Education Perspectives

S2 EPISODE 3 Barnett Berry - Rethinking Teachers' Roles in a Changing World

February 08, 2024 Liza Holland Season 2 Episode 3
Education Perspectives
S2 EPISODE 3 Barnett Berry - Rethinking Teachers' Roles in a Changing World
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Show Notes Transcript

PODCAST Season 2 EPISODE 3 

Barnett Berry

Senior Advisor, What School Could Be
Senior Research Fellow, Learning Policy Institute

Quote of the Podcast – 

“Getting to scale with deeper, student-led learning requires teachers who “increasingly to think of themselves as operating in a web of professional relations that influence their daily decisions, rather than as solo practitioners.”  Dick Elmore (1996)

Introduction of Guest BIO – 

Barnett Berry currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow at the Learning Policy Institute and a Senior Advisor for What School Could Be while also supporting efforts to ignite student-led learning. He especially supports the empowerment of the teaching profession required for it. Barnett’s work with the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future led to his founding of the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) in 2000, and for 19 years, the nonprofit focused on igniting a bold brand of teacher leadership essential for an effective and equitable system of public education. His two books, TEACHING 2030 and Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don't Leave, frame a bold vision for the profession's future. In 2021, Barnett was honored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards with the James A. Kelly Award for Advancing Accomplished Teaching. He currently serves on several advisory boards dedicated to transforming education systems, including the University of Kansas’ Center for Reimagining Education, the Digital Promise Global Cities Education Network, and Next Education Workforce Initiative of Arizona State University.

Interview

Agents of Change: Leaders/Innovators

  •  30,000 Ft. View – Why so we, as a society invest in education?
  • What drew you to education?
  • What do you love about what you do?
  • Tell us about Why schools have be do difficult to change; and how they can do so now! 
  • Teacher roles: When it comes to school "reform" teachers have never been the problem; they have always been the solution.
  • Tell us a story or favorite memory about your work in education
  • What are the biggest challenges to you?
  • What would you like decision makers to know?

Podcast/book shoutouts

TEACHING 2030

 Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don't Leave

Learning Policy Institute for applying science of learning and development to school design 

Ted Dintersmith and Kapono Ciotti for advancing teacher-led innovation for student-led learning; Carole Basile and Brent Madden of ASU and their growing efforts to redesign the job of the teacher.

Support the show

Education Perspectives is edited by Shashank P athttps://www.fiverr.com/saiinovation?source=inbox

Intro and Outro by Dynamix Productions

Liza Holland [00:00:02]:
Welcome to education perspectives. I am your host, Liza Holland. This is a podcast that explores the role of education in our society from a variety of lenses. Education needs to evolve to meet the needs of today and the future. Solving such huge issues requires understanding. Join me as we begin to explore the many perspectives of education. Today, we have with us Barnett Berry. He currently serves as a senior research Fellow at the Learning Policy Institute and a senior adviser for what school could be, while also supporting efforts to ignite Student led learning.

Liza Holland [00:00:44]:
He especially supports the empowerment of the teaching profession required for it. Barnett's work with the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future led to his founding of the Center For Teaching Quality in 2000. And for 19 years, the nonprofit focused on igniting a bold brand of teacher leadership essential for an and equitable system of public education. His 2 books, teaching 2030, and teacherpreneurs, Innovative teachers who lead but don't leave frame a bold vision for the profession's future. In 2021, Barnett was honored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards with the James a Kelly Award for advancing accomplished teaching. He currently serves on several advisory boards dedicated to transforming educational systems, including the University of Kansas's center for reimagining education, the Digital Promise Global Cities Education Network, and next education workforce initiative ex of the Arizona State University. So doctor Barnette Berry, welcome to education perspectives.

Barnett Berry [00:01:51]:
Oh, great to be with you, Liza. Thanks for having me.

Liza Holland [00:01:54]:
Oh, I'm excited about our discussion today. You have such a broad, background, especially in kind of the education reform field. I'm looking forward to digging in today. Ex So let's kick off with my first question to every guest. From a 30,000 foot view, why do you think that we as a society invest in education?

