This is the first, of what I hope will be followed by many more, postings to support like-minded people interested in helping our systems of public education to move forward.
From the outset, I would like to clarify that the opinions expressed in this, and the additional blogs to follow, are expressly my own. They do not necessarily represent any other particular person or organization. Like you, my own background and belief structures cause me to view the world of education in my own unique way. And, as I have come to appreciate in my 25 years (time flies!) of applied research and planning , everyone has a valid and unique viewpoint of education because everyone has personally experienced some form of formal education; many to their general satisfaction and many, perhaps, not so much.
Nor should any of the information or opinions expressed in these posts be interpreted as a denunciation of public education. Far from it, I believe that public education has much to be proud of and, without exception, continues to be the single most influential institution to shape the long term viability of our communities.
But let’s think for a moment about the rapid change we are all living with and what it all means with respect to public education. We are readily aware, for example, that social media has now become the norm of communication for our children. So, outside of the school and classroom, our students are communicating with each other across far reaching global networks that hold enormous potential for interesting and engaging learning that can be aligned with jurisdictional curricular expectations. But inside the school and classroom, most students are still expected to comply with systems for learning that originated in a different era, for a different purpose, many decades ago.
I realize, of course, that this is not new information. It is a regular topic of discussion both inside and outside the walls of academia. For example, Sir Ken Robinson and Daniel Pink have become popular sources of inspiration for many educational organizations. But I also continue to notice how many parents and students struggle to navigate their unique needs though largely antiquated“top-down” systems of educational service delivery with often complicated, competing and diverse issues. Nonetheless, it is always encouraging to remind ourselves that we all share a common desire to continually improve public education because we collectively agree on the value it offers to our children, our communities, and to our global future as a whole. So if we all seemingly agree that there is a challenge that needs to be addressed, why does the change seem so difficult to put in place? And what is the change that we are looking for really look like anyway? These are the underlying questions that have caused me to begin this networking process because, as I will expand upon in future postings, I believe that we are on the precipice of a huge paradigm shift in how education is being demanded and received by parents and their children. This is because, for the first time in the history of education, our parents and students are becoming increasingly empowered to choose from a wide array of global communication alternatives that meet their individual educational needs.
So, it is now incumbent upon our public community schools to either find new ways to meet this new form of empowerment for personalized service or fall by the wayside. This is new to education. It’s never happened before, and it’s happening quickly. We need to speed up the transformation process, beginning now. Keep reading.