The Diaper Philosophy - A Blog for Principals and Teachers - School Matters | A Blog for Principals and Teachers – School Matters

 
 

The Diaper Philosophy

 
 

 

 

iStock 000015992277XSmall 150x150 The Diaper Philosophy

If It Stinks Change It

How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, the joke goes, but it has to want to change!

Effecting change in a school environment is a daunting task. This is due to the fact that, as the above quip illustrates, the environment has to want to change. This is rarely the case. On the contrary, change in schools usually happens at a glacial pace, if at all. One of my favorite posters, which adorned my office wall, featured a crying baby sitting in a soaking wet diaper. The caption read: Diaper Philosophy – If it Stinks Change It. Why don’t we?

There are many reasons schools remain mired in doing things ‘the way we have always done them’. Teachers, who would bear the brunt of implementing reforms, are particularly resistant to change. While many may debate the reasons why (or if) this is so, I subscribe to the theory that teachers are, by and large, a rather insecure lot (let the hate letters begin) who find reassurance in traditional methodologies. The cadre of forward-thinking and innovative staff who champion new ideas are often a silenced (sic) minority, who fear to be the cause of the increased workloads, or of the stress that significant change will bring. The above explains why school reform is almost never initiated by teachers themselves, but rather, decided on the administrative level.

However, before we place all the blame on teachers (hey, the parents do, why should we be any different?) let us analyze the role principals play in initiating change. The plain truth in most schools is that principals do not champion change either. When reforms are encouraged, or mandated, the push usually comes from the district or the boards of education, not from the office of the principal. Like teachers, most principals seem so mired in the smooth running of current systems, that they have little time or inclination to consider whether those systems match the mission they were to have addressed. When those directly involved with the implementation of reform are not those who have initiated the reform, the desired change will be met with resistance at every turn. “What do they know about our students?” “Let them try to teach this class!” “Here we go again, another flavor-of-the-month reform movement.” “Sure, in theory it sounds great, but it will never work in the classroom.” Do the above complaints sound familiar?

What becomes particularly frustrating is that the teachers and principals are usually correct. How would the district know your students’ specific needs? How could they accurately ascertain whether these theories will work in the real classroom? If those designing the diapers do not change babies, and those who change babies cannot smell when things stink, we have a problem.

I wish I could offer a simple solution. However, the current structures that exist in most schools do not allow for constructive change. Unfortunately, inefficient systems continue to exist as long as they are allowed to do so. Perhaps expected challenges to traditional educational methodologies from Internet-based learning will be the catalyst that will force our schools to take a long and hard look at the way we educate and consequently adopt the diaper philosophy.

Share and Enjoy:
  • twitter The Diaper Philosophy
  • linkedin The Diaper Philosophy
  • facebook The Diaper Philosophy
  • googlebookmark The Diaper Philosophy
 
 

No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment


 

Educators Calendar Events

Featured Posts

The  SAT Controversy

The SAT Controversy

The news that the SAT’s will be modified to more appropriately accord with today’s high school academic experience has been met with both strong approval...

 
Charter Schools:  Bipartisanship Rises Up in Washington DC!

Charter Schools: Bipartisanship Rises Up in Washington DC!

 I was pleased to join Minnesota Congressman John Kline, chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, as he announced new federal charter schools legislation...

 
Flipped Classrooms: Educational Revolution or Unrealistic Mistake?

Flipped Classrooms: Educational Revolution or Unrealistic Mistake?

  Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler discusses the flipped classroom. This style of teaching reverses the order in which learning and lessons are shaped....

 
Eliminating Racial Inequality in our Schools

Eliminating Racial Inequality in our Schools

 “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their...

 
Video: Inquiry-Based Learning vs. Direct Learning

Video: Inquiry-Based Learning vs. Direct Learning

  Should teachers serve primarily as presenters of predetermined material or facilitators of student-initiated learning? Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor...

 
Announcing the Launch of Hertz Furniture’s Educators’ Calendar of Events!

Announcing the Launch of Hertz Furniture’s Educators’ Calendar of Events!

If there is one universal fact of life for all teachers, it is this: teachers are busy! The list of daily tasks is seemingly infinite: marking papers, planning...

 
Charter School Growth for 2013-14: Celebration and Caution

Charter School Growth for 2013-14: Celebration and Caution

Guest Blogger: Ember Reichgott Junge The new numbers on growth of charter schools over the last year exceeded even my expectations.  The National Alliance...

 
Just Google it! Education in 2014

Just Google it! Education in 2014

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” – Mark Twain Do grades matter anymore? According to one of the most influential companies...

 
A Modest Proposal: Pump Up the Homework*

A Modest Proposal: Pump Up the Homework*

America is in a state of crisis. It isn’t what you think. Yes, the country is polarized politically, and congress is earning some of the lowest approval ratings...

 
Open Door Policy? The Teachers Room and School Culture

Open Door Policy? The Teachers Room and School Culture

You can feel it the moment you walk into the building. Every school exudes a certain aura, an overall mood: it is the school’s culture. Some schools are warm...