I. Incrementalism – the process of gradual change in small degrees over time – is a common approach to intentional (and formal) change as well as less intentional (and sometimes less formal) change. As an example of the latter, look at nature: decay is a form of incrementalism that itself stands in contrast to rapid change.
2. Just as loss can be gradual or sudden, so can other forms of change, from losing and gaining weight to saving money, changing behavior habits, etc.
What is incrementalism?
What is incrementalism? Incrementalism is the process of change by small degrees. A synonym of incrementalism is gradualism.
III. In evolutionary biology, the opposite of gradualism is referred to as ‘punctuated equilibrium’, so, for our purposes and purposes, we will use it as a metaphor to represent the opposite of gradual change in learning.
IV The approach adopted through formal education to self-improvement is more or less gradualism. Put another way, public education has changed, at best, slowly.
V. It is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in itself, but an input that has an output – a cause that has an effect. inside Transfer from ideas to effects of those ideasI have applied this thinking to education:
“Let’s pretend for a moment that we will eventually be able to design a system of teaching and learning where every single student is able to master every academic standard that their local government sets for them. What are the effects of this system? This lordship? What are we assuming about values and their mastery? That they will create a nation of critical thinkers who do amazing things?
And this system – what are we assuming about it and its effects? What will it ‘do’ to children? When they graduate from this imaginary machine, will they have a strong sense of self-knowledge, wisdom, place and family legacy? Critical thinking, action, and love? If not, okay?
Is that even the intended effect we are looking for? What if not? We should know, right?”
VI. Given those implications, let’s allow incrementalism to limit the ‘solutions’ that slow these down or create. effect.
VII. Incrementalism moves in one dimension – longitudinally along a line called ‘time’. This is opposed to moving in two or three (or even four) dimensions. That is, this approach emphasizes the chronology and speed of change rather than the quality or impact of it.
the eighth A secondary effect is that, because of the gradual and longitudinal nature of change, it discourages reconsideration/reimagining of original goals—pivot, turnout, or splitting a single goal into dozens.
IX. It skews the scale of progress (for example, refers to growth as a measure of quality rather than incremental value).
X. Further, it can overemphasize the wrong data (measuring the wrong things in the wrong way) and obscure our assessment of data and data quality and sources in favor of focusing on single targets and simplistic metrics for ‘progress’ ‘success’. ‘ towards those goals.
The eleventh. This may increase the chance (due to time constraints) that by the time the goals are met, you/we may be solving a problem that at best may no longer be a priority, and at worst, may no longer exist.
XII. This can over time create a ‘culture of growth’—terms, definitions, expectations, goals, thoughts, hopes, etc.—rather than values, affections, or innovations.
XIII. This is in contrast to a culture of rapid change and innovation – which is not necessarily good or bad in itself but rather causes change that can be perceived as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in the short and long term. (See more How disruptive innovation is changing education.)
XIV. This overview cannot be reduced to just one approach or the other. The Gears of Education There is tremendous inertia, never mind the complexities (visible and less visible) of social or socio-infrastructural change.
XV. This, then, is not a set of statements advocating slow or rapid change in education but rather a hope that we can be deliberate in our approach.
XVI. It implies that we have at least some control–some agency and choice in the process–and thus responsibility for our actions (or inaction).
XVII. Ultimately, then, we are left with the question: In our collective system for educating children, where have we been, where are we going, and how should we respond—with honest assessment—in our thoughts, beliefs, affections, and behaviors—and to criticism and evaluation there?