31 October 2022

Schooliness Meme #1 of 19

Schooliness*: The quality of seeming or being felt to be educative, even if not necessarily educative. Adapted from Oxford Languages listing for “truthiness” 

When I was a kid in school, I loved learning but schooliness always got in the way. Eliminating the schooliness from schools will ensure that children can more reliably experience the unadulterated joy of deep learning. 

I help education leaders make their schools more awesome (and less schooly) by teaching them how to use actionable climate data. School leaders who are struggling with staff turnover and student disengagement can use actionable climate data to improve the retention and engagement of both students and teachers, plus it will build a stronger community amongst all the stakeholders in a school. For those who are not familiar with the distinction between actionable and vanity metrics, vanity metrics are data that make you feel good or bad, but do not indicate a clear path to either maintaining the goodness or eliminating the badness. Most of the climate measures in use in schools are vanity metrics, not actionable ones. 

Imagine a school where the students are so empowered as learners that they effectively manage the teachers. Imagine teachers so empowered as leaders that they effectively manage the school. Empowered students and teachers give leaders the freedom to focus on doing things that teachers and students can’t. Such as recruiting the community to provide better support for the school. Leaders of empowered staff and students can also work on bigger issues in society. School leaders with that kind of freedom can act as social entrepreneurs who ensure that schools are active parts of their community, not isolated ghettos for kids. They can facilitate the kinds of collaborations in which students participate in the community and the community participates in educating the children. The stronger the school community the more its leaders can focus on the good problems that they will always have, such as ensuring that their district, state, and national counterparts are doing their parts to invest in the education of our future citizens.

If you want to play along you can add one by sending it to me through the contact form on HolisticEquity.org. If I like it I will add it to my collection and create a meme that credits you for your contribution. 

You can see the whole collection at Attitutor.com (slideshow is desktop only, unfortunately).

*Hat Tip to Clay Burrell for coining the term “schooliness” (following Stephen Colbert’s lead when he gave us the term “truthiness.”) Also to Wesley Fryer of the Speed of Creativity blog for preserving Clay’s guest post in which everyone was invited to chime in with their own definitions. If readers offer an original one that I like, I will add it to this collection and create a meme to go with it.