Barnett Berry [00:02:13]:
Ex Well, it's really important for democracy. Go back to our founders, Washington, Madison. Ex Don't quote me for quoting even Madison correctly here, but I believe he said something like a popular democratic government without popular information. And a means of acquiring it would be like a recipe for disaster, tragedy. Ex And I will say, I think we're seeing, the ill effects of not fully educating the whole child, the whole human being, ex Like we could be doing in this country. We surely do it in in places, but, yes, democracy, education, ex Preparing now young people for jobs that haven't been created, haven't been imagined yet, social cohesion, civic engagement, All those important things to keep us healthy and our economy moving and peace and harmony Amongst us all. Right?

Liza Holland [00:03:15]:
Here. Here. Absolutely. So education can often be a bit of a calling. What drew you to the education field?

Barnett Berry [00:03:23]:
Ex Well, I kinda had roots in some days as a believe it or not, as a basketball player, and I'm dating myself now. My 1st years of high school was the 1st years of significant integration of schools in the south. A mere 16 years after the Brown decision, I was a 9th grade point guard of ex On a basketball team, it was probably the only fully integrated anything in what was supposed to be the 1st year of integrated schools, but in most cases, black kids were in 1 classroom, white kids were another. And when Some civil unrest unfolded. It was the basketball team that came together with support from the Urban League, ex Did a lot of healing work in light of what had happened on our campus at AC Flora High School in in 19 seventies. And I think it was there that I really saw the power of public education. And one thing led to another, and I got connected to teachers tourists who care deeply about kids, but were not supported in ways that they needed to be. And and the next thing you knew, I was a teacher in an urban high school ex

Liza Holland [00:04:35]:
In Columbia, South relayed that into some really interesting areas. Do you wanna tell us about and please feel free to add in additional hear and whatnot, but I know that you founded the Center For Teaching Quality, and we're doing that for about 19 years. So tell me a little bit more about what made you feel like that was necessary and what impact you feel like you might have made with it.

Barnett Berry [00:05:05]:
So I will kinda leap from the eighties when I was, early 19 eighties when I was this high school teacher who felt very ill prepared To teach very large classes of kids, many of whom were not able to read whatever Textbooks or other curriculum materials that were at my disposal as a social stage teacher back then. But in ex From that point when I 3 years into my teaching by the way, with a kind of a sociology degree, not kind of, a sociology degree under my belt, I kinda Quickly saw that if we could have created a more dysfunctional system of of teacher development and teach teacher support in our schools, we could not have done a better job. And that led me to graduate school Mhmm. To study the profession that I I will say, Liza, that I fled. I'm working some amazing teachers in Fayette County right now. Ex December 7th, amazing group of teachers and other administrators there. I never became a really stellar teachers that those ex Folks have become, but what I learned in graduate school is that we could change the profession. Other professions have evolved over time ex And have built a ways to ensure quality control amongst the ranks, to ensure that practices are evidence based, ex And that we have strong cohesion amongst the members of the profession to ensure that we're doing the best job together ex For the benefit of the ultimate beneficiaries, the kids, parents, and the communities.

Barnett Berry [00:06:40]:
That's the ideal model of professionalism. Ex And teachers have been marginalized in their efforts to professionalize over the years.

Liza Holland [00:06:49]:
Yes. They have.

Barnett Berry [00:06:51]:
I studied much of the underlying causes led me to studying teaching policies, studying the conditions under the work that teachers ex Taught and how and why it was still kind of the reality that, you know, even in the late ex 19 nineties, and then in the 1st part of 21st century, the sociologists would still be calling ex Teachers a semi professional. And right around the time that No Child Left Behind was passed, and Many more policies kind of dumping on teachers became more of the targets of reform as opposed to be leaders of reform. I kinda end up building this nonprofit, leaving my university professorship at the time behind, and to build this nonprofit to both ex advanced teaching policies, but do so not just with evidence based strategies and so forth, but ex To work directly with some of the nation's best teachers in finding solutions to the most vexing problems that they are facing. So the Center For Teaching Quality, which, had a run of about 19 years, was kinda built upon that premise. And I'm very proud of what we got done for many steps forward that we have made over the years, and I will say we have made some progress, Liza. We still have a long way to go, and and it seems like for every step forward, there's many steps from side to side and occasionally a step back.

