October 27, 2016

Some thoughts on change and the reform

reformtalk

This was originally going to be a post talking about change and the reform (or the renewal, or whatever you want to call it) yet I don’t want to just add another drop to the bucket of words that is already overflowing about the reform like reform vs renewal, group work vs individual work, learning situations vs learning activities, text books, reinvestment tasks, student-centered, program centered, manifestations of learning, lecture vs experiential learning, learner vs student, grammar vs. whole language … because, in reality, there is no this vs that.

reformwhat

I love the potential of our programs in Adult Education because they point towards what makes sense – learning that is centered on developing the competencies of the students in our rooms, in our centres, in relation to their courses of study.

In the most simple and basic terms – Our programs define the behaviours that our students need to work on in order to be able to succeed in their courses. And they provide for situations that allow our students to practice these behaviours.

A behaviour is something we do. So in order to be successful, we need to do.

So let’s get out there and do. Instead of presenting to teachers about the differences between new and old programs, instead of presenting to teachers different kinds of learning situations and what they might look like in their classrooms, let’s play with the programs and learning situations in our professional development rooms and in our classrooms. Let’s make sense of them together.

And let us not forget that there is no one size fits all classroom.
Each classroom across the province is different. Point finale.

Only our teachers and students know the piece of the puzzle that is specific to their classrooms and so their voices need to be raised in these conversations. They are the experts on their classrooms.

Instead of talking about programs, let’s talk with teachers, with students about their development in relation to their courses. And let’s not forget the listening side of the talking equation. By talking with instead of about, we can make learning – whether it be in PD rooms or classrooms – closer to the intention of our new programs as learner-centered programs focused on competency development.

There is no try, just do.
Just do it.

This post was inspired by this one, shared on Twitter via Marcy Webb:

Why I’m done talking about diversity by Marlon James

Images at top of post built on Women of Color in Tech Stock Photo #24 found here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wocintechchat/25900810342/

I have been teaching and consulting - from primary school through adult education - since 1996. Currently an education consultant with la Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles in Montreal, Quebec, I believe that sharing our stories is the key to getting better together.

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