Disclaimer: This post may seem a little more urgent than usual, but in my opinion the time in now for difficult conversations if we are to create true innovation and change in education. I feel the role of a good leader is to ignite passion and purpose in others, so I hope you’ll have an open mind while reading and this will serve as a call to action.
There is a lot of talk about change and innovation in schools. We all hear people in meetings talk about some new innovative or creative thing they saw or some new initiative that gets everyone excited. I love the excitement, but when I really step back and look at the bigger picture, I sometimes struggle to see what the excitement is all about. When I hear people talk about the changes or innovation that is happening in schools it is usually followed by citing one of these examples….Chromebooks, STEAM education, 1:1 initiatives, Genius Hour, Hybrid Courses, Personalized Learning, etc….There’s a lot of them. Or sometimes, people are excited about a new focus on things like Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Creativity. These things are touted as examples of how education is changing for the better. I’m not necessarily knocking any of these things, but let’s be honest, these are not transformative practices.
I recently heard someone say that “in education we keep trying to do the wrong things right.” We still need to figure out what the right way of educating kids is, but so many of us already agree there is a better way, so we need to stop trying to do the wrong things right and start envisioning a new system. Society is changing so much and technological advances are leading us into a new industrial revolution, where jobs and careers will be dramatically different than they are now. If we want true innovation and lasting change, we all need to take action and work to transform our system, no matter how much work is involved or how uncomfortable it makes us. This type of change is on a grand level which will include industry leaders, higher education leaders, and legislatures, but most societal shifts start from grassroots movements…That’s us! Let’s push for change…The kids deserve it!