Education Reimagined — Resources for Creating a Compelling Vision for Learning: Part 2

Randy Ziegenfuss May 16, 2018

NOTE: This is the second in a two-part blog series on crafting a vision for the future of learning. You can find part 2 here.

In part one of this blog, I discussed how my colleague Lynn Fuini-Hetten and I developed “Profile Of A Graduate,” our roadmap for the skills we wanted our graduates to have, and our own corresponding learning belief statements. Once we established our vision and the learning beliefs behind it, Lynn and I engaged our principal and teacher leaders at Salisbury Township School District to develop appropriate action plans to bring the vision to reality.

Moving an organization to the defined vision is a long, slow process in the context of a rapidly changing world. We need to constantly stand at the edge and patrol the border between “now” and “next.” How can leaders stay informed about the “next”?

STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME WITH FUTURE TRENDS: KNOWLEDGEWORKS, GETTING SMART, AND OTHER RESOURCES.
We have found the resources at KnowledgeWorks and GettingSmart to be effective at shaping the conversation.

In Salisbury Township School District, we are in the early stages of figuring out how future thinking can inform our work with the Profile of a Graduate and Learning Beliefs. What we have learned is that we need to constantly keep one eye on the future if we are going to be able to transform our system and ensure relevant learning opportunities for everyone within the system.

SUPPORTING THE WORK OF SIGNIFICANCE ON A DAILY BASIS: FINDING REAL-WORLD EXAMPLES

Educators doing the heavy lifting of creating a compelling vision and looking into the future must be fed and inspired daily by real-world examples of the work. The GettingSmart.com blog is a terrific place to start. Subscribing to this resource will provide you with a steady stream of real-world inspiration — examples of progressive learning and education leaders in action. Be sure to check out these series:

  • Place-Based Education
  • It’s A Project-Based World
  • Getting Smart On Assessing Social And Emotional Learning
  • Getting Smart Podcast

Visit the site and subscribe to receive updates when new content is posted. You can also follow Getting Smart on social media @Getting_Smart.

Lynn and I have taken our passion for learner-centered education, our curiosity for what new kinds of leadership are necessary, and our desire to model being learners ourselves and created a new podcast called Shift Your Paradigm.

Every two weeks, we interview practitioners and learners in the field involved in transformation. We are regularly inspired by these real-world examples of what is possible in our schools to best prepare our learners to be the extreme learners an uncertain future will require. Find these real-world stories of powerful learning and leadership at ShiftYourPardigm.org. You will be inspired!

Visioning is challenging because it is work of significance — work that will have an impact beyond today and well into the future. As educational leaders, we must make time for the significant while we also do the important and urgent work that comes at us every day. If you’re starting your visioning journey with your organization, I think you’ll find the resources shared here to be valuable.

HOW ARE YOU SHAPING THE FUTURE OF LEARNING IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

About the author: Randy Ziegenfuss is the superintendent of the Salisbury Township School District. He’s also a clinical adjunct professor of education at Moravian College. Previously, Ziegenfuss was a classroom teacher, department chair, technology integration specialist, director of technology, and assistant superintendent.

Follow Randy on Twitter @ziegeran, and access valuable insights on his blog, Working at the Edge.

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