Schlechty on Transformation and The Work

Day Two of the WOW Conference in Dallas and once again Phil Schelchty provided the opening keynote address. This morning, he began the day with a look at the differences between "transforming" schools and "reforming" schools. Phil is, of course, all about transformation. Some of his key points ...

  • If you look at a 1909 Model T Ford and a 2009 Ford Truck you'll see the same basic machine (Reformation). If you look at a caterpillar and a butterfly, you'll see two different animals (Transformation)
  • Phil's work is transforming schools and roles. His goal is not to make you a better instructor, but a better designer. "If you think your role in twenty years is still going to be as an instructor, you'd better retire now." His point being that technology if going to transform how teachers teach. They are not now, nor will they ever be again, the sole source of information for students. What will teachers new role be?
  • Transformation is scary because it creates "incompetence." You have to learn how to do things you've never done in ways you've never done them. That really speaks to some teachers reluctance and fear in using and learning new technologies.
On "Engagement and The Work"

  • Students are engaged when they are involved, attentive, persistent, and committed to the work. The critical result is that students learn that which is important for them to learn. See Schelchty Center on Engagement for more information.
  • Work focuses human effort and activity in producing an exhibition, performance, outcome, or product. Work is a purposeful activity that has a clear end in view.
  • Most of the "homework" that we send home is not homework. It's schoolwork to be done a home. Homework should built the capacity of parents to help their children learn good work habits, morals, and ethics. We have to help parents become purposeful educators.
Once again, great stuff from Phil. And I ask, where does technology fit into all this? We see the transformation of teaching and learning already taking place. How do we prepare teachers, students, and parents for this new vision of education. And how do we get teachers to employ technology in designing engaging work for students?


Mel Villarreal said…
Kids today are definitely into technology. We will have to include technology in the classroom in order to keep their interest.
brian said…
the classroom is in constance change every year. A as teacher you have to reform your morals and curriculum to you students but instill transforming in how you teach those students. If these adjustment can be made each school year. you will become a better teacher

Brian Hall
Elena Rodriguez said…
Students need to stay actively engaged, and the way for a teacher to have success with this is to have appropriate lessons that interest the student and they can relate to. Students learn better when they have hands on experiences. What better way than - TECHNOLOGY.
k-ro said…
It is the students who should benefit from change first and foremost. How do we perceive this change? Classrooms need to be more interactive, whether that means using more technology, or simply just allowing the students to have more input on their education. spoon feeding information does not work for this new type of student we are now teaching in the classrooms, where attention spans, and focus need to be engaged and maintained....students need to build associations and practical use of what they are learning.

Getting the parents involved works for maybe half of the student population, where working parents are not always together with their children to work on homework. I see technology helping bridge this gap some. Good point on carefully revising what the definition of homework should be.
Anonymous said…
The world we live in has been in constant transformation since its creation; however, this constant transformation has become more visible and palpable for the last 110 years.
Technology has been the main catalyst for the latest and most important developments in our society. Technology is clearly embedded in our everyday lives. And as such, we must all embrace it. By not doing so, we are only doing a disservice to our students and to ourselves.
I loved the comment on teachers not being the only source of knowledge for students. Not today, and not in the future. We as teachers must make sure we “teach” our children this very important “lesson”.
Diana Short
Anonymous said…
Because of the rapid evolution of technology, it is often the case that students are teaching the teachers about technology instead of it being the opposite. Teachers need to take the initiative to seek out and learn about new ways to reach students using the latest technology. Teachers need to stop being afraid to try new things. If we all waited until we were trained by our districts to incorporate new technology, it would become obsolete before it reached the students. Districts are always going to be a little behind because of the massive effort it takes from many departments to get approval, funding, and training in how to use new things. Teachers should not wait for the districts, to provide it. If they want to keep up with the students that they are teaching, they can always investigate current trends and new technology on their own and be ahead of the game.

Elizabeth Soto

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