Waking up to what we engage in everyday as leaders, managers, teachers, parents and students. It is so vital in our world today that we demand conscious learning, and a much more conscious education. Conscious learning sets its goals on teaching that awakens the mind, teaching which truly honours the human self and seeks to raise awareness on what magnificent capable beings we are.

It is through this awakening we are able to use our powerful mind to think creatively and begin to recognise alternative solutions to the problems we face in our world today. As much as I am a fan of futuristic films, I do not want to paint a future picture that suggests it is only doom and gloom that awaits us. However, the way we are working in schools today and have been for some time I believe is leading us to that very future. A change is necessary in how schools are run as organisations and what we expose our learner’s to, as we shape these responsible future citizens. 

Schools today are a reflection of the culture that gave birth to them, systems and structures are still Industrial in their model. While the individuals that comprise such organisations have taken great leaps and bounds, in their language capacities, their skills set and their individual rights.  Teachers are far more educated, their skills are more advanced, their understanding of the world is different, and their social interactions are also not in line with the industrial paradigm. As a consequence of this, a friction occurs as the system and structure of schools as organisations continues to work in an industrial fashion. Thus creating a struggle between a whole community of employees, learners and parents who are very different in their thinking and awareness from those in industrial times.

A Teal school is aware of this and works to reinvent the organisation so that the individuals who go to work, or learn there are freed to be their true selves and respected to be able to take on the responsibility necessary and achieve the goals that the school aims for. This forms a much healthier relationship than the triangular pyramid model where those at the top have no idea what is happening down at the bottom and seek to control this through taking a snapshot of a moment or by observing the tip of the iceberg.

My own experience of schools today is that they are an endless to-do list, or a whistle stop tour of learning. Which seeks to cover as much material as possible within a set amount of time. Often lead by a single homogenous group, trudging along the same wheel of thought and experience. 

In his book Frédéric Laloux writes about how each step of human evolution brings with it an advance in how we organise our workplaces, societies, and families. I think it is time we redesigned and reorganised our schools.

If you are a teacher, leader, manager or parent, what would you redesign in your school?

Written by: Shabana Bashir

First published on our earlier webiste 8 February, 2019