I only have time for a quick (er, quicker than usual) post this afternoon, so I thought I’d riff on a few things that I’ve been thinking about recently.
Recess (Let The Kids Play!): Did you see this tweet from Adam Grant the other day?
I love it. Love it. It makes me think about Waldorf education in how there’s a big emphasis on playing, rather than learning. That is, kids, at a very early age, aren’t meant to be chained to a desk. Sitting still for a 6-year old is crazy-making for the teacher and for the child. So why do we do it? Well, there’s lots of reasons why we do it, but none of those reasons are present-day reasons. That is, countries aren’t fighting the same wars they were fighting when those rules and processes were put in place. [NOTE: I know, we could quibble over the ‘same-ness’ of some of the wars that are still happening today, so let’s just put a pin in that for a later date.] The long and short of it is that we don’t need to ‘churn’ out students in the same way we used to. Great! So, then what?
Well, then, theoretically, we’d all sit down and decide what it is we want out of education for our children. We’d decide what outcomes it is that we’re gearing towards and we’d rework the education system to support those outcomes. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t end up with the exact same system we have, though I’d be very surprised if that were the case. My point is that we’ve just kept on keeping on, such that we’re stuck in this inertial loop of doing the same thing in the same ways that we’ve always done it. It reminds me of what I wrote earlier this week about there being no elected officials who’s sole job it is to represent the ‘future.’ We wouldn’t ever get a person like that unless we took some time to review our political systems to determine whether they’re meeting our needs.
Change Management: I had a conversation earlier today that reminded me of the importance of change management (change leadership?). If we’re going to be instituting large-scale change, we need to bring our people along. We need to engage them early, engage them often. Let them know what it is we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how they can stay involved, and how they can contribute. We’ve got to inspire them, we’ve got to inform them, we’ve got to engage them, and by golly, we’ve got to empower them.
Frequency Illusion: Another conversation today reminded me of the frequency illusion and after a quick search, I realized that I didn’t write about it when I wrote that series on cognitive biases several years ago. Quick example — let’s say you buy a new Toyota. A few days after you buy it, you start noticing that everyone has a Toyota, too. As it happens, your noticing of everyone having a Toyota has more to do with the fact that you just bought a Toyota. Meaning, there were just as many Toyota’s on the road when you bought it as there were before you bought it.