Frustrated With the Status Quo?

Lead Features January 20 / January 26, 2020

 – Errol St.Clair Smith –

Anyone who has spent time in education knows that many of us are unhappy with the status quo. We have short and long lists of things we’d like to see change, are hoping will change, or are trying to change. For some, the slow pace of change is irritating, frustrating, even painful, but it’s tolerable. For others, the status quo is so unbearable that they feel an urgency to get up and do something right now. If you are in that last group, this issue is for you.

If not now, when?

There’s something about a new decade that just screams, “it’s time to do something different!” Especially if you’ve been doing the same thing, the same way for the last ten years and aren’t thrilled with the results. In this issue, you’ll hear from Flipped Learning educators who have simply had enough of the status quo and are making bold moves to shake things up. Some are Flipped Learning educators like Peter Santoro, Jake Habegger, and Steve Griffiths who have just decided to up their game or help you up yours. Others are impatient Flipped Learning change agents like Dan Jones, Dr. Thomas Mennella,  Terra Graves, and Jon Bergmann who are feeling a sense of urgency to shake things up. Some are frustrated Flipped Learning practitioners like Dr.Patricia Pence who have decided to take a bigger role in leading the change. Then there are those like Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy who have contracted a full-blown case of revolutionary fever. They are so uncomfortable with the status quo that they will do whatever it takes to disrupt it — and they are. Whether you feel a slight pang to level up or a burning desire to turn over the table and disrupt the whole damn game, you’ll find a sympathetic voice in this issue.

Disruption: The inconvenient truth 

Perhaps the big lesson of the last decade is that disrupting education is uncomfortable, whether you are the disruptor or the disrupted. Why? Because those who like (or can tolerate) the status quo will express their discomfort in ways that are sure to make the disruptor very uncomfortable.

But outside of our comfort zone is where the magic happens. It’s where the impact happens, and it’s where the fun is!

So as we kick off the new decade we’ve decided to reach out to the Flipped Learning disruptors, to see what they are planning for the new year and the next decade.

Disrupt ED 

On a personal note, I’m in that group with a burning desire to turn over the table and disrupt the whole damn game. After 12 years in the field, interviews with 15,000 educators, and personal experience with Flipped Learning, I’m clear about a few things.

    • Flipped Learning is the solution to Bloom’s two sigma problem and the framework to support authentic learning.
    • Not embracing Flipped Learning is malpractice. It may be harder than giving a great TED Talk every day, but FL produces the most valuable asset our society needs — self-directed learners.
    • The Global Elements of Effective Flipped Learning is a game-changer, and there is simply no reasonable excuse for dismissing the proven best practices of hundreds of educators from 40 countries.
    • For Flipped Learning to realize its potential to transform education, the culture of academia is going to have to be disrupted.
    • Disruption is unpleasant, uncomfortable, scary, disliked, resisted and condemned by those who are deeply invested in the status quo. It’s important to accept that the process of disrupting education is going to have messy moments and everyone is not going to be supportive or sing Kumbaya when we walk into the room.

I’ve long wondered why I’ve been planted in education, but it’s now clear that I am one of the disruptors placed here to help move education forward. Being a disrupter can be lonely,  isolating and invalidating.  So I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with the extraordinary educators in this edition of FLR. Their work is inspiring,  their insights are invaluable, and their support makes this mission possible and thrilling every day. I hope their articles will inspire and support your efforts to disrupt the status quo, in your own unique way, throughout 2020 and beyond.

Errol St.Clair Smith
I am the Director of Global Development at the Flipped Learning Global Initiative. I joined the education community in 2005, working closely with national education organizations on community outreach and professional development. Over the last decade, I’ve led the development of community platforms for The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); the Association of Curriculum Developers (ASCD); the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Associations for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA), and the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO). I'm honored to have received four Emmy nominations and an Emmy Award for public affairs programming. In 2017 I co-authored Flipped Learning 3.0 with Jon Bergmann. The book was updated based on the AALAS Global Elements of Effective Flipped Learning in 2019.

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