Over the fall I have enjoyed many conversations with educators across the province through my work at WRDSB and connections through OSAPAC, OSSEMOOC and ECCO. I note the themes in these conversations, which have led me to a personal wondering.
On one hand we have Dr. Fullan’s research backed and detailed go forward comments in A Rich Seam and other recent publications. We hear messaging about changing practice, improving student learning and quality assessment strategies. Digging a little deeper leads to technology enabled learning, innovation and innovative projects, student voice/choice, student generated content/learning artifacts, reflective practice, sharing of learning (blogging etc.) … even highlighting innovations and change of practice on special provincial days to highlight the importance of change.
Hold that thought!!!
In other conversations centred on student voice/choice, the topic of gathering student data floated into the discussion. Generally speaking, it seems that data collection appears to be anchored in very traditional practices that don’t really allow for voice, choice, leveraging technology, differentiation, collaboration, creating, … you get the picture.
From this vantage point, it would seem to me that there are competing interests: student voice/choice, innovation, change of practice VS standard traditional data collection strategies.
I can’t help but wonder: If changing personal practice and innovation are truly critical shifts to be achieved in education … is it time to remove the competing juggernaut and actually focus on changing practice as a first priority?