Recently I was having a conversation with educators and they asked me the question, “who is the leading thinker in education right now?”
I thought a lot about it and I couldn’t come up with one name.
In fact, quite the opposite. I could come up with too many to name just a few. They range from researchers, science teachers, speakers, kindergarten teachers, math teachers, principals, vice principals, grade 4 teachers, and more. There is no end to the list of who we can learn from now.
There are so many educators that are both in and out of schools, that are influencing my thinking now. It is hard to say that one person is influencing me more than another because it depends upon what we are talking about, what facet of school is being discussed, so on and so forth. There are so many different elements of school that no one person could be an expert on all of them. Really, there is no need.
In the past, “leading thinkers” were those that wrote books, that were used as the guide to providing great opportunities for education. A lot of what was shared in the past was by names such as Dewey and Papert, who had research that is as relevant today as it was when it was written. We have always looked to “researchers” more than we have looked to each other. This is probably partly due to “prophet in your own land” thinking, but also because it was hard to get a glimpse into what was happening in each other’s classroom. Now with blogs, Twitter, and a myriad of other publishing tools, we are getting amazing information from anywhere and everywhere. Whether you have 10 followers on twitter or 100,000, the “active research” that is being shared by educators that is real-time, is invaluable to what we do in schools.
Is it always top quality information? Nope. But neither were some of the books that I have read in the past. We have to start seeing past “names” and looking at the information is being shared.
We can learn from anyone, whether they teach currently or not, and make it applicable to what we do in schools. That’s the power of the web. But I hope we are at the time that we quit focusing on only looking for “names” and start realizing the power that we have to learn from one another.