When we make our learning transparent, we become teachers--
For two years I have advocated for a culture shift at my school. I would like to see us more aggressively leverage our 1:1 computing model to build learning networks. I would also like to see a more open and collaborative environment.
Fortunately, change is in the wind. Administration has provided a copy of Tony Wagner’s Global Achievement Gap for every staff member in the school. It is assigned summer reading for all of us. When we return in two weeks, we are going to consider the prospect of a more student-centered curriculum.
Such a radical shift would call for much greater transparency than we have customarily experienced. In my own realm, I have unlocked all of my Moodle courses and licensed my materials under Creative Commons. I also have an open door policy for visitors . This school year I will advertise the policy more aggressively. However, I would like to see a more transparent environment throughout the school.
I am truly hopeful for learning culture change, but building architecture is a huge impediment. Except for our computer labs, the rooms themselves are pretty much bricked away from views. Teachers generally close the door and seal what goes on inside. I would love to have teachers feel more free to observe each other, but I'm afraid "classroom observations" are strongly associated with evaluations and judgments. Administrators (and other colleagues) should feel free to walk through classrooms unannounced in order to better understand what the learning experiences in the school. But for this to work, they would need to develop habits in transparency as well. At the very minimum input for new policites should be solicited and their rationale should be clearly explained. Better yet, wouldn't it be great if staff and students were welcome to "walk through" some policy discussions.
Are you up for a more tranpsparent learning culture?