Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Save Our Schools

Peter Drucker, the business philosopher, gives advice about how to turn around any organization. Seems to me also good advice for traditional schools struggling to cope with students who already live in a future oriented technological inter-connected world.

Many organization have grown like 'topsy' and many things are done for no other reason than it has always been done this way. It might seem obvious but it is important to re-assert the purpose of the school. Drucker believes that no other organization faces challenges as radical as those that will transform schools.

The advice follows three steps, I have just altered the order a bit.

1 Consider the things that are working well; the things that are improving the school? What are the great things about the school that you would like to amplify?
2 Then think about the things that are not working well? Things that just waste time and energy, or just make things too complicated? Be prepared to abandon all the things that don't work.
3 Then sort out the half successes, the half failures. To turn your school around abandon anything that is not 'adding value' to the school and then focus on ideas that might work better with more effort.

A vital leadership task may be as simple as getting rid of things that currently block quality learning for students, or waste time, or are too confusing, and then to focus on creating the conditions to release the energy and creativity of both teachers and learners.

Seems like common sense?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most schools are totally unaware that they mightn't be doing the best for their students. The obvious is often hard to see!