Thursday, December 06, 2007
Caffeinated Showering Revelations
I love the first hour of the day: quietly crunching down Cheerios, reading the online NYTimes, no distractions, dark french roast, hot shower. This morning I had something of an epiphany about how to feel more progress in school change process. For years I've been working within tech departments to create conditions for changing classroom dynamics towards more student-active, authentic, creative, thought-provoking, project-creation, problem-solving activities. I've always also worked with curricular and professional development coordinators, department chairs and the faculty. My realization this morning is that expecting change to originate from within the tech dept is a misplaced conception. We know that change comes slowly, is a "messy" process, and requires collaborative relationships of trust. We have to build consensus, demonstrate proof-of-concept, and celebrate successes. Keeping the network flowing stably and abundantly through the infrastructure wires is important, but it's only the stepping off place, and not the engine that will drive meaningful improvement. So this leaves me thinking it's time to focus more change efforts on the curricular coordinators and avoid the trap of pushing the tech department to take on a task like this for which it is ill-designed.