Since risk (of sacrifice, or some deviation from norms) has stolen into the conversation, we deviate the investigation straight into its important questions.
This is necessary especially because so often a reactive moment of rejection (on many grounds) can be sufficient to derail or arrest the first flickers of the impetus to change.
“…thoughts that come on doves’ feet guide the world”
Here, in the plain language of our searching and brave educators, we take up the confrontation of the (il-)legitimacy of innovation with that which it would innovate, in developing questions of accountability, curriculum and indetermination (not ideas usually put together!).
The politics of curriculum perhaps come most to the fore where accountability is concerned – and this is also where strong voices for what change makes possible are most needed.
In this brief video, one superintendent of schools, one vice-superintendent, a school principal/teacher, one school vice-principal/teacher, and two teachers engage some of the politics of innovation, where accountability makes claims on its promise.
They live and work in four rural school districts in British Columbia, in the province’s Gold Trail (south of the Cariboo) and Peace river regions, as well as on Lasqueti and Haida Gwaii. The interviews took place from 2012 to 2016.
Some questions to consider (we recommend brief small group discussions that can each then ‘compare notes’ about the different directions opened in how such ‘complicated’ conversations can go):
How do you respond to this video?
What does it bring to mind for you?
What questions do you have upon viewing this video?
List those to whom educators leading curricular innovation see themselves as accountable.
How might new practices in curriculum development create opportunities for the development of new forms of accountability, as suggested in this video, or otherwise?
What are some of the problems of accountability itself, in participants’ view?
Would you favour articulating innovation in existing terms of accountability, or do you see accountability itself as needing to be subject to innovation? What are some of the benefits and pitfalls of each path?