Over the past four decades, education worldwide has undergone an intense examination of its very nature and quality. As Sir Ken Robinson (2009) points out in The Element, “Nearly every system of public education on earth is in the process of being reformed—in Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East” (p. 235). The demands of educating youth with the skills to be successful in the global community of this digital age, paired with a continued climate of current educational accountability, causes many educators to feel overwhelmed. In this complex and pressured environment of educational reform, one thing is clear—accountability for student learning must be shared by all stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, school board members, parents, and the larger community).
A few years ago, Margaret Wheatly, the internationally respected scholar in organizational behavior and change, was addressing a group of administrators at the University of Denver. During a question and answer session, one administrator in the audience, explaining that he was an overwhelmed rural school principal, asked Dr. Wheatly if she could sum up her powerful thinking in two concepts that he could hang onto. She smiled, thought for a moment, and answered, “ As a leader in education it is your responsibility to ‘host the conversation and invite inquiry.’” There is great power in this seemingly simple advise. It is through these authentic conversations that educators worldwide will arm themselves with the knowledge and structures necessary to rethink teaching and leadership practices in order to engage students in more expansive learning experiences.
The content in this Website is designed to inspire and enlighten educators as they engage in productive, system-changing conversations. Through updated annotated bibliographies; links to informative Websites; and brief articles and graphics focused on such topics as comprehensive learning frameworks, effective professional development practices, and powerful formative assessment processes, it is my intent to provide information and materials that are useful to educators as they seek to transform teaching, leading, and learning in their schools and communities.