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  • Writer's pictureJanelle Safford

Changing Behavior: It's NOT Common Sense

The desired results I wish to achieve with my change initiative in to explain the main principles of blended learning and educate teachers to learn to recognize and support the individual needs of students and begin using a blended learning model of instruction to reimagine the traditional curriculum. I hope to help teachers accomplish this by guiding them to utilize online modules, videos and lessons in their classrooms to replace some direct face to face instruction. In her TED Talk, Jenni Cross explains that what we consider to be obvious, or common sense, should not be what we depend on to change other people’s behavior. We should not attempt to change behavior by simply providing people with more information, attempting to change attitudes or taking for granted that we know exactly what will motivate someone else.

The obvious problem that I am going to focus on is the fact that teachers often complain about needing more one on one time with struggling students. Therefore I will demonstrate how utilizing online platforms to deliver some content will allow them to work with small groups. Many times people need to see the difference that a change can make before they decide to invest time and energy into personally making the change. I plan to let a few trusted teachers (positive deviants) pilot a blended learning program. These teachers are generally looked up to by other teachers as being good at what they do. After the pilot, I plan to let the enthusiasm and experiences of these trusted teachers do the talking to hopefully convince a new group to try out some of the ideas. I am not naive enough to think that this is all going to “just work”. I know there will be culture busters along the way. There will be time constraints, lack of knowledge and misinformation and probably rumblings about how replacing teachers with technology is not the direction we need to be headed. Knowing that these types of concerns will arise will help me to address them in a way that will not alienate those that are opposed to the blended learning initiative.

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