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Schools Of Conscience, Issue #006 -- Event- The Mafia Game + Equity Policy Resolution version 1.1
March 24, 2015

A Word From Don

Four exciting recent developments:

  1. I will be hosting the first Mafia Game at Hatch in Portland, OR, on March 26th in cooperation with two other local social entrepreneurs Jim Newcomer and Yu Te.

  2. Initiated by valuable feedback from Leo Fahey, who has an abundance of experience with legislative proposals, I have been making major changes to the Resolution to Build Equity on Well-Being in K-12 Schools, the policy proposal that is presented in my new book.

    I'd like your feedback on it for further refinement.

  3. I gave the first-ever book talk for Every Parent's Dilemma at The Village Free School in Portland.

    A video of the 20-minute talk is avilable online.

    Please share this link with parents you know.

  4. T-shirts!

    There is now a Cafe Press site for Schools of Conscience schwag.

    Wear the question from the new book: Why Do We Ignore Schools That Nurture Children?.

    20 percent of the proceeds of your order will go to Schools of Conscience.

Schools of Conscience Newsletter Contents

A Word From Don

The Mafia Game

Resolution v1.1

Book Campaign Success

The Mafia Game

Fourth Thursdays @ 7PM @ Hatch
Starting March 26th, 2015

"Wicked Fun"
– Public Radio International

Mafia is a classic party game in which leaders can sharpen their wits and a social/political/business simulation where an informed minority faces off against an uninformed majority.

We were inspired by a recent story on Public Radio International about how the Mafia Game has become a worldwide phenomenon.

The core of the game is negotiating collective decisions in an environment of incomplete information as each side tries to eliminate the other.

"[F]or today’s global entrepreneurs, Mafia has become much more than a game. 'I think I use it all the time in real life,' says Sam Lundin, who founded a website named Vimbly that helps New Yorkers find cool and adventuresome activities," says PRI.

We welcome all entrepreneurs, teachers, and leaders to join the fun.

Donations will be accepted to cover refreshments.

You can sign up online or just show up.

Hosts: Leadership Hacks Meetup: Don Berg, Jim Newcomer, & Yu Te
Questions? Contact Don:
Where: Hatch, the Social Innovation Lab
2420 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, Oregon
When: Fourth Thursdays @ 7PM
Starting March 26th, 2015

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Resolution v1.1

With the invaluable help of Leo Fahey I have made major revisions to the resolution that I presented in my book Every Parent's Dilemma: Why Do We Ignore Schools That Nurture Children?.

I would appreciate your feedback about it.

The changes are meant to provide a stronger logical structure and clearer langauge.

Whereas, air, water, food, shelter, sleep, relatedness, autonomy, and competence have been shown to be primary needs (as established by peer-reviewed scientific studies published in widely respected journals).

Whereas, primary human needs are not derived from any other needs, are universal to all humans, and have non-neutral effects on well-being.

(Whereas, "Maslow's Hierarchy," despite being intuitively compelling and gaining widespread fame, has failed to receive scientific support.)

Whereas, thwarting the needs for relatedness, autonomy, and competence lead to anxiety, depression, and other forms of psychological distress.

Whereas, anxiety, depression, and other forms of psychological distress are forms of mental ill-being.

Whereas, ill-being, whether physical or mental, leads to diminished capacity for learning.

Whereas, supporting people to meet their needs for relatedness, autonomy, and competence leads to intrinsic motivation and engagement.

Whereas, intrinsic motivation and engagement lead to optimal learning and the best possible learning outcomes.

Whereas, peer-reviewed scientific studies of student populations published in widely respected journals have observed the maintenance of intrinsic motivation and engagement only in schools that make instruction and academic testing optional, not mandatory.

Whereas, this resolution will henceforth refer to the support of primary human needs as nurturing.

Therefore, we RESOLVE to recognize that nurturing is the fundamental foundation for both well-being and education.

Therefore, we RESOLVE to require all schools to support nurturing as the fundamental foundation for optimal learning as a logical precedent to all the various purposes of education that the optimal learning will serve, the pedagogical choices that follow from those purposes, and the implementation of those pedagogical choices in schools.

Therefore, we RESOLVE to safeguard nurturing by requiring all schools to give it precedence over the pursuit of other valuable educational goals, such as possessing basic knowledge and skills, job readiness, and college preparation.

Therefore, we RESOLVE to require all schools to assess school climate at least twice per year using an instrument that includes measures of psychological well-being and that has been validated through peer-reviewed scientific research, (e.g. the Hope Survey).

Therefore, we RESOLVE to accord protections to any features of schools that can be shown to be causally related to nurturing and/or the maintenance of intrinsic motivation or engagement.

Therefore, we RESOLVE to respect and both financially and materially support schools that make instruction an optional feature of schooling by exempting them from requirements for instructional standardization and academic testing contingent on a pattern of school climate data demonstrating that their student population maintains intrinsic motivation or engagement for typical classroom activities.

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Book Campaign Success

The campaign to fund the publishing and initial promotion of my new book was a success.

A large last minute donation made it so.

Despite the apparent success I am taking lessons from the process.

The number of donors was surprisingly small.

I thought that I would have a much broader participation for this campaign compared to my previous campaign to fund the completion of my Reed degree.

I appreciate the contributions and enthusiasm of everyone who has been supporting me.

In order to make the best of that support I am still trying to figure out the sweet spot where my work will be both enthusiastically recieved and sustainable.

I am still working out the sustainability piece.

As I mentioned in my introductory remarks I gave the book talk for Every Parent's Dilemma at the Village Free School recently.

The video is now online ( so you can share it with parents and teachers that are ready to learn about how special self-directed alternative schools are from a scientific perspective.

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