For the past decade or so I have worked in support of school improvements efforts by visiting districts/schools and by working with teams of educators on whole school reform efforts. What I learned in the process is that “whole” school reform is an elusive goal; change is an organic process; it begins small, grows when nurtured, and spreads when the ground has been adequately prepared. Whole school change is the exception rather than the rule.
This blog is about thinking big and starting small. It is based on the observation that we have lost our way. We have yielded control over what is good for children and what is good for learning to a group of sometimes well-intentioned reformers who have refused, in spite of overwhelming evidence to acknowledge that the “fix” they have championed for their often questionable assessment of education – i..e., the reliance on ever more rigorous standards and ever more questionable large scale state assessments – has failed to produce the improvements they championed.
This blog is based on the premise offered by Peter Drucker and, later, Russel Ackoff that there is a significant difference between doing things right and doing the right things. Continuing to pursue the direction of the past 30 years of effort is simply trying the do the “wrong thing, better”. It is not doing the right thing.
This blog is about the exploration of the right thing. It is about asking big questions, refusing to be satisfied with impatient and overly simplistic analysis, and seeking the best ways to help our children learn how to learn , learn how to do, and learn how to be. It is an invitation to participate in the exploration of what education should mean for kids in 2016 and beyond. It is an invitation to participate not only in the exchange of ideas and, perhaps more importantly, to share examples of what this can look like both for the adults and for the kids.
In this blog you will also be introduced to Quantum Learning, an initiative designed to encourage the exploration and recognition of learning which is taking place beyond the walls of the school. We look forward to hearing from you.