Why do we have to follow the rules?
Schools are full of rules.
We need rules, but we also need to re-examine how school rules (often based on assumptions about what school is, what it is for, and what it should look like) work against learning.
We need to be willing to challenge our deeply-held assumptions about the purpose and nature of school, and the definition of “learning”.
“The change lesson here is that we need to change the culture of learning, not simply the trappings or structures.”
Building the conditions for deep learning across and entire school system requires change agents at all levels. So how do we start a movement?
Derek Sivers has lots to say about this!
“A leader needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed.”
But to transform a school system, we need more than a “lone nut”.
Dr. Francesca Gino in her book, Rebel Talent says that rebels are those who break rules constructively (as opposed to destructively) to create positive change. As an school system wanting positive change for our students, how do we encourage this kind of rebel behaviour? How do we create the conditions so people are encouraged to bring their best ideas forward?
Experimentation without expertise can become unprofessional, and expertise without experimentation can become stagnant and boring.
The most valuable “rebels” are those who have high levels of expertise, yet continue to experiment with new ideas. They defy the status quo and produce creative breakthroughs by approaching their work daily with the question, “What can I learn from this?”
They continue to learn voraciously, ask questions constantly, and make connections that others never see.
So who is listening to them?
Dr. Gino’s description of a constructive rebel reminds me of the concept of a “Wild Card” in Design Thinking, captured here in a job ad from IDEO.
One problem identified by Dr. Gino is that organizational experience is costly. Often leaders with years and years of experience, believe they already know all they need to know. It can make us overly certain that we are on the right path and making sound decisions. Leaders become annoyed at the challenges to our thinking posed by rebels. We react from a place of sensitivity to criticism when rebels suggest different ideas.
As we work to transform our schools through a new culture of learning, how are we making space to embrace rebel thinking from all levels of the system?
Derek Sivers’ TED Talk
New Pedagogies for Deep Learning
Our #nledDPAG (Director’s Principal Advisory Group) are working on solutions to student disengagement in grades 7-12. As part of this work we are reading Deep Learning Engage the World Change the World by Fullan, Quinn and McEachen (2018). This is an ongoing reflection on that work.
Also in this series:
Chapter 1: Relevance Unfound
Chapter 1: Finding Purpose, Skill and Connection
Chapter 2: Flourishing
Thanks to Kristy Keery Bishop for the #5Days5Words provocation:
I plan to write 5 mini blogs about 5 little words that I’ve been reflecting on this summer. Mini…little…single words…nothing too intimidating. Want to join me? #5Days5Words
Also Participating: Aviva Dunsiger
Also in this series: Flourishing
Deep Learning: Invitation to Learn
NPR Hidden Brain Podcast – Rebel with a Cause
Deep Learning: Engage the World Change the World