LANDSCAPE: The vast majority of us — including today's teachers and leaders — were taught in an industrial-era model, in our own K-12 education and beyond.
BARRIERS OVERVIEW: When at full capacity, which is frequently the state of being for teachers and leaders, they fall back on what they know — the decades of lived experience in a traditional model. Today's teacher training and professional development rarely creates opportunities for teachers to learn deeply.
ENABLERS OVERVIEW: Teachers, administrators, and students benefit from being exposed to relatable schools that are creating opportunities for deeper learning. Additionally, dedicated support staff and time to experiment are methods to sustain momentum.
HOW MIGHT WE: Help teachers and administrators rethink professional development to incorporate and model opportunities to learn deeply? Expose teachers to tangible, relatable examples of deeper learning and create networks of interested educators in similar contexts?
LANDSCAPE: Public high schools exist within a larger ecosystem of stakeholders — students, teachers, principals, teacher's unions, college admissions officers, community members, superintendents, district personnel, policy makers, and more.
BARRIERS: Both low and high performing schools face pressure from stakeholders. There can be normal resistance from students and parents when there is deviation from a focus on test scores, further establishing an ecosystem of support for standards-based models.
ENABLERS: Educators who have strong connections with and input from stakeholders may be better able to navigate this normal resistance. Those who have a strong professional network may have greater access to deeper learning practices.
HOW MIGHT WE: Create supportive, on-going opportunities for educators to establish strategic, meaningful relationships with stakeholders? Provide opportunities for those who are interested in deeper learning to connect with one another?
LANDSCAPE: Changes in leadership, school reform initiatives, and instructional trends are frequent and common in traditional public schools.
BARRIERS: Changes that are mandated without context create instability, insecurity, and distrust between school faculty and administration. With a change in district and school leadership, support and mission alignment for deeper learning is also subject to change.
ENABLERS: Supportive, shared leadership and mission alignment enables educators to experiment with ideas that may deepen students' learning.
HOW MIGHT WE: Support administrators and teachers in balancing the power dynamic and contextualizing change? Create opportunities for teachers to be agents versus objects of change? Provide supportive opportunities for educators undergoing change in school mission and leadership?