New school formats and structures are emerging all over the planet. Starting a new school seems to be “easier” than changing existing ones. I wonder how the economic principle of “creative destruction” will play out for the school market. There are some (many?) who think school is “perfect” as it is. Suggestions for change, improvement, and enhancement are sometimes (often?) met with, “That would never work. That’s impossible.” What if we dreamed the impossible…and made it happen?!
PLEASE READ Seth Godin’s February 25, 2012 post (121 words long) – “Perfect and Impossible.”
Pingback: PROCESS POST: Organizing and Annotating – #MustRead from Tony Wagner: “Graduating All Students Innovation-Ready” #EdWeek | it's about learning
Pingback: CHANGEd: What if we built school-innovation labs…in schools? 60-60-60 #34 « It's About Learning
Pingback: CHANGEd 60-60-60: POSSIBILITIES « Toward Wide-Awakeness
First, congratulations on making more than halfway through your project, which seems to be inspiring a lot of other good follow up projects in the blogosphere (see here and here).
But your comment that it almost seems easier to start a new school from scratch than change an existing one resonates deeply with me. This is clearly a failing far beyond just education, were we see so many companies that were to slow to adapt get overtaken by nimbler rivals who are often startups.
Having read a bit about the startup ecosphere, it seems like there are a tremendous amount of resources out there to help startups get off the ground, fail, free up that capital and re-create themselves over and over. You see this in everything from the incredible amount of angel investors and venture capital looking for new ideas, to the incubators like Ycombinator that offer mentoring and early stage funding to help companies get off the ground, to even small things like services in the bay area that make it easy to find and lease office space on a very temporary basis, or catering services that make it easy to feed your tiny team.
Could we create a similar startup atmosphere around our own schools that encourage risk-taking and experimentation? I certainly see signs of this in things like the edcamp project, but you don’t see the all-out cultural embrace of the idea that you do in Silicon Valley. How do we change this culture? It seems to me requires more than just work inside of school buildings—it requires just as much work in the larger community to help those who don’t spend every day in the school (parents, alumni, politicians) understand a broader conceptualization of learning and the purpose of a school.