Thursday, November 30, 2006

Managing Change

As I work throughout my school district, I constantly hear teachers reflecting on the changes and new initiatives that have been going on over the past four years and the word most often spoken by them is "overwhelmed." It makes me think about reading one of Eric Jensen's books, Brain Based Learning. Jensen writes that, in order to fully understand a concept, our brains need to be immersed in information and then we need to "think" our way out. I'm thinking this is what's going on with our teachers. They've been immersed in lots of information as we work toward our curriculum and instruction vision but we have yet to "think" our way out of all this information. While there are certain pockets of teachers (maybe they're the right brainers) who have gotten the big picture, others are still struggling with the pieces and how they all fit together. So, what's the best way to think our way through all of those pieces? To truly move forward and to empower all of our teachers, it seems that we need to find our way from the pieces to the whole and we need to do it together. Somehow, I'm confident it will happen...but when and how still remains to be experienced.

1 comment:

rob banning said...


This is the second reference to Jensen's "think your way out" that I have read in recent days. I love the imagine that it provides especially as it relates to learning! Too often, we as educators attribute success to "brains...immersed in information" but the real, higher level, learning comes after students struggle with the ideas and information to form their own understanding and can apply it to other situations or problems.

In a nutshell, learning comes from using. I was at a conference once and the presenter was asked "Wow, how do you keep up with all of the changes in technology?". He responded "I write a book each summer."

We know as educators that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. I am a big proponent of Technology Mentors - teachers who teach and support other teachers with technology. While the school/district benefits from their work, the mentors also benefit from the opportuntity to assist others by enhancing their understanding of the technology.

I guess this falls on the idea of "Pass It On..."