Thinking Through Transformation
As we engage the renewed season of spring, we continually focus on ways in which learning can shift from an obstructionist to a constructivist view. As such, we analyze how obstacles within educational organizations can be eliminated so value is placed on learners constructing meaning. In our previous post, as a means toward transformation, we spoke about the notion of stakeholders valuing the process of learning over systematic metrics. In examining more closely the many factors that shape optimal growth, we find ourselves narrowing in on the central role learning agility can play in shaping a culture of independent and creative thought. When learning is viewed through the lens of thinking and building understanding, the need for its internal presence becomes more clear.
Through our experiences, we’ve learned first-hand the powerful impact active engagement and resiliency have within a progressive learning ecosystem. When implementing an integrated, Socratic approach, opportunities to embrace challenges serve as a mechanism to grow as a thinker. If self-regulation is to be constructed from within, we must disrupt the status quo by providing experiences that are evolutionary in their process. The way in which learning is fostered stems from the belief that individuals can think critically, apply feedback, and learn from their mistakes by assessing the decisions they generate through the challenges they encounter. However, if these components are never built into environments of engagement, learners only experience teacher-directed, one-size-fits-all lessons that often leave them unmotivated or with the belief that they are not “good students.” This simply comes down to the reality that in their experiences, schooling has dominated learning. Unfortunately, an obstructionist view has been constructed in their minds, preventing them from developing the necessary strategies needed to cope with everyday challenges. From the time they entered school, most often they have been told what to write, think, and how to calculate without ever becoming truly invested in the process. This is where we see material presented only at a surface level. Through such a prism, learners are inhibited from accessing the very skills critical to fostering agility within the learning arena.
As Elmore (2019) has expressed, a key element to shifting from paradigms of custody and control is to embrace the divergent theories that sit at the heart of learning. However, that demands an organizational culture grounded in the balance that is fostered through introspection. When an organization orients its values toward the tenets of learning, all stakeholders become conduits for enhancing the relationship between authentic leadership and learning agility (Sinkula, Baker & Noordeweir,1997; Liu, Luo, & Shi, 2002). In short, these attributes produce the practices that break the stifling conditions of schooling. By encouraging reflective practices, a foundation of purpose will inspire integrative thinking that promotes a community of intrinsically motivated learners. It is from this constructivist lens that agility becomes the mechanism to transcend the rigidity of binary thinking.
Elmore, R. (2019). The future of learning and the future of assessment. ECNU Review of Education, 2(3), 328-341.
Liu, S.S., Luo, X., & Shi, Y. (2002). Integrating customer orientation, corporate entrepreneurship, and learning orientation in organizations-in-transition: An empirical study. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 19(4), 367–382.
Sinkula, J.M., Baker, W., & Noordewier, T.G. (1997). A framework for market-based organizational learning: Linking values, knowledge and behaviour. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25(4), 305–318.