We’re being told endlessly that the paradigm is shifting.
Education is not what it was, the road map has changed, the paradigm has shifted, it’s different, it’s new, it’s confusing.
What has been lacking is a definitive declaration of where we are now. What is the 2013 educational paradigm? Hues have been followed by cries of, ‘tell me, show me, enlighten me’; the response being a mishmash of ideas leaving many of us with the echoing plea: please define “The New”.
Before I could take my rant any further a clearer understanding of paradigms and how they shift was in order. So thanks to Google and YouTube I found my explanation. So THIS is how a paradigm shifts. Apparently our ideas, strategies, theories, et al, have been revised enough they no longer fit in the old container? My head nods in agreement. Ah yes…but wait…one container? That can’t be. And then the light flickered. Perhaps there is not just one paradigm in education, perhaps there are many. Perhaps there are so many, there really isn’t a paradigm at all. Radical. Maybe.
As I observed our students playing during recess while on duty this week, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of responsibility. I tried picturing my grandchildren out on our playground. Would they feel safe? Would they feel happy? Would their needs be met? Then it hit me, and not for the first time; parents trust us with their precious children, most send their hearts along with their offspring. There is no way to take that lightly nor is there one right way, one single paradigm that can contain the complexities of what we are called to do, to be, in order to meet all the needs gathered within our buildings.
If the paradigm is indeed a container mine must be:
- strong enough to withstand crisis,
- resilient enough to never give up,
- deep enough to hold all the resources required to match a variety of diverse needs,
- beautiful enough to capture the imagination of our charges
- human enough to have room for humility, joy, acceptance, and love.
It could be my resistance to being labelled; to pigeon-hole education that has me rejecting the notion of a paradigm shift. Once again I come back to relationship; with staff, with students, with parents, with the DLT’s of our districts. If we must have a paradigm those will be mine and together we can be assured that better is possible.