Friday, September 25, 2015

Philosophical, Experiential, and Knowledge Differences

In education thought and action, philosophical, experiential, and knowledge differences come to play. The way I see it may not be the way you see it. Thus debate.

How is meaningful debate structured? When do people shy away from debate to keep the peace? What role does hierarchy and power play in debate?

The best schools and educational organizations invite debate. The best negotiators, educators, and leaders are savvy when it comes to managing debate for the greater good. Those leaders put the mission first. I expect that we all fall somewhere along the debate success line dependent upon experience, passion, time, role, and more.

In the end, what's most important is that our work result in the best we can do for students each and every day. It's sad when the kind of debate and decisions occur that move us away from the good work possible rather than pointing our time and effort in the direction of maximizing our collective effort.

How do you deal with debate? When are you able to successfully debate, and when do you find that you are less successful? Do you have protocols for debate? Is there preparation involved? Where does a good agenda play a role in this?

Today at our PLC we had an unexpected debate. The debate rose from a new idea that was proposed, and the fact that some, including me, perceived the time for that idea as short. In hindsight, we didn't have to rush the new idea. We could have let it percolate, take its time, and perhaps not even entertain it with any depth at this point and focus on it for next year's class. I felt an urgency because I could see some really good potential in the good idea with regard to student growth and learning. And, when I see good potential, I always want to jump right in. That's not everyone's style and it's a good thing that we bring different debate styles to the table for best effect.

I'll admit I have some room for growth when it comes to debate and discussion. That's something I'll be thinking about in the teaching/learning days ahead. If you have any thoughts, don't hesitate to share.