As an elementary school principal, here’s the approach I’ve been taking with change: “Here’s what we’re doing, here’s why we’re doing it, and here are some of the ways I will support you!” Now I’ll be toying around with the idea of also proactively addressing the elephants in the room. Furthermore, we should allow for teachers and staff to respectfully and honestly discuss these obstacles, as opposed to us trying to sweep them under the rug. After all, flaws will be talked about in one way or another, and critical conversation that gives everyone a voice is preferred to potential venting in the faculty room.
The project of critical pedagogy is not simply the project of improving education, or of learning, but rather the project of becoming more fully human.
Instead of looking for another tool besides Turnitin for plagiarism, agency asks us to intervene upon the assumptions, acceptances, and adaptations that surround the agreement we generally hold that plagiarism is both unquestionably a problem and inevitable in every student population. Also, that we are helpless to its cresting wave.
And to look that deeply at our assumptions requires a willingness to believe in monsters washed up on the Chilean shore. We must not only want to see the world as it could be, to be intrigued by its possibilities, but we must be able to see it as it could be otherwise.
- Confusion → lack of Vision: note that this can be a proper lack of vision, or the lack of understanding of that vision, often due to poor communication and syncrhonization [sic] of the people involved.
- Anxiety → lack of Skills: this means that the people involved need to have the ability to do the transformation itself and even more importantly to be skilled enough to thrive once the transformation is completed.
- Resistance → lack of Incentives: incentives are important as people tend to have a big inertia to change, not just for fear generated by the unknown, but also because changing takes energy and as such there needs to be a way to offset that effort.
- Frustration → lack of Resources: sometimes change requires very little in terms of practical resources, but a lot in terms of time of the individuals involved (i.e. to learn a new way to do things), lacking resources will make progress very slow and it’s very frustrating to see that everything is aligned and ready, but doesn’t progress.
- False Starts → lack of Action Plan: action plans don’t have to be too complicated, as small transformative changes can be done with little structure, yet, structure has to be there. For example it’s very useful to have one person to lead the charge, and everyone else agreeing they are the right person to make things happen.
via Doug Belshaw
I watched a documentary (I think that it involved Trent Reznor) and they were discussing the temperamental nature of early sampling where the computer (think it was an Apple) would sometimes just crash and they would need to wait hours for it to process again.
Riding on these wild oscillations is the pivot of calm, measured leadership and practice, providing the cornerstone and reference points required for the kind of purposeful reflection that results in progress. But this can only be achieved by treating complexity as a feature, not a bug. For the more we embrace simplistic approaches to improving education, easy answers and facile solutions, the more we undermine the place of teachers, whose role in the education of children begins to be perceived as that of actor, rather than agent.
And this is why I have come to believe that the greatest educational snake oil of our age is the belief that there are simple solutions to complex problems
Negotiating the future we want with the history we have is vital in order to determine the best structure to support the development of an inventive network for creating research-backed, criticism-engaged and outside-the-box approaches to the future of education. The energy behind what we today call academic innovation needs to be put toward problematizing and unraveling the causes of the obstacles facing the practice of educating people of competence and character, rather than focusing on the promotion of near-future technologies and their effect on symptomatic issues.
Today’s shared language around innovation is emotive rather than procedural; we use innovation to highlight the desired positive results of our efforts rather than to identify anything specific about our effort (products, processes or policies). The predominant use of innovation is to highlight the value and future-readiness of whatever the speaker supports, which is why opposite sides of issues in education (see school choice, personalized learning, etc.) use innovation in promoting their ideologies.
This touches upon Audrey Watters message to respect history, rather than live in the ever present that so many try to perpetuate.
Using what’s measurable as the lens that guides your work is easier, yes. But now that the world is honoring skills and dispositions over content knowledge and other things easily measurable, it’s time to change the lens. The primary lenses for our work today must be our deeply help beliefs about learning, our deeply held commitments to our children and their well-being, our clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges of the world as it operates today, and our capacity to create new cultures and practices in our classrooms that serve all of us, adults and kids, as learners first and foremost.