10 November 2009

Change in the System

I had to do some writing for my Ed Research class so I thought I would post an excerpt of it here:

Tradition runs deep in education. Why? Maybe it is because the nature of teaching attracts people who thrive on “doing it the way its always been done”. Teachers do the same thing, over and over, year after year. “If it worked last year, why wouldn’t it work this year?” This is the danger of becoming stagnant in reflection. Teachers are finding that lesson plans have a place to reflect for a good reason. Reflection needs to be done! Constantly.

How can we accomplish change in the classroom/education system?
•    Have a purpose. Set common goals. Teachers and administrators cannot simply talk about change and expect it will happen.
•    Start small. Keep working towards a single goal. This brings up an interesting point. It is not possible to fix every problem at once. Choose a single goal and work towards it. Then look for other areas in which to improve.
•    Set attainable goals. Set the bar at a level that can be achieved in a reasonable amount of time. If teachers see the bar set too high, it will be so frustrating that they will not be motivated to achieve.
•    Track the progress. Make sure you let everyone know how he or she is doing. If they are not making progress, let them know it (in private). If they are getting closer to the goal, let them know that, as well (in public). Everyone needs some motivation and making teachers aware of their progress is a great way to motivate them.

Change is difficult. Many teachers are afraid of it. It may be due, in part, to the fear of the learner knowing more than the teacher. This fear must be gotten past. If teachers live with this fear, they might never fulfill their role as life-long learners. Working together toward a common, attainable goal may not ensure success, but it will increase the probability that some change will occur.

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