One of the challenges facing educational leaders today is the ability to conceptualise how we go about reframing schooling and then articulating the key drivers for change.
Many educational leaders suffer from what I call ‘conceptual construct disorder’ (CCD). This is a condition in which we define and develop responses to schooling by what has gone before and not on what is to come.
Edward de Bono classifies this mode of thinking as traditional – it is dominated by the left brain (logical and linear). What educational leaders need to do is more right brain problem solving. de Bono calls this design thinking – based on perception and possibility.
From New Thinking for the New Millennium:
We need more thinking. Not more of the traditional judgment thinking but more design thinking. More of ‘what-can-be’, not more of ‘what-is’. We need not only to develop more and more technology but to design value concepts to deliver value from the technology.
Dan Pink refers to the same problem as “functional fixedness” that is, the inability to see another way to solve a problem
What we need is to design a new construct for 21st century schooling that is based on three new pillars; diversity, enterprise and cloud.
Diversity acknowledges that every learner (both student and teacher) is unique. It accepts that everyone can learn and recognises the role of education in developing the full potential of individuals (ref: Maslow’s Theory of Society). It challenges previous assumptions that learners are the problem rather than the pedagogy. It is liberating and challenging.
Enterprise accepts that the world has changed and no one operates in isolation. For schools to embrace diversity, we need capacity to deliver on a large scale. It requires us to build partnerships with organisations who understand the new construct of schooling. When everyone has access to the highways and networks, we will bridge the equity gap.
The cloud is the present and the gateway into the future. The tools for sharing and collaborating will be accessible to everyone who has access to the internet. Public and private clouds will be the new ways of both “doing and being” school.
If we expect students to be creative thinkers able to imagine their future, then what should we expect from educational leaders? No less than design thinking!