Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Metamorphosis revisited

I posted before about metamorphosing in an evolving world. I want to revisit this idea. It has been bothering me that change seems to come so slow. There are many reasons for this, including leadership, state testing, resistance to change, resources, etc... But despite all of these factors, I truly believe that we can bring about more significant change. I'm not talking about technology, so much as I am talking about rethinking what we teach. While I see many teachers evolving (including myself), I think we are too painfully slow for the kinds of changes that need to take place.
caterpillar1.jpg

Photo by Morti Riuuallon
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ultimorollo/2520525316/

The best way for us to metamorphose is to follow the example of the butterfly. The caterpillar starts by eating constantly. We, as teachers, need to consume information as if our future depended upon it. It does. We are becoming obsolete and our only chance of remaining relevant into the future is to understand it and adapt to it. If you are looking for a place to get started, here is a short list of books and websites that will help you understand why and how we need to change.

1. A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

2. Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida

3. Teaching for Tomorrow by Ted McCain

4. Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky

5. http://21stcenturyskills.org/

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will help get the ball rolling.

cocoon.jpg

Photo by Morti Riuuallon
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ultimorollo/393380994/

The next thing a caterpillar does is make a cocoon. It sequesters itself so that it can focus completely on the job of metamorphosis. While we don't have the option of completely sequestering ourselves, we can still keep to the spirit of it. We need to chunk out some time to focus on this change. We need to plan, think, create, practice, and share. Perhaps setting a goal of meeting once or twice (or more) a week to focus on this change would be a good start.

Finally, the last step to a butterfly's metamorphosis is emerging from the cocoon, changed forever, beautiful, colorful, able to fly. If we immerse ourselves in the needs of our students and the changes in our society, we will emerge with new skills, beautiful ideas, changed forever. We will look back at our caterpillar incarnations and wonder how we ever survived as a caterpillar.

butterfly.jpg

Photo by Morti Riuuallon
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ultimorollo/2601092691/

3 comments:

  1. This is a great blog- and applicable for us in my job. I am going to send it along to some friends here .... always love to see how our paths can appear so different but really be so similar.

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  2. Nice background. Thornberg is another to read

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  3. Thanks for the suggestion on Thornberg. I will check it out!

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