Microadjustments to the current system are insufficient

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effective implementation cannot be done by making microadjustments to the current system. We cannot, for instance, install project-based learning as a new layer on top of the standard instructional approaches we have. We cannot squeeze real teacher development into three annual inservice days and a monthly faculty meeting. Each of the strategies requires us to rethink and redesign the whole system from the ground up and build it collaboratively.

And all of this has to take place while we continue to teach kids and continue to feel the relentless pressure from outside our walls for unfaltering and ever-increasing improvement. The risk associated with those foundational changes increases every year, and most schools have not been able (or willing) to risk the possibility of the unknown. When given the choice between something that has been at least moderately successful (the status quo) and something with no guarantees for improvement, we choose the safe route.

Gerald Aungst via http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/6648

1 comment on this post.
  1. Jay Cole Simser:

    Good points, After 38 years of teaching elementary school and working with all kinds of teachers I found that the premise hit a nerve. Changes to the system will come slowly. The one thing which I have seen gives me hope. I watched my nephew, Jon Jackson go through teacher preparation and student teaching and realized that what he is learning about teaching today is so very superior to what I was taught 40 years ago that it give me hope. I had to try things out by myself to learn to teach students how to work together in collaborative projects and how to allow them the freedom to choose some of their own paths in learning. His students (or rather the students of his classmates) will have superior teachers. It will take time but eventually it will come. There is no magic powder to change the system in a moment. Change comes slowly.

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