As part of my Leadership studies, I’ve been reading a book called Leadership and the New Science. It’s a book that will blow your mind! Seriously, if you want a paradigm change, add this to your summer reading.
Here’s a little sample that applies to our work (my emphasis):
I’ve worked with some college faculties torn apart by the availability of technology. The more technologically eager faculty accuse the reticent ones of being out-of-date and resistant to change — they berate their colleagues for not climbing on the technology bandwagon. I always suggest that a different conversation is needed. What if we stop assuming that technology’s value to a teacher is self-evident? What if we stop assuming that anybody who doesn’t adopt new technology is an antiquated Luddite whose only interest is to stop the march of progress? If we gitve up those assumptions, we can begin a different conversation, one that helps us connect to one another and learn more about how we each see the world. We can step back from the technology issue and ask one another what called us into teaching. We can listen to the aspirations that are voiced. What we will hear is that most of us went into teaching for noble purposes — we wanted to make a difference in the lives of students and to advance human wisdom.
If we have this conversation first, we can discover one another as colleagues. Then we are reading to talk about technology. How might computers assist a professor to be more effective at his or her craft?
How might videoconferencing be used to meet goals that teachers find meaningful? (like helping students understand the world?) What do you think? Start by answering this question yourself. What called you into teaching?? Now think about asking a colleague the same question when you get back to school…. Prepare to really listen to their story….