I recently heard, first-hand, about a staggering story of a failed program to introduce ICT modules in secondary schools in Japan. Two groups were the most strident in their resistance to the program. One of those groups was, to my surprise, the ICT teachers themselves.
Why would ICT teachers oppose the proliferation of their own subject? According to my source, it was because the students quickly overtook the teachers in programming skill. In a country where teacher authority is absolute and unquestioned, I can only imagine the distress the teachers must've felt when the tables so clearly turned. An opportunity existed for teachers to grow with their classes as peers, but that was likely too much to bear both psychologically and from a lesson plan perspective.
The second group of resistance was mothers. They resisted because these programs did nothing to prepare their children for the all-important college entrance examinations. These mothers are enthralled with the belief that the only way to provide a secure future for their children is that they ace those exams, attend a top-tier university, and land a plum job. What they fail to recognize is that technological fluency is already one of the most valuable skills today, and will only get more valuable in the future. That in fact, these ICT modules may be the most effective tool to equip their children to thrive in a hyper-dynamic future.
Wonderful ideas abound here at LCL, and I'm thrilled to be a part of this experiment. In this topic, I would like to form a Peer Group passionate about deeply understanding the root causes and the various dimensions of resistance (socio/cultural, psychological, and more) that often stand in the way of successful, widespread implementation of those great ideas. And through this understanding, extract actionable and, if at all possible, politically feasible recommendations to actually breakthrough that resistance. I have no idea what's going to happen, so fingers crossed. Everyone is welcome to join us!