In the first chapter of his book Stratosphere, Michael Fullan sets the stage as to how we can create the invisible synergy needed to foster deep learning and lasting impact through the integration of technology, pedagogy and change knowledge.
When we want to implement change, we often feel like it is a long never ending process. These changes can make us feel disconnected as if we cannot hold on to the present. In his book Stratosphere Fullan says that “We need the capacity to keep up – to periodically grasp the ungraspable.” (Fullan, 2013, p. 3) How can we grasp the ungraspable? It might be impossible to understand all changes and their impacts, but it does not mean we should not try, hold on and let go when it is no longer relevant. As educators take on the role of learners, they “…continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.” (https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators) Contrary to what was once believed, teachers do not have all the knowledge. They too must continue their learning journey and adapt to new realities.
Change is inevitable but can be made easier, when “it proffers experiences that are engaging, precise, and specific.” (Fullan, 2013, p. 3) Also, by empowering leaders from the middle to “unleashes badly needed innovation…” (Fullan, 2013, p. 26) To improve our current situation, as Fullan mentions, “The current system is too costly, too ineffective, and as any kid will tell you, deadly boring.” (Fullan, 2013, p. 5) In turn, “We have to stop thinking of education as something that is delivered to us and instead see it as something we create for ourselves.” (Couros, 2015) Administrators, teachers and students need to take ownership of their education. In conclusion, it might be tiring trying to hold on to change but resisting it would be most.
When Fullan says that “The current system is too costly, too ineffective, and as any kid will tell you, deadly boring.” (Fullan, 2013, p. 5) I wonder. How could it be different? It is easy to fall in the negativity trap and see our system as broken beyond repair. It is not perfect, but it never will be. We have to see these challenges as an opportunity to improve by tackling difficult questions. How could we reduce the current costs of education? How can we make school more effective? How can we engage and empower students in their learning? By acknowledging the challenges, asking difficult questions and by trying new and innovative solutions we will be able to positively transform education.
Considering that our education system is not and will never be perfect, if it could be transformed to better empower students and teachers in the world, what would this system look like? How do you imagine it would be better? What challenges would you try to tackle to improve our current system? What resources would we need in order to create this system? What would be the costs associated with this change? Would it be sustainable?
Our current world is evolving at such a fast pace that teachers and administrators have a hard time keeping up with the changes. How could we facilitate this change by creating a positive experience that is engaging, precise and specific?
Couros, G. (2015). 5 questions to drive personal-professional learning. [Website]. Retrieved from http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/5338
Fullan, M. (2013). Stratosphere: Integrating technology, pedagogy, and change knowledge– Chapter 1 – The Journey. Don Mills, ON: Pearson.
Fullan, M. (2015). Leading from the middle. Canadian Education Association, 55(4), 22-26. Retrieved from http://michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/LeadershipfromtheMiddle_EdCan_v55no4.pdf
International Society for Technology in Education. (2018). ISTE national educational technology standards (NETS). International Society for Technology in Education Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educator