Pockets with No Pants
There are many pockets of excellence in many schools – pockets of wonderful student-teacher relationships; pockets of collaborative, deep learning; pockets of engaged students making meaningful changes in their community or in the world. But there are not many pants – yet.
NEXTschool is working to transform the pockets into pants, that is, to stitch together and provide support to the pockets through mindsets, structures and systems and weave the school into a whole, integrated ‘garment of excellence’.
The premise of NEXTschool is the notion that while meaningful learning experiences are happening for some of our students, some of the time, it is only through a full systems change that we can ensure meaningful learning experiences for all students, all of the time.
This type of school transformation is a lot of work (it is fun, too!). And necessitates not only fearless leadership (see our recent post) but an understanding that this is not a tweak to the current way of operating – it is truly a transformation. In order for sustainable and scalable change to occur, a full revision of the systems (temporal, spatial, relational, andragogical and communal) is necessary. NEXTschools commit to small cohorts of students (170) and teachers (10), flexible spaces, adaptive timetables, curricular integration and cross-disciplinary teaching teams, to ongoing professional development, integration with the wider community, and the centrality of student voice, needs and interests.
NEXTschool is a big but essential ask, and requires courage, determination, a thoughtful process and a committed team approach involving all community members – board leaders, principal, teachers, parents and students.
Are you tired of having pockets with no pants? Join the NEXTschool movement!
Be in touch with us at email@example.com
Below are a few resources to learn more about school transformation:
- The Five Pillars of Whole School Transformation, Ross, 2017
- The Fast Track to Sustainable Turnaound, Fullan and Pinchot, 2018
- Transformation, video, Nellie Mae Education Foundation 2015
- MIT online course: Launching Innovation in Schools