New Questions in Education

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There are times when it seems like we are continuing to circle back to the same questions about learning and leading. This can be exhausting to feel as though we are all on a hamster wheel with no progress and no growth beyond the persistence of asking the same questions. 

Many of these questions have been asking and answered with the answers being complex and hard to implement, so instead we continue to ask the questions. I wonder where the new questions lie. I wonder if asking new questions will bring resolution to any of the old question. I wonder if there really are any new questions to ask. 

After twenty years of the question storm, I believe external disruption is near. Schooling is changing no matter how hard we hold onto tradition, and this is becoming clear as the tired questions of learning and leading are no longer being asked because they no longer matter. 

Are we really asking about professional development when every educator has access to all of the best practices and information that they need asynchronously? Are we asking about grading practices when the evidence is no longer being debated that so many grading practices negatively impact learning? Are we asking about purchasing textbooks when open education resources abound? Are we asking about how many desks that we need to order for next school year when we are sure that the furniture needs of classrooms are fundamentally different? Are we asking about internet access needs when we know that information access is the fifth utility? 

What if we chose to ask maybe not new questions, but different questions that showcased our understanding that the complex nature of learning and leading is growing? What if we considered some really hard things and then made some strategic changes in our efforts in learning and leading. Try a few of these questions on when you are looking to explore new territory, ideas, and paths for leading and learning. 

Is there structural racism in nature? How does the answer impact schools?

Is civic engagement the equivalent of informed consent in democracy?

Are we willing to handle the consequences that come from moving to greater equity?

How can we change the IQ of our organization?

Does growth always mean gentrification?

Will anything work when there is a culture of exclusion?