School change: The heroes in the trenches, ICIL2010

by Steve Wyckoff on May 5, 2010

I wrote recently about the need to give schools autonomy if we want to see real school change. Not autonomy to implement government rules however we see fit, but the autonomy for dedicated educators to implement the kind of educational strategies and processes that could really make a difference for our kids in preparing them for the 21st century.

I have the pleasure of working with a group of educators who for the third year are planning a two-part summer conference for educators. The conference is called I Connect I Learn 2010 and will occur on June 2 and 3rd in Colby Kansas, and on June 10th and 11th in Salina Kansas. These are exactly the kind of educators who need the autonomy to implement their strategies and ideas … make that dreams, in their schools and classrooms.

You have to attend icil2010 to truly understand what I’m talking about. The passion and energy level will be off the charts. In fact, this conference is billed as an “un-conference.”What, you ask, is an “un-conference? An un-conference allows participants to pursue a learning path of their choice, and believe me, with this crew you couldn’t stop them from pursuing their own path of learning if you wanted to!

They don’t call for presentations, they call for facilitators. The facilitators lead discussions on various topics during the breakout sessions, or  space is provided for participants to lead their own discussions.

Lately I’ve written about the three things that our kids need; inspiration, passion, and to be remarkable. Well, if there’s ever been a group that those three words describe it’s the team that voluntarily organizes and makes icil2010 run like a well oiled machine!

I’m pretty pessimistic about the future of public education. I think we’re headed down the wrong path and only a major event can change the path we’re on. But if by some chance public education does turnaround and prosper it will be because of the efforts of individuals like these. Margaret Mead is quoted as saying; ” Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. It is, indeed, the only thing that ever has.” And I can tell you this is a group of concerned citizens! – Steve Wyckoff

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