Teacher as Learner: I’ve Got Questions

training smallYour school makes a major move, a large scale disruption away from normal.

How will teachers get ready for this?  What’s the conversation surrounding that change sound like?

You hear things like:  When will training occur?  Who will be doing the training?  Will I get paid for attending the training?  Is training mandatory?

How much responsibility do teachers have for their own learning surrounding a change?  Or is it all on the organization?  Or a combination of both?

Do teachers have to wait for the organization to learn?

All I have is questions.  Here is the first one.

At scale, can you expect teachers to learn in a way where all acquire the necessary understanding required for systemic organizational change brought about by the disruption, and do so independently of the organization?  Could you realistically expect all to learn the requisite knowledge required for a major change in practice, independently of a consistent experience designed for all learners?  Is that realistic in your opinion?

More questions:

If it is, could teachers learn what they need by self-study?  Or could they self-organize into collaborative learning groups?  Could they access the necessary content information from traditional and online sources to support their learning?  Could they connect with other learners from other organizations to form a learning network?  How would they understand how much they learned and how would they demonstrate that?  Would they be reflective? Would they make their learning transparent by publishing their thoughts?   How would they share what they learned and how would they challenge each other as learners, colleagues and professionals?  Would a professional learning community emerge?  And would they develop learning dispositions that would enable future learning?

I would argue that these are all expected behaviors of today’s learners, including your students.  Would you expect a population of teachers to be able demonstrate these modalities?

I would.

What’s the expectation in your organization for learning that is associated with professional practice?  And how is that expectation reflective of the expectation you have for your student learners?  Do they match or are they different?

If you have a culture of learnership, then the expectation for the behaviors of all learners should be the same, regardless of their role and position in the organization.


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