PLAGIARISM FREE “A” WORK Read the assigned Price & Nelson (Chapter 5) in the e-book text (ATTACHED) Write your reflections by selecting an idea from the re

PLAGIARISM FREE “A” WORK Read the assigned Price & Nelson (Chapter 5) in the e-book text (ATTACHED) Write your reflections by selecting an idea from the reading, describing your thoughts and feelings about it. Along with a title page in APA format, write 2 pages of double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman text.

                                                          Reference:

Price, K. M., & Nelson, K. L. (2019). Planning effective instruction : diversity responsive methods and management. Cengage. 88

Chapter 5

Rule Breaker

Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.

—The Dalai Lama

MTV, among the most-watched cable channels in the 80s and 90s,
didn’t invent video or records, but it pulled them together in an
entirely new format. CBS, in contrast, owned both a record com-
pany and a television network, but followed conventional wis-
dom and kept its companies separate, never experimenting with
the video/music combination. When Fast Company first debuted
as a business magazine in 1995, it represented a dramatic shift
from typical business publications. Everything about how the
magazine was designed—the font, the artwork, and the layout—
was different. Within six months, other business magazines were
copying Fast Company’s format, and it became a leader in the
industry. Brian Chesky, founder of Airbnb, intentionally set out

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
Created from amridge on 2021-09-13 04:01:45.

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Rule Breaker • 89

to challenge the status quo in a constructive way. Airbnb is now
the largest accommodation provider, and yet they own no hotels
and are slowing down the growth of hotel revenues.

Innovation requires disobedience. Unfortunately, you can’t
follow someone else’s blueprint to innovate. As you look at the
history of school reform, it is easy to see how many efforts have
actually been copied from those creating change elsewhere, yet
the results don’t scale and have only led to small adjustments. It
seems schools have mastered the art of incremental change, but
these incremental changes have not gotten us to where we need
to be. In fact, these incremental changes are likely to be obso-
lete over time. For years, we have been improving and changing
educational systems and yet, in many ways, they remain largely
the same.

Think back to your own educational experience as a student.
Let’s imagine it’s the first day of 6th grade. You walk into your
classroom wearing your new back-to-school outfit and carrying
your backpack full of supplies. Sadly, you can pretty much pre-
dict how the day will go. Why? Because it will be like every other
first day of school you have experienced. There will be some sort
of get-to-know-you activity, the sorting of supplies, and the label-
ing and sectioning of binders. Then there’s the passing out of
textbooks and workbooks. In between, there are the rules: class-
room rules, homework rules, hallway rules, playground rules.
You quickly learn that school is a series of rules and events, all
driven by the teacher, and you are just along for the ride.

When you were a teacher, you likely planned the first day of
activities based largely on what you experienced as a student
and acted in accordance with what you believed was expected of
you. Now, as the educational leader, whether principal or super-
intendent, your first-day activities are likely dictated by past
practices and perceived school and community expectations.
In education, we take many things for granted and just assume
“that’s the way it has to be,” because that is the way things have
always been done.

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
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90 • Design Thinking for School Leaders

As creatures of habit, we rely on our assumptions and past
practices to guide most of what we do in a given day. We can
reduce the amount of conscious thought required by relying on
developed habits that help us accomplish all sorts of things. Put
more simply, it is just plain easier to keep doing things the way
we have always done them. This is true in both our professional
and our personal lives.

Have you ever asked your child, “How was your day at
school?” only to have them say, “Fine”? Alyssa became inspired
by an article she read on Huffington Post, “Twenty-Five Ways to
Ask Your Kid, ‘So, How Was School Today?’ Without Asking Them,
‘So, How Was School Today?’” She was determined to change the
daily conversation she had with her two school-age boys. So she
armed herself with 25 new questions to ask them. The first day
of her new mission went great. She asked both boys, “What word
did your teacher use the most today?” and “Where were you the
happiest today?” Surprisingly, both boys had stories to share,
and she earned a new glimpse into their little worlds. You would
think that this success would motivate her to continue with new
questions, and yet the next day she found herself sitting in the
carpool lane at school, both boys loaded into their booster seats,
asking, “So, how was your day at school?” Habits can seem nearly
impossible to break.

