Heroic Individuals Will Not Change Schools

Posted on 19 Jan 2010 in Educational Technology, Intervention, School Behavior | Comments Off on Heroic Individuals Will Not Change Schools

The title of this blog article is the premise of a recent article from Edutopia magazine. Instead of relying on individuals to save our schools, the article focuses on helping teachers create Professional Learning Communities (PLC) so that change can occur through communication and collaboration.

Community

Creating communities was the reason I founded the PBISning last spring. This professional network and PLC is a place for individuals in school and at universities to come together to share ideas about implementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. It’s true that there is a lot of research available about PBIS and even a professional organization, APBS.org, a national research center, PBIS.org, and a professional journal JPBI that focus on this behavior system. But the Ning is different. The Ning is a community. And the website is created and sustained by this community. It is not published, polished, or controlled by a board. The content comes from the members of the community. There is no fee to join and no membership dues to pay. People who contribute and comment and participate create the community that they want for themselves.

Benefits

What are the benefits of this type of community? Plenty:

  • members share their experiences.
  • member drive content, whatever people want to share and discuss becomes the focus.
  • two heads are better then one mentality prevails.
  • there is equality and respect for each others point of view.
  • people join because they want to be there, there is no coercion or extrinsic reward for participating.
  • it allows everyone the freedom to share ideas, photos, and videos related to our passion – PBIS.
  • the PLC allows us to grow by asking questions and participating in one-on-one discussions with the people that have the experience we want to gain. Even if we think we are the novice, there are others who may see something we do as innovative or powerful. We constantly switch between the role of teacher and student.

The article cited above from Edutopia really made sense to me. We keep looking for a hero or a magic potion that will change our schools or save our children. The truth is that there is no simple solution to complex problems. We have the knowledge and power to make the difference, but it takes a village.

Who or what is part of your learning community?
Where do you turn to ‘sharpen the saw’ as Steven Covey puts it?
Let me know my commenting below.

Powered by ScribeFire.