What has changed in your school or district in the last year? This is the question I mulled over on my ride home from Educon.
There were two sessions that I thought of as I drove. The Same as it Ever Was, but Does it Have to Be with Leo Brehm and Beth Knittle and The Ethical Obligation to Teach, Learn & Share Globally with Dean Shareski and Alec Couros.
Why these sessions?
Well, I’m concerned as to why I’ve been going to Educon for four years, yet I am still hearing all the same concerns from the attendees.
If our schools are not doing things correctly, what is it that we want?
We attempted to answer this question in Beth and Leo’s session. They put together a wiki and I’m hoping to see the folks that were there add to it. Here’s what we talked about together:
- We want learners who can troubleshooting/problem solve
- We want to focus on thinking skills rather than just skills
- We want to look at what’s working and clone it rather than work on fixing what’s broken
- We want self-motivated learners
- We want the school community to be filled with adult learners (we are all learners)
- We want to cultivate a lifelong love of learning
Beth recommended viewing The Tribes We Lead TED Talk by Seth Godin as a resource for inspiration. What he says makes sense to me:
- You can make change by leading
- You should connect with people for ideas
- What we do for a living now is finding something we want to change and assembling a group of people to change it
- We should organize people who want to talk about something and have the same desires
- One person can’t do this alone, but together we can get it done. We just need someone to lead us
- We’re waiting for someone to show us where to go next
What is it that we need?
The group shared examples of what was happening in their schools. Some stories were encouraging and others were what seemed to be a recurring theme of schools in need of help. Here’s what we brainstormed:
- Learners need to know it’s okay to fail
- All learners should be empowered in a school
- Schools should provide/allow for flexible learning environments
- Learners should be encouraged to be passionate problem solvers
- We need more time
- Let’s not focus on the minute details, but work towards a common goal
- Realize that it may be curriculum redesign that is needed
How are we going to get there?
This brings me back to Alec and Dean’s session as in both our small group and large group discussions, people shared stories. Is this the solution to our bringing on change? Should we all just talk about what is working and then replicate it? I’m thinking so. What do you think?