A Mindset for Transformation, not just Turn-Around Strategy

Doug Cauthen, Editor-in-Chief, Learning Counsel

The mindset for school transformation is not the turn-around strategies for schools of old.  “As you go through transformation, there are some things in schools that need to die,” said Dr. Paul Zimmerman, an emotionally powerful speaker from Renton Preparatory School when he spoke at the Learning Counsel National Gathering in Houston, TX this past November on “Arriving at Transformation.” Dr. Zimmerman and his staff have taken many forward steps in the transformation to digital, but in ways more deeply significant than just adding technology. 

He gave a sense of urgency for change with statistics on the trillions of investment dollars going into ten of the big tech megatrends such as robotics, nano-technology and more that all need students with higher math and reasoning skills. 

Dr. Zimmerman also talked about a new book that his daughter, Michelle Zimmerman, just put out on Teaching A.I. (artificial intelligence).  He showed a page out of her new book that quoted Learning Counsel CEO LeiLani Cauthen talking about new curriculum maps having a “multiplicity of directionality” for true personalization.  He had marked on his slide illustrative points about how deep the transition for schools has to go and what it really means for their planning of teaching and learning once they start implementing more digital curriculum.  He also pointed out that experiencing systems like Michelle talks about in her book, and LeiLani in her book about The Consumerization of Learning, helps students to have the idea within these new modalities that “they are creators, not just consumers.”  His point about students being able to see their own future because they are experiencing parts of in with live use while still in school makes a lot of sense. 


Dr. Zimmerman also spoke to these questions:

What is Transformation? When does it occur? When is it successful and when is it not? What measures this? When is it done?

Dr. Zimmerman’s wrap-up regarding answering the question of love was at the final part of the talk and a great wrap-up.

Watch to video below to see the highlights from his talk.


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At the Learning Counsel’s Digital Transition Discussion events, there’s a lot to take in. At our one-day events, one of the highlights is the Panel Discussions where area professionals discuss key experiences.

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