Dealing with Educational Change:
The Challenge to the School
Eduardo O C Chaves
Member
International Advisory Council
Micr...
“The only way to change the world is to imagine
it different than the way it is today. Apply too
much of the wisdom and kn...
Topics
• The Reality of Change
• Change and the Future of Schooling
• Dealing with Change in the School
• A New Conception...
The Reality of Change
Normal and Extraordinary Change
• Change takes place any time, all the time, but
some periods seem to concentrate change i...
A New Era
• The past 60 years (especially the last 25) have
been one such a period, and for this reason it
has been said t...
The Effects of Change
• Access information
• Communicate
• Do business
• Work
• Create networks
• Make friends
• Manage ou...
Change and the Future of Schooling
The Challenge to the School
• The drastic changes taking place from 1945 on
are bringing into question the future of schoo...
Our Present Schools - 1
• Focus: delivery of information, not development
of competences and skills needed for living
• Cu...
Our Present Schools - 2
• Time frame and context: every student to absorb
the whole package, along 12 years, in a face-to-...
Change: Reinvention or Obsolescence
• The changes taking place have made our present
schools badly obsolete: what they off...
The School of the Future - 1
• Not a question of building architecture
• The School of the Future may not need a lot of fa...
The School of the Future - 2
• Either the School of the Future is new in its
pedagogical vision, or it will not be new
• A...
Dealing with Change in the School:
A New Conception of Education
The Traditional View of Education
• Education has been viewed, up to now, as a
process by means of which one generation of...
Emphases of the Traditional View
• On the content to be transmitted (academic
disciplines, organized by grade / series / y...
A New Conception of Education
• Education has to do with human development
• Human beings are born incompetent and totally...
Emphases of the New View
• Autonomy
• We will be autonomous if we become capable of
freely defining a project for our live...
Dealing with Change in the School:
A New Conception of Learning
The Traditional View of Learning
• Learning is basically absortion and assimilation of
information
• Learning takes place ...
A New Conception of Learning
• To learn is not to absorb and accumulate pieces
of information: to learn is to become capab...
How Learning Best Takes Place
• We look and see other people doing things
• We want to do what they are doing
• We try to ...
Levels of Learning Performance
• Sometimes we end up doing things better than
our models and choose to become specialists,...
Dealing with Change in the School:
A New Understanding of the
Curriculum
The Traditional Curriculum
• A matrix (grid) of
• Academic disciplines (mother language, mathematics,
natural sciences, so...
A New View of the Curriculum
• A curriculum is something like a “mosaic” of skills
and competences that shows what skills ...
Emphases of the New View
• On the “mosaic of skills and competences” that
we must develop in order to become adults –
give...
The Curriculum: New Attitudes
• The mosaic should be rich and flexible
• The curriculum is a list of offerings by the scho...
Dealing with Change in the School:
A New Understanding of the
Role of Teachers
The Traditional Role of Teachers
• Traditionally, teachers taught...
• To teach, in the school setting, is to present, in
...
New Roles for Teachers
• In the New School teachers will not teach…
• The function of “teachers” ought to be to advise,
or...
Dealing with Change in the School:
A New Understanding of the Role of
Technology
Technology and Schools
• Technology can be brought into schools to:
• Sustain what is already being done there
• Supplemen...
The Traditional Role of Technology
• In the traditional school technology is supposed
to basically help teachers teach
• I...
Technology and the New School
• If we wish to transform an existing school into a
School of the Future, we must, in the fi...
The Hour of Change
The Hour is Now
• Even for good conventional schools, the time to
change is now
• And change must not be merely reformativ...
Questions?
