Education is, historically, full of memes. The ones that are successful (i.e. spread well) capture fundamental needs at a subconscious level and communicate them.

“Warning: This book contains a live mind virus. Do not read further unless you are willing to be infected.” Richard Brodie, Virus of the Mind, The New Science of the Meme

“We are a bucket filling school,” announced the memo sent home to parents on the schools’ decision to adopt Carol McCloud’s book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? as the new moral guideline. Not only would the students be reading the books in class, but the teachers would be engaging in a book study on the adult version by Tom Rath. That week, buckets appeared on the teacher’s desks, kids were writing endearing messages to fill up the buckets, and my daughter started talking about her feelings as buckets (i.e. “He dumped my bucket when he ran away from me on the playground today.”) So, I scurried to the bookstore, unfamiliar with the book’s contents, and found every copy sold out. Well, damn.  Someone should have told Barnes & Nobles that a new meme was sweeping the nation.

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