I love reading about all the successes other edubloggers are having. I love reading posts that confirm what I have been thinking and that discuss issues that have been on my mind. But how do we take the momentum and the successes of the education blogosphere and bring it to the institution where we spend most of our time?
And more importantly, how do we do this when so many of our colleagues are so resistant to change? Is it fair to our students to have one teacher that allows natural and authentic use of technology in their classroom and 7 others that do not? How do we implement this change when we are so entrenched in our system of standards and standardized assessments already?
For example, I was recently in a portfolio “de-briefing” session with a few middle school faculty members. We were discussing the effectiveness and success of our portfolio process. When the time came to share ideas for improvement, I was not alone in the desire to incorporate more relevant and authentic methods of presentation for our portfolios. However, we were definitely the minority. Even though we’ve all just been through extensive IT integration training, several members of the faculty were adamant that the only way to do portfolios is to put paper in a binder – how else will we include all our tests?
I tried to explain, a la Ian Jukes (via Chrissy Hellyer), that the process is not relevant to our students, that they’re not thinking like we’re thinking. I shared ideas for 21st century skills, I described the digital native concept, and I discussed authentic assessment, but in the end it’s just too much, prompted by too few, that has to change too quickly. After all, we have years and years of experience giving tests and putting them in binders. It’s just so much easier to keep doing things the way we’ve always done them.
I know the reason they are so resistant, I know they are trapped by fear: fear of technology, fear of knowing less than their students, fear of losing control… But how can we help these teachers get over the fear and just try something new?
How do you do it?
Update: How do you do it on an institutional level? How do you get the whole mind set of an entire school to change? Is it even possible for one, or two enthusiastic teachers to make this change?