Eduardo O C Chaves
eduardo@chaves.com.br
http://chaves.com.br
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Dealing with educational change malaysia-c2

  1. 1. Dealing with Educational Change: The Challenge to the School Eduardo O C Chaves Member International Advisory Council Microsoft’s “Partners in Learning”
  2. 2. “The only way to change the world is to imagine it different than the way it is today. Apply too much of the wisdom and knowledge that got us here, and you end up right where you started. Take a fresh look from a new perspective, and get a new result” J Allard Microsoft Vice-President (1 of about 100) Business Week, Dec 4, 2006, p.64
  3. 3. Topics • The Reality of Change • Change and the Future of Schooling • Dealing with Change in the School • A New Conception of Education • A New Conception of Learning • A New Understanding of the Curriculum • A New Understanding of the Role of Teachers • A New Understanding of the Role of Technology • The Hour of Change
  4. 4. The Reality of Change
  5. 5. Normal and Extraordinary Change • Change takes place any time, all the time, but some periods seem to concentrate change in: • Quantity: many things change at the same time • Quality: very important aspects of life change • Scope: most aspects of life change • Intensity: change is profound, not superficial • Speed: change takes place very rapidly • Rhythm: one change doesn’t end and another begins • Direction: changes seems to be leading somewhere
  6. 6. A New Era • The past 60 years (especially the last 25) have been one such a period, and for this reason it has been said that it introduced a “new era”: • Post Industrial Society • Information Society • Knowledge Economy • The Age of Creativity • The Second Renaissance
  7. 7. The Effects of Change • Access information • Communicate • Do business • Work • Create networks • Make friends • Manage our love life • Have fun • The changes that took place in this period have profoundly affected the way we:
  8. 8. Change and the Future of Schooling
  9. 9. The Challenge to the School • The drastic changes taking place from 1945 on are bringing into question the future of schooling • They have made it possible for us to learn • Throughout our lives (life-long learning) • Anytime, anywhere (pervasive, ubiquitous learning) • Through face-to-face and virtual interactions • Through physical or virtual access to information available anywhere at all times • In this context, who needs schools?
  10. 10. Our Present Schools - 1 • Focus: delivery of information, not development of competences and skills needed for living • Curriculum: information to be delivered is over- organized in a matrix of disciplines (i.e., subject- matters) and grades (i.e., years, levels, forms) • Main performers: teachers (who, supposedly, are the privileged possessors of this information) • Role of students: that of passive absorbers of the information delivered to them
  11. 11. Our Present Schools - 2 • Time frame and context: every student to absorb the whole package, along 12 years, in a face-to- face environment – independently of differences in their talents, interests, learning style, and level of motivation • Because of this, and of the decontextualization of the information delivered, the main challenge of the conventional school is to motivate the students to learn what they do not want to learn
  12. 12. Change: Reinvention or Obsolescence • The changes taking place have made our present schools badly obsolete: what they offer does not match what students need today – or what the rest of society (except teachers) wants for them • Challenge: either the school reinvents itself, or it runs the risk of disappearing – or of becoming a mere place of custody (prison?) for children • What some people call the “School of the Future” ought to be an attempt at reinventing the school
  13. 13. The School of the Future - 1 • Not a question of building architecture • The School of the Future may not need a lot of fancy buildings and novel architectural structures • Not a question of technological infrastructure • The School of the Future will have technology – but technology alone will not make it happen • “The mere addition of technology to a conventional school will not make it a School of the Future: it will only make it a more expensive conventional school”
  14. 14. The School of the Future - 2 • Either the School of the Future is new in its pedagogical vision, or it will not be new • A new pedagogical vision involves: • A new conception of education • A new conception of learning • A new understanding of how learning takes place • A new understanding of what a curriculum is • A new attitude towards the curriculum • A new understanding of the role of teachers
  15. 15. Dealing with Change in the School: A New Conception of Education
  16. 16. The Traditional View of Education • Education has been viewed, up to now, as a process by means of which one generation of society transmits to the next: • its way of viewing things (knowledge, science) • its way of doing things (technology) • its way of deciding what is important (values)
  17. 17. Emphases of the Traditional View • On the content to be transmitted (academic disciplines, organized by grade / series / year) • On those who master this content and thus do the transmitting (teachers) • On the methods of transmission (teaching)
  18. 18. A New Conception of Education • Education has to do with human development • Human beings are born incompetent and totally dependent: the whole of education is to make sure that they become competent, autonomous adults • This takes place through learning: fortunately, human beings are born not only with a fabulous capacity to learn and an incredible will to learn • Our “programming” is not closed: it is open
