The Myth of the “Laggard”

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A question I often get in workshops is how to deal with “laggards” or “resisters.” The first thing I wonder when I hear regarding this question is, do the people they are talking about seeing themselves in the same way? Perhaps, they see themselves as innovative in some elements of their practice, but resistant in others. Wouldn’t the majority of educators refer to themselves in that way if we are true to ourselves? There are things that I do in my workshops that I think are quite forward thinking, but I do love lecturing and believe that I do it in a way that is beneficial to participants.

The “Myth of the Laggard,” might be one that we need to address. Here are the questions that need to be addressed:

1. Is the practice in the classroom that we are complaining about hurting students in the present and future? (If it is hurting students, address it.)
2. Are they resistant to change because they hate change, or resistant because they are doing something they believe is beneficial for their students?
3. Most important question…Can you identify the change you want them to create in their practice, and articulate why it is so important?

The reason that the last question is so important is that a lot of administrators I hear from complain that people aren’t changing, but when I ask them what they should change to, they aren’t sure. If you can’t articulate it, how would they know what you are seeking?

Referring to someone as a “laggard” is putting that person in a hole immediately. Find what they are good at and identify that. I have said this a million times when people feel valued, they will go to the ends of the earth for you. When people think you are trying to fix them, they will fight you the whole way, especially if you don’t even know what you are trying to fix.

We have more in common than we think. The best practices in education are often somewhere in the middle, not on the outer extremes. Work together to find those.

(PS…I did a short video on this topic and wanted to go in depth in this post.)

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Source: George Couros

One Comment

  1. I hope I can still continue reading your next article. hopefully your website growing. good luck always for you and your website. thank you for sharing this information

    May 10, 2018

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