5. Stop assuming that the central actor in education is the professor.
Start recognizing that students are the power and light of all transformative educational reform. The current system is controlled by faculty and as such we don’t see the potential in getting students engaged in the educational process itself. Most extra-curricular design teams (ASME Formula racing, ASCE concrete canoe, Brasil Junior, etc.) is powered by student-led teams. Why not use this talent and capability to power ed reform with students?6.Stop throwing PhDs into classrooms as experts.
Start training a new generation of skilled educator with both technical knowledge and an ability to coach young people. Modern companies spend $500/hr to provide executive coaches to the C-suite with sharp skills (stop calling them soft skills). 80-90% of our educational difficulty comes from PhDs trained as narrow specialists with a lack of sharp skills in noticing, listening, and questioning, and speech acts. Replacing fear with joy, boredom with unleashing, and narrow technical skill with the whole new engineer requires educators with the sharp skills of a coach.7. Stop assuming that educational transformation can be performed by a system designed in the 11th Century, a system designed to maintain the status quo.
Start to use new methods of change management to bring about the needed change. Deans, department heads, and faculty assume that changes can be made through existing channels in the system. Olin was a blank slate. The initiative at Illinois was an incubator of educational change. John Kotter says we need a dual operating system for effective change. Let’s use learning from corporate world and educational initiatives as best practices in making academic change. 8. Stop assuming change comes through competition with school down the road.
Start collaborating with your neighborhood schools using open innovation (like Unix & Android) to create Whole New Operating System for our schools. Podunk University believes that if they have a wrinkle in statics or circuits teaching that this will gain them students over Big State University down the road. Moving from expert to coach and from fear to trust and from competition to collaboration is a huge shift that will only work if individuals and institutions come together to collaboratively disrupt the status quo.
They believe the system needs to change, but the status quo steadfastly resists effective transformation, and change efforts to date have been inadequate, ineffective, or both. A Whole New Engineer seeks to bring about change that is needed for all of us to survive and thrive in the coming years. List $27.95Available in hardcover and Kindle, ePub and Nook editions.
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