For the human mind, accustomed to thinking linearly,
exponential change is a difficult concept to grasp.
-- Four-Dimensional Education: The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed
In the midst of a rapidly transforming educational landscape, it makes sense to give careful consideration to the the why. Simon Sinek's "golden circle" reminds us that if we're not able to clearly articulate the purpose behind significant change, it doesn't matter how innovative, how transformative it might be...it will likely be met with scepticism and resistance.
|Simon Sinek- Start With Why|
But I've come to realize that with my focus largely on that essential inner circle, I had drifted somewhat from the outer ring, the what. With the implementation of a new curriculum, that what has been the topic of a rich dialogue amongst BC educators. With the world at our students' finger tips, how do we provide them with relevant, meaningful and engaging educational content? How do we choose what to teach?
The good news is that to some extent, we don't need to decide. The new curriculum offers unprecedented choice to BC's students- an opportunity to explore individual, diverse interests and passions. And yet, the what provides an essential foundation, a framework.
By nature, I tend to be a "big ideas" kind of person, and sometimes lose sight of the essential foundational details. Fortunately, amidst the many inspirational "big ideas" that were shared at last week's FISA convention, I was provided with a remarkable reminder of the importance of the what by Charles Fadel, founder and chairman of the Centre for Curriculum Redesign. In his book, Four-Dimensional Education, Fadel explores the significant challenge that educational leaders face to keep pace with exponential growth on a global scale. As such, he identifies several integral "dimensions" as educational goals and presents a framework for 21st century education.
So while it's important to "Start With Why" when implementing significant change and innovation, I would suggest that refocussing on the what can also provide a useful reminder of those equally essential details, the foundational framework for a meaningful, transformative educational experience for our students.