Are we at a crossroads where we can be in charge of our own learning and direction?
We who use the internet and digital tools certainly think so. Don Taspscott certainly offers new belief about what is possible in his Solving the Worlds Problems Differently I wonder though. The biggest shift may well be still sitting there waiting to happen.
In New Zealand and I suspect other OECD countries we have tended to believe that change in public education has had to be funded and launched from the middle. In other words for teachers professional learning the plans and intent evolve out from the middle – the middle being the Ministry of Education and or its associated providers of professional learning. The stepping up policy Ka Hikitia – aimed at raising achievement for Maori students is an example from the last 5 years.
The online world has certainly added substance to this developing strategy and action process in schools through injecting new ideas and pushing understanding by school leaders. However how ready are NZ school principals to share their developing and even tentative ideas? Are principals still heavy takers from the internet and not very heavy givers to the internet?
What if there was a constant flow of ideas and thinking? Much of it tentative and in its formative state? What if this flow is constantly being added to, adjusted and even re-stated? Would we start to get a powerful separate drive of leadership for achievement that did not require much if any support from defined MOE policy?
Would this be a low cost way to develop our learning capacities and appreciate what to do next?
Are tools like Twitter helping to give such approaches to leadership learning the chance to grow? The immediacy and sharp focus of many Tweets suggests this may be a possibility.
However are NZ principals developing shared learning approaches suited to self-managing collaborative approaches to leading achievement strategies?