Notes from Shirley’s talk on change
Posted March 11, 2014on:
Last Thursday I made my way to the Civil Service College to attend the 10th C J Koh Professorial Lecture. The lecture was by Prof Dennis Shirley.
I tweeted my notes, but as these tweets stream rapidly away, I am consolidating some of them in this Storify.
BTW, I also tweeted as @cel_nie as I was the Twitter ambassador of the week. My theme that week was group selfies.
My favourite part of the presentation was a quote from the work of Meredith Hong (not sure of the spelling):
I pursued this with Shirley over refreshments. I asked him if he could share any examples of what he had observed during his travels of change that were truly bottom-up, mindful, and sustainable.
Shirley explained how the Finns (yes, those guys again) have central curricular groups that share their ideas with teachers in schools. But it is teachers that decide what actually gets taught.
They take ownership of what they do from a grassroots level. It seems to be less about policy and agenda and more about focusing on learners and learning.
Bottom-up? You could call it that.
Sustainable? They have been at it all this while and will continue to do so as long as they ignore the slight dip in PISA scores.
Long may their efforts last. Short may our own longing be for greater grassroots efforts, mindfulness, and sustainability in the face of rapid change.