the day "P.D" disappeared
What if board sponsored professional development disappeared? No more workshops, no more manuals, and no more meetings organized at the central level.
What would you do?
Would this be debilitating or liberating?
Sugata Mitra, in his controversial manner, has frequently asked the question, "Is knowing irrelevant?" In an era of near unlimited access to information, do we really need to have someone else organize our learning? This is not to eliminate the role of central staff in public education, but rather to re-envision it. Rather than providing the PD, what if central staff identified board priorities/needs and left the actual PD to the teachers themselves? What if the dollars spent on release days were put into creating a cloud-based platform for teacher co-creation and collaboration? What if the dollars were put into providing teachers the tools to support a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach to professional development?
How do you think educators would react?
Sugata Mitra has created the SOLE (self-organized learning environment) challenge to address this concept at the student level. You can download the toolkit via the link above. The idea is for educators to create opportunities for students to organize and take charge of their own learning. This is not a complete free-for-all, there is a guiding structure. Imagine we took this framework and applied it to professional development for educators. You can learn more about this challenge at: The School in the Cloud.
What structures and supports would central need to offer to make this possible?