Might technology help Bust an educational myth or two?

Doug Reeves has presented five educational MYTHS that beg to be dealt with head on.  We educators are just the right folks to tackle the myths.  As you read the myths please think about what role technology could play in busting that myth.

The following five myths are based on page 91 – 99 of The Learning Leader 2006 by Douglas B. Reeves.  And I have posed a leadership thought following each. I believe that leadership is not just for people with a position – we all can play a role in leading to a brighter future.

Myth #1: People are happy doing what they are doing now.  Is it your experience that teachers in unsuccessful schools would rather continue to be unsuccessful than engage in alternative practices that might lead to improved student success?

Think about the role of leadership in helping staff to take risks that might really pay big returns for student outcomes.

Myth #2: People resist change because of irrational fear.  Do you think the evidence might show that many teachers feel ‘burned’ by prior years of programs that were poorly planned and badly executed?

Think about the role of leadership in including a staff as part of the planning and  implementation of change – and that that change clearly focus on taking the steps that make sense to really pay big returns for student outcomes.

Myth #3: You can’t make significant changes until you get buy-in from everybody.  Or has your experience or your knowledge of the evidence led you to believe that it isn’t a cycle of: “vision, buy-in, and actions” but rather “vision, action, buy-in, and more action”?

Think about the role of leadership embracing the potential issue of “buy-in” effectively with a clear focus on taking the steps that might really pay big returns for student outcomes.

Myth #4: You must have perfect research to support a proposed change.  Or has your experience or your knowledge of the evidence led you to believe that perfect research information does not exist in such a pure form that all you or any educator needs to do is go to the ‘research vault’ and take out the research that will solve your problem?

Think about the role of leadership deliberately approaching the advancement of student outcomes from a “try it, test it, improve it” approach for your district and your variables.

Myth #5: The risk of change is so great that you must wait until you have things perfectly organized before implementing change efforts.   Or has your experience or your knowledge of the evidence led you to believe that the risk of maintaining the status quo is much more serious than engaging in a well-planned systemic change?

Think about the role of leadership in working with others to craft a solid new direction with a clear focus on taking the steps that might really pay big returns for student outcomes.

Our children have tremendous potential.  These myths may be part of the reason we haven’t tapped all of that potential.  What are your reactions to Reeve’s myths? Can you see a role for technology in the busting of these myths?  What are your ideas for busting the myths you think should be busted?

Comments

  1. Tim Haag

    This is a very valuable post. I like the juxtaposition of myth with ‘extension’ thought. I’d still like us to more clearly define ‘student outcomes’, as in ‘big returns for student outcomes’. To me, the varied interpretations of a phrase like that contribute to the current challenges educators and students face.

  2. Jerry Jennings

    Thanks, I’ll get right on the typos. I appreciate you pointing them out! All the best!

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