Moving teachers to embrace new paradigms for designing highly effective learning environments requires masterful leadership.
IDE Corp. works with school leaders to inspire teachers to shift their perceptions of the teaching and learning process in today’s classrooms. Teachers act from their hearts – from their core beliefs. If a teacher believes that a student cannot learn, no amount of instructional techniques provided to that teacher will cause that student to learn. When teachers believe they can’t make a difference, they don’t. When teachers believe they can make a difference, they do.
Schools both serve and form society. They serve society by what they teach. Once students learned to use a sliderule; now they learn to use calculators. Information, media, and technology literacy are skills students need in today’s society. Our flattening, global landscape and economy requires students to gain financial, economic, and entrepreneurial literacy skills. Society drives what schools must teach. Schools form society by how they teach. Developing responsible citizens, problem-solvers, communicators, and collaborators who possess flexibility, adaptability, ingenuity, and, reflectivity is more about how instructional takes place than what is taught.
Schools, however, are slow to change to fit the needs of a new economy, mired in the structures of a factory-based society (e.g. hallways of subject-specific rooms, bells, supervisors, desks in rows, everyone doing the same task at the same time, etc.) Moving teachers to embrace new paradigms for designing learning environments requires masterful leadership.
Nearly two decades ago, Bolman & Deal defined four frameworks for leadership: structural, human resource, symbolic, and political. Following a decade of research on the topic, they determined that leaders, in general, have mastered the structural and human resources components, but fall short on the structural and symbolic. The political framework is about constituencies and coalitions, outside connections, fighting to support the vision, that is, being a “warrior.” The symbolic framework is about inspiration, visions, future-think, that is, being a “wizard.”
Our work includes on-site workshops and follow-up coaching. We work with administrators from large school districts, smaller suburban districts, and rural districts. We have designed learning environments to bring administrators together from across districts.
Our senior staff work with district and school leaders who are ready, willing, and able to take steps to move their teachers to further instructional innovation.