Michael Fullan

Motion Leadership

There is Something Different About 2014

Posted January 26, 2014 in Posts by admin

Message from Michael

I have been working on educational change for almost 50 years. There is something different about 2014. There is a grand convergence spontaneously erupting. I think it is a natural dynamic of push and pull. The push, to put it directly, is a combination of the boredom and alienation of students and teachers. Students won’t wait, and teachers can’t wait. It is simply intolerable for students and teachers to be at school every day when increasing numbers of them would rather be somewhere else. What kind of existence is that!

On the other hand the digital world is a 24/7 phenomenon of limitless intrigue and consternation. There is something out there but it cannot be fathomed. Humans have stopped evolving physically, but the brain is changing in uncontainable ways. Humankind’s relationship to the universe is becoming seamless. There is no distinction between us and mother nature; between us and what we are creating– digitally, artistically, and spontaneously. We are what we create, and what incubates ineluctably becomes us.

We are seeing combustions that are as inevitable as they are mysterious. They are unstoppable. This is what I have called The Stratosphere. Technology, pedagogy and change dynamics are converging on their own. We cannot stop them but we can take advantage of them to enable and accelerate learning, where learning and living become indistinguishable. This is not a theoretical realm. It is reality.

These developments are grounded. Let me count the ways. Maria Langworthy and I wrote a report called A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning (commissioned by Pearson, www.michaelfullan.ca). It takes multiple examples of how new deep learning is erupting in schools around the globe. In these situations the learning day is no longer punctuated by the 9 to 3 clock; it is 24/7 seamless. We see it in the videos we are beginning to compile from schools and school systems (again go the michaelfullan.ca to view these early examples). We see it in our new pedagogies project where we are working with 10 clusters of 100 schools from 10 different countries—1,000 schools easily jumping on a journey of unknown but exciting destinations (new pedagogies.org). We see in in new conceptions of The Principal (Fullan, Jossey-Bass, 2014) where school leaders are shaping the education of teachers and students in collaborative learning cultures; where they are becoming ‘system players’, and multiplicative change agents. We see it in what Andy Hargreaves and I have called the Professional Capital of Teachers. We see it in big systems that are struggling to latch onto new powerful ‘drivers’ for whole system change—look to California with its 7 million students to find the way; to New York City as it sheds the shackles of one-way accountability from the top, to Poland as it tastes the freedom of purposeful directional vision with unknown but exciting pathways, and to Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East as these giant systems awaken to learning that will become increasingly accessible to all.

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  1. David Price

    January 27, 2014 8:18 am

    Michael, I couldn’t agree more, and I look forward to reading the report. In my new book OPEN: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn In The Future I describe the forces powering social learning, contrasted with the didactic, content-driven approaches which are proving so frustrating to teachers and learners alike. But there’s a change coming, led, as you say, from the ground-up. Some jurisdictions (like the UK) find themselves ideologically at odds with the new desire for self-determinism, and the tensions are reaching breaking point, as we saw this very week-end (See OFSTED brouhaha)

    Buckle up, it’s going to be a thrill ride!

    Reply

  2. michael fullan

    January 27, 2014 12:08 pm

    Your book sounds great. It will be a great ride. And a rough one in some places where conditions–political or otherwise–are characterized by deep conflicts and struggles. But the forces favour the direction that we are identifying. Digital drive meets pedagogical power.

    Reply

    • Kumiko

      September 10, 2014 12:34 pm

      I found this site from a Tweet by Jane Hart today. I am 110% in agreement with your 10 tqnecihues, and find that I have been using most of them in my class for several years now, without ever haven taken the time to reflect on exactly what I was doing and how it was working. That changes as of now; and I will begin to spread the gospel amongst my associates. Thank you so much!

      Reply

    • Dayanand

      September 11, 2014 10:52 pm

      about it)and more about repartition of the ccpeonts in different contexts.I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how connectivist, constructivist theories and what role making meaning from the information you are learning and making connections to current knowledge base plays when using these tips.Also what are your thoughts of the old school behaviorist theories of learning – which included repartition?

      Reply

  3. Tunya Audain

    January 27, 2014 10:03 pm

    Where Is The Parent Role?

    I notice there is a role mapped out for Students, Teachers, School Leaders and Policy Makers (p77-78).

    Where is the parent role discussed?