Liza Holland [00:08:24]:
Ex Well, I empathize with that a lot because I see exactly the same issues and conditions and feel very lucky to be working with you right now ex on a deeper learning initiative here in Fayette County, Kentucky. And I think that what everyone in our society needs To realize is that teachers are experts at teaching. They may not know what they don't know about content. They may not know what they don't know about what's going on as far as what careers are out there or any of that kind of thing, but that ex The system that they are brought up in totally makes that happen. They're very siloed. It's very much I had 1 teacher talk to me about feeling like, you know, she goes school, and she's in a box, and she's literally put in a box. And the thing that we are missing, I think, in this entire equation is that teachers are taught how to teach, and the best of them are really reaching out to their students and want to customize how they teach, so we need to give teachers agency back to be able to do that. We've micromanaged them to that.

Barnett Berry [00:09:37]:
Right. But what other profession, particularly in the knowledge field, expects each practitioner to figure it out on their own ex In serving a multitude of needs that any number of those 30 to 35 ex Numbers of children or adolescents in their midst. Half. Right? If you go think about how many different industries ex Organizing their employees to work in teams, to solve problems in a collaborative way, ex to come up with their own ideas and given space to investigate and Test out those ideas to improve productivity or to build a new app or whatever. Or if you go into the medical field, and that is just not not saying there are no problems there. Most people can attest that that is indeed the case. Ex But when you go into a hospital and into an operating room, you may have who knows how many different types of doctors of various ex expertise, training experience, same thing with nurses, technicians, and the like. You have a team.

Barnett Berry [00:10:53]:
And, hopefully, you'll have a team that will explore and support you on your road to health and recovery. We could do the same thing with our schools. Ex And here's the good thing, Liza. We are. The problem is just like in almost any aspect of what needs to be or could be done in education and with teachers, everything that needs to be done is already being done. It's just in bits and pieces. Ex You said the word, the s word. We don't have a system Mhmm.

Barnett Berry [00:11:25]:
To sustain the good work that teachers and principals ex do every day. And that's what I'm proud about Fayette because I think the leadership from the superintendent on down ex is, I think, darn serious about rethinking the role of teachers and, by extension, principles ex To ensure that every child in Fayette graduates, you know, career and college ready, meeting that profile, which is suggests very ambitious outcomes, not just passing a standardized test around, you know, wrote knowledge that is ex Most likely doubling every 4, 5 seconds down. I'm exaggerating right now, but, you know, you can't even calculate how rapidly Knowledge is accumulating. And now with AI and chat GPT, 4.0 and 4.5, who knows what's coming next? Well, actually, many people do know what's coming next. It is time to totally reinvent the teaching profession, and we have some tools and opportunities to do so in powerful ways.

Liza Holland [00:12:28]:
Tell us a little bit about those bright light. What kind of things are you seeing across the country that you would love to see spread elsewhere?

Barnett Berry [00:12:35]:
Well, I can tell you a few great stories from ex Fayette, but I'm gonna tell you a story that I love from Anaheim, California. Great superintendent, Mike Mitsuda, about 8, 9 years ago, ex Did away with, standardized test, the interim test. He had to give, obviously, the state mandate test and the national test that federal law or the test ex says that federal law requires, of course. But he kinda did away of all those other tests that bogged so many teachers down and began to focus on what they call the five c's and how kids can learn and apply content through the five c's, you know, ex Much like the Fayette's portrait character, compassion, communications, collaboration, critical thinking, and the like. Right? Okay. So and they've done a lot of cool things, including a creative number of hybrid teacher roles. So teachers are teaching part of the day Another part of day helping their colleagues think differently, act differently, and teach differently, and innovate on their own accord. So here's a biology teacher, Sabina, few years back working with her kids, utilizing a small garden outside her classroom at Magnolia High School there in Anaheim in the shadow of Mickey Mouse.

