I just read a review of the TV series titled “Breaking Bad” in the Economist. (September 28th 2013.) The editors say that the TV show–which I have not seen–not only shows how growth in companies comes in unexpected ways but also shows first how the rich are getting richer at the expense of others and how many who get to the top of businesses feel that they do not have to follow the rules that government and other agencies have developed to keep people honest. Many broke the rules that were established to prevent fraud because they thought that they were above the law. (page 60)

When I wrote Breaking Rules I wrote a subtitle–generating and exploring alternatives. I was not interested in breaking rules because I thought I was not subject to the regulations that school boards set up. I was interested in breaking rules to better understand what we are doing and to compare the results of what we usually do with alternatives.

At the 60th anniversary of International House in London–an institution that has been preparing teachers through practice rather than reading papers and writing comments–Jeremy Harmer was invited to speak. He devoted his short comments to my book Breaking Rules. At IATELF in the spring of 2013, Adrian Hill did a presentation about trends. He devoted about 5 minutes of his 40 minutes to saying how important it is to feel free to break rules in the way I urged people to do, not in the way that leaders of corporations broke rules that brought on the financial crisis in 2008.

I am attaching some associations that teachers have made with the words breaking rules in workshops I have done. In my next blog I will send along a rationale for breaking rules that again is based on the idea of learning rather than being enabling people to enrich themselves by breaking rules that have been written to keep people from being dishonest.

All the best.

John

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