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Transforming the ‘R’ Word – Resistance Can Work For You


This week in Creativity, Innovation and Change, our project “Promoting Creativity in K-12 Education Through Professional Development” enters the Design Phase.  In addition to developing a Strategic Plan, we have spent the week doing research around our idea using a common Pinterest Board and uncovering the areas of resistance that could potentially derail our project.  Our goal this week was to identify exactly what makes our project different, as well as the specific strategies we could use to manage the resistance that we might encounter.

We hosted a 3rd Hangout on Air; our group continues to ebb and flow, but we have a solid team in place and are all energized by the Design Phase of the project.

We believe that this project is different because the use of MOOCs and MOOC-like environments in  K-12 education is untapped and could provide an excellent vehicle for promoting Creativity in Education through Professional Development.

Lack of time is the #1 reason cited by teachers for not participating in innovative Professional Development.  There is too much on their plate.  We know that there will never be enough time, however, the collaborative creative energy that is tapped during participation in a MOOC could encourage teachers to see the enough value  to refocus their priorities.

Lack of experience with MOOCs and the digital skills that need to be developed have also been cited as challenges.  We know that MOOCs are NOT your mother’s online learning of the past.  The game has changed.  We need to promote a “Try it, you’ll like it” approach.

State mandated testing focusing on the Common Core Curriculum and linked to teacher’s pay is the current buzz in education.  We believe that promoting creativity in education will engage students to the extent that they will excel in standardized testing.

We have also been asked to identify potential Failures that we might expect to experience as well as what we can learn from each one.

We realize that our scope may exceed our grasp.  We need to refine our idea so that it is manageable and executable.  We need to identify what will be delivered, who will deliver it and how will it be delivered.  We may get pushback from teachers and administrators who think this will take focus away from the Common Core.   We believe that creativity in education does work and that student test results can be used to confirm it.  We may not have the resources (manpower and funding) to execute our idea.  We need to identify additional resources by building momentum.  We need to network with like-minded individuals who would like to bring this idea to fruition.

We plan to survey a sampling of teachers, administrators and educators to get feedback on the challenges we have identified to ensure that we are focused and to  fully understand the needs of our audience including the “extreme users.”

We will host a TwitterChat to prototype our design, engaging educators from around the world.  We have identified a unique hashtag #k12create to use in our discussions. To market our idea, we have generated ideas for branding, including a “poster child,” a slideshow and a landing page for a website (still in development).

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

This month is Connected Educator’s Month.  Our research clearly indicates that there are many great innovative education initiatives.  We think, however, that these initiatives are numerous islands of innovation that need the “glue” that brings them all together.  We believe that our idea could be that glue that can weave together the pockets of innovation to instigate true reform in education that can overcome RESISTANCE and transform a system that is being held hostage by standardized testing and outdated practices.

Parting Shot: (You Remember L.I.F.E. don’t you?)




2 comments on “Transforming the ‘R’ Word – Resistance Can Work For You

  1. maureen maher
    October 9, 2013

    Congrats on putting all this in words and “fighting the good fight” as there is much resistance out there. Your energetic and collaborative spirit will help push this project forward. Hopefully we can make headway with those teachers and administrators held hostage by standardized testing and show them the “data” that will get them on board with re-embracing creativity in the schools as a path to success.

    • cathleennardi
      October 9, 2013

      It is enlightened educators like yourself who provide encouragement that convince me that this is an idea whose time has come. For each dose of resistance, I receive an equal share of support. I look forward to getting more feedback from the surveys and TwitterChat. That will be when the real work begins!!

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