Barriers to Change

What is preventing your vision of schools from becoming a reality more often for more people? What barriers and challenges do you recognize that stand in the way of the change that you would like to see?

  1. 9 votes
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  2. 7 votes
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  3. Teachers as Gate Keepers and Maintaining the Status Quo

    Too often teachers become supports of the status quo. We begin trying to figure out the art of teaching and classroom control and understanding what it is that we need to do to comply with the expectations of others. Once find our groove, it is very difficult to break out of the comfort zone we have created and take risks to implement new ideas, to attempt new strategies and so forth. We are confronted with demands to try new things just when our lives outside of the classroom force us to make time for spouses, aging parents, children and so…

    6 votes
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  4. 5 votes
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  5. 3 votes
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  6. The lack of information and training about beginning reading instruction.

    I left teaching in the public and catholic system to immerse myself in learning about effective beginning reading instruction teaching approaches (mortified by the number of students who were struggling along with only band-aid solutions rather than true remediation and therapy). This information is not difficult to find. I now get calls WEEKLY from parents with the same story - their children are doing okay in kindergarten, grade one, and grade two (despite the parents' disbelief), but then are told that their children are struggling as the enter grade three or four. Students with dyslexia or other specific language impairments…

    3 votes
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  7. Large class sizes are a barrier to many changes that teachers wish to see.

    If class sizes were smaller, teachers would be better able to individualize programming for students. We could provide more support students with special needs and those for whom English is a second language. We would be able to follow student interests through inquiry projects, making learning more authentic. Teacher's mental health would improve, making them better resources for their students.

    3 votes
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  8. Poor Leadership (I would use the phrase "Barriers to Improvement" rather then "Barriers to Change")

    Leadership is about service and responsibility. Some in education see Leadership as about privilege and prestige. Many simply do not know how to Lead.

    Check out Simon Sinek's talk based on his book "Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't":

    http://vimeo.com/79899786

    Teachers are the key. According to research (Gallup & CEA) most Teachers are not engaged in their practice.

    Our Leaders need to do everything in their power to properly train and support all Teachers. Create and implement systems that put this as the functioning priority.

    Check out: http://edge.ascd.org/blogpost/15-things-every-teacher-needs-from-a-principal

    When the people in power figure out…

    2 votes
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  9. My vision of education is prevented by the idea that educationally defensible objectives can only be secured by setting ends for others.

    What is required to change education for the better is nothing short of a proverbial paradigm shift. Such change always requires questioning fundamental presuppositions. The root presupposition, in this case, is nothing short of the seventeenth century notion that the universe and its parts form a giant mechanism; and that, consequently, all of its parts are similarly mechanical. (I expect the connection of such a grand idea to education to be somewhat mystifying. In such a short space I can only hint at the connection).

    Education, in its current form, requires end-setting FOR others (e.g., teachers and students) - see,…

    1 vote
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  10. "Higher education" has developed an overwhelming status that can negate objectivity, diversity... change.

    60 years ago, Benjamin Bloom and his peers wrote about what they perceived as a barrier facing the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives – Cognitive Domain. In part they wrote:
    ‘There is an unmistakable trend pointing toward a hierarchy of classes of behavior. Yet, in the cognitive domain especially, it appears that as the behaviors become more complex, the individual is more aware of their (behaviors) existence. If the level of consciousness is an important dimension it would pose a great range of problems and point to a whole new range of relationships. Perhaps… why some affective behaviors are so difficult.…

    1 vote
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  11. More sophisticated and individualized programming takes more time per student, needs fewer students per teacher

    The system expects a revolutionary increase in individuation of programming, without reducing class size to allow more time per child. It doesn't matter how much you inservice teachers on new more complex methods when those methods require more time than the teacher has. Classes are more diverse now, students' are more complicated, discipline options are more constrained, and expectations of individualized service continue to intensify. All of this points to the need for smaller schools to reduce anonymity and mob behaviour, and smaller class sizes -- if you want more time spent on each child, then you need fewer children…

    1 vote
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