International Women’s Day

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“Why isn’t there an International Men’s Day?”

I hope you don’t hear this question today. But, if you do, here is what I would say in reply:

When women (and girls) have the same access as men (and boys) to

health care

education

positions of leadership

economic freedom

speaking roles in films and plays

seats on boards

jobs in tech

paid parental leave

When there are only leaders, executives, bus drivers, fire fighters, pilots, electricians, and scientists.

NOT women leaders, female executives, lady bus drivers, women fire fighters, female pilots, female electricians, and women scientists.

When we have pay parity.

When we have protection against sexual discrimination.

When we stop calling girls “bossy” and boys “leaders”.

When this list

of things to say

is considered ridiculous because

“of course” is the standard response.

THEN we can have a day in which we celebrate humanity and hu(wo)manity in equal partnership with each other.

Until then, let’s use today to #pressforprogress and to keep moving forward to #makewomenvisible

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced $170 million in funding for women. It will be used over the next four years to help women exercise their economic power through managing their own businesses and bank accounts. As Melinda Gates writes for Quartz:

“When money flows into the hands of women, everything changes.”

Melinda Gates

Please support women globally.

Click here to loan $25 to a woman seeking financial independence and a better way of life for her and her family, through KIVA

Please support women locally.

Look for opportunities to support entrepreneurs, business owners, and people seeking money to make a life-changing difference in their lives, right in your own community.

Please support young women in education.

Young women and girls need to be visible in education. How are you ensuring gender parity in the way we represent women in sciences, math, economics, design, computing, sports, and the arts? We need to make it easy for all kids to see that things are man-made and WOman-made.

#pressforprogress

I am grateful to work in a school that values inclusion and enjoyed the opportunity this morning to share breakfast and think together about the role of women in our curriculum and the importance of ensuring equal voice in decision making and ideation.

IWD.016

 

Don’t Say “Agency” Unless You Really Mean It

The IBO recently shared a graphic as part of it’s work in revamping the Primary Years Programme. To be clear: This is their communications graphic illustrating the new organizing structure; not the new programme model. Agency (Voice, Choice, and Ownership) feature heavily. As I looked at this and thought about each of these components of agency, I imagined what I might look for in a classroom in which this existed. I thought in questions:

IMG_0821

And then I read this. An amazing post by Will Richardson. I started to highlight the parts that resonated and then found the whole article highlighted. Seriously. Here is one of my favorites:

So, don’t say “agency” unless you really mean it, unless you truly intend to create classrooms where kids “have mastery over themselves” and the freedom to employ that mastery with other learners.

-Will Richardson

I watched a second webinar today on Inclusion. A lot of what was said came down to respecting all students as individuals – and in doing so, creating the type of classrooms that Will Richardson mentions above.  And not just for some kids, but for all kids.

Ideas - 54

It made me think …if our classrooms really were places in which kids “have mastery over themselves” wouldn’t they also be inclusive? If an inclusive classroom is one in which all students are supported where they are at right now, it seems that the two are mutually co-dependent.

So, what needs to change? Lots!  Change is one of my favorite topics. For someone who has moved around a lot in the last 18 years, you would expect as much. But there is a lot that needs to be in place for change to be effective. Some of the challenges are outlined above and there isn’t a one-stop solution or a prescription for how an inclusive, agency-based classroom can be created. But there are some steps that can  be considered in order to make any attempt at change more successful.

Change researcher, Anthony Ambrose, theorized that five elements must be present in order for change to occur and that if one or more of them is missing, there is a specific emotional response. The change equation will allow leaders to plan the change strategies and also analyze where previous change efforts may have gone wrong.  They need only ask the question: “Why is this person reacting this way?”  The equation looks like this:

Because We Believe in Change (4)

And here’s what happens when we don’t plan for change:

Because We Believe in ChangeBecause We Believe in Change (1)Because We Believe in Change (2)Because We Believe in Change (5)Because We Believe in Change (6)

You can read more about this process here.

As the changes to the PYP come about and as people start to change their classrooms to be more inclusive and agency-driven, it is going to get messy. Schools who have not started this conversation are going to find themselves falling behind as more change-focused schools work to reimagine education. I feel very fortunate to be at a school who has been having these conversations for years already and is actively seeking ways to ensure we are a truly inclusive learning environment.

Here’s to building something gorgeous!

Because We Believe in Change (3)