In this video, Fullan talked about the teaching philosophy, “All children can learn”. Many educators share this philosophy, but there are too many kids who are not graduating from high school. Fullan stated that positive pressure and support are necessary for growth so that all children DO learn.
Honestly, I did not take a lot away from this video. There was no discussion about the tools necessary to support and to increase educators’ capacity for success. There was also no discussion as to what the positive pressure would look like. I wanted to learn more.
I searched to see if Fullan had written about positive pressure. I found an article, LEAD THE CHANGE SERIES Q&A with Michael Fullan. In the article he said negative pressure was external and punitive. The reason that it does not work is that it does not motivate people to act (in fact, it does just the opposite). Indeed, the negative, external pressures educators, students, and parents have been receiving since 2001’s No Child Left Behind hasn’t worked.
Fullan suggested that positive pressures that motivate can create internal accountability. Internal accountability is a climate in which the group is accountable to itself. Some factors neccessary for internal accountability to happen include:
- A positive stance of respect
- High expectations around specific goals
- Transparency of results and practice
- A non-judgmental attitude and corresponding interventions to help
- Leadership press (principals, coaches, district leaders)
- Peer interaction focusing on data and instructional practices that are effective
- Takeover action or other formal intervention (last resort)
With these qualities, the system operates to create widespread ownership, reinforced by transparency of results. As Elmore has argued, no amount of external accountability will work in the face of limited internal accountability.
Michael Fullan’s Topic Videos is a series of 22 short clips, 2-3 minutes each delve into a variety of educational topics . These videos include real life examples suitable for teachers, principals, and administrators. The videos are designed and filmed to illustrate ‘motion leadership in action’.
What are your take-a-ways from ‘Positive Pressure—All Children Can Learn’?