Topic #1- Leading Change for Powerful Learning

Samantha Berk


During his session, Dr. Bauer introduced the Change Equation. This model is intended to help you think about the realities associated with leading change in your school at home.

A + B + D > Z

A = Dissatisfied with the way things are;

B = Shared vision for the future;

D = Know some first steps;

Z = Costs (Economic, Psychological, Emotional)

Change will be successful if the dissatisfaction with the status quo (A), combined with a shared vision of the future (B) and knowledge of some first, practical steps (D) were greater than the total economic and psychological costs (Z) associated with the change.

Think about a change that you or somebody else tried to enact in your school (either in the U.S. or in China/Egypt). Did the change work? Use the Change Equation to reflect on why or why not this change worked in your school.



One teacher at my school felt that students spent too much time sitting at their desks working independently, so she suggested that the English department introduce station rotation to encourage pupils to get out of their seats and work together. She introduced her idea at our group meeting one day, explaining that students would visit various stations during class and work together to complete different activities. She also laid out the benefits of this kind of cooperative learning: students' oral communication would improve, they would enhance their social skills, and it would allow them to practice different skills. After this, everyone agreed to try it and worked together to think of the steps we should take. We agreed to introduce station rotation during our unit on "Protecting the Environment" and decided to include 3 stations with the following activities: (1) Read a short article about environmental issues and discuss with your group; (2) Watch a video about the importance of protecting the environment on the computer; and (3) Draw a picture of a polluted environment and describe it to your group. We agreed to take turns using the library, which had enough space to conduct the activities. We also discussed how we would explain the activities to students and how we would manage transitions between activities. In the end, it worked really well because (A) The teacher was dissatisfied with the way things were and decided to change it, (B) She shared her vision with the rest of us and explained its benefits, and (D) We worked together to determine the first steps to implement change. All of this offset the costs of changing.