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Mid-Pandemic: An Unlikely Partnership, Part 2

(Part 2 of 3 – Read Part 1 Here)

 

On March 13th, the governor of Pennsylvania closed public schools, and my superintendent turned to me and asked, “Are you ready to go virtual?”

My answer was, “No.”

Instantly, I entered a state of cognitive dissonance, a mental discomfort caused when a person holds two(2) conflicting paradigms that create a disequilibrium of the mind. Our traditional school approach would have to rapidly adapt to implement an emergency virtual model. In an effort to find balance, our educational team underwent a radical shift in our perceptions around what it means to learn.

At the time, we were to be closed for only two(2) weeks, so we needed to create a bridge of FREE resources for our families/caregivers, CBSD Learn from Home Resources.

It was on Twitter sharing our FREE resources with my Virtual Community of Practice(VCoP) that an unlikely partnership formed with Jeanne Allen, Center for Education Reform.  Ideologically, we have different beliefs about how to go about educational reform, but this new context, created by Covid-19, allowed us to focus on our common practices rather than on our conflicting beliefs.

  1. Lave and E. Wenger’s situated learning theory posits that learners form social groups (community) naturally around common areas of interest (domains) and look to different members of the group to improve their craft (practices). This naturally occurring learning environment can sometimes be triggered by the collective reaction to a perceived problem, post-pandemic education.

In a world fractured by perceptions/beliefs, adopting a communities of practice model allows people to connect around a common domain and improve their practices by leveraging the capacity of the natural mentors within the community while constantly seeking solutions.

Please join my virtual community of practice (VCoP) on Twitter, @McGough3R.

Gregory M. McGough, Ed.D.
Director of Curriculum & Coordinator of Federal Programs
Columbia Borough School District

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