I like change. At least that is what I tell myself as I enter a new chapter – a new job, career, relationship, place to live or holiday. Those new chapters can be fraught with fear. Change makes me think. Change invokes qualities that refocus, review and re-plan. Change is challenging. Change leads to learning but can make us feel less able along the way.
Our world is changing. Our generations have access to more information and perspective than previously seen. Change is bountiful. New generations potentially are going to experience change on a grander scale. It is essential to our survival that community supports all members through change. As educators, our role and purpose changes within this dynamic. We must embrace change in what we do and how we do it to stay relevant to learners. Educators must pivot, prepare and perfect change.
Here’s my point – Educators must change their perspective. Educators and education needs to move away from “content expert” role and toward a “change agent” role. Education, by definition, is about leading change.
Let me explain. According to the online etymology dictionary (www.etymonline.com) the term ‘educate’ appeared around the mid 15th Century and meant ‘bring up’. The term evolved from the Latin term ‘educatus’ meaning ‘bring up, rear’ (as in raise). The Italian version is ‘educare’, the Spanish is ‘educar’ and the French is ‘eduquer’. These terms evolved from ‘educere’ which is related to ‘bring out, lead forth’. Historically, education is about leadership. Education is about bringing out the authenticity of the learner. The learner’s true self is illuminated in exposing his/her vulnerability through the process of education. Change happens as the relationship with self synthesizes.
In building the internal relationship with learners, the educator’s role is to support, encourage and bear witness to change. Leading change within the individual or community, through an educare philosophy smashes barriers to change. This is when society builds authentic and meaningful community. BAM!!!
Educators must embrace change. It is essential that educators evaluate personal attitudes and experiences becoming vulnerable to change. Educators don’t all have the same experiences, passions or attitudes and nor should we. To lead change, Educators need to honestly evaluate their own adaptability to change. Can you pivot? What is your plan B, C and D?
Educators must be modern leaders of change. We must be open to lead from a place that has experienced a deep, honest and authentic self-evaluation. We need to share authenticity and meaning through personal vulnerability. This is the life of a learner. When learners share their learnings, they are educators.
Educators are learners and learners should educate. Learning is revealed through change. Our communities are changing fast. Life is changing quickly, requiring refocus, review and re-planning. It is vital that educators see themselves as change agents capable of building authentic and meaningful community. Educators need to be vulnerable and open. We need to honestly and openly review where we have come from to lead where the community is going.