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In 2020, as the pandemic, polarization and racial justice insurrection upend the status quo, there are calls everywhere to use this moment to build a better education system to address inequality in the country. spread to Two years later, the drive to reform has largely waned.
Michael B. Horn, author and co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, said he felt frustrated that so many people were going back to the old school education, and that schools and educators were trying to We created a blueprint for reinventing the education system. Task. “I wanted to provide a template for how they could get away with it and what they could do instead,” Horn said.
Early in the pandemic, Horn and Diane Tavenner, co-founders and CEOs of Summit Public Schools, created a podcast, “Class Disrupted,” to help parents and educators navigate teaching and learning during the crisis. I made it possible. This year, he took that project a step further with a book published in July, From Reopening to Reinventing: (Re)creating Schools for Every Child.
Horn and I spoke last week about his book and how to “rebuild” the education system to better serve all students. This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
Javeria: What inspired you to take what you were doing on the podcast and write down the theory in this book?
Michael: I was getting a lot of questions from parents. How should I educate my children now that they are home? ’ And I felt it was the perfect opportunity to help them pull back the curtain on why schools work this way. A better way to really unlock the potential of each student. So we did that podcast … as we continue to do that, we’re going to do this one or two so that educators can actually design and build something better that really unlocks the potential of each student. I felt the need to put it in place.
J.: In this book, did you explain how the current school system is not built for students to truly succeed? Can you explain your argument?
M.: Before the pandemic, many said or assumed that society worked for the haves and worked for the have-nots. But I think the pandemic has shown how broken it is for people from all walks of life. And the more people think about it, the more we really don’t know if it’s working perfectly for anyone in our society.
The key idea of the book is that we are really trapped in this zero-sum system. And either the haves are consciously playing the “school game” or the have-nots are ignorant of the school game and are left behind. Either way, the game of schooling distracts from its real purpose of preparing students to live in a complex world as adults when they graduate. And to do that, we need a positive-sum system that escapes this zero-sum mentality and allows people to truly understand who they are and develop a particular combination of passionate potentials.
J.: In that book, you talk about the need for schools to build a plus-sum education system. What is the difference between a zero-sum system and a positive-sum system?
M.: The big one is moving to learning-based learning rather than the current time-based system. A time-based system teaches a topic and moves on to the next topic regardless of the student’s test results. So some students fall behind more and more while others “win” and learn how to play the school’s games.
the second thing i talk about [is that] We need to move to a system where the teacher is not the student’s grader. They are not making these judgments about their students’ abilities, but can instead become their coaches and devote themselves to helping them understand purpose, passion and potential, which this book suggests. This is his second big change. There’s clearly a full conversation about what parents try to prioritize and how they’ve grown accustomed to seeing school as a status game or a parenting judgement. [A positive-sum system] We argue that instead of criticizing parents and children, we can be part of a social change towards a healthier culture that supports both.
J.: Let’s talk about parents. The book emphasizes addressing the experiences of parents. Can you talk about what you’ve heard from parents about what they want from schools?
M.: What the pandemic has done is to wipe out any sense of the status quo, or to maintain the status quo, highlighting all the reasons why it could be great if you changed. Parents who are trying to help a child, who want to be part of a like-minded community, who are trying to develop their child as a whole, or who are saying, “Follow my plan for my child.” Parents who are.” They are much more aware [that] The status quo for some reason does not achieve what they needed [it to hit]And they are much more likely to verbally talk about their grievances or actually switch [schools]You can see that in the data, right? Enrollments are down about 3%.
J: What does this mean for schools and educators?
M.: All kids do better at learning bricks and mortar, all kids do better at exactly the same classroom experience, or all kids need exactly the same lessons, this picture. We have to get out of the one-sided way of thinking. On the very same day — to a system that truly recognizes that students and parents are in different situations, in different situations, and need different models of schooling. School districts need to see parents with a portfolio mindset, not a one-size-fits-all mindset.
J: In this book, you share the story of two fictional students, Jeremy and Julia, and show how the education system treats students as part of a group rather than as individuals. Who are Jeremy and Julia in the current system?
M.: Jeremy is the only child of a single mother who works multiple minimum wage jobs. And another student, Julia, came from an upper-middle-class home with a lot of support from her parents, whom she calls “helicopter parents” because of their constant appearances in the principal’s office throughout the book. can do. They’re archetypes throughout the book, along various dimensions, to show that the school is as it is, and we haven’t met them. Not helping them progress. It’s making them feel like a failure. It’s punishing them when they try to have fun with their friends. Jeremy needs more support and integration and community help to be successful. Julia — perhaps her family wants more customization, more choice. [I wanted] Trying to get people to ask the question, “If Julia’s Sacred Cow doesn’t work, who doesn’t work at my school?”
J: We talked about rebuilding a better education system for students and parents. The book also talks about creating something more effective for teachers, especially to get out of the pandemic.
M.: In this book, regardless of your view of the current teacher shortage, whether it is the result of burnout or increased teacher status, we have not supported teachers well for a long time. In designing the teaching profession, we have ignored fairly clear research into what motivates employees. I would argue that we need to move to a more team-teaching model. We need to move to a model of co-teaching in environments and they can differentiate roles. We can now think very differently about staffing schools, allowing these educators to bounce off of each other in different ways.
J: In the book, we talk about how schools need to move beyond the “learning loss” conversation that everyone was talking about in the first few years of the pandemic. can you explain?
M.: I had this mindset that I needed to get over the loss of learning. I was pleasantly surprised during my research. In fact, like an unprecedented federal injection of dollars, we have found it important to see learning loss upfront as learning loss to motivate school resources. But staying in that learning-deprived framework is incredibly numbing, demoralizing, and demotivating for students and teachers. The book suggests moving away from loss of learning to a framework of guaranteed mastery.
Students set goals. They are planning how to get to them. They are learning and they are showing evidence of what they have learned. And it tells them what to do next, do they move on, or do they ponder and ponder the learning process along the way? That creates a positive cycle of success.
J: Our educational environment may continue to face disruptions from new strains of coronavirus and natural disasters. What should schools think about digital technologies that help both students and educators over some of the methods used during the pandemic?
M.: Hopefully at some point we can take a step back and do a thought experiment. The fact that so many schools have turned around so quickly is astounding and testament to what is happening today. Still, if another natural disaster, pandemic, or something like that happens, we can’t invest in that backbone and do it in a better way…so much has been done that we really can’t Kick yourself. Really bad.but i think i should [not] Continuing to maintain that infrastructure seems crazy to me at this time with all the challenges we have in the world.
For those who say things like, “Oh, virtual learning didn’t work.” Well, for some students it worked out better. Yeah, it’s her second choice for the majority of students. Without a doubt, if you have to transition to it, ensure disaster preparedness and experienced teachers who know what they are doing in those environments.I think it’s wrong to leave everything [that learning].
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