There is nothing like deep discussions with thoughtful colleagues to solidify a key idea. Yesterday I got to hang out via video chat for an hour and a half with Bo Adams and Tim Fish, two of that unique group of educators who can both “think big and do small”: develop theory and deep understanding through daily practice.
A key takeaway that I suggest my readers really stew over:
A decade or more ago, conversations about “why” change school were just starting to gain traction. For all practical purposes, that train has left the station.
Over the last 5-7 years there has been increasing refinement, narrowing, and focus on “what” K-12 transformation means. I believe the “deeper learning” syntax and models capture most of what we want great learning to look like in the years ahead. That train is leaving the station.
Now we are designing and putting into practice “how” we transform schools. The process won’t come from the Department of Education, a big publisher, a college school of education, or a think tank. The process is actually underway right now at leading schools and will be accelerated by greater connectivity amongst innovation incubators:
- Individual schools where leaders allow risky prototyping of non-traditional pedagogy without the guarantee that they will succeed
- Amongst consortia of schools that are developing elements of this transformed education paradigm
- By informal back channel groups of educators and non-educators largely connected via social media.
Five years from now is too late to recognize which trains have left the station to to get on board those that are now building up their collective steam.