The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

innovation

As a society, we place a premium on innovators and entrepreneurs. They are admired, or for some revered in Business, Politics, and even Education. The reason for that bias is that innovators and entrepreneurs are scarce commodities. Most people are employees and not entrepreneurs. There is nothing wrong with that. Most people follow trends; they don’t start them. There is nothing wrong with that. Few people lead while most people follow. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. On the surface one would expect that in consideration of their rarity and with all of this reverence for innovation and entrepreneurship, that support would abound to propagate and spread innovation within any system, especially one like Education that should model what is the very best in what is expected of its learners. The problem with innovation in any system however, is the same problem with innovation in regard to individuals. Everyone wants change to occur and people even pay great lip service to having change happen, right up to the point where change becomes real. That is the point when the individual MUST change, and then when it comes to this personal commitment, people do not want to change. Everyone wants change to occur for the system, but very few people want to change themselves personally to have that occur.

There are many great ideas in education that are being discussed in the connected community of educators, but not necessarily the education community at large. It is not realistic to expect educators to accept new ideas in their profession if they have not yet discussed them enough to understand them. Of course the role of leadership should include introducing and discussing these ideas within the framework provided by the system. Leaders should be involved in the discussions of problem-based learning, the maker movement, inquiry based learning, and the flipped method, connected collaboration, and design based learning just to mention a few.

If these latest ideas could be discussed and considered building by building as part of an ongoing professional development strategy, it might prepare educators with more tools to move education away from the status quo. If every teacher was encouraged, enabled and supported in trying at least one new form of methodology within an academic year to the extent they were comfortable, we might stand a chance in evolving education. This should be a goal of every administrator within the Education system.

The innovators within the system are already involved and they would need less attention. The bulk of educators however, may be less open to change and more in need of a structured change that would require less, if any self-motivation. We have assumed that this was being accomplished through the Professional Development policies and strategies in place for centuries. Talking with a wide variety of educators across the country I have found very few who are supportive of the professional development they have been offered by their schools throughout their careers in education. Several national polls of teachers have listed PD as a major concern and a disappointment for educators. We may need to innovate a new and more supportive PD system for educators that meets their needs, respects their experiences, provides them a voice, schedules collaborative time with colleagues and enables teachers to experiment without a fear of failure. In short treat them as adult learners and respect them for being professionals. We need to innovate a strategy for personalizing Professional Development.

Change will only happen if it is supported. Support for change will only happen if people are comfortable moving from the safety of the status quo to the insecurity of the unproven new idea. Many people need to be assured of a safety net before they will move to change. Unless our leaders themselves become more innovative and active about innovative Professional Development, the change we all want to herald in will be long in coming. Innovative new ideas in education are not enough by themselves. We need innovative strategies to implement those new ideas.

In the words of Frank Zappa,” Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible”. In my words, “If we are to better educate our kids, we need first to better educate their educators”.

Views: 178

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

David Chiles updated their profile
yesterday
David Chiles posted a video
yesterday
Profile IconKaren D Honeycutt, Jessica J Lenhart, Erin and 11 more joined The Educator's PLN
yesterday
Thomas Whitby's blog post was featured

Where’s the Silver Lining for Education?

With the cloud of the Corona Virus hanging over us and growing by the hour, it is difficult to see any silver lining. Health and safety are our greatest concerns. The stakes are high and the consequences may be fatal to too many. Anything I discuss here shouldIn the past, many discussions by several education leaders have sometimes suggested the idea of education reform…See More
Friday
Thomas Whitby posted a blog post

Where’s the Silver Lining for Education?

With the cloud of the Corona Virus hanging over us and growing by the hour, it is difficult to see any silver lining. Health and safety are our greatest concerns. The stakes are high and the consequences may be fatal to too many. Anything I discuss here shouldIn the past, many discussions by several education leaders have sometimes suggested the idea of education reform…See More
Friday
Christine Hinkley posted an event

OLC Accelerate 2020 at Walt Disneyworld Swan & Dolphin Resort

November 17, 2020 at 8am to November 20, 2020 at 5pm
The OLC Accelerate conference emphasizes the most innovative and impactful research and effective practices in the field of online, digital and blended learning. Supporting administrators, designers, and educators alike, Accelerate offers a comprehensive list of sessions and activities tailored to addressing the challenges and goals of our entire community. Our curation of conference tracks and exhibits promises a cross-section of the prime topics in our field, offering exciting programming…See More
Mar 18
Christine Hinkley updated an event

OLC Innovate 2020 - Virtual Conference at Online

June 15, 2020 to June 26, 2020
Together we will build new foundations for stronger, better higher education environments. And because innovation scales best when ideas are shared, our work sessions will explore digital technologies and adapted teaching behaviors aimed at informing policy, inspiring leadership, and evolving practice at all levels impacting institutions, universities and colleges.See More
Mar 18
Daniela McVicker liked Thomas Whitby's blog post Is Online Learning The Answer For The Coronavirus Closed Schools?
Mar 16

© 2020   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service