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A Team of 30 do the #unthinkable

November 8, 2016

conjoined-twins

I was fascinated by this story and the pictures that capture a process so complicated it is hard to imagine.  An operation so complicated it has only been tried 59 times in 64 years.  An operation so complicated that it requires a team of 30 medical personnel working closely with one another to do the unthinkable.  Doctors, nurses, and support staff put “their heads together” to separate the heads of conjoined twins, Jadon and Anias McDonald.  This CNN report captures the story of this family’s experience as they await the news about the success of the 27-hour surgical procedure.  While the boys are not out of danger, they are progressing quite well.  Bravo for teamwork!

While not a rare procedure, it certainly ranks as one of the most challenging operations to perform.  Most recently, another set of conjoined twins was separated in Saudi Arabia,

The twins, Rammah and Waddah, were successfully separated a week ago in an 11-hour surgery performed by a medical team led by Al-Rabeeah at the King Abdullah Specialty Children’s Hospital, King Abdul Aziz Medical City, Ministry of National Guard-Health Affairs in the capital. (click here for reference)

What is fascinating about these surgeries is their dependence on a team of personnel working together, much like a fine orchestra under the direction of a master conductor.

In schools, we need to be fully committed to helping our young people learn to work effectively on teams.  Educators have a responsibility to structure learning environments where students can solve developmentally appropriate, complex problems through which they learn to rely on one another, using the collective experience of the group to arrive at a worthy solution.  Working on collaborative teams is one of the 21st Century skills we need to design for as we build curricula.

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