FREE WEBINAR January 18th: 4 Keys to Ineffective Educational Change

Big Beacon presents a FREE WEBINAR

4 Keys to Ineffective Educational Change:

How to Botch Transformation Without Really Trying

Educational change leaders make 4 common errors that slow change and limit ultimate success. This short, interactive webinar gives practical strategies to both accelerate change and enhance the probability for effective and sustained success.

Learn the 4 common mistakes of educational change efforts and how to overcome them.

Big Beacon is a 501c3, non-profit organization dedicated to the transformation of education. This webinar is free with no cost or obligation. but with plenty of opportunities for successful educational change.

[vcex_button url=”https://expertise.tv/webinar/4-keys-to-ineffective-change/landing/2344″ title=”Visit Site” style=”graphical” align=”center” color=”black” size=”large” target=”self” rel=”none”]Sign Up Now![/vcex_button]

Big Beacon Radio Ep. 5: Education Funding

BB Radio HeaderEp. 5 –The  Future and Transformation of Higher Education Funding

Since the founding of the University of Bologna in 1088, non-profit universities and colleges have dominated the landscape of higher education. With the rise of for-profit universities such as the University of Phoenix, of non-traditional non-profits such as Southern New Hampshire University, and of coding schools and other certificate schools, the door has opened to other forms of higher education powered by start-up entrepreneurship and venture capital. In this episode, Big Beacon Radio host Dave Goldberg interviews higher ed venture capitalist, Daniel Pianko. In a series of recent articles, Pianko has challenged the practice of large gifts given to traditional universities & he urges wealth creators of our times to give to or use their entrepreneurial skills to build educational institutions that can effectively disrupt the status quo. Join Daniel & Dave for this critical and creative examination of the future of funding of transformation in higher education.

Listen on VoiceAmerica or download on iTunes podcasts.

Learn more about Big Beacon Radio, here.

Big Beacon Radio Ep. 3: John Kotter

BB Radio HeaderEp. 3 – John Kotter: Leading Change in Higher Education

Organizations are facing unprecedented calls for change, higher education included, yet leading change in established organizations is a daunting task. One of the keenest architects and practitioners of effective change leadership processes and practices is John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor emertitus and Chairman of Kotter International. In this episode, John joins show host Dave Goldberg for a lively conversation to explore how Kotter’s famous 8-step process applies to the world of higher education, and how change itself has changed as the pace of change has accelerated. The show is joined by guest commentator Joe Tranquillo, Bucknell University. Joe is an educational change agent par excellence, and together Joe and Dave explore some of the practical ramifications of these ideas in higher education transformation. Join John, Joe, and Dave for this important episode to better understand how to bring more rapid, effective change to higher education today.

Listen on VoiceAmerica or download on iTunes podcasts.

Learn more about Big Beacon Radio, here.

5 Steps for Transforming Education

Universities, created as an assembly of experts in 1088, are as outdated as buggy whips.  The cost and rewards of a college education are increasingly under attack. To sustain great universities requires cultural transformation consisting of 5 Steps:

Sign up Now: Facilitating Change that Sticks, 9-11 June 2015 (Tu-Th)

olin-college-logo@OlinCollege and @BigBeacon are pleased to announce the short course Facilitating Change that Sticks, 9-11 June 2015 (Tues-Thurs) at Franklin W. Olin College.

This three-day workshop develops participant skills and strategies for creating change that “sticks.”   In particular, we dive into a set of personal and organizational skills that will help participants develop both personally and professionally as effective change agents:

  • Developing coaching & negotiation skills, including noticing, listening, and questioning and 3 critical negotiation distinctions
  • Design and use of language in change processes, including sticky language, 5 speech acts, and the art and science of narrative analysis and design
  • Understanding and applying integrated change & culture change models, including those of Kotter and the Heath brothers.  The course also introduces and demonstrates application of the Big Beacon Change Model (BBCM) for effective engineering education transformation.
  • Leading from any chair, leading change both with and without title, authority, and responsibility.
  • Designing and implementing innovation structures within existing institutions, including incubators, respectful structured spaces, and change artifacts.
  • Using collaborative design process and facilitation as a change mechanism.
  • Understanding effectuation versus normal (causal) modes of planning for effective action when uncertainties are high.
  • Building and using culture and community to sustain change.

Through provocative readings, transformative experiential activities, and lively discussions we develop crucial frameworks for thinking about change, increase participants’ hands-on skills thereby enabling participants to return home as qualified change agents, and increase participants capability to be reflective and supportive in their teaching practice and their change leadership efforts.

More information is available at the link here or write deg@threejoy.com or sharon.breitbart@olin.edu.

Meet E²S² – the Engineering Education Students’ Society

In the fall of 2014, three passionate University of Calgary students formed the Engineering Education Students’ Society (E²S²).

