This morning, I was listening to the radio and heard an interview with Tim Draper, a venture capitalist who founded DFJ and Draper University. Draper is also hosting a new reality show called StartUp, which pits teams of entrepreneurs against each other to design and develop companies and marketable ideas. In the interview, Draper discussed the credo of Draper University and how students must recite the credo each morning as part of the school’s “Super Hero training.” Included in the credo are the following statements:
“I will promote freedom at all costs.
I will do everything in my power to drive, build and pursue progress and change.
I will explore the world with gusto and enthusiasm.”
While it would be difficult to get my students to recite a credo like this before each class, Draper’s interview got me thinking about what a credo of my class would look like and what statements I would include. A few years ago, I shared the contract from a local TEDx event and discussed how I planned to use it as part of a collaborative assignment with my class. But a credo is something different. While a contract includes language that binds a person to a set of actions and behaviors, a credo represents a person’s fundamental beliefs which will purposefully guide their activities, choices and decision-making. A credo for my class wouldn’t just bind my students to a specific list of activities but would communicate the teaching and learning ideals on which the class was built. As I thought about this, I jotted down a few statements that I would have my students recite.
Learning is not a spectator sport. I need to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty to be successful.
Learning is not a solitary venture. I will learn more by interacting with my classmates and my instructor.
Learning is difficult. I may fail multiple times before I succeed. But I will succeed.
Learning isn’t a competition. I know that the only real race I’m running is against my own commitment to excel.
The greatest influence of my educational success is my dedication and hard work.
Learning is more than memorizing facts and figures. To truly learn, I will need to synthesize information and connect it to things I already know.
Learning is a journey not a destination. If I’m truly engaged in my learning, the process is not segmented into classes, semesters or academic years and does not have defined starting and ending dates.
Please understand that this is a rough draft of the credo of my class. I’m open to any suggestions that readers may have. Feel free to add a comment of some things I may have missed.