Facilitated by John Moravec
Minnesota needs to innovate, and school administrators are under increasing pressure to reinvent education. Our “noble quest” is to facilitate learning opportunities and a dialogue process that yields an action agenda for Minnesota school administrators, legislative leaders, business leaders, and other key members of the communities we serve in an era dominated by accelerating change, globalization, and the emergence of a “knowmadic” society.
First and foremost, we seek to break from our past practices and habits. Too often, we create mere surveys of the learning landscape only to end there – as surveys. This project goes deeper: It is a co-creative journey that begins with a clean slate, and engages stakeholders in conversations focused on developing positive futures for education in Minnesota. While the Minnesota Association of School Administrators‘ members will be at the center of the dialogue, key stakeholders from each of MASA’s nine districts will be invited to participate – including students.
Key to the project will be an integrative website that serves to share ideas and resources, and to continue our conversations beyond formal meetings in the project plan. The goal is to connect people and ideas together in a broader value network.
Throughout the project, project leaders will collect data from meetings, and further ideas and artifacts will be solicited from participants. Artifacts could include student-produced videos that relate to the project, original artwork, and other multi- and transmedia elements that enhance our narratives about the future of education and our pathways to success.
By mid-summer 2014, the data and artifacts collected will be analyzed, shared online, and compiled into a report that not only summarizes our experiences and ideas about the future of education in Minnesota, but also sets forth an agenda for action that MASA and its members can take before state legislators and other educational leaders in Minnesota.
For Minnesota, we are starting with a clean slate as we look to the future, but that does not mean that we will start from nothing. As noted above, this is a global problem, and Minnesota is not alone. To help “jumpstart” the conversation, we will invite collaborators from the Knowmad Society project (see Moravec, 2013) to share their experiences. In the project, nine authors from three continents took a global look at the future of education, and shared their ideas and resources for building new education futures.
MASA’s Strategic Plan charges us with “strengthen[ing] relationships with other Minnesota educational associations and policy makers to develop a common education agenda.” This year, in support of that goal, we will invite our members and the wider community into this conversation, so that together we can bridge the space between our vision for the future and realities of practice today. We benefit from a rich leadership community and a structure that facilitates local, regional, and statewide communication and conversation.