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Showing posts from January, 2011

Reform & Transform: A Difference that Makes All the Difference!

The great systems thinker and designer, Russell Ackoff, tried during his lifetime to help people understand that continuously improving a poor system is just a path for getting worse faster. In those discussions he talked about reform and transform. Unfortunately, most of educational "change" over the past several decades (right up to the very recent past and present) has focused on "reform." Reform: to leave a system as it is and try to change its behavior by modifying the means it employs. (Ackoff) Reform, then, is a lot of talk about changing things and improving things. For our culture, this usually means doing more of the same - or faster. If a few math credits in the past seemed to work, lets increase the number of math credits. If a clear curriculum with scope and sequence worked in the past, let's make it more clearer and more detailed. In short, we try to mess with processes and to a lesser extent structures without changing the essential functions OR w