“If school change is not systematic and systemic, it is interesting, appealing, and maybe exciting, but not, ultimately, important.” I just sent out that Tweet, and it can sound as if little changes don’t matter, as if I fail to recognize that small changes, taken together, are the pioneering elements of systemic change. That is not the case. Small attempts do matter; but ultimately if we don’t coalesce those campfires into something systemic, we will leave out in the cold every child who is not sitting next to one of the warming fires of deeper learning.
I had a wonderful, long chat with Ted Fujimoto today. I won’t reprise his impressive resume; you can explore the work of Ted and his colleagues at the Landmark Consulting Group. What Ted and I focused on was our complete alignment that American education has a narrow window in which to radically scale the deeper learning renaissance of the last decade. We believe that a significant minority of K-12 stakeholders desperately want to break out of the industrial model of learning, but they do not have large scale, ready access to models for how to do that systemically, systematically, and sustainably. We have to provide high-level incubation for that growing, energetic minority.
Via the Landmark site you can access networks of schools that ARE crossing the bridge to deeper learning that prepares our students for their futures in the 21st Century. Some of these schools may be just around the corner or across town. Why not go visit and see what “it” looks like? Why not ask “what does my school or district need to do to look more like that?” You don’t have to reinvent a single wheel; all you have to do is decide to move…and the rest is all out there ready for you and your teams to grab, steal, borrow, leverage, refine, and implement.
Does this sound like advertising for Ted and his consulting group? Why not? They are doing great work that seems to align with much of my thinking…and I am only one person. I think Ted and I agree: our goals are not about the ego of who you work with or how you get “there”, but about getting “there” for our kids and the future of our country.
Over the next period of time I hope to be able to let you know that I am focusing much of my attention and work on this issue of scale. We can solve the problem of schools stuck in the industrial age one at a time or dozens at a time and still lose the war by a landslide. We have to bring successful school innovation models to scale in what can only be described as a radical moonshot. So that is what we are going to do.