Friday, December 01, 2006

Shift happens!

Shift happens!

What is the true meaning of “shift happens”?
The term “shift happens” refers to the work of Khun (1962) and the ideology of a paradigm shift. Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolution, and fathered the concept of a "paradigm shift" (p.10). Kuhn argues that scientific advancement is not evolutionary, but rather is a "series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions", and in those revolutions "one conceptual world view is replaced by another". Simply stated, a paradigm shift is moving from the way it has always been done due to an “aha moment” or insight that dramatically changes ones way of viewing and doing things. Kuhn states that, "awareness is prerequisite to all acceptable changes of theory" (p. 67). Shift happens!

Why am I blogging about shift?
Because it happens or at least I hope it happens. Educators, technology is upon us and we can either embrace it or run from it. The choice of implementation is ours, as will be the results.

What is causing this shift?
Emergent technologies and Web 2.0 is causing the shift. The old archaic way of doing things must be left behind if we are to educate our students effectively for the 21st century and beyond. Educators and administrators have to get with the shift!

How do we embrace the shift?
Like Lewis and Clark, we have to start exploring and mapping the unknown by utilizing new technologies like blogs, wikis, podcasts, and moodles to create and maintain online learning communities for our students and teachers. A more precise example of the paradigm shift that is upon us can be found at a blog entitled “The Knowledge Tree” under the topic of Blogs and Community – launching a new paradigm for online community?. Nancy White submitted the post. Nancy is a well-known and highly respected e-facilitation and e-community specialist. Based in Seattle, USA, Nancy works internationally through Full Circle and Associates on a broad range of community development and facilitation projects. Additionally, 21st Century learning and Alabama Best Practice Center has some great presentations to help educators make the shift Click Here!

I’d like to thank Will Richardson for the term shift happens. I was reading his weblogg-ed blog and I stumbled upon his post about 2020 vision and he mentioned the term shift happens. What a great term! Also, before reading his post I hadn’t thought about this years kindergarteners being the class of 2020 or that we need 2020 vision to educate this group. However, if we are going to educate the class of 2020 and prepare them for the future we have to make a shift through emergent technologies. Isn’t it great to be alive today!

Reference: Kuhn, Thomas, S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Second Edition, Enlarged, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1970 (1962)

(”Eye HD” photo by Gabsriel)

Thanks for stopping by!

William Bishop (Bill)


Post a Comment

<< Home