I find analogies and metaphors help me to think about my learning differently and this video about the wolves in Yellowstone Park helped me to consolidate some of my thinking from last week about the difference between self-reg as a process and self-reg as a program. It beautifully illustrates the impact that one change can have, over time, on an entire system. One of the most important points, and this relates to the idea that self-reg is a process not a program, is that the change takes time. Part of the appeal of one size fits all programs is that they often seem to create quick results but those results are seldom long lasting. A process, like Shanker self-reg, takes time to create impact but the impact is much longer lasting.
Another analogy, aside from the wolves in Yellowstone, is the idea of a diet. I can go on the latest fad crash diet (eat nothing but grapefruit, juice cleanse, etc) and I will lose weight. But it is not sustainable. Instead, I have to do the hard work of learning about food, nutriution, diet and exercise so that I can achieve slow, sustainable, healthy weight loss. And in that model, it shifts so that the goal is no longer weight loss but a healthy lifestyle. Developing a self-reg community in our classroom or our homes takes time, effort and energy; there are no quick fixes.