At the end of #YRDSBQuest, Michael Fullan told the educators in attendance that they need to go back and challenge the status quo.
I am documenting the ongoing conversation about how to do this safely.
We rarely talk about it, but in our work, many educators have told us they won’t blog because they are afraid it will show others “what they don’t know”. They see leaders in education as people who will label them as being inappropriate for leadership roles.
We talk a lot about how we want a growth mindset for our students, yet conversations with aspiring leaders demonstrate that challenging leaders can result in a label – “not moving up in this organization”.
How do we build a system that values challenge to the status quo? How do we challenge the status quo without jeopardizing our careers in the current environment?
Below is the conversation currently developing. Please add to the conversation and help push our thinking about how we can best effect change – how those wanting to challenge can do so effectively.
You can continue to follow the tweet replies here. We encourage you to also join the conversation by commenting on the blog.
After reading through the whole book quickly, I sat down to dig more deeply into some of the ideas, and I was stopped on the very first page. It’s here that Jenni discusses the two different types of challenges we face as educators.
“Technical” challenges are those we face regularly, and where we have set protocols and solutions to come to the resolution we are looking for. We have the capacity and will to solve them as part of our daily work.
“Adaptive” challenges, on the other hand, are challenges that require new learning. They are problems that old solutions don’t work for any more, or new challenges that we don’t know how to address. In order to tackle these new challenges, we need to rethink what we believe to be true.
We have to “adopt new values and beliefs” (p. 1) before we can solve adaptive challenges.
As the world continues to change at an exponential pace, educators face more and more adaptive challenges. The old models of “school” don’t work in our connected world, and our methods must evolve to support our students to thrive in today’s reality.
Adaptive change is particularly difficult because it requires that we reconstruct our understanding of our work.
As we work together to solve adaptive challenges, our thinking changes, and our way of doing business changes with it. As we adapt to these new challenges, it changes us.
For me, one of my greatest personal challenges is engaging leaders in the notion that connecting, sharing, and learning together – modelling the change we want to see in our students’ learning – is important and worthwhile.
This simple explanation of adaptive challenges, and the fundamental change in thinking and acting that must accompany our response, helps me to better understand the difficulties we face in trying to adapt an entire system to the realities of the world today.
How are you adapting to new challenges in education?