Critical Transformations, ASCD’s 2010 Annual Conference, in San Antonio, TX.
Major seismic shifts can transform instructors, and by proxy, instruction. However, more often than not, it’s just the opposite.
Slight shifts cumulatively lead to substantive change.
In looking to critically transform how we teach, learn and administer our education system, the get-’er-done-quick-n-big approach often leads to a horse race mentality.
“Achievement on the first turn, picking up the pace. Performance lags on the straight away, lengthening the gap between States and Standards. District X is pulling ahead, while Schools falls behind. Proficiency, rounding the final turn, looking strong, but oh-no, a slip on tricky patch of poor teaching and. . .”
It gets tiring. (Plus, I’m beginning to suspect that it is the politicians placing the bets and setting the odds.)
Instead, when we focus on attaining stated, achievable goals we find that at the intersection of opportunity and possibility, a flooded riverbed can become the River Walk.
Transforming education and how we teach matters. It’s called growth, and it begins with a small acts.
Sometimes the most profound catalysts are tiny:
- Shifts in how we perceive this generation of students. (via @ASCD_Inservice)
- Stoking the fire of efficacy and our belief in each student. (via @ASCD_Inservice)
- Implementing just one project. (via @bengrey)
- Reflecting on and incorporating some tenets of effective leadership. (via @JasonFlom)
- Building bridges beyond the classroom/school walls. (via @angelamaiers)
- Learning new tools that change how we view our surroundings. (via @edteck)
- Embracing students’ love of games. (via @vgloucester)
- Exploring the possibilities of connective technology to ensure learning for all. (via @beckyfisher73, @paulawhite, @kwmarcus1)
- Take the “Nothing is Impossible” leap of faith. (via @bjnichols)
- Looking ahead and charting a course. (via @ASCD)
- Incorporating some aspect of Globalization into learning. (via @stevejmoore & @JasonFlom)
- Mixing up the traditional with imagery. (via @glovely)
- Being ever mindful of our language. (via @joe_bower)
- Fighting, always, for the Whole Child. (via @WholeChildAdv)
- Learning does matter. (via @John_Merrow)
Transformation unseats the status quo. Unsettling the status quo necessitates leaving our comfort zones, and risks failure. However failure, if utilized properly, can be as powerful a teacher as success. Sometimes even more so.
As educators & leaders we must provide safe and supportive environments for those in our charge — be they students, teachers, or principals — to take the chances that lead to new heights.
It is in the realm of the unknown (where we can pursue dreams and push our limits) that we begin to critically transform what is into what can be.
(My apologies to all the great people and resources that deserve to be included. I could not include everything. In this age of data deluge, it’s just not possible. Was not intentional. Please include additional resources in the comments, please.)