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Friday, January 09, 2015

Schoolhouse Debate

Quality education invites debate.

Good education invites debate because the world is always changing, and as educators we have an obligation to respond to the changing world in ways that affirm others and educate well.

The challenge comes with regard to how and when we wage that debate in a busy organization. With what urgency, care, and process do we pose issues of concern and worry?

Are there protocols for this?

How do we best discuss the tough issues that we face as educators? How do we work together as small teams and whole schools to help each other move forward with skill, care, understanding, and strength?

Like many, I have an uncomfortable relationship with debate.

Recently I read the book, Getting to Yes, which offers a positive process for debate and decision making--a process that demands practice with regard to using it well.

In thinking about this topic, the first step is to acknowledge that debate needs to be a mainstay in education in order for school systems and individuals to grow. As one colleague stated, "We have to have those hard conversations."

Yet there are ways to converse that invite greater share and positive problem solving, and we have to look for and utilize the best protocols in that regard. A focus that at times is easier said than done, but one we should always aim for.

I'm wrapping my brain around the topic of schoolhouse debate with a desire to strengthen skill and promise in this regard.

How do you debate issues of concern in your school organization? What processes and protocols lead to good collaboration and decision making? Where do you find the time to do this well? I'm listening.