Push or pull?
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
Do you respond to PUSH or PULL? How about your students and staff?\n
David posted last week about the recent discussion in North Carolina regarding raising the minimum dropout age to 18 instead of 16. Apparently students are dropping out in increasing numbers, so folks want to mandate they stay in longer. Forcing students to go to school when they don't want to? That's a PUSH.\n
In her comment to Dave's post, Carolyn Foote responded:\n
I was thinking of something Marco Torres said today in his keynote at TCEA. He said that it was his job to infect kids with enough curiosity today that they would want to come back tomorrow. And that if they came back tomorrow, he wanted to give them enough curiosity to come back the rest of the week. I don't think this is about entertainment. I think it's about inviting students to learn, about creating an environment so compelling that they want to be a part of it. It's not that there aren't many excellent educators making a dedicated effort. It's that institutionally, we aren't inviting students in.
Creating inviting learning environments and empowering students to do interesting things? That's a PULL.\n
The Center for Education Policy has determined that 22 states require students to pass a standardized test before students can graduate from high school. Most of those exams are more difficult than they were a few years ago. Making it harder for students to graduate? That's a PUSH.\n
Education Week recently noted that some schools are paying students financial 'awards' for increased performance on assessments:\n
[T]he $110 is not nearly as much they could earn working after school. (It amounts to about 18 hours of work at the minimum wage in Maryland of $6.15 an hour.) But it could be enough for students to take a few days off to attend tutoring sessions.
Paying students for performance? That's a PULL.\n
The National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools keeps tallies on the number of states that allow corporal punishment of students that violate school rules. In Mississippi, 8% of students were subject to physical discipline in the 20022003 school year. Hitting students for not following the rules? That's a PUSH.\n
In Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community, Alfie Kohn discusses letting students make real choices (rather than pseudo-choices like 'you have chosen to sit by yourself at the table') so that they can internalize, rather than externalize, moral development and self-direction. Giving students authentic voice and opportunities to participate in meaningful decision-making? That's a PULL.\n
Which of these resonate best with you: the PUSH or the PULL? What are your primary approaches to facilitating change in schools? And, more importantly, what are the preferred approaches of your audience? Because, as John Maxwell reminds us, the true measure of leadership is influence (i.e., whether you have followers or not)...\n\n
One year ago: Narrowcasting (one of my favorite posts ever!)\n
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.
- Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
- The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
- One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
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