To avoid obsolescence of educational buildings what is important therefore is not only to consider the ‘lifespan’ of our schools but also we are cognizant of their ‘learnspan’
via Tom Barrett
Brand (1994) refers ‘shearing layers of change’; the components of a building that over time, may or may not alter and/or have the capacity to alter, in response to required changes. The components as he describes are 1), the site (setting and location), 2) structure (foundation and load bearing elements), 3) the skin (exterior surfaces), 4) services (the wiring, plumbing, heating ventilation), 5) the space plan (interior layout of walls, doors, ceilings), and 6), stuff (chairs, desks, appliances etc.)
While mass education is good and should be pursued as a long-term solution, if I was going to target our online literacy immediately and had a limited number of seats, I would target it at everyone that will find their way to positions of influence. Politicians. Policy leads. Product managers at tech startups. Future FBI agents and social workers and department heads. I would look at the gears of democratic institutions — political, civic, administrative — and see who has their hands on the levers, from the mid-level bureaucrats to the top.
Our book is a microcosm of what we would like to see more of in education, although we regret not including student voice in the book. It is one drop-in-the-ocean attempt to amplify, elevate and value the voices of teachers and school leaders. We hope that in our Australian context it will lead to politicians and policymakers seeking out the views and expertise of those in schools. Flipping the system in this way is about building networks and flattening hierarchies so that we can all work together for the good of the students in our schools.
Timeless Learning by Ira Socol, Pam Moran, and Chad Ratliff may just be the best book I’ve read about how to change schools and bring all the things we know are important about progressive learning to traditional public and private schools.
How do you get people to change? You have to change the question – Ira Socol
You have to start with your values and beliefs and who’s in change and whose voice matters – Pam Moran
If we are not engaging the future thinking necessary to at least try and imagine what the world will be like for today’s kindergartener by the time they graduate…then it will be incredibly difficult for us to even consider how to begin to prepare them for a non-obvious future and an exponentially changing world.
Let’s be pedagogical activists.
In part, this reminds me of a recent post I read about relationships and pedagogical love. I feel that we need to be committed to ongoing development, adjusting to the needs of the class and context at hand.
- 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