I was alerted to a quote that used the metaphor of schools as ecosystems today at the closing session of The International Summit On the Teaching Profession by a friend at The VIVA Project, and after wading through some of the delegates’ well meaning but jargon-filled reflections, I finally found the speaker I was looking for, and I was not disappointed. This speaker is part of the Hong Kong delegate, and she hits on all the right points:
Collaboration is indeed very important . . . We need to bridge the gap . . . by having genuine dialogue . . .by genuine dialogue we mean to move from distrust to collaboration, and an ingredient of collaboration must be empathy . . . .Somebody said earlier that everybody loves feedback, but it must be meaningful feedback, because feedback can help us validate what we are doing . . .
The watchword is fluidity. Every school is a small community in itself. Different principals will have different leadership styles and different teachers will have different teaching styles, and student makeups are different, and so we think that in order to improve education, we must focus on the school ecosystem, the context in which we work, the processes, the feedback, the positive relationships among the players, so that there’s genuine collaboration amongst the stakeholders in the school. [Emphasis added]
I may have transcribed some parts wrong and apologize for any errors.
If anyone knows more about the Hong Kong delegate and where the seeds of this excellent insight arose, I would love to know more information!
This is the kind of talk that I want to hear more of.