Category Archives: Resources

A Reflection on 9/11

Marge Schiller PhD
(PCC Director)

I avoided thinking about 9/11. Even though that day was a life altering experience for me.

I was in New York City when the World Trade Centers were hit. But going back to the shock and grief and fear of being there then was not something I wanted to do.

9-11-01candlesimplelgwhite19/11 was a defining moment in the USA. People in my country and around the world came together in shock and surprise.

It was not just the number of deaths; many more people have died in defining moments of war, famine or disaster. It was the vulnerability of our wonderful, optimistic, almost adolescent country.

We were looking at a new reality that brought us both closer together and also further apart from the post 2000 global society.

The new millennium had the USA in a different and (for us) disturbing place in the world order.

On September 11th I was working with seventy senior executives from a Manhattan based hotel chain. To provide context for the management training session I had asked the group the question “Is Then the Same as Now?”

We had just started to talk about changes in the hospitality industry and the world when we heard the news.

Outside the mid town building there was smoke, and ash covered the streets. Because communications were shut down, we even speculated that the USA was at war.

childholdinghandWhen Rachel, aged three, was brought to the corporate headquarters by her mother, I took care of the little girl so Lynette could work.

As Rachel and I walked around corporate headquarters I saw how her presence affected others.  Those who were in shock unfroze. Anyone who had been crying stopped when they heard her voice or saw her sweet face.

That was when I knew that children are the image and voice of hope — especially when we suspect things are hopeless.

That was how the Positive Change Core was initiated — to serve children and youth with strength-focused approaches to schools and learning.

But yesterday I did not want to go back to 9/11.

Yes, that day changed my life — but now what?

The answer showed up on the news and in today’s newspaper.

“We can summon once more that ordinary goodness of America — to serve our communities, to strengthen our country and to better our world.”  Barack Obama

Nine One One is a day for Service. The remembrance is in the present. In giving back. Remembrance comes best in being of service to children, youth and others in our community.

That is the greatest memorial for the dead.

That is what 9/11 means to me today.

Please Send Us Your Stories & News!

7265445 (WinCE)We invite you to send us your stories about strength focused work with children and youth for publication on the PCC website.

Whether you have a short snippet to share or would like to send us a longer story, we’d love to hear from you!

Shorter pieces can be published directly on the website. If you would like to send us a longer article, please include a short introduction for publication on the site. We’ll convert the longer piece into a  downloadable pdf to accompany the web-page introduction.

You may find our PCC Web Writing Guide helpful in writing copy for publication on the web.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Intergenerational Conversations

Marge SchillerThis is the title of an article by PCC founder, Marge Schiller PhD.

As Marge says:

Schools and youth are agents of benefit for their communities and the world. They are the future. Sustainability of that future depends on human beings, young and old meeting our responsibility as stewards of the earth.

In this article, Marge talks about the benefits of creating space for intergenerational conversations and explains two of the foundational principles of PCC:

  1. Don’t do anything about me without me
  2. Maximum mix is magic

She shares some thoughts on how to proceed with such a gathering, and suggests three phases for maximum success.

Download  Intergenerational_Conversations

The Power of Commitment


This is the title of an inspiring article by Nancy Oelklaus, who is a former assistant superintendent of schools in Texas. Nancy is also an executive coach and the author of Journey from Head to Heart: Living and Working Authentically and Alphabet Meditations for Teachers.

Nancy describes ‘the invisible school’ – the billions of neuronal patterns that each of us is carrying around inside our heads. How we think about school. How we feel about each other.

This invisible school has its dark side – our negative responses to others’ imperfections and our tendency to analyse, judge and perhaps condemn.

But as Nancy says:

Since we are susceptible to the phenomenon of mirror neurons-being influenced by another person’s state of mind-we need to protect our brains from invasion by negativity.

A starting point is to write or draw or create in some visual form our commitment to our relationship with ourselves, parents, students, and colleagues. Following are some examples.

My hope is that these words inspire you to write your own commitments, read or write them every day, and have a more peaceful and rewarding experience in education.

Download The Power of Commitment

Articles and Publications

We are always looking for articles and publications that relate to Positive Change Core and our work.

Please contact us if you feel you have a resource that belongs here. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy reading the resources below.

  • Word document) Flourishing Canton– Canton Ohio – read what happens when a group of intergenerational citizens in June 2006 together with the Positive Change Core go back to the future, and rediscover (and begin to realize) the flourishing city Canton once was – reprinted with permission from AI Practitioner
  • (PDF) Life Long Learning and Education ‘On the Road to Finding Out’ – explores possibilities for individual and educational transformative positive change through lifelong learning and lifelong education. reprinted with permission from AI Practitioner please note this is a very large file so may take time to download


This category is intended to share resources: articles, knowledge, links to websites etc that are relevant to the Positive Change Core community – which includes you, our visitor on this site.

As we evolve this section please feel free to contribute your resources. We are passionate about sharing knowledge and hope this site will become a resource bank and catalyst for positive change in the education and youth community change.

Resources include information on strength based practice, knowledge and stories, Appreciative Inquiry, education and youth systems and more.

Please enjoy our stories, links and articles resources.
If you have any resources you would like to share please contact us.


There have been civilizations that did not use the wheel, but there are no civilizations that did not use story.
(Ursula Le Guin)

Stories are more powerful and memorable than facts

Story and conversation are at the heart of PCC strength based practices and processes.

We invite and encourage you to share your stories of your work or experiences related to PCC or working with the youth and education system. You might also be someone who has participated in our processes.

An example of stories from within the PCC can be found here. For instance, Canton’s Story, or Living Values Education at Aventura School.

In the meantime you may want to read the story of how the PCC was founded. (PDF document)

Whoever you are we look forward to the possibility of sharing your story on line – be it in written, digital storytelling, or art form (or any other way you can think of).

We’d love to hear from you!