Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Transition to Transparency

Transitioning to greater transparency is not as easy at it seems.

This transition assumes that all are in favor of greater transparency, and that all understand the benefit of transparency.

Transitioning to transparency requires trust too--you have to trust in the fact that greater transparency is beneficial.

Embracing the notion of learning and working in a learning community means that I am transparent about almost all things related to the classroom including plans, activities, and results. The only area that I am not transparent about is information related to individual's personal stories and needs--that, like in the medical world, is private information, information that I don't share.

Keeping communication fluid and transparent really helps to support a dynamic learning community for so many reasons.

First, there's less time needed for conjecture, questions, and misunderstandings since almost everything we do is transparent and communicated at the start of an initiative--during the "question and information stage" of a lesson, project, celebration, or presentation.

Next, the transparency invites voice from all members of the learning community, and that voice typically results in richer, more inclusive, learning opportunities for all.

Similarly, the transparency widens the numbers of teachers and decision makers in the learning community since all members play a role as mentor, coach, and educator--students teach students, family members coach, and teachers facilitate learning.

Finally, the transparency helps us grow our learning efforts and actions with strength.

Why would some not support a transition to transparency?

For some, perhaps, knowledge is power, and sharing that power is not seen as a positive effort.

For others, perhaps, transparency leads to questions, questions they're not ready for or do not want to entertain (the problem here is that the questions eventually come out anyways, and those questions are usually more potent later than they would be with early transparency).

Then, there's that lack of trust with transparency, the feeling that "if everyone knows, then the outcome won't be as good."  I feel quite the opposite about this in most cases.

How are you or your organization transitioning to greater transparency?  What methods of communication and share are supporting this transition?  Where do you draw the line and or manage transparency--can it or should it be managed?  I'm curious about this topic, and look forward to the learning community's ideas in this regard.