There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. ~ Niccolo Machiavelli
Innovation in education is a popular topic these days. Ideas about reforming public education abound–some advocating relatively minor adaptations to our current instructional practices, others, wholesale pedagogical changes. One thing that all seem to agree upon: if public education is going to be a viable solution for our students, change is inevitable.
Readers of this blog will likely deduce that I am an advocate of a much more dramatic approach to school reform, one in which we reexamine our current practices–questioning the purpose and potential of everything (see An Educational Eye Exam). We have to change how we look at our instruction, how we incorporate technology, how we engage students as “creators” in the educational process and even reconsider the skills necessary for our students to be successful in an ever-changing world (Five Skills for 21st Century Learners). Jonathan Martin discusses another systemic change strategy in education–flipped classrooms–in his post entitled, Reverse Instruction: Dan Pink and Karl’s “Fisch Flip”.
Of course, this type of change is not easy for anyone–educators or students. Our current methods of “conducting school” have become so ingrained, that it is often difficult to even get a view from outside of the box. It is unfortunate, but many of our kids associate school with eight hours of detached and irrelevant activities–an unwanted break from creativity and pursuing personal interests. That needs to change.
As Greg Whitby discusses in the following video, we are in need of a new educational DNA. One in which students have ample opportunity to research, create, collaborate and problem solve. In order to do this, we must be willing to rethink the teaching profession and our professional development methods.
The key to the success of our public schools likely rests in our ability to make these “DNA” alterations. We are on our way, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times. ~ Niccolo Machiavelli