Replied to Live the Mission - Will Richardson (Will Richardson)
Just having a clear mission isn’t enough; that mission must drive the work in every part of the school down to the support staff, maintenance crew, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers.
We often talk about ‘moonshots’ but the problem is that this was a mission that captured a nation. Is it possible to have such a mission at a school level that also captures all the external pressures that exist within the system?
Replied to What do activism and power look like? (the édu flâneuse)
I have wondered before about activism and the forms it takes. Who can be an activist? Is it only those with secure, late-career jobs? Can the early career teacher or researcher really challenge the system in which they work when that can put them at risk of unemployment or further precarity and uncertainty? Does an activist have to look, act and speak a certain way? Can an activist use the apparatuses of power in order to undermine that power, or does she need different tools?
I feel that what is often missing in this discussion is not the point in the career, but the support around you? To stay the journey I feel that one needs authentic voices around them who help to maintain the vision of change in light of any pressure and pushback.

Also on: Read Write Collect

Bookmarked Transforming Schools: How Distributed Leadership Can Create More High-Performing Schools by Chris Bierly, Betsy Doyle, Abigail Smith (Bain)
The best organizational leadership models are purpose-built to accomplish the organization’s most critical mission. While every school has its differences, they all share the fundamental mission of improving teaching and learning. Groups of elementary, middle and high schools in a given system are more alike than unalike when it comes to addressing this core challenge. Standardizing as much as possible around a well-developed model makes deploying and managing it easier and more effective. If schools have similar roles and leadership processes, the system can better align critical support functions such as talent development, compensation and evaluation.
Chris Bierly, Betsy Doyle and Abigail Smith discuss some of the challenges associated leadership in schools, suggesting that distributed leadership can create more high-performing schools. Reflecting on research, they highlight five principles designed to help develop a distributed model.

  1. Make a bet on a leadership model.
  2. Create and strengthen leadership capacity.
  3. Focus leaders on improving teaching and learning.
  4. Create teams with a shared mission.
  5. Empower leaders with the time and authority to lead.

One concern that I had throughout this extensive post was the blurring between ‘coaching’ and ‘evaluation’. For more on the topic, I recommend Alma Harris’ book Distributed Leadership Matters.

via Tom Barrett

Replied to Consolidation is not a dirty word by Dr Deborah M. Netolicky (the édu flâneuse)
Consolidation doesn’t mean there is no work to do. It doesn’t mean standing still or stagnating. It means doing better what we are already doing now. It means connecting in with one another to learn from each other, celebrate, challenge and share our expertise. It means continuing to develop shared understandings and shared practices, and looking back occasionally to remind ourselves of how far we have come.
I really like this focus on celebration and consolidation Deb. We can become so wedded at times to the notion of transformation, yet transformation comes as we consolidate bit by bit. To me I think this is what Richard Olsen was trying to get at with the Modern Learning Canvas. It is about the small things, doing them well and going from there.

Also on: Read Write Collect

Bookmarked ‘Lifespan’ or ‘Learnspan’? Designing to mitigate irrelevance - by Joann Cattlin (iletc.com.au)
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.)
This is an interesting take on the longevity of learning spaces from Chris Bradbeer.

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

Liked We’re Thinking About This Backwards (Hapgood)
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.
Liked Teacher voice to flip the education system: ACEL 2018 panel presentation (the édu flâneuse)
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.
Replied to
I have not read the full report, but can I just that the longer I spend in a central position the more I recognise the need for trivial efficiencies. I have come to realise pedagogy of any sort is built upon a foundation of triviality.
Bookmarked Modern Learners Podcast #48: Timeless Learning With Pam Moran and Ira Socol by Will Richardson (Modern Learners)
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.
In this conversation with Ira Socol and Pam Moran, they discuss education change and reform. It was an interesting episode. There were two quotes that stood out to me:

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

Liked Facing An Unknown Future (DCulberhouse)
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.