Barnett Berry [00:13:52]:
By the way, a community that serves, I mean, large majorities of homeless ex Families as well as the communities, really a butts, a food desert. Right? So the next thing you know, Sabina's to the superintendent, and they have an idea. It actually comes from both the teacher and some of her students, because there's, like, 4 3 acres on the back side of the property of the school. The next thing you know is part of their community school movement. They have a working farm.

Liza Holland [00:14:21]:
Nice.

Barnett Berry [00:14:22]:
Of course, the superintendent worked with her to help raise money to do some very cool things to really advance the development and cultivation farm where kids are not involved ex In the production of crops where they're learning all kinds of things about science, biology, botany, etcetera. Right? Ex The math teachers are using all kinds of opportunities to use to create practical ways to use their experiments, and so forth To learn important concepts, there as well, but the kids are also learning how to feed the community. And they're learning how to market, become entrepreneurs ex Their products. That is the kind of innovation that comes from teachers when they have time and space that a district like Anaheim created for this particular teacher. And there's group numbers of examples like that in that district and elsewhere.

Liza Holland [00:15:13]:
Well and that gives the kids purpose too. They totally see a practical application. They have food on their plates that which they may not have had because of what they're doing in school.

Barnett Berry [00:15:23]:
And they're learning how to market their food. They're learning all kinds of skills.

Liza Holland [00:15:27]:
Oh, that's so amazing.

Barnett Berry [00:15:28]:
Yeah. Everything that needs to be done is being done somewhere. It's just we don't have a system in place to ensure that every kid has access to high quality teaching and learning And opportunities to thrive, in this uncertain future that lies ahead, I guess.

Liza Holland [00:15:43]:
Well, that's part of what you mentioned earlier about this particular leader that You get what you measure for. And if we're still measuring for things that really are not aligned with what we need for Today and for the future, we're gonna continue to have challenges in our schools, but it takes some really great leadership. Like you said, we're starting to see in Fayette County. It's is so exciting to me because the right people are on the right bus going in the right direction, and we're all kind of rowing together, and that's so exciting. It feels like magic is happening. But tell me as you have been doing this with other groups and, you know, obviously, maybe You have attracted some of the good unicorns out there of of the good work that's being done everywhere, but you were talking about systems. And systems ex Can be very much of a drag on any type of innovation if they are not modified to be able to, you know, kinda set the course and allow it to run without obstacles. Can you tell me a little bit about what kind of challenges you have faced and what you would like for ex leaders who maybe have not gotten into this space to know.

Barnett Berry [00:16:50]:
Well, there is this myth that the educators on the ground ex are not capable of fueling system change. And there is absolutely no fact behind that. Ex I'm a turn to an example from overseas in what you find routinely in top performing education jurisdictions across the globe. There are at least 2 pieces of the puzzle, and there's, you know, multiple ones, and there's no silver bullet. Ex But there's 2 pieces of the puzzle that they, at least the top performers, tend to have that we don't find routinely in the United States when it comes to building and maintaining system change. One is, most importantly, there is really ex significant intentionality around promising practices that are can be found in 1 school or in 1 district. Ex There's intentionality about putting resources into those places so those practices can move to other places. Ex They don't migrate on their own.

Barnett Berry [00:18:01]:
There's gotta be some intentionality about how it goes from point a to point b. And oftentimes, The school over here that's doing something really well that needs to move something over there. It's a school that has Assets and strengths as well that could also benefit the school that just sent them those promising practice. Ex So there's got the intentionality about how promising practices move from place to place in those countries. Ex and Singapore is probably the best example, but you see it in Finland, you see it in Estonia, and a number of other jurisdictions. Expect The other one, Liza, that is, I think, really important, there's gotta be some proportion of teachers ex Much like you find in the tech industry who are afforded some, what's the people in the private sector call, white space. Ex Here's your job. Yeah.

