Friday, March 3, 2017

The Heroism of Incremental Change (Part 2) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

The Heroism of Incremental Change (Part 2) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

The Heroism of Incremental Change (Part 2)

“Heroism of Incremental Change.” Part 1 | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

In a recent  podcast, economists Ed Glaeser and Stephen Dubner were discussing “big bang” solutions, big leaders who make dramatic changes, and the folly of looking for such “solutions” and leaders. Here is their exchange on civil rights between the 1940s and 1980s.
DUBNER: So civil-rights reform strikes me as one where, incrementally, there have been massive improvements, and yet it seems as though the appetite for an overnight  solution to every civil-rights issue is kind of expected. And when that doesn’t happen, there’s massive hue and cry — even though, overall, the trend has been moving in the right direction. You see that as well, or do you think I’m wrong on that?
GLAESER: No, no I agree totally with that. And it required people who — the NAACP for example, which worked for decades before the Civil Rights Act, right, to move the ball forward. Often in, you know, ways that were important, but seem today quite modest. I mean fighting up to the Supreme Court. Fighting the attempts to zone by race, for example, which it did in the teens. Right? You know, American segregation would’ve been even worse if cities could explicitly zoned by, by race, but they couldn’t. Fighting restrictive covenants as it did in the 40s. Fighting segregation in American schools as it did in the 50s. Decade by decade, increment by increment. And once we start thinking that there’s a silver bullet, we lose that, we lose the fact that we need to be working day by day, over decades, to affect change.
In short, important changes in our individual lives and our society simply don’t happen out of the blue. Small changes aimed toward a larger goal accumulate and make a huge difference when considering a longer time frame. And that is the The Heroism of Incremental Change (Part 2) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

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