About Thinks

Sometimes good thinks happen and sometimes bad thinks happen. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two.

Some thinks need immediate action and some thinks may remain as thinks forever. Thinks can be angry and heated. Thinks can be joyful. Thinks should never be cold.

These thinks are linked to many other wonderful thinks and I like to attribute these.

These thinks do not necessary reflect those thinks of my employer.

Think long, think on.

Monday, April 2, 2012

OWNing it - reflection from ELS 12

I spent the weekend at the ELS. Here's my perspective.

My light-bulb, popcorn, eureka (or whatever you want to call it) moment would have to be the concept of 'ownership' vs 'buy in'. Interestingly it was one of the last sessions where this came to fruition and fortunately it made some of the earlier sessions a lot more powerful.

Fuel to my 'owning' fire came from the statement that, when using sound ownership processes, 'no decision made has been the wrong decision'.

My interpretation of this is that if all interested parties come together to make an important decision, create a model, or design a program in a genuinely collaborative way then the decision/model/programme produced will be the right one.

So what do I mean by a genuinely collaborative way? Here's some ideas that I pondered over the weekend (there will be many more).

  • The supermarket trolly design model (to be honest I was not particularly taken by this session at the time but the ownership vs buy-in statement turned that trolly right around for me)
  • The world cafe technique (I have had the pleasure of experiencing this at the 2011 emerging leaders symposium and have found it to be a powerful classroom tool ever since)
  • The idea of teachers having time allocated to using the inquiry model to enhance their practice and pedagogy (as opposed to lengthy admin meetings)
  • Providing our families (interested parties) with the same information that we have so that they can own the decisions made for their child's education programme. 
    • Show them the content of assessments rather than just the result. (I know that as a parent my illusions of test content were shattered when I saw what was actually in them). 
    • Share every accessible thing that adds to your insights around pedagogy with your families. For example, here is a Conrad Wolfram TED talk. What do you think about this in relation to your child's maths programmes?
    • I read this article - here it is.  What ideas did you take out of it?
    • I observed a child teaching himself how to use a google site in the classroom, it reminded me of this theory, what do you think of that?


Of course such dialogues and discussions would not be compulsory but the opportunity and transparency should be there for children and parents to 'own' their education and not just 'buy-in' to it. I try to do this with my blog but, on reflection, I do far too much telling and not enough asking.

Perhaps that is part of the issue I have with standards. At the end of the day we all want similar outcomes for our kids. Not many would want a system where we spit our children out at the end innumerate and illiterate. But we are told what is important and what is valued and we must 'buy-in' to this, not 'own it'.  Why not provide  opportunities so that we can explore and inquire into this ourselves? Why not let us do the learning? How about we stop wasting money on glossy publications that others have had the privileged opportunity to own and create? Would it be an easier, faster but more importantly an empowering process to give the users (i.e. me) the opportunity to 'own it' rather than trying to make me comply or 'buy-in?

And the same works for our kids. As I have mentioned in a previous post in relation to Ewan Macintosh's Problem FINDING vs SOLVING we can help our kids be better learners by giving them the space to OWN their ideas and not BUY-IN to some plan we might have slapped together on a Sunday night.

So thank you #els for inspiring me to the point where i am blogging on a SMART phone at 2:44am (apologies for typos and poor grammar) And thank you Mark Osborne for providing the ELS glue. Problem is, am I buying-in to this concept or owning it?

What do you think?

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