What role does discussion play to facilitate change?
Who facilitates change?
What's the worth of a strategy?
Michael Fullan speaks often of change dynamics, and I have had many conversation revolving around this topic. My goal is to pull quite of bit of information from this session and apply it where I work.
A process I use often is to ask the "What if?" question to teachers causing them to think away from their normal thinking and pedagogical practices. This technique has allowed me to engage in deep conversations disrupting long held traditions. Change is the outcome and innovative thinking and as born within educators.
A more difficult influence is the whole school. Getting a school culture to move away from its tradition as a grassroots effort needs a battle plan; a way to move educators off their block to a brand new one.
These kind of goals may be scary to staff not accustomed to being this specific or this in-depth. I love these kinds of goals. It creates a plan to achieve in a short statement.
This creates a stimulus of change needed to push action forward. Clarity in the statement creates urgency and the urgency is essential to facilitate change.
Discussion is good, very good. Discussion without action is passive work. More often than not a great deal of talk takes place around sound educational ideas rarely moving into action.
Discussion creates a verbal platform from which to jump, but taking the leap to an actionable plan is imperative. Without the action change is theory.
Someone with a vision facilitates change. This could be the educator or administrator. Leaving out ego is important to achieving effective and sustainable change. Collaboration is the essential tool listening to various voices rounding out the vision.
If we allow a strictly top-down or bottom-up approach to thrive, educators and administrators will feel threatened. It is the "meet in the middle" mentality that fosters innovation because the table is open to ideas and creative solutions.
I mentioned earlier that one method of change is to drop in ideas little by little to cause differentiated thinking.
What stimulates change?
The word comes up often enough. A strategy is only as good as the result it gets. A strategy doesn't have to be perfect in its first iteration. It should get better as a result of its critical analysis. No strategy is ever proven until it is knocked around for awhile. Poking holes in it shouldn't be considered not liking it, just he opposite.
As educators, can we see the worth of another's strategy? Is it too easy to say it won't work? Do we immediately flail the idea or delve into the intent looking for the good? Saying, "That won't work." is the nail in the coffin of innovation, creativity, and building a community.
What's the worth? The individual prescribes worth to the strategy.
Presenters: Chris Lehmann and Diana Laufenberg
Scott is an instructional coach for BBHCSD helping educators shift instructional practices to design effective, student-centered instruction in a 1:1 and blended learning environment. He presents and speaks to audiences locally, statewide, and nationally. Scott is active on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and Flipboard.
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