We felt by creating a formal network, we would be able to increase and improve collaboration with others who have expressed interest in connecting. Currently, E²S² has about 20 members, including graduate students, undergraduate students, professors and academics. Nationally and internationally, there are also a dozen people who have requested to remain in touch through E²S² initiatives.

Within E²S² we have three main branches of focus: Beakerhead, Maker and Professional Development. The goals of these branches range from connecting those interested in engineering education and keeping everyone up to date on current research, to offering supplementary activities for students that provide hands-on opportunities to put into practice some of the newer research concepts in engineering education.

Learn more about E²S² and their three branches of focus, here.

The Coming Revolution

Olin College admissions officer Grant Hooton reviewed Dave Goldberg and Mark Somerville’s A Whole New Engineer.

The purpose of the book is to give insight on how to bring about change successfully, and explain and justify the necessary changes. These are captured in the five pillars of education transformation: ‘joy,’ ‘trust,’ ‘courage,’ ‘openness,’ and ‘connectedness, collaboration, and community.’ The authors propose that letting these pillars guide our instruction, we will produce the kinds of constructive education experiences that are necessary for tomorrow’s engineer. This should not be surprising to Oliners, because we live and breathe these pillars in all aspects of our lives.

Read more of Hooton’s thoughts, here.

Women in Space and Engineering

What’s largely missing in space and engineering? Women.

Demand for engineers in the UK has never been stronger with Engineering UK predicting a requirement of 87,000 new engineers per annum for the next decade. In this context, it is difficult to understand why the UK’s engineering workforce still only contains 7% female staff. The number of female engineers in the UK represents the lowest percentage in Europe and is quite disheartening. There is however a positive light ahead as more awareness is being made on this topic and resources are being created with a focus on increasing the number of females in different types of jobs in engineering.

For more information on how to empower more women to join the field, read here.

Lost in translation: 3 lessons from the term “assessment”

I am writing this from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport (ATL), returning from a delightful session with approximately 40 faculty members at Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM) in Valparaiso, Chile on “From I Know to We Trust & Beyond: Deep Faculty Development in an Uncertain & Creative Era.”  The program was sponsored by LASPAU at Harvard, and this was the second time I had worked in this program at UTFSM. One of the nice things about working in another country is it helps you notice the assumptions built into your own culture and language.  The session was translated simultaneously from English to Spanish (and vice versa), and an issue came up around the Spanish term for assessment

Assessment was being translated as evaluación (or evaluation), and the distinction that I was trying to make was the usual coaching and speech acts distinction between an assertion, a speech act committed to expression of truth, and an a assessment, a speech act expressing an opinion, interpretation.  There was a trained coach among the faculty attending the course and he wondered whether a better translation wouldn’t have juicio (judgment).  This led to a fairly lengthy clarification of the intended usage of the terms, which was helpful to the group in pursuing our work together.

In reflecting on the episode, I think there are three lessons to be learned, and here I move from particular to general.

Lesson 1: Separating assertions and assessments is critical to improving communication.  The main intent of the session was to help the group understand how assessment-laden our speech and stories are and that understanding that others may have other interpretations of what’s going on is an early awareness that can help improve communication, fairly immediately.  The session reinforced this lesson, and the additional emphasis brought about by being slightly “lost in translation” for a time was helpful to increasing understanding, I believe.

Lesson 2: Distinguishing between assessments and judgments is also a communication-improving move.  Discussing the translation of “assessment” as juicio was also useful part of the episode.  All judgments are assessments, but not all assessments are judgments.  Judgments contain a sense of correctness (right/wrong) and prescription that ordinary assessments need not have.  As Marilee Adams points out in her choice map, once we are in judgment it is difficult to be open enough to learn or gain additional perspective.  This doesn’t make judgment a bad thing; it simply suggests judging is a choice, and if has become a reflex, it may not be serving us as well as a more judicious spectrum of assessment.

Lesson 3: We attach our normal sense of term to others’ usage at our peril.  As this episode unfolded, I was a bit puzzled at first.  I had been fairly careful to define my terms fairly carefully and give the sense of the terms assessment and assertion that I intended.  Nonetheless, language is loaded, and we all use and interpret terms according to our own sense of them.  Within a particular discipline this can be a useful shortcut to mutual understanding, but if we are learning something new outside of the boundaries of our usual experience and knowledge, assuming that our private sense of a term can be a prescription for misunderstanding.  In a coaching setting, a coach will almost always ask a client what they mean by the particular usage of a term, rather than assuming the coach understands the sense of a term.  In a multidisciplinary setting or in a learning setting, being curious about how language is being used is an important step toward accelerating understanding and achieving shared meaning with others.

As the methodology of coaching migrates from corporate practice to the university and the classroom, these three lessons will become increasingly salient and important as ways for students and faculty to understand each other.