The Next Normal

Principled provocations in education

Dean Basile

Dean Carole Basile

The Next Normal

In 1865, Arizona State University, where I serve as dean of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, came into this world as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe. Since the early 19th century, the term ”normal school” has been used in the U.S. to refer to institutions that train high school graduates to be K-12 teachers.

At MLFTC, we want to push conversation and action about education beyond normal. In this blog, I and others affiliated with MLFTC share some of what we are doing and why we are doing it. We’ll reflect on what we’ve learned and what continues to challenge us.

Normal isn’t good enough. It doesn’t deliver enough for learners, educators or communities. We need to think, argue and act our way toward next practices in education.  

Earlier this month, Education Week published a special report comprising a series of articles that address the challenges and promise of personalized learning. Based on a survey of nearly 600 teachers, the report offers considerable insight into how practitioners feel about their experience with whatever is called “personalized learning” in their schools.

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As dean of a college of education committed to producing top-tier scholarship and to operating a large teacher-preparation program, what, when all is said in done, is my job? What makes a good dean of a college of education? What would success look like?

It’s not enough to credential people and generate ideas. We need to bring people and ideas together to increase the capabilities of individual educators and the performance of education systems.

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