2011 has been a fantastic year for me and I am excited about what 2012 will bring.
I left teaching about 12 years ago, disenchanted with a system that was bogged down in traditional thinking, I didn’t know the term ‘industrial-era’ back then. I could see that school was becoming disconnected from the real world and believed it could be much better, a place where students could be intrinsically motivated and passionately engaged. To do that I knew radical change was needed and I felt very alone in my conviction.
Technology and the global agitation for change has brought many passionate educators together.
While we still have a way to go I am encouraged by the groundswell movement witnessed this year. We are empowered to push change when we feel part of something bigger. This global community of passionate educators gives encouragement – we are not alone in our quest.
So as we approach 2012 I feel that we are getting close to a tipping point, a term popularised by Malcolm Gladwell in his book of the same name.
The concept of a tipping point emerged from the field of science:
- The point at which a system is displaced from a state of stable equilibrium into a different state
- When an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development
“The term is said to have originated in epidemiology when an infectious disease reaches a point beyond any local ability to control it from spreading more widely. A tipping point is often considered to be a turning point.”
During 2012, I believe we will approach the tipping point. So in the tradition of “I have a dream” here is my dream for school…
|SCHOOL AS IT WAS…||SCHOOL AS IT BECOMES…|
|An educational institution||An authentic learning community|
|Knowledge fed from a central source||Sparking curiosity to explore|
|Disconnected from real life||It is real life|
|Dependent on resources provided||Creator of resources to share|
|Uniform in its physical design||Flexible in its physical design|
|Defined hours in a day||Fluid across time|
|Dependent on the teacher’s knowledge||Open to many sources of knowledge|
|Technology as a subject||Technology as an environment|
|Teacher in control||Teacher as co-learner|
|Reflecting society’s expectation||An individual’s passion is ignited|
The next steps?
- Help our politicians and government education authorities know that we can do both – have high academic standards AND passionately engage all learners
- Work with teacher education bodies to think differently about preparing the next generation of teacher
- Encourage parents to understand that their own school experiences won’t be the best education for their children
- Support teachers to be valued as professionals, and help them as their role changes
- Equip and empower school leaders for the new millennium
Stay connected, tweet, blog, join local teachmeets and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
As the Pantene shampoo commercial used to say: It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.