Innovative Leadership Series
We were fortunate enough to talk with Dr. Michael Conner, Superintendent of Middletown Public Schools (CT) about leadership and crowdsourcing in education. Our team was inspired by his words of wisdom and found that his perspective makes is clear that incorporating diverse input from stakeholders is critical to designing an education program that aligns to the needs and desires of a school community.
Dr. Conner is concise and compelling. He has SIX recommendations for today's leaders.
Break from traditional decision making.
Education is linear and traditional models of decision making are limited. Dr. Conner recommends a more context dependent and prescriptive process that allows for testing of different ideas that came from a variety of perspectives.
Include diverse perspectives.
Ideas should not come from a small group of people. Some of the biggest and most persistent challenges we face in eduction (closing the achievement gap, dropout rate, readiness levels, etc) are most likely to be solved through an iterative process that incorporates feedback from end users.
Crowdsource your strategic direction.
A "grass roots" strategic approach focuses on creating and designing education programs that put the user (students/ families) at the core of the design, saddling stakeholder feedback with supporting research in order to build and test new ideas.
Elevate student voice.
Creating a space for student voice and feedback is critical. Students are the ultimate users and should be a part of the design process.
Align feedback with research.
It is imperative for modern leaders to listen to customers (students/families) and align their feedback to research in order to build the best solutions. Crowdsourcing builds consensus by allowing your stakeholders to provide you with the feedback needed to create a desired strategic direction.
Reimagine education today.
We are already reimagining education for system-wide transformation when we design new ways of teaching and learning for environments with extremely different health and safety parameters. We need to continue to reimagine education!
Curious? Learn more about crowdsourcing here.