For most of us, the rituals and routines of schools have
become well-established habits. We don’t question them or
expect school to be any different than it is—especially when we
are talking about making changes to a system that so many of
us are products of. Too often we hear, “I survived school . . . . It
worked for me, what’s wrong with it?” Yes, that system worked
for us, too. Everything we needed for research could be found in
the Encyclopedia Britannica and we relied heavily on our ability
to memorize content. In this traditional system, we “learned”
at school, and then we left to “do” at home. This approach no
longer works. Learning and doing have become inseparable. If

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
Created from amridge on 2021-09-13 04:01:45.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-evans/25-ways-to-ask-your-kids-so-how-was-school-today-without-asking-them-so-how-was-school-today_b_5738338.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-evans/25-ways-to-ask-your-kids-so-how-was-school-today-without-asking-them-so-how-was-school-today_b_5738338.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-evans/25-ways-to-ask-your-kids-so-how-was-school-today-without-asking-them-so-how-was-school-today_b_5738338.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-evans/25-ways-to-ask-your-kids-so-how-was-school-today-without-asking-them-so-how-was-school-today_b_5738338.html

Rule Breaker • 91

we continue with the same habits, are we preparing students for
a world that no longer exists? Thankfully, habits can be broken.
Old habits can be discarded and new habits created. As Charles
Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, points out, “Once you
understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the
responsibility to make them. Once you understand that habits
can be rebuilt, the power becomes easier to grasp and the only
option left is to get to work” (Duhigg, 2014, iBook Location p. 531).

What if by breaking rules with intention and rebuilding new
habits, we were able to change the first-day experience for stu-
dents? What if the first day was about the learner? What if teach-
ers didn’t explain the rules, but encouraged students to create
them? What if, instead of handing out textbooks, students were
handed an idea to explore or a problem to solve? What if students
were encouraged to pursue topics that interested them? Or even
better, what if teachers were encouraged to pursue “interesting”?

Breaking rules with intention is really a mindset of thought-
fully challenging the way we always do things. Some of these
might be written rules, but more than likely, many may just be
common practices that have existed at our school sites forever.
Why do we require students to walk in straight lines? Why do we
give spelling tests every Friday? Why do we use bells to signal
time at schools? Why do we attend school for 180 days a year? Is
that really the magic number of learning hours needed to master
the content? Unfortunately, many of our accepted practices were
created over the years for the convenience of the adults and
have very little to do with what is best for students and learning.
Some of these rules or practices may have been created for a
good reason, but many have outgrown their usefulness. This is
especially true when we consider how learning has changed over
time. New skills are required of students; former constraints no
longer apply or serve. The World Economic Forum released a
report in January 2016 on the future of jobs that has indicated
how important these new skills will be in the Fourth Industrial

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
Created from amridge on 2021-09-13 04:01:45.

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92 • Design Thinking for School Leaders

Revolution: “Most existing education systems at all levels pro-
vide highly siloed training and continue a number of 20th century
practices that are hindering progress on today’s talent and labor
market issues” (World Economic Forum, 2016c, p. 32).

The world clearly has changed drastically, and yet many of
our educational institutions are embracing practices of the past
that have become so much a part of us, we no longer question
why we do them. This is further exasperated by the fact that
most of our teachers and parents are also a product of the
educational system and, as a result, are accustomed to the rou-
tines, rules, and rituals of school. We are all fish swimming in
the ocean, having a hard time describing what the water is like
around us. And yet, in order to change practices, we must first
become uncomfortable with the status quo.

The 10 Skills You Need to Thrive in the
4th Industrial Revolution, Alex Gray,
World Economic Forum Report, 2016

In 2020
1. Complex Problem

Solving
2. Critical Thinking
3. Creativity
4. People Management
5. Coordinating with

Others
6. Emotional Intelligence
7. Judgment and Decision

Making
8. Service Orientation
9. Negotiation

10. Cognitive Flexibility

In 2015
1. Complex Problem

Solving
2. Coordinating with

Others
3. People Management
4. Critical Thinking
5. Negotiation
6. Quality Control
7. Service Orientation
8. Judgment and Decision

Making
9. Active Listening

10. Creativity

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
Created from amridge on 2021-09-13 04:01:45.

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Rule Breaker • 93

Refuse to Accept the Status Quo
Rule Breakers dare to look beyond the status quo with a posi-
tive mindset, confident that they have other options available
to them. Rule Breakers give you thoughtful headaches, as they
don’t accept the default options in life. For example, Adam
Grant, author of Originals, uncovered some new insights about
what your web browser says about you. When you purchase a
computer, it comes with a default browser installed: Internet
Explorer if you own a PC, Safari if you own a Mac. The actual
browser you use doesn’t matter; what does matter is how you
acquired it. Sixty-seven percent of computer users stick with the
default browser without ever questioning whether or not there
is a better option. Those who select and download Chrome or
Firefox display some initiative and take steps to personalize their
browsing experience. Choosing the default system is certainly
easier. It is a stance that says, “The world is supposed to be
this way; therefore, I don’t need to be dissatisfied with it.” This
default stance also keeps us from considering alternative and,
in many cases, better solutions. What are the default settings at
your school? Below are a few ways to move beyond the “default
settings” of education.

Dare to Imagine

If you don’t know what you could do if you could do whatever you

wanted, then how on earth can you know what you would do under

constraints?

