Liked Grades are Dehumanizing; Ungrading is No Simple Solution by Jesse StommelJesse Stommel (Jesse Stommel)

Grades are anathema to the presumption of the humanity of students, support for their basic needs, and engaging them as full participants in their own education. Invigilated exams won’t ensure integrity. Plagiarism detection tech won’t unseat online paper mills. Incessant surveillance won’t help us listen better for the voices of students asking for help. All of our efforts would be better served by three simple words, “I trust you.”

Liked Why remote work has eroded trust among colleagues (

Although trust-building may seem like a soft skill in comparison to more technical or analytical ones, it’s a vital piece of a healthy work culture – and one that’s taken a big hit during the pandemic. Ultimately, our ability to prioritise and develop trust with colleagues will have a direct and immediate impact on the quality of our work – and the long-term outlook of our careers.

Liked This was the year Australia restored trust in its politics – and that really is a miracle (

When there are shared facts and values, and when governments are seen to be broadly competent and connected to the needs of citizenry, politicians lay the foundations of trust, because citizens are bound together rather than occupying detached alternative realities.

Rather than minimising the importance of moments of clarity like this – rather than pretending that government is about synchronising calendars – Morrison should make nurturing these conditions a project of his prime ministership.

Because the lesson of 2020 is democracies are in a larger fight than the transient scrabbles of partisan conflict that define our election cycles.

The crisis of 2020 will pick the world up and set it down in a different place, just as the global financial crisis did before it.

Liked Wittgenstein’s Revenge (ribbonfarm)

The blockchain of facts may lead humanity to the world’s purest water, but it will not make us thirst.

At best, the blockchain for facts will inspire a great and unfounded hope, followed by a great and inevitable disillusionment (and how many more disillusionments can we endure?).

At worst, it will turn cypherpunk liberators into the Orwellian tyrants they’ve spent their lives fighting against. Seeking truth is great — but mingling truth-seeking with ambitions about consensus is one twitch away from the belief that “forcing my truth upon others is a good thing.”

How precarious!

Paul Browning talks with Steve Austin about trust, leadership and his book Principled. Really enjoyed the discussion about service and trust:

leadership is about service, it’s about giving of yourself to empower others to be remarkable people, so supporting them to become people that they were designed to be.

Asked about the decision to apologise for absuse that occured at St. Pauls long before his time, Browning explains that:

When you look at leadership through the lens of service you’re actually taking on responsibility for the organization, for the community of people and its history … you have to own that.

Browning is asked about whether truth or trust comes first:

If I genuinely listen to you and walk in your shoes then I actually might end up changing my view of the world … Trust is the key

Watched The Importance of Trust from YouTube

Panellists: Dr Paul Browning Margaret Barr In this ‘Curious Conversation’, Paul and Margaret will first share their background and experiences, and then disc…

I really enjoyed this conversation between Dr Paul Browning and Margaret Barr. Not only did it provide a useful provocation in regards to the question of trust, but it was also a good introduction to Browning’s book. I was also intrigued by the differences and similarities between relational and organisational trust.
RSVPed Interested in Attending The Importance of Trust
Thank you for the tip Andrea. Trust feels as important now as ever. This quote from Browning’s book really stood out to me.

With time we all become more experienced, but a critical event waits for no-one. It is sometimes best to prepare for the worst and then be pleasantly surprised by the reality. Instead of a flash of panic, you will be more controlled if you have a plan to tackle the difficulty.

I started reading Paul Browning’s book Principled, a book that:

Tells the story of trust destroyed and regained and as it does, aims to impart practical advice that can be adopted by any leader wishing to become a more trustworthy leader.

I am left wonder what part space places with this? Although this book is about various strategies, I am left wondering whether some spaces are more conducive towards ‘trust’ than others? This is particularly pertinent as I recently moved desks. Whether it be location, mood, light, I wonder if there is something different with where I now sit and work.

Liked when trust is lost (

Breaking down barriers to knowledge flow should be of prime importance for anyone in a leadership position. Leadership is helping make the network smarter. Networks in which knowledge is more visible and flows faster are able to learn faster and better. The example of this epidemic should hit executives in the gut and get them to seriously reexamine every single control mechanism that stifles the flow of knowledge or fails to foster trust among workers.

Bookmarked constant doubt and outrage (

While consumer social media networks are great for getting a diversity of opinions, they are not safe or trusted spaces. They nourish the Internet of Beefs. We need safe communities to take time for reflection, consideration, and testing out ideas without getting harassed. Professional social networks and communities of practices help us make sense of the world outside the workplace. They also enable each of us to bring to bear much more knowledge and insight that we could do on our own.

Harold Jarche shares his own experience of the Internet of Beefs involving Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Reflecting on this, Jarche discuses the way in which we often respond without context in online environments:

My own experience is that only 0.04% of people who view my Tweets on Twitter click on any link to read the full article.