  19. 19. Emphases of the New View • Autonomy • We will be autonomous if we become capable of freely defining a project for our lives • Competence • We will be competent if we become capable of transforming that project into a reality
  20. 20. Dealing with Change in the School: A New Conception of Learning
  21. 21. The Traditional View of Learning • Learning is basically absortion and assimilation of information • Learning takes place best (most efficiently) when it is the result of formal and systematic teaching • So to learn is to receive “information deposits” made by teachers in the “bank account” of the mind (Paulo Freire) • The successful learner is the one with the mind “full”: “the mental obese” (Rubem Alves)
  22. 22. A New Conception of Learning • To learn is not to absorb and accumulate pieces of information: to learn is to become capable of doing that which we were able to do before • Learning has do to with “doing” – it involves not “knowing that” (a “savoir”), but “knowing how” (a “savoir-faire”) • It is true that these “doings” must be conscious and intentional (they have a mental component) • These “doings” are competences and skills
  23. 23. How Learning Best Takes Place • We look and see other people doing things • We want to do what they are doing • We try to do what they are doing • We often fail and need help and incentive • We try again, fail again, receive help and support once more, keep trying until we succeed • We continue practicing until we master the principle and do it apparently “automatically”
  24. 24. Levels of Learning Performance • Sometimes we end up doing things better than our models and choose to become specialists, top level performers • Other times we only add that skill or competence to our portfolio and decide to go on to other and more challenging learning endeavors • Children often decide what level they want to reach in a given competence or skill but also when they want to start and stop developing it
  25. 25. Dealing with Change in the School: A New Understanding of the Curriculum
  26. 26. The Traditional Curriculum • A matrix (grid) of • Academic disciplines (mother language, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences [history, geography]) • Grades (years, levels, forms) • The content of the academic disciplines is rarely skills and competences (knowing how): often it is purely information (knowing that)
  27. 27. A New View of the Curriculum • A curriculum is something like a “mosaic” of skills and competences that shows what skills are required for each competence and places skills and competences in hierarchies (showing lower- order skills and competences that are required for the development of higher-order ones) • For each skill and competence the curriculum must list the attitudes, values and information required to exercise them
  28. 28. Emphases of the New View • On the “mosaic of skills and competences” that we must develop in order to become adults – given the fact that we are all different • On the learner, who needs to develop into a competent and autonomous adult • On the process of learning – “mathetics” (i.e., developing skills and competences)
  29. 29. The Curriculum: New Attitudes • The mosaic should be rich and flexible • The curriculum is a list of offerings by the school – not a list of demands made by the school on the students • Students should built their own “taylor-made” program, on the basis of their life project • Students ought not to be required to undertake particular activities, unless they fit into their life project
  30. 30. Dealing with Change in the School: A New Understanding of the Role of Teachers
  31. 31. The Traditional Role of Teachers • Traditionally, teachers taught... • To teach, in the school setting, is to present, in a formal and organized way, the program of an academic discipline
  32. 32. New Roles for Teachers • In the New School teachers will not teach… • The function of “teachers” ought to be to advise, orient, coach, mentor, and facilitate learning • In order to do this they ought to watch & listen, give feedback, ask questions, call attention to issues, bring up neglected aspects, instigate curiosity…
  33. 33. Dealing with Change in the School: A New Understanding of the Role of Technology
  34. 34. Technology and Schools • Technology can be brought into schools to: • Sustain what is already being done there • Supplement what is being done there • Subvert what is done there • The impact of technology will depend on our being either conservative, or reformative, or then revolutionary (Taken from George W. Scharffenberger)
  35. 35. The Traditional Role of Technology • In the traditional school technology is supposed to basically help teachers teach • In relation to students, technology is meant to make the information that teachers want them to absorb and assimilate available outside the school building and regular school hours
  36. 36. Technology and the New School • If we wish to transform an existing school into a School of the Future, we must, in the first place, allow technology to use its subversive power to help the school community “unlearn” old habits and ways of doing things • Then the field will be cleared for a creative and innovative use of technology to promote human development, accomplishment and realization • Technology must be the servant of pedagogy
  37. 37. The Hour of Change
  38. 38. The Hour is Now • Even for good conventional schools, the time to change is now • And change must not be merely reformative: it needs to be truly transformative (that means: revolutionary) • Change has to be achieved first in the field of ideas, in our mindsets: in the way we look at things, in how we see and understand things
  39. 39. Questions? Eduardo O C Chaves eduardo@chaves.com.br http://chaves.com.br

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