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Showing posts from February, 2011

Bill Spady and OBE - a brief personal history for my young educational friends

From 1992 to 1994 I was fortunate enough to get to know and work with Dr. William G. Spady - the founder and father of Outcome-Based Education, or OBE. All of us working now to implement competency-based learning systems, dynamic teaching and learning, authentic assessment, and contextualized learning in a multitude of dimensions owe a great deal to Bill Spady. If you've never heard of Bill or OBE - you might want to read this little history lesson. In 1992 my friend and mentor,Al Rowe, connected me with his friend, Bill Spady. For those of us in education and paying any attention in the early 90's we all know him to be the father of OBE - Outcome-Based Education. He was right then, he's right now and we owe a lot to our current transformational efforts to him. Bill allowed me to participate in his workshops across the country and to hone my consulting and presentation skills as a very young educator. He was an intense and unrelenting intellectual power combined with passio

Following the "Research" in watershed times, is like driving using the rear-view mirror.

First off - don't jump to the conclusion that I reject research altogether. Don't get me wrong - I find value in research. The issue for me is a simple one: research is contextual. Research is also conducted, by necessity, within the existing framework - the functions, structures and processes - of the current educational paradigm. We are at a point in history where I believe it absolutely critical and necessary to create and implement a new educational design. The simple fact is that you cannot continuously improve into something new - something new requires design or re-design. Research is about finding ways to improve within the current constraints and frameworks - great when you are actively trying to improve what you have. But what happens when we have a model we don't want anymore? Research, even emanating from the old paradigms, can be instructive. Let's just be careful that we don't simply "follow the research." The game is new, it is uncharted, an