Vision for Everyone

Just like Wesley Fryer did for this post, I too will cross-post a comment.

Your vision of leadership (or perhaps just the one that we are talking about now) is something of an enigma to many people. The idea of articulating what the believe in does not strike most people as the best way to spend an evening. It is, however, the only way that we will move forward. It is the way that next steps become possible. Only after the process of reflecting upon what you believe will really be able to see if it goes against what I believe. When you haven’t analyzed your own thoughts on education, when you lack vision, anyone’s vision will do.

I would take this even further, now. Everyone should be going through this process, not just “leaders.” All educators should have vision and be able to articulate it well. It gets everything out on the table and allows for a high level of discourse. There is no way to persuade someone to change unless they know what they are changing from.

So, how do we get everyone to articulate their visions? Assigning it is inauthentic. Dictating it is counterintuitive. It has to come from a place of passion. It has to come from the heart.

Any Thoughts?

0 Comments

  1. Ben: Thanks for the cross-post. The key to all of this is dialog and conversation. I think this gets to the heart of what it means to be a “reflective practitioner,” which used to be part of the motto of the college of education at Texas Tech before I went to work there. (I didn’t change the motto, a new dean did I think.)

    Part of the answer here is making the case for change. A lot of times I find myself talking about new tools, new strategies, new ideas for content creation and collaboration, but probably not spending enough time “making the case” that things need to change. That is a working assumption during many presentations I hear at edtech conferences and in many of the conversations going on out here in the edublogosphere. I think it is naive to assume all understand or buy into the need for change, however. I articulated a few of what might be main talking points in “making this case” today on a presentation wiki I worked on. This is what I wrote and linked:

    ENGAGEMENT: The goal of enthralling students for 8 hours per day is a pipe dream. Our goal should be ENGAGING students rather than ENTRALLING learners with lecture, paper and pencil exercises, their textbooks, and fear-based approaches to motivation and operant conditioning

    RESEARCHED-BASED METHODS FOR IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING / ACHIEVEMENT: See “Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement ” by Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, Jane E. Pollock (How are these research-based “best practices” supported with blended learning methodologies and tools?)

    DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING: Essential for ALL learners, deepest and widest possibilities are via blended learning

    AUDIENCE: Changing perceptions of audience can change everything.

    REAL WORLD SKILLS: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills and other groups have articulated compelling reasons why the workforce of the 21st century requires more skills than the classroom model of the 19th century can provide.

    I think top down leadership IS a key part of all this, and can’t be ignored, but there are ways to advance this agenda besides appealing to positional school leaders, speaking to them, writing to them, or trying to join their ranks formally. One key is being noticed. That is where I think student publication of work in interactive, public, digital spaces comes in, along with collaboration. What we are talking about here is CULTURAL change, and that doesn’t happen fast. Is there a “tipping point” for cultural change when it comes to digitally engaged learning, or whatever term we want to give this. (I agree the term IS important, btw.) I am not sure. 1:1 learning contexts can be a tipping point, but only if the administrative leadership and vision for pedagogic change is there too. It isn’t always.

    This is really a BIG and important question. I don’t have the answers and I’m probably talking too much. I’m eager to hear others’ views on this.

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