
To accomplish this vision, Master’s was established in 1997 as a research and development, K-12 Christian School. There are many K-12 Christian Schools, but seldom if ever do you see them identifying as R&D schools.
I came to Calgary in 1995 with a vision to start a school that would deliver education differently and more effectively. The previous almost 20 years of my educational career culminated in a deep dissatisfaction with the traditional factory model of education. I had a dream for something much better; but what was needed did not exist, it needed to be developed. We needed to attract brilliant educators to a vision community that was fully committed to the research and development of Profound Learning.
Today, we have developed an entire ecosystem of solutions to transform learning at Master’s. Our ecosystem includes the following:
- A comprehensive model of education called Profound Learning
- Many tools and systems to support Profound Learning such as the Geenius LTS
- Teacher training modules for all core aspects of Profound Learning
- Train the trainer programs for our international partners
Plus much more on our R&D roadmap that includes:
- Future ready skill development and tracking
- Development of an Imaginal “App” store that will allow teachers to share digital learning adventures with teachers around the world
- Mastery subsystems that will elevate academic achievement even higher
- Prototyping new virtual learning capabilities
- Innovation spaces to support our student Imaginal journey
- Analysis of big data using artificial intelligence
Why all of this R&D and push to develop new tools and systems to transform learning? Why not relax and enjoy the successes that have already been achieved? Because, we have a higher calling to make a difference, to be Imaginal Leaders, to be “CRAZY ONES”!
Our Graduates as “Crazy Ones”
Our College students are taught how to see, learn from, and create the future, to become Imaginal Leaders, to become those “crazy ones” that will transform their world.
To further advance our mission of graduating Imaginal Leaders requires us to look at expanding our facility. Our proposed expansion will add over 20,000 sqft including new Academy and College learning spaces, media lab, Imaginal lab, MIT Fab Lab (fabrication lab), and fitness room. With this expansion we will be able to double the size of our high school. The Imaginal Lab is a space where students will engage with seeing, learning from, and creating the future. It is a space designed to ignite creativity and design through collaboration. The MIT Fab Lab is equipped with off the shelf fabrication tools and machines that enable students to build prototypes of their innovations and inventions.
“The growth of our vision requires resources beyond Society Fees. To this end, a year ago we launched our Advancement Program. We invite you as parents to be a part of our vision community and Big WHY through voluntarism and philanthropic giving.”
Our Big WHY is to elevate the learning of students at Master’s and around the world by becoming Imaginal, those crazy ones, “for the ones who think they can change the world are the ones that do!”