While I do love moonshot ideas, I believe I am a pragmatist by nature. I believe in the power of optimism and I also understand the need to be skeptical. For me, often, practicality is the driving force. And, a key question is how do we keep things practical, while still providing those we serve with the freedom to work up any and all moonshot ideas they like?
So, it was great inspiration to read how ASCD’s Educational Leadership approached this idea in their recent issue. The March edition is all about the power of personalization, and has a number of excellent articles by education leaders on everything from a framework to encouraging personalization to a personalization sound board tool to a piece detracting from personalization in the classroom.
Yep, that’s right. A piece that speaks counter to every other article within the journal, located close to the end of the issue (though not right at the end), so as you’re getting built up, you can be taken down a few pegs. :)
Educational Leadership is one of my favorite resources for current educational thought, and as I read this month’s issue, I began to wonder about some of the issues associated with personalized learning. While every article I read was excellent, I was left with a number of key questions. And, I began to wonder about how/why many journals tend to focus on one side of the topic being written about; often solely in the positive.
So, I was both surprised, and intrigued, by the “Stop and wait” tone of Benjamin Riley’s piece, and smiled at ASCD’s decision, which was likely a hard one, to publish it.
In education, the merit of any instructional move or leadership skill is directly tied to the contrary nature others can have about it. While we would never put any standing behind a strategy that was deemed wholly ineffective, we also shouldn’t put all of our eggs in a basket that hasn’t yet fully been tested.
I applaud ASCD for putting together an issue filled with so many great ideas about personalization, including advice to carefully consider what it means, and how we do it.