Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Changing a Way of Thinking

Our classroom discussion got me really thinking about the paradigmatic shifts that are necessary if education is truly going to be educating our future. We operate under a reactionary model that lacks the ability to anticipate what's to come. And in my opinion, the lack of anticipatory thinking in our educational system mirrors the resulting mediocrity in academic achievement, faculty and staff morale, and innovation.

As leaders, it is our job to debunk this reactionary form of thinking and challenge our teachers, future leaders, and students to apply a different model. The existing one hasn't worked. Why not market success as the rule rather than the exception? I know this isn't possible until you change the person's belief system. Imagine the possibilities if we demanded and rewarded innovation. Google, Inc. has tapped into something in requiring "think time" as part of the work day.

Are people resistant to change because of their own inhibitions? How do we move them past that?


Dr. Patrick Faverty said...

Markel, You are on it.... leadersship is abouut forward thinking not reactionary thinking. So...... how might we do that in our profession?

Devon Hodgson said...

Markel- I wrote a long winded thought that was erased because I did not exist as a user. In general, I am pondering how those without positional power influence the thinking you are talking about. Ultimately, how do our students (who truly appear powerless) impact reactionary leadership?

Markel said...

Patrick, I think we (the leaders) equate this process to that of a business model. No business thrives on replicating the past. That's what historians do. So why do we think we can pull that off in the realm of education?

We challenge our students to think outside of the box. Provide a platform for their innovations; heck, even try them out on occassion, provided that they follow a prescribed protocol. In challenging, the leadership must provide support.

Markel said...

Devon, I think the answer lies in challenging the assumptions of those in power. They must be convinced that the powerless are human capital worth investing in. You encourage innovation amongst the powerless. Provide a platform for the innovation and teach this group how to transfer the impact of that innovation to those in power.

It also requires that the powerless generate allies (with influential voices) that will support their cause.