For those of you that know me, you know I like change. I have experienced a lot of change in my educational life and I truly think I have benefited from it. I believe our current system of education needs to change. The factory system of education is no longer meeting the needs of our learners or our society. Within the province of Alberta, the change in education has been driven by Inspiring Education. Here is a good summary of Inspiring Education:
A common term used in Inspiring Education, and other arenas of education, is transformation. As I already mentioned I am a believer of change, but I am not excited about the term transformation. When I hear transformation I think of a dramatic, almost unrecognizable change. When I hear transformation, I think of the caterpillar into the butterfly:
For me, education is not in transformation. It is definitely changing, but in 25 years we will still be able to recognize the school (unlike the transformation of the caterpillar). Although the inside structures and learning environments will be quite different, the infrastructure of the school is probably not leaving us. Last year a speaker challenged a room of administrators to think of one public institution in history that has transformed – I am still thinking of an answer.
If not transformation, what is the change we are seeing in education? Some of my peers bring up reform. Reform is simply the the fine tuning of the factory, improving the factory to make it more productive. Education definitely needs more than a fine tuning.
Not transformation, not reform, then what? In a world and profession that is often hung up on labels we need to focus on the idea. I may not like the label transformation, but I sure agree with the idea of it. The idea that learning needs to be anywhere, anytime, and at any pace. The idea that schools must address the needs of all learners, that there must be a high degree of student autonomy and purpose. So please do not get hung up on what the change in education is called. For the betterment of our schools and the learning of our students, I do hope all our stakeholders embrace the idea!
Other than the term transformed, I like this quote from Sir Ken Robinson:
Whether we call it transformation, reformation, or personalized learning – embrace the idea of change to improve learning.