1. Gyllian

    Power and control are symptoms of fear. Acknowledging it is the first step. And as always your perspective resonates….trusting in your team is a powerful step in diminishing a fear-based environment and building one that flies high.

  2. @8amber8

    womp womp….at least ur words are being shared! Gimme a rule and I’ll figire out a way around it! 😉

  3. dskmag

    freedom. But theres a gulf between people like Aaron Swartz and those who use it to lure the hopeful and optamistic into years of unresolved cyclic dogma. Education favours determinism and the idea what is proven is true and can made stable … I’m up for Russell Brand’s leadership on freedom “In an infinite universe; eternal time, why just do what people tell you? ‘ave a laugh; do what you want.”

  4. Mrs Van Dam

    so it is not about saying yes or no….. but about listening to what is ‘alive’ in the community of practice.

  5. twitter_angietarasoff

    Hi George,

    Interesting post, and not one that I agree with entirely.

    Freedom and Control are polarities to be managed, not problems to be solved. There is no one single right answer.

    Schools, school jurisdictions, and education systems are complex environments in which tensions between freedom and control, centralized and decentralized decision making, cost efficiency and educational effectiveness (to name a few) are constantly in play.

    There are negative aspects to decentralized decision-making and freedom, such as loss of implementation fidelity, inequitable opportunities for students, inefficient operations and so on. Flipped on their heads, these can be positive reasons for some centralized decision-making.

    Likewise, there are downsides to centralized decision-making, including loss of responsiveness to individual learner needs, bureaucratic processes for decision making, slower decision-making and so on.

    So what’s the right answer? The answer is: it depends upon the situation.

    Now in this specific case – the case of the firewall blocking social media – well…are all the facts known?

    Why would reasonable people block social media on a firewall?

    Is it the policy of the school jurisdiction or school to block social media? Why is that the policy? What is the perceived risk, and how can that risk be managed effectively?

    Was this policy implemented on the firewall for efficiency reasons by the IT department? Why? What other pressures is the IT department facing? Are they under-funded? Under-staffed? Is it difficult to manage demand and competing expectations of multiple schools and central office? What can be done about that?

    It has been my experience that the answers to these questions are not simple – but great leadership supported by strong decision-making practices can help manage the tensions between centralized and decentralized, control and autonomy, effective and efficient.

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