NEXTschool – is it a noun? a verb? a mindset? a movement?
This was the question being discussed at a recent meeting of the NEXTschool facilitators – the thoughtful and experienced ‘guides on the side’ who are supporting and cheerleading our NEXTschool cohorts as they explore systemic change and develop specific prototypes for their own NEXTschools. Meeting every 6-8 weeks throughout the year, the facilitators have co-designed the journey for each EXPLOREschool, responding to each school’s context, needs and objectives.
So… what is the verdict?
Is NEXTschool a noun – a person, place or thing?
Yes, there are concrete, tangible aspects to the NEXTschool model that are essential:
– Cohorts of 10 educators and 170 students
– Collaborative, flexible spaces
– Use of technology to facilitate learning, planning and communication
Is NEXTschool a verb – an action or behaviour?
Yes, NEXTschool does require certain actions and behaviours:
– Co-designing and co-creating based on student-centered needs and ideas
– Empathic listening, asking for feedback
– Iterating and re-iterating, taking risks
– Learning with purpose and meaning
– Collaborating, interacting and engaging with the community at large
Is NEXTschool a mindset – a set of attitudes?
Yes, there is a series of critical mindsets or attitudes that create a NEXTschool culture:
– “Embrace ambiguity”
– “Continuous growth and improvement”
– “Yes, and …”
– “Teacher as co-designer, coach and learner”
– “Student as co-designer, learner and teacher”
Is NEXTschool a movement – a sustainable, scalable transformation?
Yes, we are witnessing the very first steps of a movement. As progress continues, more cohorts and more schools have shown interest in joining NEXTschool and as each school evolves, the potential for transformational systemic change is exhilarating. Of course, like all movements, there are some inherent challenges, which require ongoing courage, vision and perseverance from all involved.
Here are some resources to remind us of why it’s all worth it:
- Vidéo: Le système d’éducation, une fois pour toutes, Emile Roy, 2018
- Humans Wanted: How Canadian Youth can thrive in the age of disruption, RBC, March 2018
- What School Could Be, Ted Dintersmith, 2018
- Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education, Sir Ken Robinson, 2016
- Most Likely to Succeed; Preparing our Kids for The Innovation Era, Tony Wagner, 2015