The Three R’s of School Reform

Young, passionate, zealous educators have discussed school reform until they are blue in the face. Feeling the frustration of ages of unchanged techniques and misplaced pedagogy, they sometimes overreact, and in the process, throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are three things that you educators can do with the old and new that will come and go throughout the years.

 “People are zealous for a cause when they are not quite positive that it is true” –Bertrand Russell

I ran across this idea through The Resurgence. Their focus was on doctrine in the church, but I felt that they discovered a principal that is true in all areas of life.

When it comes to ideas, strategies, doctrine, culture, or anything else in education, simply consider these three things. Maybe you could:

1.  REJECT It. Some things aren’t worth messing with. If it doesn’t fit, sometimes the best thing that you can do is trash it.

2.  REFORM It. There may some good aspects of it that with a little tweaking can create something amazing.

3.  REDEEM It. It may not even be related to education at first glance. Can you give it a creative tilt to make it one of the best thing to hit school since pencils?

This may seem overly simplistic, but its helped me many times. As reformers, we must remember to consider “both-and” rather than just “either-or”. The pioneers of education, the senior members of your staff aren’t without value. See what they have to offer, then reject it, reform it, or redeem it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have any examples of where this could work in your school?


About Chris Stevens

I'm an Elementary Principal, husband, father of three, and an imperfect follower of Christ. I have eight years experience at the Jr-Sr High level and 14 years experience speaking at various churches.
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