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something new

September 4, 2012

If you’re going to start doing something new, you’re going to have to stop doing something old.

Peter Drucker

The imperative to do “something new” is urged on educators through change management research, and reinforced via accountability measures: My School, NAPLAN, MSE testing, national curriculum, gifted aptitude tests. Perhaps the relentless pressure of and for change obscures positive features of school improvement.

CC image source

Let’s begin with what IS relatively new and effective:

  • collaborative learning practice
  • classroom management strategies (bump theory), especially where relational features and choices are emphasised
  • shifts in the way we understand motivation
  • perceiving fixed mindsets as mutable -> growth mindset can be enabled
  • developments in neuroscience have yielded insights to brain functioning
  • networked learning as we transition into 1 to 1 learning communities where learners’ curiosity and passion drive curriculum innovation

So what do we stop doing?

  • relying on outmoded coping strategies (fear, blame, passivity, resistance….)

You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety

CC image source Scott McLeod

Courage! I’ll leave the final message to Shakespeare:

If we should fail?

Lady Macbeth:
We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking place,
And we’ll not fail.

Macbeth Act 1, scene 7, 59–61

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2012 11:52 pm

    Such a good question–what do we stop doing? Every time my Admin makes a brilliant suggestion of what to shoe-horn into my curriculum, I ask that. Love those organic discussions.

    • September 16, 2012 9:21 am

      Thanks, Jacqui.

      This came up at our workshop session yesterday; we need to stop practicing the ineffective, and innovate to avoid pitfalls. One key concern is leaders seeming to ask for continual expansion of teachers’ roles/ duties.

      Raised awareness is a start, I suppose. Refining practice is the next step.

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