Monday, May 7, 2012

Forget Reform-Focus on Transformation

Transform-“a change in nature, character, shape and form”
Reform-“improvement of what is broken or unsatisfactory”
Futurist David Houle praised Virginia Superintendents for their Blueprint for the Future of Public Education, but he encouraged them to replace references to reform with references to transformation. “We need to wreck the social structure of education today-creative destruction,” he emphasized.  The education system, said Houle, is a system out of sync because the pace of change in the education system has not kept up with the rest of society.
We have moved from the Agriculture Age, through the Industrial Age, Information Age, and now into the Shift Age, he observed. The Shift Age involves three forces:
·         Flow to global;
·         Flow to individual (personalization, choice); and
·         Accelerated electronic connectiveness.

Time, distance, and place do not limit communication, observed Houle. The implications of this are significant. While it is reasonable to promote consistent accountability and equity as Virginia moves forward with virtual learning, are we as Superintendents taking enough initiative to destroy the barriers of time, distance, and place in our education system? What can we do to take better advantage of the opportunities for blended and virtual learning within a context of a strong system for public education?

Regardless of the reference to reform, rather than transformation, the Blueprint for Education Reform in Virginia, created by the Superintendents of Virginia sets forth a vision that respects aspects the three forces of the Shift Age.

Related Posts:
ShiftEd Calls for K-12 Transformation (tweets regarding Houle's book)

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