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"Herding Cats" and Change 3.0 (Part 2)

The more things change, the more they remain... insane.

Could there be more than a grain of truth in such tongue-in-cheek one-liners?

My perspective on "change" has always been a bit more "hopeful", more "optimistic" - like that of Margaret Mead:

You can't put students “first” if you put teachers “last”. Those 54 characters (and how the hell most normal human beings are supposed to convey a decent idea in 140 characters is still beyond me) captured the paradox that is so often hard-wired into Change 1.0 and Change 2.0 initiatives… And, taking my lead from @TeachersJourney - I started to think about a couple more questions:

Do we really put students "first" - really, really?

If we do, do we have to put teachers "last" - or can both come "first"? The problem is I cannot really answer these questions with the self-imposed word limit I try to keep for each post - this one will have to go to a Part 3...but here goes!

  1. the focus on change-as-an-event

  2. the preference for command-and-control approaches to improvement

  3. putting the organization before the people who “live” in it and those it is designed to “serve”Change 2.0 did address these issues and sought to:

  4. acknowledge that organisational change is, in fact, a “process” of "changing people"

  5. recognise that these people need to be “motivated” to change

  6. pay greater attention to best practices, planning and management Surely, this type of conceptualisation is enough – process, people, planning! Loading the dice in this way has gotta work…

Sorry, but I think it’s time to burst that little “bubble”…

  1. We cannot “change” peopleand anyone who has this as her “goal” is just plain “dumb”

  2. We cannot “motivate” anyoneand the sooner we drop this “myth about carrots and bloody sticks” the better

  3. The truth is…..and I need some images (and a few words) to convey this:

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Now, you see why I needed that 5k of lexis! But, before I elaborate on this – I guess I have to jump back a space or two. As I noted yesterday, what often ruffles my feathers is the fact that many educational leaders (and, even moreso – politicians) still keep on talking about "herding" and asking the question:

  1. How do we motivate our people to change? And, by "people" - they frequently mean "them" or "those buggars". Guess what - teachers "know" this and are not easily conned by a carrot or two... Let's be very clear - this question is very much one created in the back rooms of a “managerial mindset”; an approach to change that focusses on “arranging”, “telling” and “herding”. Management is not enough - especially if that management that fails to walk-its-talk or is based on tradition and folklore. Tolstoy had it right when he said “...everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing himself”. His words prompt another question - could it be that many of the difficulties we still face with “change in education” are actually “caused” by those who see themselves as being “charged with managing change”?

Could it be that the core questions they ask – are just “wrong”?

But, I've just realised I have gone over my word limit - time to "plan" for Part thinks.

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Lucky for us...they very rarely are!8 However, I did not really come up with any suggestions or solutions for how we can 'pop their little bubbles', expose them for what they are, and protect ourselv

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