This week, I had the opportunity to examine how change is best enacted. It is simply not enough to state that a change is necessary; rather, we must motivate by asking questions that engage others to spark a connection to the “why” of the change.
So often in education, we are surrounded by words. Where they come from is irrelevant- policy manuals, administration, policymakers, or even those in the highest levels of education. What is relevant is our connection to those words. As Tom Asacker states in his video, “Our brains are influenced by changing perceptions and desires.” Every day, we are faced with words or new ideas that pledge to shape our world in a new or better way. However, we only buy into these ideas when they fit into our beliefs or how we see ourselves. I believe that the reason we focus so heavily on facts is that it is easier to take things as “truth” than to look deep within ourselves to realign or reshape our beliefs. However, as change agents, our roles are going to be to do just that; we must identify the meaning behind a specific change, adapt and cultivate it within our own learning environments, and find ways to motivate and encourage others to do the same.
Before beginning this week’s readings and videos, I had a picture in my mind of what my video would be. I had written down a few notes and made a little map of what I was going to do. However, after reviewing the information, I threw out my piece of paper. While I still plan to use the concept, I feel like it focused far too much on words and not enough on connecting with the hearts of the viewers. I do think that this is going to be our biggest challenge this week; while we all know the technology piece can be tricky, it is not going to be quite as difficult (or quite as personal) as sharing our “why”. I think that the key to effectively sharing our message this week is to provide enough information to convey our passion without entering the zone of “provoking reactance”, as The Behavioral Science guys discussed. If we are truly on the precipice of enacting major change within our organization, we must try to avoid this at all costs. We need to connect fully with the hearts of those we want to motivate, while also providing just enough words to show that we have a plan or roadmap to make it happen.
So many of the changes we see in education stem from words on a paper or a lecture by an administrator. Videos have a much greater chance to make an immediate impact, as they can be directed to appeal to the “why” before even discussing the “what” or the “how”. A well-crafted video is going to create an urgent, personal need for its viewers to make that change or be that change. While some teachers might feel compelled by the words at first, that motivation does not last long. However, these videos leave a long-lasting impression with the viewer and help the viewer to want to become an agent of change. I’m looking forward to watching all of your videos and reviewing your plans! 🙂