Schools aren’t good at innovation, said Grant Lichtman in a TEDx talk given to teachers in Denver. They are big, bureaucratic, risk averse and affected by politics more than smart education policy. Still, Lichtman spent 89 days driving around the country visiting schools and interviewing teachers, students and administrators about their struggles and solutions to common problems. He saw a lot to give him hope and many schools that have hardly changed at all, partly because change is uncomfortable and messy. But, change is necessary and schools need to embrace the idea of “teaching into the unknown,” since the rapid pace of change makes it impossible to foresee exactly what the future will look like for current students.
Instead, schools need to teach students to be self-evolving, so they can adapt to change as it comes. That means that schools need to become self-evolving institutions themselves, embracing change and preparing kids for their future, not looking back at the past. His challenge to all educators: stop talking about it; start doing it.