The more things change, the more things stay the same…
Reflecting on our flag debate (debacle?) in NZ has made me think about change in our society, particularly in the education sector.
Grant Lichtman’s TED talk, which I watched for my NZ Mind Lab course inspired me to re-label change as uncomfortable, rather than hard. This tiny change in itself I’m finding hard! I am so used to talking about how hard it is for teachers to change their teaching. I’m finding it hard enough to change my own, and I want to change it! Well, not all of it, but some parts.
But uncomfortable is a better epithet to use, as it makes you want to make the change – it implies to me, that once you get past the uncomfortable part, it will be comfortable and workable for our students (then there will be a next change that we should try – teaching and learning is a constant evolution – as is life).
To call it hard encourages us teachers to stop trying. Some will keep going of course, but they may be lone nuts for a long while. Teaching is difficult (Not just uncomfortable…yes, I said it!) and time consuming. Often if something is hard, we will not continue, particularly if the alternative is known, and well, easy. (easier…) So, if change is considered hard, well, you see where I’m going with this.
So, what can be done? Something must be done. And we must start now. Education 3.0 (as seen in this clip from Mark Osborne) should be happening for our students today.
I know I seem to be asking a lot more questions that giving any real answers at the moment. Hey, I’m new to this blogging thing, and at the moment, questions are most of what I’ve got.
One thing I do think might be part of the answer is; that there needs to be widespread professional development going on for all teachers around modern learning pedagogy. You can’t change what you don’t know needs changing. Some excellent teachers remain in their single cells working away perfectly well, and succeeding for many of their students. You don’t know what you don’t know. The teachers need to know the why behind it all. As do parents and the students themselves.
Once we all have the same, or at least a similar vision of where education should be going, we might have a less uncomfortable journey getting there.