Teaching through projects, interrogating the value of grades, attempting to make learning more meaningful and connected to young people’s lives and interests, thoughtful ways of using technology to amplify and share student work. These are just some of the ways teaching and learning are changing. But moving to these kinds of learning environments is a big shift for many teachers, schools, and districts; it’s hard to sustain change once the shiny newness wears off. That’s when people tend to slip back into old habits, relying on what they know best. The transformation requires a leader who understands how to manage the change process.
“Sustained modes of change can be incredibly meaningful and yield for your community in huge ways, but you have to be incredibly intentional in order to make space for these things to happen,” said Diana Laufenberg at an EduCon 2018 session about how to lead through change. Laufenberg is the executive director of Inquiry Schools, a nonprofit working with schools around the country to make these shifts. She has come to the conclusion that there are five pillars to sustaining change: permission, support, community engagement, accountability and staying the course.