Sunday, January 31, 2016

Culture Trumps Strategy ... so how to change Culture?

I've been attending +Educon at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia the past two days. This conference brings teachers from across North America who share a vision of what schools can be. I attended a talk entitled, " Culture Trumps Strategy, Every Time".

The easy part is recognizing schools need to change. The hard part is convincing people to give up familiar routines and practices. How do we enhance the positive elements of a school culture to encourage risk-taking?

Matt Frahm and Anneke Radin Snaith from Naples Central School Disctrict led a workshop on this challenging topic.

Their point is the world is dramatically changing. But what will school look like?
In other words, what will the world look like when our Kindergarteners graduate from college and will schools change to match it?

We can't be all things to all people. So be clear about what you stand for argues Matthew Frahm, Superintendent of Naples School District. How do you create clarity in order to avoid "random acts of improvement"?

As I write this, I sit in a roomful of 50+ teachers who embrace learning 2.0, or 21st century education. All want change; most feel frustrated. But the group can't really decide how to break through the barriers stopping change.

Some feel we need to impose it upon people. Others feel it needs to be community driven. What do you think? I simplify this debate. But ultimately, don't leaders need to lead? 

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