Barnett Berry [00:18:58]:
But maybe for some portion of your time, this week, this month, this year, ex You get time off from your routine work that you need to accomplish to innovate with you with your colleagues. Ex And I think if we start thinking about staffing schools differently Mhmm. Do you start thinking about teaming teachers? Ex So it's not the 1 teacher, 1 classroom for those 30 kids solely? Teams of educators? And now think about The introduction of AI generated tutors that can save teachers' time also can provide the right kind of personalization ex For some kids that free up teachers' time to really do more of this innovative work, yeah. You know, if you think about it, We can do this. And by the way, I wanna give a shout out to my friends at Arizona State University and the next education workforce initiative, where they are Probably the most serious effort I've seen in quite some time to kinda push this country and its school exist systems away from the 1 teacher, 1 classroom model. So I encourage your listeners, and viewers to check out the work that Carol Basile, the dean there, ex And Brent Madden, executive director of that initiative, and what they're trying to do to help us kind of break through that Gordian knot, So to speak of how we organize teachers.

Liza Holland [00:20:22]:
Excellent. I'll make sure to put that in our show note. That's exciting, and it is definitely kinda paradigm shifting because our Classrooms have looked the same for a lot, a lot of years, but some of the most exciting teachers that I've been interviewing have been given that space ex To be able to take innovation, cross classrooms, and even cross disciplines, to be able to work off each other's strengths and really do some neat ex Enriching, engaging experiences for kids. Because I think, especially as you get to that middle and high school age, We're not doing a good enough job of engaging the kids and helping them to understand why they need to be learning this. I literally had a kid tell me, you know, that entire class I coulda learned in a 15 minute YouTube video. And, you know, we've gotta up our game. We have to up our game to be able to prepare the kids for the future that they're actually gonna be living in. And you mentioned AI earlier, and I think there's a tremendous opportunity there.

Liza Holland [00:21:25]:
I know it it scared a lot of educators, but, tell me about your thoughts about AI.

Barnett Berry [00:21:29]:
Ex Well, you know, I think it is rightfully scary given what is potential there in terms of ex Dehumanizing. I'm gonna just speak to how some entrepreneurs who see dollar signs lighting up in their ex and how AI could do things that at a much lower cost than a teacher could do. Ex On the other hand, I see systems thinking very smartly about these matters already and beginning to see ex That what AI can do is begin to free up teachers for the more creative work that we need them to do, ex As well as having more time to build the relationship between themselves, The student, the curriculum, and the community. So I'm excited about the prospects for AI, Liza. Ex And I'm hopeful, but let me tell you, if educators don't take control of it Yeah. Somebody else will take control of it, ex And then it could very well be used for the wrong purposes, least in terms of our ideals ex For a public education system that helps young people build purpose, find their identity, ex And be ready for this uncertain future.

Liza Holland [00:22:56]:
Can you talk to us a little bit about your perspective on how important it is for students to be able to take charge of their own learning.

Barnett Berry [00:23:04]:
There's a neuroscience around this that we actually learn things deeply ex When it is anchored in our own lives, when the learning activity is anchored in our own lives, ex And the work of learning is in concert with others in kind of what I would call more authentic opportunities for collaboration. That's where the synapses really start going off ex And kids really begin or not just kids, all humans begin to internalize and be able to use the knowledge ex And not just regurgitate it for a bit of time before they forget it. There's a real strong science of learning development that ex Has been building over the last, decade or so that tells us so much on how important relationships are ex In between the teacher and the student and the student and other and the peers, and actually what we call deeper learning. That is the mastery of more substantive knowledge and the creative use of it. That's what I consider deeper learning, of which ex Our favorite school district here in Kentucky is deeply engaged in trying to move the needle on ensuring that every kid has opportunities to learn deeply, And every teacher has opportunities, to lead their own learning.

Liza Holland [00:24:31]:
And I think that is so incredibly powerful. And, You know, even while we have these bright lights everywhere that we've been talking about, that doesn't mean that we can use the old system of cookie cutter. Okay. I'm gonna take this off the shelf and bring it over to you, and this is how you have to do it step by step by step in your area because it doesn't really work That way. Can you talk a little bit about the value of customizing learning, not only for students, but especially for teachers in what you provide for their PD.

