Should educ serve business? LO6605
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 09:00:55 -0400

Replying to LO6548 --

Scott stated:
>Educators, as a general rule, are not very good team players. They do
not collaborate within the schools, run their separate feifdoms, are
independent as all get-out (Unionized in many cases, and often resistant
to change), etc.

I am NOT castigating individual teachers and administrators. But I've sat
on enough committees over the years to know that little gets implemted,
although MUCH gets studied and reviewed.

I wonder why the mental model of "unionized ='s resistance to change'
persists in spite of growing documentation of of not only individual
school districts and their unions, but also of consortiums of districts
and their unions collaborating to build new models of delivering
'learning'? Whether it be places like Greece, NY or the school
partnership in the greater Chicago area, there are exciting things
happening in education.

"Good team players"? Most teachers are shunted of to their islated
classrooms where they spend their days dealing with class after class with
no time allowed or set aside for interaction with colleagues. It has been
the Unions negotiating 'team meeting' time that has begun to break through
the wall of isolation that education institutions have built.

Unions do not resist change, they ask tough questions of the 'bosses'.
Until there are good, quality answers to these questions, change that
appears to be haphazard will not occur. Teachers have been demanding
inclusion into the professional decisionmaking arena in the schools for
year, it's their unions through lobbying and negotiations that have begun
the change in a positive direction.

A recent article in "kappan" magazine shows shome interesting recent
research on why some of school change is successful and why it is not. One
thing that is acknowledge, thought, some of the old beliefs on why schools
dont' change (educators and their unions resisting) are being rethought.

Joe DiVincenzo


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