I am assisting schools, principals and school teams to improve the quality of education and re-create a school where children like to be, where curiosity sparks learning demand and where parents fully trust the educational care to the teachers of their children. I help teachers to become owners of their work and make them do their jobs as a professional in education with a smile on their faces.I assist principles in changing their school organization into a most effective one and encourage them to give responsibility to their teachers and to respect their professional ownership.
In the daily practice of educational advise and interim-management in primary schools, I find that ‘organizational culture’ and ‘ownership’ are powerful change-agents. I believe that both concepts need to be addressed in almost every case. When done so, it sparks motivation and a powerful drive to really change things for the better.
However, in most cases also those re-motivated school teams and educators will continue teaching based on the principle of ‘supply of education’ without too much considering the demand – side. The ‘ why-question’ is not being asked in many cases.We teach, because we always did.’ It’s the habit’ ( Claire Boonstra: TED talk at TEDxAmsterdamED on March 26th 2015.www.claireboonstra.com)
I therefore am convinced that we need to define the concept of ‘demand’ in education as well. Is it the demand of the children whom we want to educate? Is it the demand of their parents who expect best results and happy children ? Do we have to take the demand of the education inspector into consideration ? Perhaps or most likely, we should consider and define all those and more. But let us be realistic and not forget the demand of governments and political systems of our societies. The real demand , though often hidden, lies their. The ‘why of education’, the ‘why-we-educate-as-we-do’ is implied and in fact determined by the interests on a governmental or even inter-governmental level.
If so, can we generate enough power and strength to revolve the educational system into an open structured and versatile meta-educational construct, which serves future generations the way it should?
Right now I am in South Korea and participating in a discussion about needed changes of the Korean educational system. Within professional circles of scholars and educators, many are of the opinion that Korea’s concept of education needs to be overhauled if not changed completely. However, the attempts to revolve the system, are being criticized and found unrealistic.
Changes initiated aren’t being embraced by decision makers and politicians. After all short-term macro interests are served best by a stable and well known educational system, rather than by a future demand- based concept of education. A change of a top-down organized multi-level system into a versatile organization, where ‘ownership’ of students, parents and teachers determine the demand for education, is still far out of reach.
Introduction of the ‘ why education – question’ as being suggested by Claire Boonstra (TedX talks –January 2015) may certainly create new insights and be a new angle of approach.
Revolution in Education ( Claire Boonstra) will,to my opinion not work out in Europe and will certainly fail in South-Korea. But a continuous questioning of the purpose of education, the ‘WHY’ and the call for (professional) ownership may also here have an impact as water dripping on stone and eventually break down the conceptual walls, for the benefit of a future generation.
Let’s therefor set our goal towards a speedy Evolution of Education, rather than pushing the demand while proclaiming a Revolution of Education.