15 Comments

  1. Kelly Goldberg

    I can't wait to share your blog with my principal. Actually, in reflecting upon some comments she's made recently about a blog she found from a person in Canada, maybe she's already reading your thoughts. Either way, she should know your work – she's right there with you on this leadership journey! Thanks!

  2. Another excellent post, George! I love your thoughts on distributed leadership. It's clear that you bring not only so much to the school, but encourage your staff and students to bring so much to the school too. Thanks for continuing to inspire me with all that you do!

    Aviva

  3. kengler

    I absolutely agree that networking should no longer be optional. If it is not being utilized we are doing an injustice to our children. Great post George!

    Kim

  4. I feel honored to be mentioned in your post, great things going on now we just need to take advantage of them. Its about working smarter and questioning so many practices in education that have been fixtures for so long. I hate the term "We've always done it that way."

  5. Debbie Barnes

    I couldn't agree more! I have always loved my job, but I am more excited now than I have ever been. I'm the principal that Kelly speaks about in her comment up above. A handful of us spent two days last week with Silvia Tolisano, Langwitches. I have been following Twitter and your blog for only a couple of days and feel like I have entered a whole new world. Several staff members and I are on an exciting journey and I can't wait to lead the way!

  6. Mark Halverson-Wente

    Interesting and thought-provoking article. I have some reservations about the principal's position, however. First, while it is true that we have available at our fingertips access to more "information" than ever before, my experience as a college instructor is that most students simply are unaware of the existence of information or lack the skills to access and discern reputable and relevant sources of information.

    Further, many students struggle with what to do with the "information" once it is accessed. I find it interesting how we refer to the benighted traditional teachers of the past with their "slide-rules" and assume the impossibility of students in this MILLENNIAL age ever acquiring a "core of knowledge and skills" (I do not think that achieving "greatness" was ever an expectation of the tradition). It is precisely a core of knowledge and skills that our students lack and would enable our students to wade through the slough of information to find what is relevant and reputable. Students need a means, a standard, to apply information intelligently within some structure/project with a coherent purpose.

    I am concerned that we are more concerned with "connecting" students without giving them a means to understand to what they need to connect and why. The principal states that as educators we need to be willing to do what we ask of students: we need to connect not simply to information but to people, and "we need to continuously learn and connect with others to shape ideas." Today's students do not need our help connecting to others–if anything, students today need time away from others in order to be comfortable with themselves and their own thoughts and ideas absent the input of others. They do need our help, though, in learning to recognize, shape, and communicate ideas. Call me "old school," but if real learning is to occur attention-spans need to last beyond reading 2-3 successive screens or a 10 minute YouTube video, ideas need to be not only "created" but cogently and concisely shaped and communicated in full words, sentences, and paragraphs (rather than texting-English limited to 140 words), and the overall focus of education needs to be more on coursework and critical thinking skills and less on entertaining or "occupying" students busy, multi-tasking minds. If traditional education was unduly teacher-focused, today's education is (dare I write it?) unduly student-centered–here they are now, entertain them!

    We are, I fear, failing to methodically and systematically focus our attention (oh, this sounds dull and LONG) on facilitating–inspiring!–our students capacity to learn throughout their lives. We are assuming that connecting students to information, people, and helping them to creatively develop their "own understanding and knowledge" is sufficient. It is not. What is first needful is enabling students to engage in focusing their attention and doing the hard work of coming to an understanding of the necessity of using method and system in becoming educated human beings and not simply social consumers of information with a transient technological "skill-set."

    Education is more than apps and social networking, which are minor tools not ends in themselves. As a democracy, we need an educated citizenry and not one distracted by the latest app on a social networking site. And we certainly need a citizenry that is able to see through "Wiki-Truth" (see The Colbert Show…I show this to my students, but many fail to see the irony and the point of this bit).

    Learn.

    Learn what? Why? How?

    Better check my Blackberry…its been over 45 minutes.

    • George

      I appreciate your comments Mark. I really agree with your thought on "why do they connect". It is essential we talk about this.

      Here is a question back to you. On this comment, "today's education is (dare I write it?) unduly student-centered–here they are now, entertain them!"

      Do you believe that schools are actually too student centered, or their goal is too student centered?

  7. We all have different giftings and strengths, when we allow each person to work to the full capacity of those gifts the result is a leadership team that shines and has the potential to make huge changes that will impact students forever.

Comments are closed.