—Russell Ackoff, pioneer of systems thinking

What is the biggest difference you could make? What would
learning look like if you had no constraints? It is healthy to spend
some time in the world of possibility. If we don’t know what we
would create without any constraints, then how can we create
once we have the constraints? Spend a few minutes dreaming big

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
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94 • Design Thinking for School Leaders

and imagine what your school could be without any constraints
or rules. Alyssa recently worked with an elementary school staff
in Los Angeles helping them dream big, and it was important for
us to play with possibilities. It is interesting to see how difficult
this is for people. It took the team quite a while to suspend judg-
ment and play, but eventually we played with ideas like “What if
we created a makerspace in the middle of campus? What if every
student had the luxury of spending time every day learning about
something they loved? What if teachers had the ability to learn
during their workday?” Once the team got rolling, they realized
the possibilities were endless.

Stop Worrying About Being Right

As hard as it sounds, don’t be afraid to let others be closer
to the solution and final outcome. Position yourself within your
community as a learner. With all the shifts happening, leaders no
longer have to be the only experts. Embrace this. Be confident in
what you do know and open yourself up to new possibilities by
admitting you don’t have all the answers. Shakespeare famously
wrote: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows
himself to be a fool.” It’s human nature to want to be right. It feels
good. It is validating, but at the end of the day, being a leader
who is a learner and is able to suspend certainty feels even
better than always being right. Try starting from the assump-
tion that you don’t know all the answers. The next time you are
asked something you don’t immediately know the answer to, try
starting with, “I don’t know . . . .” While working with one dis-
trict on the exploration of competency models, not surprisingly,
the question of age and grade levels surfaced. Do all students
need to be grouped by age for their school day? As educational
consultants, we certainly have our opinions; however, it was
more powerful to respond, “I’m not sure, let’s investigate.” This
simple shift—of not having the answers—allowed us to facilitate
an exercise imagining “a day in the life of a student,” exploring

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
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Rule Breaker • 95

all the possible options and configurations of student groupings
together. Had we offered an expert opinion, the conversation
would have likely been much narrower in scope.

Take Inventory

When problem solving or designing, you have likely heard
the phrase “think outside the box.” Before you can effectively
do that, you need to take careful inventory of what’s in the box.
There is a reason why the box exists, and understanding the
current constraints that make the box function is key to knowing
how to bend, break, or stretch those existing lines. Try setting
some time aside each day to simply take notice of the rules, ritu-
als, and routines that guide everything about your organization.
Are they serving students well? Why do they exist? Who created
them? What was the rationale for the genesis of the rule or prac-
tice? By starting to take inventory of these rules, you will gain
greater understanding of how many daily practices and behav-
iors are ingrained. Armed with an inventory of rules, routines,
and rituals, you are now ready to consider why these rules are in
place and whether or not they should continue.

Don’t Allow “Yeah, But . . . ”
In this next phase of exploration, you will likely come face-to-face
with many “yeah, buts.” People don’t necessarily like to question
the rules they have come to embrace and may respond with
“yeah, but . . .” if they feel pushed outside their comfort zones,
want to justify their behavior, or want to avoid having to make
any changes. It is a deceiving response, as the “yeah” makes it
sound like there is agreement, but then the “but” negates any
movement forward. How many times have you found yourself
having a conversation that requires an openness to new ideas
and new ways to do things, only to have the first response be
“yeah, but . . .”? To help avoid this natural response, you may

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
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96 • Design Thinking for School Leaders

want to declare your staff meeting area as a “yeah, but . . .”–free
zone. The simple act of calling out “yeah, but . . .” will help draw
awareness to our reluctance to change and may help you instead
create a culture where risk taking begins to feel more natural. Try
to extinguish “yeah, but . . .” in conversations by offering replace-
ment language instead. Challenge yourself and others to replace
any “yeah, buts” with a simple, “yes, and . . .” (which allows you
to build on the idea being offered) or a “what if?” (which allows
you to question the idea that is being presented in a positive
light).

Habits, constraints, lack of time, and fear of the unknown
are all “yeah, buts,” or common excuses that contribute to
complacency in the way we do business in schools. “There just
isn’t enough time.” “We don’t have the budget for that.” “It’s
too hard.” “I don’t know where to start.” These reactions are
not unique to education; they are common responses to change
in general. They aren’t just lame excuses, but powerful forces
that we must understand if we are going to help our staffs turn
“yeah, but . . .” into “yes, and . . . .” Our world is full of increasing
constraints, driven by an overabundance of choices and connec-
tions, as well as a scarcity of time and resources. What if we were
able to embrace constraints and allow these limitations to guide
us to creative solutions? Constraints can actually be advantages
in disguise. For more tips see “Turn a ‘Yeah, But . . .’ into a ‘Yes,
And . . .’” in the Appendix.

