A year ago, I shared a post describing a year of learning my colleague, Lynn Fuini-Hetten, and I engaged in through a series of podcasts at TLTalkRadio. It was such a valuable and transformative learning experience as we were working with stakeholders at the time to create pockets of innovation and a vision for systemic change through the development of our Profile of a Graduate. As an example of this transformation, our connection with Kelly Young, Executive Director of Education Reimagined, on Season 2: Episode 29, led us to clarify our own beliefs about learning, especially around the idea of a paradigm shift from school-centered to learner-centered.
The connection with Education Reimagined further led us to take our learning to an even deeper level, especially around learning and leadership. The Shift Your Paradigm podcast, produced in collaboration with Education Reimagined, emerged out of our curiosity about learner-centered leadership.
What does leadership look like in a learner-centered environment?
On each episode of the podcast, we have been discussing this and related questions with leaders and learners from exemplar environments doing the work of transformation. The conversation has been inspiring and affirming for Lynn and me as we work toward the transformation of our own district. The podcasts with practitioners are posted at ShiftYourParadigm.org along with regular reflections on what we are learning. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and join the learning journey! It will continue for quite some time!
In addition to speaking with practitioners, Lynn and I have continued to connect with experts through the TLTalkRadio podcast. Thought leaders are a valuable part of the learning process.
What new ideas or innovation are available that connect to the Profile of a Graduate and learning beliefs?
There is certainly no shortage of ideas about how we can make learning and education better for our teachers and our learners. We’ve connected with many experts through the TLTalkRadio podcast this year and learned much that has informed our practice! The podcasts with experts and thought leaders are posted at TLTalkRadio.org. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and learn from experts and thought leaders!
Here are just three takeaways from these two podcast projects featuring both practitioners and experts:
- Learner-centered leaders act differently than school-centered leaders. On the surface, there may seem little distinction, but once you see the organization through the learner-centered lens (and understand what that really means), a whole new world of possibilities emerges. Lynn and I have been sharing blogs about this takeaway at ShiftYourParadigm.org.
- Changing schools in exponential times is challenging – not easy. There are plenty of blog posts, books and other media with sexy titles that promise to offer the formula for change. Don’t fall for it. If this work was easy, so many wouldn’t be struggling to find solutions. Consume these resources at face value, but be ready to design, along with your stakeholders, solutions that merge ideas from multiple sources to create the right solution for your organization. And prepare to update and iterate your designs along the way.
- Agency is the key to a learning organization. The conversation around agency is often focused on learners in the classroom. But if we desire a learning organization, literally everyone – learners, teachers, leaders – must acknowledge their own agency, and the leaders must create the conditions for everyone to exercise it.
I could go much deeper into these and additional takeaways we’ve had this year. But for now, let’s just say it’s been another year of learning from both practitioners and thought-leaders. Lynn and I hope that sharing out our learning through the podcast resources and blog posts will prove useful to others as well.
In what ways do you learn from practitioners and thought-leaders?
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