Champion educators: There’s a place for boulders, but who are the new pebbles on the beach? #rethinkingPD

2013-09-05 04.19.01
I enjoy my Twitter community. I personalise my use to my interest, seeking out fresh voices of education, practitioners and leaders who are in the day-to-day business of great learning and leading. We all know the big names  – but who are the day-to-day expert voices, the real thought-leaders who are working with kids and leading great schools, making a difference in the lives of young people.

In his book We Think social commentator, Charles Leadbeater uses the metaphor of the beach, (obviously it’s an English beach, there aren’t any pebbles on an Australian seashore).

The scene would have resembled a large, sandy beach, with crowds organised around a few very large boulders. These boulders are the big media companies.

These boulders came into being because media had high fixed costs – print plants for newspapers and studios for television… Rolling a new boulder onto the beach took lots of people, money and machinery…

Now imagine the scene on the same beach in five years time. A few very big boulders are still showing, but many have been drowned by a rising tide of pebbles. As you stand surveying the beach every minute hundreds of thousands of people come to drop their pebbles. Some of the pebbles they drop are very small; a blog post or a comment on YouTube. Others are larger such as a video… A bewildering array of pebbles in different sizes, shapes and colours are being laid down the whole time, in no particular order, as people feel like it.

Pebbles are the new business. The new kinds of organisations  being bred by the web are all in the pebble business… Oddly some of the tiniest pebbles seem more powerful than the biggest boulders… the dynamic growing business is with the pebbles.

Attending the big headline events is more about the edu-rock star boulder-experience. It is inspiring to be in the same room with SKR speaking live on a screen from the middle of the night in the US or other international edu-celebrities. It still reinforces the one-to-many experience of learning and the sense of the big picture community is fun and exciting. But does this experience change practice?

There is so much to learn from the great practitioners, but who are they and where is their platform for influence.

Join with me to pick up the pebbles on the beach. Let’s find the great inspiring and humble practitioner and give them a voice. These are the true champions.

Who is your champion educator who should have a voice to a larger audience? Tweet me.


2 thoughts on “Champion educators: There’s a place for boulders, but who are the new pebbles on the beach? #rethinkingPD

  1. A great blog post Anne. As an aspiring leader it’s nice to read a post like this. Sometimes it’s the smallest pebbles that have the biggest impact. Was thinking as I was reading about throwing boulders and pebbles across the water. Boulders just sink to the bottom- pebbles skim across the water beautifully. I know a few pebbles that are amazing ( eg @rhonimcfarlane) some of our most influential educators and leaders are pebbles. Thanks for a great read and inspiring so many aspiring leaders with your posts and work.


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