Slide – Incremental change


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[from Clarence Fisher, Literacy as Battleground (and Miguel Guhlin!)]

14 Responses to “Slide – Incremental change”

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Only the foolhardy try to jump 20 foot chasms. It’s a leader’s job to build bridges.


  3. Does anyone jump chasms with a strong risk of failure without knowing if they can do it first (or at least practicing the jump in a non-risky environment)?

    Trying a real-live jump like this could take “No Child Left Behind” to a new level!

  4. Scott,

    Can we get this on the Quotes group in Flickr?

  5. I agree with both Doug and Barry. No decent teacher is going to lead a class off the cliff, so to speak. They need the training and support, bridges or scaffolding, to get to where we need to go in a less risk intensive manner.


  6. Okay, the slide wasn’t intended to imply leading staff / students off a cliff into a ravine! It was meant to illustrate that major revolutions require more than incremental change.

    Hmmm… gotta work on the clarity of my message!

  7. Don’t listen to these dullards, Scott! *I* knew exactly what you meant!!


    Running for cover,

    P.S. Seriously, I got it instantly because I re-read the comment in context. . .change needs to be like that…all once, not in small bites. Otherwise, it never happens.

    I know!


  8. Reminds me of the “big frickin’ wall” slide you showed us when you spoke at the Lower Hudson RIC last year. I think that’s a Kathy Sierra thing. I have it on the wall behind my desk at work. Might be worth a repost – I can’t find where I got it.

  9. Mike, it is Kathy Sierra…I have the image if you want it.

  10. Kathy Sierra’s image is available here:

  11. Kia ora Scott

    Hangabout, there’s nothing wrong with the post. In fact, it’s a good open launch for discussion.

    But, if your intention was to narrow the view then, yes, more scaffolding would do the trick.

    But another interpretation could be to do with pedagogy and the steps needed, at least for some leapers. If the conceptual development isn’t there, of course, they maybe sunk at the first leap, no matter how small the gap.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  12. Thanks, Ken. I love how you expanded this in new directions. A good reminder for me to think divergent, not convergent!

  13. I have mixed feeling about this. For me- I’m leaping the first time I see the divide in front of me. That is my personality.

    I get the idea that immersion is powerful. I really agree with that. However, assuming that there is a “best” method for all seems silly. It reminds me of the need for differentiating instruction in the classroom. Enlightened teachers rarely assume one learning path for all students in a classroom.

    Though I love the image, and think it aligns closely with the way in which I solve problems, I also think it would be naive to assume this is the best approach for all.

    In my experience as a coach, I find that oftentimes the teachers I work with need room for a few “safe mistakes” or “small failures” before gaining the confidence to really dive into a new venture.

    In my personal world, it would be like me (who has been a holdout for some time on any sort of podcasting for several reasons) deciding one day to just jump the chasm. With my prior experiences and confidence with tech challenges, that approach is usually how I learn.

    However, to someone who has rarely ventured beyond e-mail, basic web browsing and word processing, this chasm is quite possibly stretched farther than their confidence level will allow.

    Increments for some, leaps for others?


  14. I think that the slide at least conveys the feeling that there is a difference in the kind of commitment required in a “burn the boats” as compared to an incremental approach.

    It also seems to convey the idea that getting from Point A to Point B might be as easy as jumping over, rather than slogging through and dealing with, all the problems.

    At any rate, it’s a great image and a good conversation starter.

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