In reinventing education five fundamental and interdependent shifts need to occur;
- The first shift is the shift from a focus on the efficiency of “the system” to one of putting students first.
This is a shift from running the system for the sake of the system (“You study what we tell you to study, when we tell you, and how we tell you, and at a pace that we determine”) to a focus on the ultimate goal of learning (“Our goal is to inspire our students to become life-long learners with a love of education.” All parties which include teachers, administrators, unions, parents, and students need to embrace the goal.
- The second shift is from imparting a static package of knowledge to a dynamic goal of being able to create knowledge and deploy skills to new situations
whatever they turn out to be. In this world, teaching by transfer of information doesn’t work well. Instead, the role of teachers (and parents) becomes one of enabling and inspiring the students to learn, so as to spark the energies and talents of the students.
In this world, the administrators have to realize that managing the teachers through a traditional hierarchy isn’t going to work anymore. The role of the administrator has to shift from being a controller to an enabler, so as to liberate the energies and talents of the teachers and remove impediments that are getting in the way of their work.
Instead of the teacher or the administrator being the judge of progress, there are explicit criteria where both the students and the teachers can understand themselves how they are doing (in real-time) and thus learn how to improve.
- The mode of coordination and accountability also needs to shift from management and executive options to dynamic linking, i.e. to a way of dynamically linking the education system to self-driven learning of the students. One of the great achievements of the modern organization was disciplined execution with scalability.
Instead, what is needed is an approach called “dynamic linking”. It means that (a) the work is done in short cycles; (b) the teacher sets the goals of learning for the cycle. (c) decisions about how the learning is to take place is the responsibility of the students; (d) progress is measured in terms of the questions the students need to be able to generate not just the answers that they are able to regurgitate; (e) students can measure their own progress they aren’t dependent on the teacher’s tests.
- There has to be a shift from value to values which means a shift from a single-minded preoccupation with economic value and maximizing efficiency to one of instilling the values that will create a passion for continuous learning over time.
- Communications shift from command to conversation a shift from top-down communications comprising predominantly management directives to horizontal conversations, that guide on the side that helps the student discover new resources, solve problems, and generate new insights.
To learn more about this Shift, Join the Edves Virtual Conference themed Reinvent. The date is Saturday 6th June 2020. The time is 10 am +1 GMT. To register visit https://catalyst.edves.net/register