dissonance. noun. conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency
between one's beliefs and one's actions. [definition from the American Heritage
I believe that one of the biggest challenges facing school leaders today is
the issue of dissonance. As the definition above
notes, cognitive dissonance refers to the disconnects
between what we believe as leaders and what we do. Here are some examples of
dissonance that regularly occur in the lives of school administrators:
- Few administrators believe that the current American focus on yearly,
one-time, standardized tests (as opposed to more instructionally-sensitive
progress monitoring assessments) is healthy for students, teachers, or schools,
yet they spend a great deal of time and energy on preparing for and working with
the results from those tests.
development almost never leads to long-lasting, substantive changes in
practice, yet most school systems continue to provide training for teachers and
staff using that very model.
terminated (after appropriate remediation opportunities are given) than actually
These are just a few examples. I'??m sure that you can come up with others and
invite you to add your own in the comments to this post. There are other
dissonance issues too. For example...
- time dissonance: the disconnect between the amount
of time administrators have and the amount of work they have to do it;
what our society expects schools to do and what they actually are able to
is best instructional practice (i.e., high-yield instructional strategies) and
what occurs on a day-to-day basis in many teachers'?? classrooms;
technology skills and knowledge that students need for the new millennium and
the capacity of most schools to prepare students for their future lives and
currently serve disadvantaged students and how we should be.
We must find ways to resolve these conflicts. Although most states have
adequate numbers of people with administrative licenses, fewer individuals are
willing to actually take the job of principal or superintendent. The time
demands, stress, community and legal pressures, and other factors are just too
much for many educators, who look at administrative jobs and say, "??Who wants to
deal with that? Not me!"
We know that sustainable success in schools never occurs without effective
leadership. If schools are to attract talented, creative people to serve in
leadership positions, we must somehow figure out how to reduce the
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.
- At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
- See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
- There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Yes, a coup d'état.
- Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
- A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
- Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.