Over the course of the next two to three weeks we will identify and address the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 1 in The Response to Barriers Series – Ignorance.
The first barrier to changing instructional practices is ignorance, meaning that there are teachers who are simply unaware of more effective practices. This is in no way a commentary on work ethic, effort or intelligence, as we are all ignorant of something. Ignorance is part of the human condition. As it relates to instructional practices, situational ignorance can occur for any number of reasons, but most commonly you find that isolation, lack of experience, lack of time and inadequate resources are the primary reasons for teacher ignorance of better practice. In all of these cases, leadership can, should and must endeavor to make teachers better informed.
In this endeavor, professional reading, consultation and collaboration, are the practices that leadership must create and cultivate on the campus. Staying current in one’s professional reading ensures that the teacher is aware of the evolutions in effective practice. Consultation and collaboration not only provide support for the inexperienced teacher but also leverages the brainpower of the instructional collective which allows for improved time management, better resource allocation and improved staff effectiveness.
Essentially, it is the formation and cultivation of the PLC that best overcomes the slow stagnation of teacher curiosity and intellect, that perpetuates ignorance. The PLC is a system solution and as such is a critical function of leadership. Here is the good news, if you find that the staff is ignorant of better practice, you are a critical part of the solution.
RTB – Part 1: Response to Ignorance
Think. Work. Achieve.
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