Success is often measured by one’s ability to consistently attain optimal levels of achievement, as expectations are met through a commitment to purpose. For many, a passionate spark is ignited when a natural connection to an experience exists. Paths for learning reside in uncovering the moments of meaning that lead to opportunities for excellence. From academics to athletics, theatre, or music, the process of discovering talents relies on a true belief in what a learner aims to authentically cultivate. The motivational center of a quality endeavor is the essence of transformative learning and the inspiration for self-driven progression. As directional clarity is defined, engaged practice becomes a necessary element for growth.
Maintaining the delicate balance between purpose and implementation enables the development of robust foundations that maximize opportunities for individuals to take ownership of their learning. Through facilitative efforts, the fundamentals of success are enhanced by identifying contributing factors leading to optimal levels of learning. As many strive to meet the charge of reimagining applications, they often fall short due to institutional impediments that stifle innovation. It is only through a thoughtful examination of hierarchical structures that inefficiencies can be acknowledged, and progressive changes to our educational system can be employed. If transformational growth is to transpire, we can no longer continue the cycle of reacting to data and implementing quick fix programs. Collectively, all stakeholders must develop a symmetry between the words and actions that promote a shared vision.
As facilitators in the public school system, we have been witness to the rampant asymmetry that permeates the daily workings of the institution. During a recent “professional development” experience, intentions were concentrated on brainstorming methods to prolong the amount of time students spent addressing the web-based iReady program. Throughout the session, it was evident that adherence to a directive superseded the essence of our charge. This mandated meeting was merely another example of the detrimental effects replacing purpose with the measure of compliance has on the development of the learner. It is clear, when institutions are primarily focused on utilizing the duration of time as a means for success, they fail to observe the formative features of learning. Through the craft of observation, a true assessment of a learner’s understanding is gained, without overlooking mastery. It is through this application that we afford learners opportunities to engage with confidence, as they seamlessly transition into more complex concepts. Unfortunately, this is not common practice, and the reality is a system that continually applies prescriptive, reactive approaches to address surface level concerns. Consequently, widening the academic divide and deepening the developmental gap within learners.
Moving from complied quantities to the assured quality of learning depends on the deterministic shift toward excellence. How are we to attain success if we fail to place the needs of the learner before requirements of a program? Even greater, how is inspirational learning fostered through the fixed lens of prioritizing time? The greatest gift we can give our learners is to instill confidence as they are guided throughout their academic journey. If we choose to learn from prior mistakes and apply proactive decision-making approaches, we optimize opportunities to enhance innovative thinking, while securing foundations of competency. Those that sit at the helm of ensuring academic integrity would be well-served to understand Goodhart’s law. In short, if the measure becomes the goal, then the measure becomes invalid. Authentic leaders must avoid reverting to traditional applications, and instead engender the openness to apply forward thinking initiatives. It is only with a willingness to prioritize the learner that the promise of meaningful education can be fulfilled.