Guest Posts: Autonomy creates capacity to be different

June 11, 2010 •

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

At bat this week are Dan French and Lynn Nordgren, who during an Education|Evolving meeting last June expressed their support for moving control over school form and function out to the front-line units, including teachers.

Dan French is director at the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston. He argues that, “only when you create schools that are empowered in that way do you get truly successful, high performing schools.”

Lynn Nordgren, President of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, talks about autonomy in terms of teacher professionalism, and motivation.

For these two, autonomy is a matter of creating the capacity to be different, and about motivating the professionals to take control over their work. Both Minneapolis and Boston have been working at this, by giving teachers and their unions the opportunity to create independent schools, inside the city school districts.