Chap 9 is the summary chapter of the book. Of course, it is the call to action piece.

It's main point is to argue that change is hard to do from within. To change from within, a business needs to "separate" -- i.e., create a unit of the corporation whose job it is to innovate and not be bothered by corporate.

C mentions four differnt types of problems and solution "teams" for them: functional,lightweight, heavywegiht, and autonomous business unit. Heavryweight is the Saturn subdivision of GMor Toyaota's Prius group -- they have a special mission and exist for that mission. Autonomous may be the Prius--it's hard for me to tell. Heavyweight and autonomous are the disruptive teams.

In schools, C says, chartered schools are the heavyweight teams. They are in the ssystem but outside. [I'll agree to that. I actually studied chartered schools for my last ed school experience, in 1995. Guess where I went for the conference? Boston! ] KIPP and High Tech High are the examples. These schools provide new models to be reapplied.

Ok, mostly. Here's my critiques:

Given my experience, which is not insignificant, with committees in schools, I can attest that the work of the heavyweight committee can produce amazing creative results and that the outside consultant or outside curriculum unit can make terrific recommendations/potential impact for systemic change. Then comes the political battle of adoption... More damn reform goes down the drain because it involves changing how things are done. People teach how they are taught, and they hold on to this as their ideal, When C discusses (p. 218) how the public rejects refomrs because it "did not fit with the public's traditional notions of what a school should be" he's right. And, if he had any school experience, he'd show how a faculty meeting, and actual student response to innovation in a classroom, can prove his point as well!
[yup, some hard experiences in my last years of teaching/administrating were had...]

Chartered schools in practice have pioneered the way for special populations that were un-der served by the regular school system anyway. To serve a population outside the system is disruptive only in that the population is no included in the system.

C points out that these smaller, more creative schools show how to make school work for more kids, because they weren't served before. See above. While this is a good point -- see the mantra of David Rose (1hom I adore) in T560-- the politics and the pragmatics of inclusion make this a damn hard sell for "system-wide disruption".

C argues for replication of successful models throughout the system -- which obviates his earlier points that the locale and population itself dictate the special needs for special schools.

There is no autonomous school mentioned or described. It seems, to wit, that the "disruptive school" is NOT school. It's new technology -- ?? What?! Does this mean then that education should be led from without?
[NB-- I am not the idealist that believes that education is perfect as currently is nor that all teachers are fabulous but I am still a social activist who believes that changes comes from within, and this means the teachers!]

At the C models two types of schools: the newly created/creative and the traditional school., each with their special populations. Hell-o -- what happened to the great middle?? This split is like that in the idealist ed reformers' visions of all classrooms -- the great vision and the horrible reality. What about "plain vanilla" where a lot of education happens every day...?

All of this leads me to a question I have been asking for a LONG time:
IS IT POSSIBLE TO RETROFIT A SCHOOL??

So far, I can only say: no.

Views: 54

Tags: Class, Disrputing, T561

Comment by Cathleen Randall on November 2, 2008 at 7:56pm
Ok, here's an extension of C's self-contradiction. In discussing Nypro's Novaplast as a disruptive innovation, he says "...an organization cannot distrupt itlsef. It cannot implement an innovation that does not make economic or cultural senes to itself" (p. 77). HOW CAN SCHOOLS POSSIBILY CHANGE FROM WITHIN?

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