He suggests that the challenge is in building trusted spaces.

Replied to Education is not broken. Teachers do not need fixing. (the édu flâneuse)

Education is not broken. Teachers do not need fixing. There is outstanding work going on every day in schools around Australia and the world. We should focus on trusting and empowering the teaching profession.

I find the ‘broken’ mantra interesting to reflect upon. Sometimes it feels like such narratives are used as a foundation for some other argument. Personally, I have always been intrigued about Matt Esterman’s discussion of a renaissance. If there is anything ‘broken’ it is equitable funding, but I assume that Mark Latham does not want to talk about that?
Replied to What is trust in digital, hybrid, & physical spaces? (W. Ian O’Byrne)

In recent readings, research, and discussions, the topic of “trust” has come up. This could involve questions about how do we know whether we can trust information from a source our individual. This involves questions about building trust in an organization. This has also included questions about building trust with others in a relationship on a more personal level.

Another great resource on trust and education is Paul Browning’s work on leadership. Here is a video summary of his ideas:

Bookmarked How school principals respond to govt policies on NAPLAN. (Be surprised how some are resisting) by By Dr Amanda Heffernan (EduResearch Matters)

My study found two main ways that she managed to resist the more performative influences of school improvement policies. Firstly, the school had a collaboratively-developed school vision that focused on valuing individual students and valuing the aspects of education that can’t be easily measured. The power of the vision was that it served as a filter for all policy enactment decisions made at the school. If it didn’t align with their vision, it didn’t happen. There was also agreement in this vision from the staff, students, and community members, who kept that vision at the forefront of their work with the school.

The second key aspect was that Anne had developed a strong ‘track record’ with her supervisors, and this engendered trust in her judgment as a leader. She was given more autonomy to make her policy enactment decisions as a result, because of this sense of trust. It was developed over a long time in the same school and in the same region before that. To develop her track record, Anne worked hard to comply with departmental requirements (deadlines, paperwork, and other basic compliance requirements).

Dr Amanda Heffernan reflects upon a case study investigating ‘policy enactment’.

How principals implement, or carry out, policy in their schools.

An example of this is the focus on growth, testing and NAPLAN results. She highlights two methods used to refocus things. Firstly, have a clear school vision and secondly, build trust with her system supervisors.

This continues some of the discussions had in the collect National Testing in Schools.

Liked The Messy Fourth Estate – Trust Issues – Medium by danah boyd (Medium)

Many Americans — especially conservative Americans — do not trust contemporary news organizations. This “crisis” is well-trod territory, but the focus on fact-checking, media literacy, and business models tends to obscure three features of the contemporary information landscape that I think are poorly understood:

  • Differences in worldview are being weaponized to polarize society.
  • We cannot trust organizations, institutions, or professions when they’re abstracted away from us.
  • Economic structures built on value extraction cannot enable healthy information ecosystems.


Doctorow creates these oppositional positions to make a point and to highlight that there is a war over epistemology, or the way in which we produce knowledge.The reality is much messier, because what’s at stake isn’t simply about resolving two competing worldviews. Rather, what’s at stake is how there is no universal way of knowing, and we have reached a stage in our political climate where there is more power in seeding doubt, destabilizing knowledge, and encouraging others to distrust other systems of knowledge production.

As the institutional construction of news media becomes more and more proximately divorced from the vast majority of people in the United States, we can and should expect trust in news to decline. No amount of fact-checking will make up for a widespread feeling that coverage is biased. No amount of articulated ethical commitments will make up for the feeling that you are being fed clickbait headlines.

It doesn’t take a quasi-documentary to realize that McDonald’s is not a fast-food franchise; it’s a real estate business that uses a franchise structure to extract capital from naive entrepreneurs.

no amount of innovative new business models will make up for the fact that you can’t sustain responsible journalism within a business structure that requires newsrooms to make more money quarter over quarter to appease investors. This does not mean that you can’t build a sustainable news business, but if the news is beholden to investors trying to extract value, it’s going to impossible. And if news companies have no assets to rely on (such as their now-sold real estate), they are fundamentally unstable and likely to engage in unhealthy business practices out of economic desperation.

ROI capitalism isn’t the only version of capitalism out there. We take it for granted and tacitly accept its weaknesses by creating binaries, as though the only alternative is Cold War Soviet Union–styled communism. We’re all frogs in an ocean that’s quickly getting warmer. Two degrees will affect a lot more than oceanfront properties.

There are three key higher-order next steps, all of which are at the scale of the New Deal.

  • Create a sustainable business structure for information intermediaries (like news organizations) that allows them to be profitable without the pressure of ROI.
  • Actively and strategically rebuild the social networks of America.
  • Find new ways of holding those who are struggling.

Trust cannot be demanded. It’s only earned by being there at critical junctures when people are in crisis and need help. You don’t earn trust when things are going well; you earn trust by being a rock during a tornado.