Saturday, August 28, 2010

Change from within at Confederation Park Community School

Here we go! School has started at Confederation Park Community School! We began our school initiative to use technology effectively to transform learning. Our PD plan can be found at google docs.

I have also just returned from the Prosci/Adpro Change Management Certification course in Banff, Alberta. The course was very challenging, thought provoking and will serve me well in being a change agent for 21st century schools. It occurred to me at the course that what we are trying to do at Confed. is to change the culture of the classroom that has existed for a long time. We look forward to using Change Management principles (based on the ADKAR model) to transform our school and our school division.

We are initially focussing on making sure our teachers incorporate the NETS into their classrooms. It will not be enough for us to use technology occasionally to teach critical thinking or collaborative skills to our students. We are attempting to change the entire culture of learning so that it is based on:

  1. the learner empowered as opposed to teacher centered
  2. student choice driven by curiousity and critical thinking
  3. collaborative learning by the developing of learning networks
  4. differentiated learning in part enabled by technology
  5. creative communication of student learning enabled by web 2.0 (not to mention traditional forms like drama, dance and visual art)
  6. learner based assessment of learning as opposed to teacher centered

Making such a culture change is no small task. It will not be easy and will not happen overnight. I am confident we will make it happen! As I was speaking to our staff on Friday I noticed that we have a number of fresh, new faces on our staff. It occurs to me that we have the expertise and enthusiasm to do this! We can change our classroom, school, even school system culture!

I was reading Joe Bower's blog the other day about innovation and change in schools. He was quoting from Rosabeth Moss Kanter's blog post "Innovation: Who Else is Doing it?" and I found myself quite impressed with her message.

"The search for innovation benefits from listening to people who are not the usual idea generators, who might look and seem different. "Open innovation" has become a popular catchphrase, signifying that it is acceptable to look outside the organization for new ideas because all creativity does not lie within. But then I see another conservative bias toward external innovators, even when more of the creativity might lie within, in the minds of junior employees or occupants of routine jobs that are treated disdainfully. Better a maverick from halfway around the world or crowd-sources on the Internet than a nerd in one's own organization. People already in the organization are often the most under-utilized asset."

Most of us have a pretty good idea of how the world is changing and that some schools are leading the way. Confederation Park Community School has the capability, the people and the heart needed to lead our students into the 21st century!

1 comment:

  1. School change is really difficult and complicated, but only really succeeds when teacher-leaders are making it happen. The change you want to lead looks both worthy and really hard.