Barnett Berry [00:25:00]:
Well, first of all, how in the heck can kids lead their own learning, take ex Control of it, which is, by the way, what employers want them to do now, by the way. This is not just a humanistic ideal for education in See, it is an economic imperative, but back line of thinking here, how in the heck can some a a student lead their own learning ex If those who are teaching them are not leading theirs. So that's the premise of why we need to totally reinvent ex teachers' professional learning and leadership. And that requires, first and foremost, that we know much more ex about what teachers know and care about. We need to figure out how to better utilize ex and distribute their expertise, and we need to create a lot more space for them based upon the goals they need to achieve with their kids and their school and their community. And by the way, it's gonna look a little bit differently, in some cases, even very differently from place to place even in a relatively I'm a say relatively small district as Fayette, which is not so small. But there's a lot of diversity there, and I think what kids need to learn and how they learn it in one place could be a lot different than another place. And teachers need to have the time and agency to figure that out together

Liza Holland [00:26:26]:
Mhmm.

Barnett Berry [00:26:26]:
To get the supports they need, the evidence based practices they need, ex opportunities to assess how well they're doing and to hold themselves in kind of a shared accountability model ex Forgetting good stuff done on behalf of kids. If that's your model of professional development, it's not about sit and get workshops. Ex It's not about a 30 minute every other day, I'm a say, PLC meeting ex Where you have someone brings in a spreadsheet, and you have a few minutes to talk about this child's growth rate or versus that child's growth rate. We gotta think very differently about how teachers can learn deeply about kids' ex Trajectory and where they can go and give them the tools and space to really support and follow that trajectory over time, Which then gets us back to how we design teachers, time and space. Yes. And if you have a high school teacher with two 150 kids a year that are teaching or a 150 kids a year depending on whether they're on a semester schedule or a year long schedule. Ex I don't know how you do that at scale, Liza. I don't know how you create a kind of a the right kind of professional learning that for teachers that can really help them support ex The learning needs of kids and knowing those kids well when they have that many young lives that they have to know and take care of.

Liza Holland [00:27:53]:
It's a monumental challenge, especially with that type of risk and that scale, but I think that you touched on it earlier about ex The opportunity to collaborate and whether it's collaborating amongst a topic area or cross disciplines in a grade level. You know? Some of that may be, hey. I really relate to Johnny, and you really relate to Susie, and so you're gonna take you know, we've got some models out there that Starting that. Trying to have at least 1 adult in every building that a child can rely on.

Barnett Berry [00:28:27]:
And then if we knew more about what teachers were good at and we had a way to distribute their expertise, then every teacher wouldn't have to know everything, ex Especially about every kid because you are in a team. I'm a go back to my friends at ASU in a school, a Stevenson Elementary in Mesa, Arizona, ex And where a 4th grade teacher had been in this teaming model for a couple years, I guess, including during the pandemic. Ex She tells me, you know, I used to teach to 25 kids in a classroom, and now I'm part of a team that works with about a 110 kids. Ex And I know a 110 kids and their families better, each and every one of them better than I did when I was solely responsible for only 25 in my own classroom. He knows those kids through the work with the other 6 members of the team.

Liza Holland [00:29:18]:
Right. And that knowledge sharing is so important.

Barnett Berry [00:29:22]:
Ex That's exactly right. That's exactly right.

Liza Holland [00:29:25]:
Absolutely. So I will tell

Barnett Berry [00:29:27]:
you this. I and this is I gotta first give a shout out to My main groove now with what school could be, you know, they're working with them in supporting this opportunity to build out this system of leading teachers for student led deeper learning here. And, you know, one of the strengths of, what school could be ex is something that you know something about in that storytelling.

Liza Holland [00:29:49]:
Mhmm.

Barnett Berry [00:29:49]:
As we think about the future, I don't think we need to spend ex as much time on conducting more research even though we do need to study what we do and assess progress. Ex But we've got to find the powerful evidence based examples of where this is working right now, particularly in the district, And we're already beginning to do that.

Liza Holland [00:30:14]:
Mhmm.

