Vision and Strategy

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The Wayne Gretzky Dilemma For Schools

Wayne Gretzky famously said. "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been".  How about a corollary for schools: "Design schools for the future, not for today". This sounds embarrassingly obvious, yet it is not. This morning I read an article about the 11,000 student Carlsbad School District on the [...]

Real Change, Even in the First Year of a New School Leader

Four years ago when I published #EdJourney, I posited that significant changes at individual schools might take place over a period of 3-15 years, depending on leadership, intentionality, and focus.  I have really never seen an example of significant change (other than in schools where a wolf is at the door) in the first year [...]

Harvey Is the New Normal Unless We Address Global Warming

It was about 40 years ago that I sat in Prof. Jim Ingle's oceanography class at Stanford as he described the ebb and flow of climate patterns throughout geologic time.  With a waving of arms he talked about the rise and fall of sea levels and massive changes in rainfall patterns, each arm flap covering [...]

The Best Reality Learning “Game” Ever?

Students learn best when they are wrestling with problems in which they find relevance, in which the intrinsic motivation to learn outpaces the extrinsic motivation of a higher grade.  What if we took them into a real-life disaster movie, one where the nerdy scientists predict the end of the world, politicians yell at each other, some [...]

Leveraging Your Voice to Transform Education

As I started to think about how to launch my new book, Moving the Rock, I came cross Thunderclap, a fascinating crowdsourcing site.  It is not about raising money; it is about raising our collective voice.  The idea is simple: propose an idea; set a target of gathering other people who share your idea; and [...]

Vanishing Shopping Malls Are a Big Warning Sign for Schools

Most students in school today have never played, and certainly never bought, a music CD.  Within a few years after Apple launched the iTunes store a decade ago, sales of CD’s in America had dropped by something like 80%. A similar radical mutation is taking place right now in retail shopping, with widespread shuttering across America [...]

What Kind of Leaders Are We Raising?

Does your school value students who exhibit character, grit, and leadership?  Is it in your mission to develop these traits in your students?  Probably, and rightly so.  But as I and others have urged educators to step back and think deeply about the meaning of the word “grit”, an important article by Susan Cain, writing in [...]

How Will Educators Deal With the “Death of Expertise”?

A primary role of education is to give students the skill and wisdom to know how to gain knowledge. A key element of that process for centuries has been the reliance on experts who have invested enormous time, money, and intellectual resources in gaining knowledge and understanding that is deeper, more detailed, and often more [...]

Think You Know Disruptive Innovation? Read On!

From Dumaguete City, Negros Island, Philippines Changing what we do in schools is uncomfortable, even hard sometimes, certainly complex.  But as you ponder the “why, what, and how” of change at your school, in your district, or by your community, as you struggle with the inevitable discomfort and disruptions, take a look at what REALLY complex [...]