Change is Unpredictable and Complex














I’ve started a new role as an RTLB. (Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour) you know that excited and terrified feeling when you start a new role and you realise that the more you thought you might know the more you don't?

One of the first publications I have started reading, is Kairaranga. The article I keep re reading is, The Art of Community … What Principles and Practices do RTLB need to Develop an Effective Community of Practice? Kairaranga Vol 18 Issue 1: 2017. I'm loving this article!

The following words stand out...
“It is now recognised that change is not a simplistic or linear process, but a dynamic one that occurs in unpredictable and complex ways.”

From this article I think more about Teaching as Inquiry - experience tells me TAI is far from linear and we need to know what thinking and doing looks and sounds like when teaching / learning in complex spaces.

I am also reading through the RTLB Tool kit
I am captured by the words ‘Ecological approach’. I’m learning how this principle inter relates to the seven other principles.
“An ecological view is that:
  • Learning is an on-going, interactive and contextualised process.


I am excited as I read and have affirmed that working in the RTLB space is about learning to work in a complex space.  I often wonder if in schools we give the complex space enough attention. TAI's are far from linear. I’m wondering if we sometimes approach a complex situation and treat it as either simple or complicated.

I have noticed in schools and education we use the word complex in many situations that actually in my guess are actually just complicated.  By this I mean there is some expertise required to untangle the jigsaw and with the right amount knowledge, skill and or  attitude the problem will be solved.   However, what about the situations where there is no clear solution? Where no amount of working smarter is going to solve a problem. These to me are complex, where the pathway to a solution is multi faceted and it may be difficult to identify one thing as the antecedent. Where if we just ‘get our ducks in a row’ work hard enough - work smart enough we will be able sort the situation at hand.

So, it is my hope as I keep learning with the team that I keep experimenting and learning about what working in complexity might look and sound like in schools and education.

One more thing.... I have noticed a few conversations that explains different rolls in schools and education as a cog in a larger machine. I'm wondering about this becasue if we are saying we are working in a complex space and we need to work in relation to each other in processes that are not linear. Then a machine metaphor does not work for me. This is mainly because complexity and an ecological approach  must engage with ambiguity and unpredictability.  Two things I do not associate with machines.
Would appreciate hearting what others think about the use of machine as a metaphor. Our mental images are important right?



The Art of Community … What Principles and Practices do RTLB need to Develop an Effective Community of Practice? Kairaranga Vol 18 Issue 1: 2017

Coppieters, P. (2005). Turning school into learning organisations. European Journal of Teacher Education, 28(2), 129-139

Garvey Berger, J., & Johnson, K. (2015). Simple Habits for Complex Times.



1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the new role!!! And all the excitement and challenges that come with it.
    In response to your machine metaphor; I like to think of the system in a much more organic, biological system way. Like you mentioned, an ecological approach. If you think about the complexity of, say, the human body as a system and how each system (eg, the central nervous system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system, etc) within the human body works together in a symbiotic manner that can deal with changes to create the whole living being... That to me is my favorite anaolgy.
    (just don't get me started on cellular level or microorganisms within the system... :) )
    Look forward to hearing about your RTLB adventures!

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