Adam Morgan and Mark Barden (2015) write in A Beautiful
Constraint: “Ten years from now, we would like to search Google
for a definition of constraint and see it include this: ‘a limitation
or defining parameter, often the stimulus to finding a better way
of doing something’” (p. 10). Constraint-driven problem solving
can lead to innovative solutions.

It is exciting to discover educational leaders who are actively
turning “yeah, but . . .” into “yes, and . . . .” On our journey, we
met leaders who aren’t just challenging the status quo, they are

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
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Rule Breaker • 97

intentionally breaking the rules and bringing along an army of
teachers who feel empowered to do the same for their students.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

—Pablo Picasso

Design 39: Poway Unified School District
When you arrive at Design 39, you can’t help but be impressed
by the building itself—a magnificent new multistory building
in Poway, California—but the real wow happens inside. Sonya
Wrisley, now retired, was the principal of Design 39, a K–8 public
school of 860 students that opened in September 2014. While
Sonya was always accessible, you would never find her in her
office, as she didn’t have one. The traditional principal’s office
was abandoned and replaced with collaborative meeting spaces
to be used by any of the employees of Design 39. Use of space at
Design 39 is one area where many “rules” are intentionally being
broken. Learning spaces around campus are designed with what
is best for students in mind first and, as a result, teachers don’t
have their own classrooms. Teachers may teach in a variety of
classrooms within their pod, depending on the groupings of stu-
dents within a multi-age span. Multiple teachers share a “Design
Studio”—think collaborative office space—where they store
their personal belongings and collaborate with their colleagues
during planning time every morning from 7:45–8:45 a.m. Learning
spaces are large, relatively uncluttered, and varied depending
on the learning activity: large group spaces, interactive screens
to display student work, makerspaces, and more. This redesign
of space, combined with a new approach to scheduling, creates
the opportunity for students at Design 39 to be truly immersed
in what they are learning. The day is structured with fairly large
chunks of uninterrupted instructional time. In the morning, stu-
dents work on integrated learning of major content areas, such
as language arts, math, and science, which they term “Awesome

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
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98 • Design Thinking for School Leaders

Learning Time.” After lunch, depending on the day, students
work on an investigation, often math- or science-focused, fol-
lowed by an hour of “Minds in Motion,” a new take on PE. Picture
kids doing Crossfit, dance, and basketball; it doesn’t matter what
class students choose, what matters is that they engage, get
sweaty, and have fun! On opposite days, students are engaged in
“Deep Dives.” These are student-chosen areas of interest where
students develop their learning plan and goals, which they then
pitch to their teacher for approval. As one student said, “If it isn’t
deep enough, we’re just asked to revise it and try again.” Bells
never disrupt learning; even body breaks, formally known as
recess, are taken when it makes sense for that particular group
of students. This type of schedule requires much more collabo-
ration on the part of the adults at school; however, it results in a
much better day-to-day learning experience for students.

Both space and schedules are big changes that can make a
positive impact on students, but don’t underestimate the impact
of breaking other rules that may seem smaller. Believing that lan-
guage matters, Sonya led the charge to rename various aspects
of school, including commonly known locations and roles. “The
School Office” was renamed “The Welcome Center,” “Teachers”
are referred to as “Learning Experience Designers,” and “Noon
Duty Aides” are called “Motion Managers.” These may seem like
small shifts, but they are intentional ones that communicate the
beliefs of Design 39 and highlight how the language we choose
contributes to the overall culture of the school.

Having the opportunity to challenge all the rules at once
can be overwhelming, so don’t underestimate the importance of
challenging and questioning even the most basic of rules. Dr. Eric
Chagala, founder and principal of Vista Innovation and Design
Academy in Southern California, is actively building a school cul-
ture that encourages all learners, students, and teachers to push
the boundaries, not for the sake of being a maverick, but for the
sake of opening new doors and opportunities for learning. Eric

Gallagher, Alyssa, and Kami Thordarson. Design Thinking for School Leaders : Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive
Change, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=5437456.
Created from amridge on 2021-09-13 04:01:45.

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Rule Breaker • 99

understands the importance of creating a culture that supports
this type of risk taking and models the behavior for others. There
is an unspoken “rule” in education that educational leaders dress
professionally, which for many male leaders means wearing a
suit and tie Monday through Thursday. Most can get away with
a more casual look on Fridays, especially if the school embraces
school spirit days at the end of the week. No matter what day it
is, you will never find Eric at school in a suit and tie. He has cho-
sen to break this rule, as it signified a hierarchical organization
and did little to foster the spirit of collaboration. Eric’s attire
most days is a polo shirt or school T-shirt, and reflects his belief
in a flattened hierarchy. He feels more effective at getting into
the real learning with the kids, alongside teachers. A colleague
recently asked Eric, “How do the teachers and parents respect
you in a serious situation if you are wearing jeans and a school …

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