Saturday, February 12, 2005

Analysis of "Problem" - class notes

What's the problem?: 68% undercredited 11th graders?
Why is that a problem?: We're supposed to graduate kids in 4 says society.
What about this is of most concern to us?: Eventually we'll be labeled a failure, loss of freedom = constraints on our capacity to work.

[I would like to dig deeper than this. What are we working on that we believe in so much that constraints would be a problem OR are we just concerned for personal freedom regardless of results?]

If these were symptoms of some disease, what would the disease be called?: Arrogance.

[This doesn't resonate with me. I think it's something like "fear" ].

Imagine there were a solution...what would it have to do to affect [the disease]?

We said, "the solution would have to help us see that our arrogance was getting in the way of student's learning and that external constraints were not a problem." It's US not THEM.

After Birdsell's presentation we were pushed to come up with a message that would forward the solution. We had "one kid at a time" and "In 4 years." [I'm not sure about either and would like to keep looking].

We need a message that addresses the disease (assuming proper identification of disease), causes actions / behaviors different than what we have been doing, and provides the lift we need. Think about how it affects decision rules. Think about how it can be implemented in any situation. What does the audience believe that makes them favorable towards this message? What does the audience believe that makes them unfavorable?

Martin Van Buren and Chester Arthur were the missing presidents.



SAM said...

[digging deeper into Michael's first comment] We are working on our model of education that we all believe is the best way to educate our kids. The constraints that I fear are those that would take away our ability to accomplish that model. I see someone looking at our school, seeing all of the things that we do in an unorthodox manner and saying, "Well, this has got to stop." As we've seen of late, our bureaucratic leadership has no spine. Without results, we are completely at the systems mercy.

[into Michael's second comment]Explain how it's fear, dude. How is fear getting in the way of us not teaching kids? I don't think that it's arrogance, either, now. But there is something that is stopping the kids from getting credit. What is it? Maybe it's uncertainty. Teachers might not feel the expertise they need to feel to help kids in all areas of study. They might be hesitant and uncertain in providing the "just-in-time" teaching that we think is the best instruction in our classrooms. That would explain why so many are looking to go "back to classes."

Maybe a solution might be deploying folks into classrooms and helping teachers find the appropriate instructional practices. Having people actually examining what goes on in classrooms and at apprenticeship site meetings and helping teachers develop more effective practice.

SAM said...


sorry, I forgot to sign it!


SAM said...

I think it is something like what Al describes as "uncertainty." I think I was just calling it "fear," but my thoughts are the same: teachers aren't sure how to help.

But, that's a HOW question. According to Peter Block's "The Answer to How is Yes," when we ask how to do something (especially if we have already been working on it for years), he is suspicious that we are really looking for the proper methodology. It may very well be that this question is masking an unwillingness to make IT work. The real question is not HOW do we do this but WHAT commitment are we willing to make?


SAM said...

What commitment are we willing to make? Like, what kind of instructional practice are we willing to engage in?

Ok, the answer to how is yes. But I don't know what to do to make "yes" work. Help me understand...