Controlling the Solution

In “Learner-Centred Innovation,” Katie Martin shares the following:

Just think how you might begin to make the changes and the impact you desire in school if instead of statements like, “If they would have, . . .” you started asking, “How might I…?” This is what is referred to by psychologists as the locus of control or the extent to which people believe they have power to influence events in their lives. A person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and outcomes. These individuals might notice that students are not meeting the desired outcomes and decide to take some risks, try new strategies, or design an authentic project to meet the needs of learners. Someone with an external locus of control instead blames outside forces for everything.

I thought about this quote in a recent conversation I had with a few administrators. There were focused on some of the ideas being shared were things that would happen in larger organizations, not necessarily ones in divisions with smaller student populations.

If you want to find a problem, you can see a problem.  Solutions are findable as well.

Working with two school districts in the same day, one had shared that although there were “1 to 1” with devices for students, the teachers felt they needed more professional learning. The other had shared that they were ready to go, but that they didn’t have the devices.  Two opposite situations, both seen as issues.

Flip it around.

One organization could have seen that although they had devices for every student and more professional learning would be needed; this is an excellent opportunity to model learning alongside students and reshaping what the classroom could look like.  The other organization could have seen the opportunity to focus more on the learning of the staff before they provided devices so that they would feel ready to offer solutions to students from a place of experience in their learning.

Barriers and opportunities are around where you look at them, but the biggest barrier is often our own thinking. As Katie reminds us, we control a lot more than we give ourselves credit. We can be the problem but hopefully, the solution.

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