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The Side Effects of Disrupting Education

By Steve Saville and Rebecca Thomas

(Alice Through The Looking Glass at Guildford Castle in England)

Self reflection, as Derek alluded to in his last 4Cs blog, is an important part of transformative leadership. Keen to pursue transformation in our education system, Steve and I took Derek up on his challenge and applied these characteristics to ourselves. So, this weekend Engaging Learning Voices has been reflecting on the question, 'can educators' critical thinking coexist with a consistent message about systems and ideas.'

To frame the answer to this question we wish to use Derek’s structure: clarity, conviction, commitment and courage.

Clarity: being clear about one’s own beliefs and factors that shape those beliefs

It’s no secret that ELV tries to empower and amplify the voices of our educational community. It’s no secret that ELV is no power house, just two passionate people who like to encourage our readers to think critically. Our intention is simple, to help build a bridge between evidence based research and the busy realities of the school ecosystem.

Conviction: to persevere in the face of challenges

In our excitement last week we released a Common Practice Model Tool in the hope to engage educators in the pedagogy that lies behind the call to action. We are quite excited about the promise of the CPM and wrote a blog about it back in March, titled Common Practice Model Release a Pedagogical Journey using Joseph Campbells’ Hero’s Journey to frame the context. We always knew that something this big would be a ‘journey’ rather than a solution, and rightly so.

Commitment: long term vision

Being committed to bringing about positive social change we reflected on the idea that the tool we released last week could possibly cause some confusion, and that we needed to give the MOE time to bring out their own tools/resources/explanation exploring how they intend the CPM to be interpreted.

We agree the ‘how’ to deliver Mātaiho needs careful consideration and mana.

Courage: confronting resistance

Having empathy, and being able to make difficult decisions in the face of push back, we have decided to remove the CPM Tool from our website for the next three weeks and admit that maybe in our excitement we ‘bolted’ too soon.

We are willing to learn, through reflection and experience.

For anyone who has already purchased the resource, we ask that you kindly refrain from sharing it and using it in the field during this grace period, as we await any further guidance.

As Derek stated, ‘transformational change doesn’t happen quickly, it requires sustained effort and vision.’ We do however believe that a consistent message can provide a foundation and common understanding while still allowing room for critical thinking. By promoting an environment that values both the consistent message and critical thinking, educators can contribute to the refinement and enhancement of systems and ideas.

We will continue to see things through and we will endeavor to support educators to engage in messages in an empowering way, we appreciate your support and patience.

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Derek Wenmoth
Derek Wenmoth
Jun 12, 2023

Hi Steve and Becca - pleased to see the 4Cs being used in this way - thank you. Your approach models well the sort of reflective process that we, as educators, can do to work with these things. Just a point about the Clarity stage - this needs to be more than having a clear vision, it is the stage where we need to hold the mirror for an honest examination of our own biases, and ask the awkward questions of ourselves in terms of whether our actions and the things we are committed to are actually making the difference we believe they are. For example, while pursuing an ambition around gender equity, we may see results in terms of,…

Rebecca Thomas
Rebecca Thomas
Jun 12, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Derek. I like what you say about clarity and examining our own bias. these are important things for Steve and I to think about moving forward. We appreciate your interaction and enjoyed applying your principles to our mahi over the weekend.

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