“Things are Happening Faster Around Us Than Within Us.”
— Matthew Rhoads, EdD
Richard Bernato Ed.D.
In our latest podcast conversation with Dr. Matthew Rhoads we explore the themes and issues that pandemic changes and challenges have wreaked on all of us in education. As Dr. Rhoads put it, “Things are Happening Faster Around Us Than Within Us.”
If we parse this quote there is much to consider. Change — in this case a probable future that was largely ignored by education’s so-called decision makers, namely COVID — required rapid pivots and the implementation of a variety of new strategies in order to preserve some semblance of education. For the most part this took the form of remote learning, and most educators had to build the plane while it was flying. In other words, the external issues swirling around us did not align with the internal capacity we needed to properly future, to appropriately build the ability to transform a massive and tragic lemon into lemonade.
Taken further, Dr. Rhoads’ comment has deep power as metaphor. It is certainly true that the world outside is moving faster than our ways of thinking. By that I mean, our conversation considered many factors about why change-shields often bat away any attempts at deep, meaningful, sustained change in public education.
As the Captain in Casablanca, told his police: we need to “… round up the usual suspects.” In doing so, we need not put their faces on any more wanted posters as obstructors of change.
In his influential bookReinventing Organizations, Frederick La Loux color codes humanity’s attempts to create structures that fit their historical times. He places school systems in the middle of this spectrum, identified by the color amber and quite appropriately so. It is as though school systems are indeed trapped within a viscous sap, largely unable to move or react nimbly and locked in their ways.
Yet there is hope that we will not need to react if we PROact to futures that we foresee. It is in our power to weave futures-based decision-making with futures-based actions to produce preferred worlds that meet the needs of a future that truly needs parsing.
Watch season four of our Volgcast on YouTube to hear our full conversation, or listen wherever you get your podcasts.