Education is the one industry that touches all other industries. This can be said because every profession, skill, etc., needs teachers.
Like every industry, education has its ups and downs, and the pattern does not necessarily fall under traditional business downturns; in fact, when the market is down, people often go back to school.
Traditional educational institutions often like to consider themselves bastions of free thinking and the incubators of new ideas. However, as someone who has worked in the industry for a while now, I need to point out that educators hate change! Curriculum changes are often done out of shear necessity and not proactively. Leadership changes (especially if the person comes from the outside) are looked on with suspicion. The “old boys” network still rules who gets hired, fired, and what gets swept under the rug to avoid scandal. Educators are often among the most indiscreet people, the rumor mills are terrible, despite FERPA!
The educational needs of citizens have also changed. People must work and still need access to education for work promotions or job prospects. Why then are so many schools still resistant to adding online technology to their repertoire?
The sad part is that needed change is often resisted not because of operational capabilities, but because of internal culture and traditions.
EDUCATORS WE CAN AND NEED TO DO BETTER!
How can we teach change leadership when we refuse to apply those principles to ourselves? How can we teach human resources when our own HR departments do not apply HR principles? How can we teach finance and accounting, yet a school is going bankrupt because of mismanagement? How can we teach history, sociology, and cultural anthropology when our campuses are ripe with bigotry, sexism, misogyny, and yes racism?
In order for schools to survive this rapidly changing playing field, real change is needed, not just lip service, not just a coat of new paint. This topic is almost a cliché, yet, the discussion is need of constant renewal!
Look inside yourselves, look inside your institutions, and ask yourselves: are you practicing what you are preaching? Are you ready to evolve?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III