Division of Systemic Change members step forward and be heard:

1) What is systemic change?
2) Why do you believe in it?

  1. #1 by aschow on October 16, 2011 - 1:35 pm

    Systemic change to me simply means identifying clear, measurable goals and then working backwards and building strong, robust pathways to achieving these goals. Cause and effect are clearly linked to one another, constantly assessed for alignment, and refined accordingly.

    Why do I believe in it? Because I have personally seen how such thinking is not the case in public education – as a tutor, educator, educational reformer, parent, and citizen – leading to students getting “lost in the shuffle” or, in the case of my kids, a serious misalignment between our schools’ emphasis on content and testing to our parental focus on intellectual and social development tailored to their needs. We need a significant paradigm shift away from “content that everyone should know” to “what everyone should be able to do to be highly successful and competent citizens of society” and systemic change provides a holistic, interrelated way of bringing people together to work for such a common good.

  2. #2 by Steve Tla MacRae on December 3, 2011 - 2:55 am

    1) What is systemic change?
    “Change we can believe in”…
    Some people call it a “transformation” instead of reform. Personal transportation was reformed when Conestoga wagons were replaced with stagecoaches. (Same two axles, different roof, but same source of power). Personal transportation was TRANSFORMED when the internal combustion engine replaced the horse.

    In education, something has to replace the teacher as the source of information. In Dennis Littky’s schools (www.Metcenter.org), much of the discovery comes from interaction between the student and outside mentors. In programs advocated by sites like http://www.TheStudentIstheClass.com and computer-assisted instruction charter schools (mavericksineducation.com), the teacher becomes a coach, facilitator and a guide on the side.

    A quote from James Zull’s 2002 book about brain-based teaching methods:
    I decided to stop lecturing several years ago and my students have been active and engaged in class ever since. but once in a while I slip back into that lecturing habit, and the minute I do, my students also slip back into that stupor that made me abandon the practice in the first place. (page 127) James Zull, The Art of Changing the Brain: enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning.

    I believe one way to tell that the system has changed is when there are quotes on walls of classrooms and students measure the class by those quotes…. some of the other quotes might be:

    a) Education is NOT the filling of a pail, but rather the LIGHTING of a FIRE.

    b) Most students might forget what you taught them, but they will always remember how you treated them.

    c) I never let school get in the way of my education.

    d) Drive out fear.

    e) Never do for a child what a child can do for himself.

    f) The goal is to gradually transfer responsibility for learning to the student.

    g) Schools teach children to obey. But we need creative answers to the challenges of our times. Many of the people who’ve had the greatest influence on our times were failures in school.

    h) The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.” Piaget, William Glasser

    i) Letʼs create people who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.

    j) Innovative schools offer small classes, individualized instruction, and flexible curricula which can accommodate the child. The same teacher stays with the same group of children for as many as eight grades. The teacher has to grow and learn with the children.

    k) Many teachers believe that they need to control how they teach and how they test. Other teachers negotiate with their students what they will learn, when they will learn it and how we will check that they have learned it.

    l) Until we find the childʼs passion, itʼs just school. When the child finds his passion, we teach to that passion. We can find internships for high school students: Kids say, “I love this internship!” (Dennis Littky)

    m) Unfortunately, to most people, teaching is the giving of knowledge. What are you going to tell the students? What is your expertise? But teaching is really about bringing out what’s already inside people. (Dennis Littky)

    n) If individuals have different kinds of minds, with varied strengths, interests and strategies, then could biology, math and history be taught AND ASSESSED in a variety of ways?

    o) Trust. Truth. No Put- downs. Active Listening. Personal Best.

    p) Learning should be fun. Students should enjoy performing their understanding.

    q) We often forget the most overlooked resource in the school: the students. We ought to close the textbooks, turn off the teacher talk and ask students to talk and share their concerns and let them practice speaking. Instead of forcing in another week of grammar, why not allow them to speak and reveal their grammar gaps as well as their passions? (Cary Elcome)

    (sources include W.E. Deming, Maria Montessori, Mark Twain, Yeats, Piaget, A.S. Fischler, Howard Gardner, and you can get the answers to who said what by going to http://www.Guideontheside.com)

    2) Why do you believe in it?

    I’ve been a lecturer and I generally reached about 30% of the students. When I turned into an ex-teacherand became a guide on the side, facilitator or “curator,” suddenly students were engaged.

    As a teacher, I change the system of my classroom — for minutes, sometimes an hour, students are in a different learning environment (then they walk out the classroom and return to the status quo). But they have experienced classroom change… now they just need the system to catch up.

  3. #3 by Beth Rajan Sockman on February 14, 2012 - 10:27 pm

    1) What is systemic change in education?
    Systemic change in education is change that starts with the END. One asks, “What do we want our students to be able to know and do, ” and then, re-creates a educational system to meet that goal.

    2) Why do you believe in it?
    An understanding of educational systemic change stops the blame game of what is not working, and starts looking at what we do want and do need. It is not a quick fix. When engaging in systemic change, one addresses all the forces and influences to make real and lasting change occur.

  4. #4 by bibpenpals on March 14, 2012 - 4:45 am

    The flurry of interest caused by Eric Mazur’s youtube piece about ‘a converted lecturer’ and the Harvard Magazine focus on the “Twilight of the lecture” ought to bring attention indirectly to systemic change and transformation of education… well, we can hope. here are some of the links… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbBz9J-xVxE introduction by Mazur… / here are some more links that should help readers find common cause in promoting SYSTEMIC CHANGE (transformation across education)

    recommmend https://systemicchange.wordpress.com and http://abe.thestudentistheclass.com for transformation of education. Great stuff about Mazur

    why I flipped my class math teacher

    what if students don’t watch video

    the flipped classroom

    shift of responsibility

    why is it called flipped?

    Faculty collaborate in Stanford

    A sweet attempt – a bit long, but some nice graphics

    WHY EACH TEACHER needs to make a video

    too much lecture in the classroom

    how does this flip work for students in the classroom?

    James Zull

    Visual and active — with paradigms part 1 Dennis Yuzenas

    Eric Mazur Harvard Magazine 8 minutes version

    Eric Mazur
    Peer Instruction.net
    short version

    Go to “Yuzenas Dennis” and look at the visual and active teaching segment. It lays out step by step the method of Yuzenas in getting students to take over with projects

    copy universities and make videos part of your training…

  5. #5 by bibpenpals on March 14, 2012 - 12:45 pm

    Here is a selection of videos that are helpful for systemic change (one of the indicators of transformation in a school system is reversed instruction or use of asynchronous learning to support differentiation of the curriculum)

    How I Flipped My Class (by Katie Gimbar)

    Faculty collaborate in Stanford

    too much lecture in the classroom

    how does this flip work for students in the classroom?

    Visual and active — with paradigms part 1 Dennis Yuzenas (teacher in Florida)

    Eric Mazur Harvard Magazine 8 minutes version

    Eric Mazur
    Peer Instruction.net
    short version

    Go to “Yuzenas Dennis” and look at the visual and active teaching segment. It lays out step by step the method of Yuzenas in getting students to take over with projects

    copy universities and make videos part of your training…

    This list is shorter.

  6. #6 by Peter on October 29, 2012 - 8:02 pm

    I believe it best to recognise the end (the goal) but to first change the hearts and minds of teachers as far as this can be done, by helping schools unlearn their assumptions

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