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FrontPage

Page history last edited by Chris Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

EcoSys: Discussing the Possibilities and Challenges in K12 Public Education

 

We are on a short summer break for 2013 as we adjust schedules and spend much needed downtime with families; please look for us via "async" at hashtag #ecosys .. it won't be long before we chat again

                                                                       -- Chris (@sourcepov) and Jenna (@jennar), May 2013 

 

 

What is ECOSYS?  It's a community of stakeholders (mostly parents & teachers) discussing the challenges & bright spots of K12 Education. Check out our new posts at the K12 ECOSYS BLOG and our most recent summary of Challenges, a framework for mapping our takeaways to date.  Here's a summary of our key links, with recent discussion threads noted; at each link are takeaways from online conversation, as input to follow-on work. 

 

RESOURCES

    R0 Planning Framework NEW F1-F10 - NOW PLANNING FOR 2013 ** Please Review & Comment **

    R1 Purpose of Education ("Social Contract" - DEC 2011)

    R5 Ecosystem Challenges  ("Healthcare & K12 similarities - launched MAR 2012)

 

FRAMEWORKS - NEW framing for 2012; stay tuned (see Planning link)

2011 TOPIC AGENDA - key conversations in Education: 

    T1 Parent Engagement

    T2 Standards

    T5 Teacher Preparation - JAN 2012

    T10 Activism 

Focus on BRIGHT SPOTS - examining solutions and patterns that are working

    EduKare - a new paradigm for service consolidation in urban schools - UPDATED 2/2 

    B06 Finland JAN 2012

Thought Leadership - engaging on important papers and books

    Yong Zhao - MAR 11 2012 (intro) & MAR 18 

News Room - suggest and investigate links on key articles

Live Chat - click here for LIVE CHAT each TUESDAY 10pET/8pMT or any time to catch up on the conversation. Please jump in; we need your input. 

 

Background

 

Our Approach & Framing (NEW ECOSYS BLOG)

Foundations: 2010 Issues P1-P9

Inception: Original 2009 Ecosys Framing posts (the idea is born)

EcoDNA

Glossary

 

Mechanics

 

Many who participate in Twitter Chats use Tweetchat.  To join the conversation, have your Twitter account setup and join us at the appointed time.

Or watch for conversation any time at the #ecosys hashtag.  Our ground rules are posted here and if you'd like to weigh in, contact us about being a contributor.

 

 

All contents of this wiki are published under Creative Commons 3.0 license, using the "share and share-alike" convention. Content may be re-used and expanded, but original attribution to ECOSYS and the Content Author/Contributor is required. 

Comments (13)

Michael J said

at 6:31 pm on Sep 14, 2010

Because of the 200 word limit, I'll break down by comments into chunks that will post.

I thought the best place to put my thoughts is in the comments. It should help keep the body of the wiki free for agreed upon insights and directions. I'm very comfortable with Chris and Jenna managing that content plus i think it will keep in more clear. So..



Michael J said

at 6:32 pm on Sep 14, 2010

A useful approach in talking about Complex Systems is to look at the internal stresses and the external stresses and resources. While other #edu conversations are focused on the details of the student/teacher interaction, I think we have a pretty broad agreement among #ecosys folks about the general outlines of a good teacher- student experience. If we believe that's pretty true - what I tend to call "true enuff" It's appropriate to focus at a "higher" scale. All I mean by "higher" is that power that is exercised at that level sets the constraints for the teacher-student experience.

Michael J said

at 6:32 pm on Sep 14, 2010

If folks think the above makes sense, a systems approach would focus on two things

One is the political economy of the highest levels and how they play out in lower levels. in US Education I think it's fair to say it's the Federal Government first. Then the State governments and then the School Boards. I know the particular levels have different names in other countries and may in fact be organized differently. Hopefully someone with experience in those areas can describe how it works there.

Michael J said

at 6:33 pm on Sep 14, 2010

The other is to see how innovations on the ground are working up. It's a bit harder to see since almost by definition they are happening below the radar. But as in almost all disruptive innovation scenerios the energy and drivers from the bottom up. The usual path is that once they start getting to critical mass they are noticed by the higher levels. As that happens, given the realities of the political economy at the higher levels, innovations are slowly institutionalized and eventually become mainstream.

Michael J said

at 6:33 pm on Sep 14, 2010

I have my own sense of how this path is presently playing out in the States. But I think it makes most sense to get feedback and work through to an agreement that this approach makes sense. Once we have that in place, we can get down to the nitty gritty.

Sean Grainger said

at 12:02 am on Sep 15, 2010

Michael, a pleasure to read your thoughts. In Canada the federal government has nothing to do with ed funding per se, but rather plays a legislative and judicial role in so far as there exists a federal School Act in our country, but alas there are also provincial and territorial School Acts in each province and territory- 13 in all. In Alberta we have a conservative government currently that appoints an education minister responsible for the Department of Education. The Dept. of Ed. consults with locally elected school boards in the process of policy-making and governing all things education.

Sean Grainger said

at 12:02 am on Sep 15, 2010

Despite the opinions of some of my colleagues, it works "well enough." I completely agree that the spectrum of political influence on one end, and the grassroots change effort on the other can be miles apart. I must say thought that here in Alberta we are in a state of happy collaboration at present. Coordinated efforts between the department, the govt., the teachers union and school boards have never been heathier. http://www.inspiringeducation.alberta.ca/ and http://www.reallearningfirst.ca/ are two great examples of the zeitgeist we currently are immersed happily within. We even have Sir Ken Robinson appearing at our local annual ed conference sponsored by area locals and the provincial union at significant shared cost- teachers in Alberta are "getting real" as it goes, and becoming engaged as stakeholders in the ed #ecosys spectrum.

