The Self-Organizing School

Greetings! It’s taken a while for me to get to the chapters, but I’m enjoying learning about “The Self-Organizing School” and the thoughtful planning and research that was put into the project. Rather than write all about the chapter, I played with Piktochart to help me. When you have a look, I made an attempt to not only describe the intent, but to briefly discuss the phases that Bain discusses. If you notice, the three phases are listed with a brief overview. At the end, of the graphic, I also discussed our transition from primarily classroom based work to increased online programs and classes. It is one of my interests which is probably clear now. 

I confess that I cited Bain in class today when I was presenting an example of how one might construct a solution oriented essay. My students are arguing for change, but they are in charge of creating a well developed solution for the problem (that needs the change to occur). Since I used education as my broader category, I sparked conversation on what has the most impact on learning. It was interesting to have Bain’s views on teacher and classroom impact in my back pocket as the discussion continued. Overall, Bain helped us have a lively conversation about problems in education (in this case we were addressing gaps in learning) and potential solutions (including how we might use different phases – see my graphic- to pilot a solution plan). I hope that I have explained it clear enough – it’s difficult if you weren’t actually there as I had the problem statement and an outlined example of a solution process on the projector. 

At the college we have transitioned over time to online learning. Chapter One was a good starting place for thinking in terms of one school, one teacher, and one classroom rather than large scale. I think that what stuck out most to me was that individualized piece (this is mentioned in my graphic as well). I have always thought that it was important to individualize instruction in the classroom and at the school level rather than lay a blanket of practices over all schools and classrooms. It was nice to see that Bain’s discussion supported individualization (or at least, that was my interpretation). Please note that I embedded the code for the graphic and provided a link. The picture may load faster on certain browsers. 

Reference: Bain, A. (2007). The self-organizing school. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing.

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