with a thousand million questions*

April 8, 2010

A while back I read a blog post by Will Richardson that was a continuation of a conversation started at Educon…  The post gave background to the conversation and the big question that arose, “What are the ‘big’ conversations that schools should be having in relation to the ‘tectonic’ shifts that are occuring with social learning online?”  It then presented the list that had been generated by the group.  I could not help but make connections with so many of these ideas, to what I have been thinking about in the engaging and inspiring #ecosys conversations about school reform…

So I decided to build on these and generate some of the thousand million questions I consider as I think about change in education:

  • What does an educated person look like today? Do all educated people look the same? And what do they look like at each stage along the way?
  • How do we change policy to support a true learning? Across time?  And space?
  • How does our thinking about time, physical space and schooling change?
  • How do a range of stakeholders: K-12 educators, adminstrators, parents, community members and higher ed educators bring together varying perspectives and have this conversation about change together?
  • How do we define and then support the changing roles?  of teacher? of student? Of parent? Of administrator? Of community member of the immediate community? Of community member of the nation?
  • What is the purpose of school? Do all stakeholders share the same view of purpose?  What are the differences? What do we need to do about that?
  • What should be compulsory about school? What are the good things that all children deserve to access?
  • How do we ensure that all children can access them? and access the opportunities that are linked to school experiences?
  • How do we address issues that impact learners success and challenge in the classroom when they are not in the control of schools: poverty, hunger, homelessness, language difference, cultural difference, learning difference, predjudice, assumption?
  • How do we know what is working?  How do we know what is not?  What do we measure and evaluate? Processes? Products? How often? How?
  • And once we know what is working and what is not, how do we know if it is scalable? Or if it even should scale? Or if the resources and permissions that allow what works to work should be what scales?
  • What is preventing us from being adaptable to change? In schools? In society?
  • How will we address marginalization as a result of change? In schools? In society?
  • What is our obligation to collaborate with other systems going through similar changes? Are we stronger together? Do we gain insight from viewing the same problem through various lenses?
  • How do we become better equipped, both as individuals and as systems, to sustain productive change?

Thoughts? Ideas? Other questions?

*and in case you were curious:

thanks goes to the Moody Blues for the title inspiration

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