Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A figment of your imagination?

I love conversations that make me want to shout, "Hey, hold on just a minute!" My colleague Bryan Hughes (@bryanhughes) and I were discussing three blog posts we had read recently that pushed the way we think about district Pro-D delivery and the future of education in general:

David Warlick - Zero Tolerance

Bryan agreed with Carl's thoughts and commented, "I provided little that the network couldn't - that speaks to my deficiencies, but also to the institutional barriers that our schools reinforce".

Wait a minute!  I think these perceived institutional barriers are largely a figment of our imaginations, or perhaps a security blanket that keeps us from getting out there on the edge and changing our teaching practices.  Do principals or school board administrators actually tell their teachers how to present lessons?  Not in my experience.  Teachers usually have a good deal more autonomy than they ever exercise.  I do know of an instance where one innovative teacher was told by  department colleagues that she could not use social media tools in her classroom because THEY weren't comfortable with that.  Come on, seriously?  I think they felt threatened and had no right to tell her how to teach.

What could you really do if you cast off your imaginary fetters and took the advice of those three sage educators whose posts I have linked to above.  What obstacles lie in your way?  Are they real or imagined?

Photo credit: kevinrosseel from