Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Creating Second Order Change

Was your education good enough for you when you went through school?

To some, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, that model is not good enough for our students today. Changing the model is second-order change for most in education (and society) except for a few courageous leaders.

McREL, located in Denver Colorado, rolled out Balanced Leadership in our education agency about 5 years ago. The premise of their meta-analysis was that school leaders had 21 responsibilities that could be correlated with gains in student achievement. Furthermore, there are 6 district level responsibilities that are at the core of the superintendency. The idea of second order change comes from the premise that the magnitude of change at this level is much greater than first order change.

Are we attempting second order change in our schools? My answer would be "no". Check out the Committe of Ten and tell me how much things have changed since 1892. Looks pretty much like a current 2010 high school schedule.

According to our professor, the University of Northern Iowa is the only program preparing superintendents that is using the McREL research and Balanced Leadership responsibilities. Our challenge as new leaders is to create a "sense of urgency" in our schools. To push our profession to change.

Not just minor change, but a magnitude of change that will propel our children into a dedicated culture of 21st century learning.

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