I also agree that bottom-up will continue to drive desired change. I am not a radical, however... I disagree that ed needs revolution. What ed needs is reform, but in context I perceive this reform to be an omnipresent and ubiquitous element of what we do in an inquiry-based #ecosys- the kind I feel we need to return to a scholarly and innovative framework for education. To me, it's the synergy between grassroots efforts to put action to research, and the willingness of higher-ups to acknowledge the results and act on them that will win the day, and every day as the ed #ecosys continues to evolve perpetually.

Awesome, thanks!
Sean

Chris Jones said

at 1:48 am on Sep 15, 2010

Sean, Michael - excellent inputs, thanks much for posting here on the wiki. I just updated our "Front Page" framing based on feedback from Jenna, and it looks like we're set for a lively exchange WEDS 9/15 9pET as we orient to our updated framing, and create some initial "Focus on Bright Spots".

Michael - Convergence of "top down" (government/policy) and "bottom up" (innovation) is critical, and baked into our complexity thinking. We will attack the disruptive innovation concept in more detail when we take on Clayton Christensen's book of the same title in the weeks ahead (see Thought Leadership in our updated framing).

Sean - excited to hear Government & Education relations in Alberta are strong and teachers are "getting real" - you may want to help us understand that more fully. Curious if there are U.S. analogies in play. (see Focus on Bright Spots in our updated framing).

Hope you guys can join us WEDS p.m. So much to discuss. Thanks again for posting.

Chris
aka @SourcePOV
Charlotte, NC

Michael J said

at 5:01 am on Sep 15, 2010

Sean,
Thank you for the view from Alberta. I've noticed many data points on Twitter that indicated to me that something very good is happening in Canada. Your details go a long way to deconstructing why. Lots of food for thought. Maybe one useful way to approach the problem is a compare and contrast. If you have some time, I would be very interested to know how the money flow works. In the States edu is primarily funded by real estate taxes in local communities. For all the noise about the Federal Government it's actually a very small piece of the pie. To look at the political economy here, the focus of analysis needs to be the Governor's office.

Sean Grainger said

at 11:03 am on Sep 15, 2010

Chris, Michael...
One of the reasons govt. /teachers/union relations is in a collaborative cycle currently in AB is the fact that our Minister of Ed. is a good guy. David Hancock is a lawyer by trade, smart and his wife is a teacher so he has some contextual understanding of pedagogy, teaching/learning. Interesting... the two links I sent you yesterday come from what many would consider opposite extremes of the political education spectrum; one from the Dept. , the other from our union, yet their motivations appear to be similar. All stakeholders in ALberta are for the most part getting along in the interest of in proving our system on behalf of kids.

Our funding is also tied to local levies. I am learning though as a newish administrator that their is a fine art to setting local school budgets- and I'm forming a perspective that much of what the grassroots needs to be doing to improve ed doesn't cost much and in many cases nothing at all. Philosophy is free;o) I have written about the issue in my blog http://www.seangrainger.com/2010/01/why-is-it-always-about-funding.html ? Somewhere in the dynamics of this political exchange b/w teachers and the public funding we receive, I fear the message gets lost regarding how to do things better. it's the "we don't have the funding for that"mentality- a copout IMO.

Will try my best to join the convo #ecosys tonight...
Cheers!

Sean Grainger said

at 11:06 am on Sep 15, 2010

Chris, Michael...
One of the reasons govt. /teachers/union relations is in a collaborative cycle currently in AB is the fact that our Minister of Ed. is a good guy. David Hancock is a lawyer by trade, smart and his wife is a teacher so he has some contextual understanding of pedagogy, teaching/learning. Interesting... the two links I sent you yesterday come from what many would consider opposite extremes of the political education spectrum; one from the Dept. , the other from our union, yet their motivations appear to be similar. All stakeholders in Alberta are for the most part getting along in the interest of improving our system on behalf of kids.

Our funding is also tied to local levies. I am learning though as a newish administrator that there is a fine art to setting local school budgets- and I'm forming a perspective that much of what the grassroots needs to be doing to improve ed doesn't cost much and in many cases nothing at all. Philosophy is free;o) I have written about the issue in my blog http://www.seangrainger.com/2010/01/why-is-it-always-about-funding.html ? Somewhere in the dynamics of this political exchange b/w teachers and the public funding we receive, I fear the message gets lost regarding how to do things better. it's the "we don't have the funding for that"mentality- a copout IMO.

Will try my best to join the convo #ecosys tonight...
Cheers!

Michael J said

at 12:41 pm on Sep 15, 2010

Lots to explore at your post. Rather than fill this thread for now let me just share a tweet.

Why is it Always About Funding? http://ilnk.me/45c8 1.10.10 ] I totally forgot that me & @GraingerEd where in a convo before #ecosys . Nice

Chris Jones said

at 12:25 am on Sep 22, 2010

Sean, Michael - excellent dialog on the Edu Ecosystem in Alberta, which seems to have some degree of purposeful alignment in place. Agree that many are quick to blame lack of funds. See discussion on new Bright Spots page, with similar advice against "negative filters", aka "it will never work!".

Should we feature a discussion of Alberta schools as a Bright Spot??

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