To Know As We Are Known Chapter 5-7 and The Having of Wonderful Ideas

Learning Log 2

To Know As We Are Known, Chapter 5-7, Parker J. Palmer

The Having of Wonderful Ideas, Eleanor Duckworth


Any place where we are expecting people to learn must be safe for people to explore their ideas. The definition of safety is in each learners eyes. The environment encourages exploration and is the foundation for new ideas. When new ideas come up they are celebrated.

Important Ideas

Classrooms must be have the freedom to explore every inch of the subject they are assigned and nothing more.

Learners need to be free to embrace the truth that seeks them.

The truth that seeks them may come in ways that are unique to the learner, and the leader should be able to accept this.


Is technology a hinderance or a help to creating the open spaces that students need to come up with wonderful ideas?

Palmer Quotes

Consensus is the practical process by which we practice obedience and truth. Pg 97

Avoid arguing for your own rankings. Pg 95

If we leave those emotions unattended, we will not be able to clear the space. Pg84

every stranger and every strange utterance is met with welcome. Pg 74

A learning space has three major characteristics, three essential dimensions: openness, boundaries, and an air of hospitality. Pg 71.

To “remember” means literally to re-member the body, to bring the separated parts of the community of truth back together, to reunite the whole. Pg 103

For our tenancy to blame institution for our problems is itself a symptom of our objectivism. Pg 107

But the original and authentic meaning of the word “professor” is “one who professes a faith.” pg 113

One discipline is the simple practice of studying in fields outside one's own. Pg 114

Duckworth Quotes

Intelligence cannot develop without matter to think about. Making new connections depends on knowing enough about something in the first place to provide a basis for thinking of other things to do – of other questions to ask – that demand more complex connections in order to make sense. Pg 14

Knowing enough about things is one prerequisite for wonderful ideas. Pg 14


I have have always believed in having as much fun as I can withing the boundaries or rules placed around me. In my job as a director at a summer camp we tell our counselors this all the time. As much fun as you can inside the rules. This is not because we want them to push the lines but because we know that they can see the world in a very different way than we (older) people can. And kids will respond to that. They will love it and look up to it. Palmer I think asks us to create space like that. Spaces where you cannot climb trees, but you can do everything else imaginable with trees. Spaces where exploring is welcome and curiosity is encouraged. I loved the quote about every stranger and strange utterance being welcome. Can you imagine a church where this was true? Can you imagine was that would be like? Palmer points out that we need not fear such a situation, but how many people in Christian schools and churches everywhere are afraid of ideas? Afraid of entering into community with a subject matter, of opening themselves up to ideas of others and of the subject at hand. I am not sure how to bring this anywhere that it seems like it is important, but I know that I meet this most commonly in the communities of bloggers that I read. I think that many people are not using the internet in a way that build, but in searching you can find people who are. People who police their sites for garbage and rudeness. People that allow for good, divergent ideas but abhor mocking and ridicule and personal attacks. That is why I ask my question. At my school the mission is, “equipping minds and nurturing hearts to transform the world for Jesus Christ.” For us to do this we need to be the ones who are building places where truth and be explored and discovered, but the boundaries of love are placed all around the discussion. I cannot even imagine what that looks like at its fullest. But it is wonderful. And there are wonderful ideas (a phrase I loved) all around it floating out of every participant. It is a vision that I cannot get out of my head, better than Christmas morning.