Feb 132018

Change, Innovate: Why Traditional Education Won’t

Change: We are under the erroneous assumption that traditional educators collectively want the same thing that students and the funding public want: effective, efficient, affordable, consistent, relevant, sustained, student success performance improvement outcomes, for all students. We couldn’t be farther apart.

We spend more, per student and get less relevant student success results, per student, than other, similar, developed countries

Our students either graduate with little transferrable relevant skills, or drop out of school completely. Both scenarios create the education/skills gap. The education skills gap results in unemployment and underemployment. Unemployment and underemployment result in the following societal problems: crime, poverty, violence, substance abuse, along with chronic rehabilitation and incarceration.


We habitually continue to fund an unchanging 20th century, traditional education system, that does not embrace and correctly implement research based, best practices, positive, relevant, sustained, student success for all students, change. To compound the problem, we habitually continue to fund the societal consequences/costs of the education/skills gap, that traditional education creates.

And somehow we as students and funders of education are okay with this. When a local school referendum comes up, asking for more money, with few specifics on how that new money will directly and measurably advance student success outcomes for all students, we most often, vote FOR additional funding. Time goes by, funding costs have increased, but relevant student success outcomes have remained unchanged.  Hmmm. How did THAT happen?

This is how traditional education, remains traditional education and how relevant student success results remain mediocre, for just some of the students.

Traditional education must change to advance student success outcomes for all students. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, today. Traditional education must become educationally innovative education, to relevantly benefit all students, long term.


Traditional educators are stuck, in the 20th century, by aggressive choice for the status quo and by aggressive resistance to positive change. This is hard to believe, but true. We need to look at what they say and also look at what they do/don’t do. Talk is cheap, actions/inactions are telling. We will know they are serious about advancing relevant, student success outcomes, for all students, when they include this in their negotiations and public marches. Otherwise it’s simply empty talk.

Traditional education and traditional educators spend all their “free” time preserving and maintaining a flawed system of teaching, rather than accessing and correctly implementing the proven research and demonstrated best practices that will advance student success outcomes for all students. Why? Because for them, it’s been a ongoing habitually funded gravy train and change is hard.


Unfortunately, traditional educators will not meet the ongoing demands of their funding society for advancing student success outcomes, for all students and eliminating the education gap, by maintaining a paradigm of one size fits all teaching, that does not directly and relevantly benefit all students, long term.

We as the funders of education, have two choices:

(1) Listen to traditional educators, who are against positive advanced, relevant, student success change, for all students, which maintains a mediocre monopoly, that kinda sorta benefits some students


(2) Demand that traditional educators access and correctly implement the proven deep learning and transfer research as well as access and correctly implement proven best practices from educationally innovative schools.

No more excuses. No more mediocrity. Traditional education/educators are paid to improve education.

It’s their job to correctly embrace positive research based, best practices change, whether they like it or not.  It’s their job.

Sharon Drew Morgan, below, identifies what stops systems from changing for the better. Traditional education is a “model system” that simply does not want to change, regardless of the fact that this goes against why they exist. Go figure.

Are you okay habitually funding a habitually unchanging system that produces mediocre, relevant student success results, for some of the students, year after year? I’m not. Lets collectively mandate positive change


Some Truths about Systems, and How they Affect Change

Sharon Drew Morgen on Monday, 12 February 2018

As a Change Facilitator, I often get asked about the nature of decision making, change and buy-in. Since my responses seem surprising in their laser focus on systems, I thought it might be an interesting conversation to start among influencers: what role do systems play in change? To that end, I’ve jotted down a few of my favorite ‘laws’ of systems that might help explain my intense respect for them, and provide you with baseline truths of how our status quo rules our behaviors, how our beliefs and decisions are tied together, and why it’s so difficult to change anyone’s mind.

Here are my thoughts on how and why systems are not only central to change, but the glue that makes the status quo so substantial and change so difficult; at the end, I offer an approach to enable congruent, inside-out, permanent change.

  • A system is a conglomeration of elements that represent the status quo and have agreed to the same rules and beliefs which are then expressed through behaviors. All behaviors represent and express the beliefs and rules inherent in the system.
  • A system has created its status quo, with a set identity and Hierarchy of Beliefs that govern it. It’s largely unconscious and historic, designed to maintain itself as is, perpetuated by the historic rules that recreate it daily, and defends itself at all costs. It can be said that all systems are complex in their own way.
  • A system always makes choices that enable it to maintain itself with minimal disruption. Regardless of how others interpret the decisions or choices made by the system, our take-aways as Outsiders are always subjective.
  • A system just IS. Systems always act upon the givens, rules, beliefs, etc. that define it, and are congruent onto itself…

Read the rest of the article here