Recent British political (the Brexit vote) and, arguably, sporting events (Leicester City winning the English Premiership), show us some really important things: Change and ‘the unexpected’ can and does occur. Both of these were not flukes. Leicester did not just win a game or two. They played 38 games, only losing 3 and with a team without any household names, any so-called big stars, at a fraction of the cost of the usual suspects who take home the title. The Brexit vote was not a fluke either. There was a referendum and despite what was expected – to remain in the EU – a decision to leave is how the majority of people voted.
Now, I know there were many disturbing factors leading to the Brexit outcome, notably media propaganda and politicians’ false promises, but the fact remains that sudden, unexpected change is upon one of the major countries in the EU, it’s people and probably the EU itself. Yet, it would appear there is a now a rather pressing matter….. answering the question:
So, what is the plan now?
Answers such as ‘we didn’t expect this so we don’t have one’ or ‘devising a plan is the next step’, are, quite frankly not good enough for something that is likely to impact so many people so hard.
In education, the likes of commentators, educelebs, change agents, enoobs and the majority of those educators who regard themselves as ‘connected’, have been continually calling for substantial changes in the education system. Whether one focuses on assessment methods, teaching practices, classroom layouts, school hours, research logistics, etc, etc, all have spokespeople calling for the revolution. I have little doubt that one day, this will happen. I don’t know when that day will be but I know it will be impact many people very hard. Yet, unlike, the Brexit vote, let’s try and answer the question before it happens:
So, what is the plan now?
We will need answers. They will need to be comprehensive and well thought out. They will need to deal with the demands of all involved and respond to the changes desired. Are we able to do that now? I think there is a better question that could also be asked of those who believe education should change, ‘Do we know what we actually want the education system to be like?’
The Leicester City team that won the Premiership in England worked very hard as a collective. They had vision, balance, a lack of fear and trust in each other. When they found themselves midway through the season at the top of the league, there was enormous pressure. Few believed they could maintain it. There will have been doubt within their own personnel but they knew what they could do and what they wanted to do every time they went out on to the field to play. Their system utilised their resources to the maximum. It was not about the individuals but it was about having the best people playing roles they were best suited to.
If the Leicester and the Brexit examples teach us anything in the context of education then, to my mind, all schools need to be building teams that are equipped not just for the demands of education today but for the changes that are coming. However, schools also need to be prepared for what those changes are likely to be. They must have a collective plan and know how they are going to implement it. It is not enough to call for change. Education needs to be ready for when the change actually occurs and have built a team who can succeed at the challenge.
image courtesy of http://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/dictionary/plan.jpg