Saturday, October 15, 2011

11Tools_Blog Creation

I have used Blogger for a few years now and it is just one of literally hundreds of platforms in which to "blog". Bloggers have gone from being geeks with an attitude or fatheads like me that only "think" that the blogosphere cares a wit about what I have to say or think, to really challenging the structures of power and control be it political, informational, or economic. It is actually changing the way social movements occupy or move into new ways of being. It used to be that folks like Cramer and Kudlow and Gorman literally OWNED the financial advice biz. They are being pushed out of the arena by ordinary folks that possess something the former gurus (self appointed gurus at that) do not, real problems and experience and with something tangible to lose. This really is a microcosm of the paradigm shift going on in the edumakation arena. The essence of the 21st Century Skills/Outcomes paradigm shift is that when, not if realized it will cause pain for those caught napping and even more so for those that see the debilitating weight of the shift looming over antiquated practices and are are fighting back with all the inertia fed force they can muster.

"Oh, a change of heart of heart comes slow,
It's not a hill it's a mountain
As you start out the climb
Do you believe me or are you doubting?
We're gonna make it all the way to the light"

The fact that we are approaching the 12th year of the Century we are supposed to be prepping our charges to compete in is not only a little sad and terrifying, but so accurately indicative of not only the tremendous power of our institutional inertia, but of the REAL depth this particular shift represents. This is a game changer and the game will be bloody and the body count high....just like all such shifts.

As a general rule, Tools approaches, 11 or 32,000 do not work on a grand scale. The reasons are many, but the primary one is that we don't need any more tools on our belt, we need a new job to do. The tools plate and job function plate is full, has been for some time. The bean counters and bureaucrats, keep adding to it, but will do NOTHING with the design of the plate, much less expand it or re-shape it. Heaven forbid that we even discuss the concept of breaking the plate and designing a whole 'nuther container/vessel/structure/function.

"Every generation gets a chance to change the world
Pity the nation that won't listen to your boys and girls
'Cos the sweetest melody is the one we haven't heard
Is it true the perfect love drives out all fear?
The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear
Oh, but a change of heart comes slow...

It's not a hill it's a mountain
As you start out the climb
Listen for me, I'll be shouting
But we're gonna make it all the way to the light
But I know I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight!"

In speaking today to a valued colleague, it came to me: The essence of this 21st Century Outcomes shift comes down to a leveling of the control mechanisms of the classroom. It is very political - the re-ordering of who gets/does what in any institution be it international to the family refrigerator. What make me literally SCREAM inside my bony head, is that I don't get the resistance. Given the choice of being a dictator, comfortable in my control, or being a partner in co-creation, I'd take the latter any day! To some, my choice is a weakness based lapse of classroom management. For me it is refreshing light of day...chaotic by design and necessity, but light of day nonetheless.

So let's hope that in exploring these "tools" that some thought is put into what this is really about - breaking plates and the process of the breaking. Unfortunately, this process will not magically appear through reflecting on "tools" one is told they have to complete. Sadly, experience with these mandatory, carrot/stick initiatives have the opposite effect. Without a curricular/teacher specific plan + implementation WITH students + a hard, honest reflection on the expected and necessary failures, inertia will continue to hold sway. Just sayin'....

"It's not a hill it's a mountain
Listen for me, I'll be shouting
Shouting to the darkness, squeeze out sparks of light
You know we'll go crazy
You know we'll go crazy
You know we'll go crazy, if we don't go crazy tonight..."

We crawl, stand, toddle, before we run....We begin!

1 comment:

  1. I hope you're more pessimistic than the process proves. While it is not perfect, I think the tools + devices + district initiative with Alan November + curriculum "rewrite" with Bill Daggett might come together with enough momentum to shift they system in the right direction.