Change has come up a lot in the blogosphere recently.
Andrea Hernandez prompted me to write one of my post-type comments against her recent post on agents of change:
I thank her for the opportunity for that reflection. Part of my comment to her ran something like this:
Always, when I learn about change being brought about, I ask questions. I ask why we are changing and I listen. The reply I get allows me to decide whether the change that's proposed is something I'd support.
If I am confronted with the question, "Don't you support change?" my knee-jerk reaction is always to ask again, "What change or changes am I being asked to support?"
If I get back nothing but an argument on change, I become suspicious that the goal of the agent for change is simply to change, without recourse to why, how, or if a proposed change is for a real benefit.
There is always the possibility that change could mean a retrograde shift - moving back to what was - or moving to situations that are of no real benefit or worse. Yet it is always assumed that 'change' is good and that it means moving forward.
Why do I think like this?
Much of the change that I have been coerced into accepting in education over many years has not been thought through beforehand. It is only years, months or even weeks later, when in hindsight, it's seen that the enacted change was not needed, or was falsely initiated, or that there was a political agenda.
So it was for me with the introduction of unit standards to New Zealand secondary education in the mid-90s and with the introduction of NCEA this century.
When I heard of the proposed introduction of national standards to primary education in New Zealand, I experienced powerful déjà vu.
I had a dizzy sinking feeling, and something inside my head shouted, “Here we go again!”
When I hear John Hattie speak about the introduction of national standards, I think, “John! You’ve got it right mate!”