Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Homeostasis -v- tipping points

We are constantly hearing that schools are basically the same as they were 100 years ago, even though the skills that students leaving school need for work are different.  The word to describe a system that maintains a stable, constant condition in the face of changing circumstances is homeostasis.  This is something that as a technology teacher I fought against for years.  In many schools traditions have developed for using technology and teachers have become comfortable with this level of usage.  Although learning is a part of most school cultures, the rate of change is still often very slow.

But sometimes you come to a tipping point that makes a huge difference in a school leading to a significant transformation in values, attitudes, beliefs and practices within a school, and the whole system shifts to something different.  I heard last week that the tipping point for ASB was about 8 years ago with a new superintendent, a new strategic plan and vision, and with superstructing.  Before this I heard that ASB was not a particularly good school.  Now, this year, we have had over 40 students transfer from other schools in Mumbai to us - and 2 of these students were seniors, in their last year of school who realized how much value even one year at ASB can add.  In addition we have had families relocate from other parts of India in order to send their students to ASB.  In parent meetings last week I heard that we promise that students will grow more at ASB than at any other school - that is quite a promise.  It made me reflect again on how grateful I am to work in such a school, that has already tipped over the tipping point!

Photo Credit: stuant63 via Compfight cc

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