    Reply

    • Little

      September 9, 2014 4:01 pm

      Bill NewtonFebruary 15, 2009Michael I was listening to your cmonemts on the vastness of communities on line. You sparked a thought about an issue that needs massive attention. There are gaps in laws that people get caught up in. Citizens dont have money or time to fight for fairness but get caught by gaps in regulations. What if We created a format to expose the atrocities, thus creating an inexpensive way to make our lawmakers aware? The citizens generally find out too late. The legal process is soooo slow, and justice postponed or never achieved.I would like to visit a bit about some possibities.You may reach me at , or call 316-393-7001.Thank you,Bill Newton

      Reply

    • Bilal

      September 11, 2014 10:04 pm

      Could there be a point no. 11 like a ‘use it or lose it’ comment? (or would it be part of the other 10 poitns? If the content is given alongside a course long project or assignment, then the content can be used, evaluated and applied in the project. It could also give meaning to remembering the content, and therefore help decrease retention loss???

      Reply

  4. michael fullan

    January 28, 2014 7:27 pm

    great point . we have a few places were we talk about relating to parents, but you have raised the point of what roles/supports and other things could be done to have parents as partners. I agree and we will work on it. Do you have ideas, resources for this aspect? Thanks

    Reply

  5. Roberto Barrientos

    February 14, 2014 1:58 pm

    I’m agree. The question is how to generate this collaboration revolution by the new technologies in countries in which technology is poor, the bandwidth is null, and the scaffolding to help teachers are very week?

    Reply

    • Vasim

      September 9, 2014 2:59 pm

      Seriously? You’re kidding, right Donald? You just wntaed to see if the learning community would swallow any old crap and then you’re going to lampoon the sorry state of edubloggers.Forgetting curve – absolutely right in the context of formal learning. Rehearsal and levels of processing models of transfer to long-terms memory – complete bunkum and you should know better. First off – rehearsal. I sang the same hymns every morning at school (talk about little and often) – can’t remember one of them. The whole notion that you transfer stuff into long-term memory by verbal rehearsal is completely ridiculous: I only have to see some things once and I remember them forever. What if you are unable to speak – are you therefore unable to remember anything?Levels of Processing was a little better – but didn’t really get at the core mechanism. Superficially the deeper you process stuff (the more you think about it) the better you remember, but why is not explained by the model. Maybe its just because effort pays off. For sure the levels are wrong (visual, acoustic, semantic) since some things that I only glimpse I remember forever. It’s an approximation to the Affective Context Model: if we attach affective context to information (whatever the ‘level’) then it is more likely to be remembered.So for the specifics: students don’t rehearse content at set intervals. If they did, it wouldn’t make much difference. They try to revise when they are getting anxious. That way the data has affective context. Successful students are the ones who get anxious way in advance (or even in the classroom) – or who care – and then spend more effort over a longer period making the information stick. True, there is research that backs up rehearsal – but if you aren’t making sense of what you rehearse then it’s pretty pointless (I have to punch in my Train ID number every week but still can’t remember it). As for recording/taking notes – it would work better if students wrote down what they felt: what they disagreed with, what they loved. Intuitively good teachers know this – that’s why they involve the class in debates.Some of the other suggestions are effective but only because they force people to attach meaning and affective context to things. I actually care passionately about learning, which is why I remember this type of stuff – whether I blog or not. Using it every day helps too – because it becomes part of my sense of self.We talk about the success of games and forget how many games fail. The ones that work, work because they grip us viscerally – the challenge, the action – but I should point out that many games flop, just as many learning interventions fail.In summary, it’s a sorry state of affairs when a learning industry in 2010 is relying on dodgy theorising from the 1970s in order to get things right. This stuff belongs in the bucket with Kolb, Learning styles and NLP.

      Reply

    • Yasin

      September 11, 2014 10:10 pm

      about it)and more about repartition of the ctonepcs in different contexts.I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how connectivist, constructivist theories and what role making meaning from the information you are learning and making connections to current knowledge base plays when using these tips.Also what are your thoughts of the old school behaviorist theories of learning – which included repartition?

      Reply

  6. Dr. Thomas G. Ryan

    June 8, 2014 6:32 pm

    It is not what you do that is important it is what you do not do!

    Reply

  7. Zahid

    September 9, 2014 6:18 pm

    I’m visiting your blog for the first time and want to thank you for your post. You are right, and it is aznaimg that this “fundamental truth in memory theory” is “totally ignored by most educators and trainers.” It’s so ironic that educators fail to learn and apply the “forgetting curve” principle, which is as proven empirically as it is entirely intuitive. The basic learning techniques you outline are simple and effective and apparently, extremely difficult for people to accept. Little by little, I suppose. In the meantime, my students will benefit from your advice. Thank you.

    Reply

  8. Eriko

    September 11, 2014 10:03 pm

    I found this site from a Tweet by Jane Hart today. I am 110% in agreement with your 10 tucqnihees, and find that I have been using most of them in my class for several years now, without ever haven taken the time to reflect on exactly what I was doing and how it was working. That changes as of now; and I will begin to spread the gospel amongst my associates. Thank you so much!

    Reply