Establish "base camps" to initiate change

At the uLead Educational Leadership Summit, held in Banff April 24-27, 2016, there was a lot of talk about change and how to start it. Here are some notes about the establishment of "base camps".

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At the Education Leadership Summit uLead, held in Banff from April 24-27, 2016, there was a lot of discussion about change and how to get it started. Here are some notes about the establishment of "base camps".

Jón Torfi Jónasson is a professor in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Iceland. At uLead 2016, he insisted on the importance of understanding where we come from in order to initiate change. Indeed, as our current school system comes from the 18e century, it is normal that it is changing. Getting started is never easy at first, but once a few steps are taken, it is possible to establish a “base camp” where we can welcome other motivated people to join us.

In the same order of ideas, Simon beakspear called the uLead event one of those base camps. Of course, when some 1,140 education leaders come together to question, share and reflect on the different systems in place and evolving around the world, sparks quickly turn into majestic lightning.


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Creating Agile Schools - Setting up our schools to embrace change and adapt to the future, Simon Breaspear, uLead 2016.


How to reproduce in one's environment such a feeling of confidence, of mobilization towards a common objective, that of improving student learning by effecting a profound educational change? A "base camp" aims to promote the initiatives of teachers. It can be a series of “noon-pedagos”, a monthly teaching journal, a discovery-sharing wall, and so on.

Where to start? According to Simon Breakspear, three principles are at the base of an effective movement:

  1. Maximize the impact doing little, but doing it better. Establish priorities according to the environment and seek feedback to adjust quickly.
  2. Increase expertise staff promote continuous training leading to specializations of existing staff. Educators should know how more ... than know what.
  3. Develop collective efficiency of the team by disciplining collaboration. Make sure you focus on the solution, not the problem.

The basic framework of this process, which is just as important as the procedure itself, is oriented as follows: start on a small scale, learn quickly, know how to fail in order to improve. Are these not the same expectations we have of our students?

For example, to ride a bike, you have to look beyond the front wheel. So let's not be afraid to risk complexity, to look further. Also, it is necessary to pedal continuously to keep the balance: let's stay in motion, let's move forward. Finally, someone who pushes us, pulls us and encourages us is always welcome, so let's be that person for our colleagues!


Creating Agile Schools - Setting up our schools to embrace change and adapt to the future, Simon Breaspear, uLead 2016.


If you want to promote this kind of professional development for your teachers, you don't need to travel to Alberta. Suggest that they participate in the evenings USPPP (An almost perfect educational supper), to the Frame21, at congresses such as that ofAQUOPS (Quebec Association of Primary and Secondary Computer Users), the REFER (Meeting of Francophone schools in a network), the IPad Summit and digital in education, edCamps etc. A host of possibilities are available to us!


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About the Author

Marie-Andrée Croteau
Marie-Andrée Croteau
Director of educational innovation, sensitive to neuroscience and passionate about discoveries and the outdoors.

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