Earlier this month, George Couros posted this to his blog.
My first reaction was that the flowchart that he includes in the post was overly simplistic and I had thoughts like these…
- could such a flowchart break down educational choices this succinctly?
- does everyone in a district get tarred with the same brush?
- can educational decisions essentially be boiled down to answering two questions?
- does every decision that needs to be made going forward have to go through this process of analysis?
- how long is it going to take to happen?
- does everything really have to be “perfect” before we proceed?
Now, lest I appear to be coming down too harshly on George’s thoughts, I do understand what he’s getting at. Consistent with the message in his book “The Innovator’s Mindset“, he’s illustrating some of the thinking that typically happens within a school district.
The reality is that decisions are, and should be, a more complex task that includes an assessment of educator readiness, district readiness, district priorities, and its ability to support educators in these endeavours.
And yet, all of that is background noise.
In fact, in a properly functioning educational environment, these are things that should already have been addressed, refined regularly, put in place, and receive continuous support.
I can make George’s flowchart even more simplistic.
Every new decision that comes along doesn’t need to go back to the basics, have a focus group, pilot projects, and all the typical things that exist to slow down or even break initiatives.
If a district is functioning well, has the appropriate mindset, the right people in place and making decisions, and a second-to-none support mechanism, teachers and students shouldn’t have to wait until committee after committee works it over.
Just make it happen.
Address the issues mid-flight. Can a district really afford all the time that can be built into its own decision making structure? Or, better yet, can those learners afford to wait?