Well, today was a mindf**k.
I have found out why someone can’t make a bloody decision (reference to an earlier post): there’s so many people involved, with all their experience and knowledge and opinions, it’s impossible!!
I spent the morning observing the educational technology team (TLs and ICT integrators across the 3 schools) attempt to benchmark information and digital literacy standards vertically across the school.
OH MY F-ING GOD.
The process was sound: only bringing in the immediate stakeholders, having an impartial and skilled mediator who didn’t have particular ownership over any department (curriculum coordinator), clearly defined criteria, models and examples from across the world to draw from so as to not reinvent the wheel, time for small group work/individual reflection and digestion, plenty of water, food and breaks, jigsawing, paraphrasing, brainstorming.
But OH CHRIST ALMIGHTY it took FOREVER! I left after a couple of hours as it was making me even more confused than I already was plus I have the kind of personality that NEEDS to be involved in every discussion and not saying anything after a few hours was killing me 🙂
I didn’t feel comfortable putting forward any of my ideas, thoughts or suggestions as I don’t yet feel confident that these ideas, thoughts and suggestions actually make sense or would drive the discussion anywhere worthwhile.
I certainly learnt a HUGE amount by listening to these incredibly knowledgeable and passionate educators. I saw how much work it takes to make a document that is coherent and worthwhile, something that can be and WILL be useful and USED.
The mediator also happens to be a close friend so she let me ask some great questions about the process and the obstacles she feels the group are facing, and have faced in the past when this was first done a few years back. (Not as part of the whole group of course, just as a side conversation while the others were focused on the task at hand.) This was really important for me as this topic is my Part B for assignment 2: getting a whole school commitment to IL.
Her take on it was that there is a really, really fine line between people’s passion for seeing IL implemented and their total and unwavering ownership over it which makes other people feel that the teaching of IL isn’t best practice, it’s a personal band wagon so they tune out and give up. She said that the reason the last attempt at IL failed was because the drivers behind it left the school and as it was such a personal ‘mission’, people felt a sense of relief that the people were gone and they didn’t have to teach it/implement it anymore.
OK, call me impatient, naive, arrogant, whatever, but I find that incredibly stupid and ignorant. Why does it matter who drives it and that they make it their personal mission to get it up and running? Doesn’t that mean it gets DONE? If no one makes it happen, it just sits there and all that work was for nothing! (Which is EXACTLY what has happened.)
I need to ask my friend more about this. I’m deeply confused and conflicted.
It does, however, completely explain why the EC3-Grade 5 literacy standards and benchmarks that myself and my language committee wrote over the course of two years were chucked out the door the minute I left the school…