Barnett Berry [00:30:14]:
We gotta tell the story. Yes. At the end of the day, ex What's gonna move people from a policymaker to a parent, to a teacher to an administrator, to a business leader, ex To a community and faith leader to rally around a new vision for teaching and learning is not just, the numbers on a spreadsheet. Ex Mhmm. Or an improvement in a test score. It's gonna be that evidence based narrative of the lived experience of, particularly, a young person and the who are serving them that's gonna move people to kind of take the leaps in order for us to go from, Quite frankly, the still last vestiges of the factory model of teaching and learning to something that, quite frankly, ex Could totally revolutionize the way we think about schooling and the future of public education

Liza Holland [00:31:10]:
in America. You know? And honestly, we are moving in ex that is changing in such a fast paced way. We have to not look at public education as Just this period of time, it's gotta be building lifelong learners who know how to process information, who know how to critically think about it and assess it. And that process piece is becoming more and more important because content, man, it's in your iPhone. And now it the vision needs to be so broad, and that's so hard in such a bureaucratic system. So we gotta go small to go big, I guess.

Barnett Berry [00:31:46]:
Yes. There's an adage that's been used in the improvement science world, kind of both health care and and to some extent in education. And I really like this, think big, ex Start small, learn

Liza Holland [00:31:58]:
fast. I like it so much, but I would like to touch before we end our conversation a little bit on your vision for asset mapping because I just think that's a brilliant piece, and it's a different way of looking at things that leaders might really benefit from.

Barnett Berry [00:32:15]:
Well, first of all, I will tell you there are some extraordinary activist scholars out there We've done a lot of work in what's called social network analysis, both in and out of education to support ex Organizational change. What we know and I'll just speak to education for just a bit. The Quality of the ties and the relationships that have that teachers in particular have with each other Can are critical to whether or not any innovation is gonna work or not. And there are studies that show ex That teachers who have more quality ties with other teachers are more likely to make instructional shifts ex To in that improve student outcomes. However, there are very few systems in America that I know of ex That really know a great deal about the teachers in their midst. Yeah. So we're hoping to kind of move on an effort, and we got Some terrific colleagues elsewhere around the country who are, I know, willing to help us. But to kind of think about particularly with the group of teachers that we're working with, right now On particularly those that are engaged in some really significant deeper learning innovations, how they learned what they learned, who they ex Turn to advice in helping them do what they have done and continue to do.

Barnett Berry [00:33:44]:
And who turns to them for advice? Just a match if you can an ask that of in a systematic way

Liza Holland [00:33:50]:
Mhmm.

Barnett Berry [00:33:51]:
Of every teacher. Absolutely. Then you could know, particularly with new tools and technologies. You can really know who's connected to whom and who, particularly around the specific aspects ex of pedagogical expertise. It could be around from, you know, improving literacy rates in a building Or in a classroom to and helping kids, you know, use a variety of ex Social science concepts to improve their community. Mhmm. Right? And if you had a way to ex Assemble evidence of what kids know and can do. Okay.

Barnett Berry [00:34:32]:
Think about this.

Liza Holland [00:34:33]:
Yes.

Barnett Berry [00:34:34]:
And by the way, the the school district's moving rapidly to elevate ex Through performance assessments and capstones, exhibitions of kids' work. You know, we can begin to see ex Sooner than later, which teachers are good at helping kids get this learning done, or this project done, or accomplish this or that. Ex We could actually know which teachers are helping these kids, and then we can help teachers ex Who know how to do a really well, connect with teachers who know how to do b very well, and pair them up. Ex Exactly. So they both know more about a and b. Oh, I

Liza Holland [00:35:14]:
love it. And, you know, from a principal's perspective, you can see where your gaps are too. If you have a that's not connected to anybody. Maybe you need to build some supports there. So yeah. No. That is so awesome. So Final parting comments for decision makers.

Liza Holland [00:35:30]:
What would you like them to be thinking about, or what would you like them to know?

Barnett Berry [00:35:34]:
Oh my. Now think about ex The last 2, 3 decades of reform, and this might be a bit of an overstatement, maybe not. Ex No. It's not. I think, teachers are the solution, not the problem. Think that would be my bottom line sort of expectation and hope. Ex Whatever strategy they take on, look at teachers as your solution, not your problem.

Liza Holland [00:36:00]:
That wraps this conversation up in a beautiful, ex Beautiful Beau. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.

Barnett Berry [00:36:07]:
Enjoyed being with you, Liza.

Liza Holland [00:36:09]:
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