≡ Menu
Pushing the Edge

Make Change Happen 101

Make Change Happen

Make Change Happen 101 – Resource Collection

 You love to make change happen. You like to take a risk. It’s often scary but the pay-off’s great. 

This page is filled with ideas and inspiration to kick start and support your action – to make a real difference in your education institution. 

Practical Strategies & Ideas  

 Step Outside Your Comfort Zone – Tips and Insights

It’s where you learn big time. Just outside your comfort zone. But what can you expect there? And how might you navigate the tensions and uncertainties? 

6 Ways to Overcome the Obstacles to your Daring Ideas

  • I wanted to teach about sexual diversity. “You can’t do that,” they said.
  • Here’s how to overcome the obstacles that they throw in the way of your DARING, INNOVATIVE IDEAS.  

How to Stay Passionate and True to Yourself

  • That PASSION of yours, it comes through loud and true. BUT what about those naysayers as well as the indifferent? Here’s how to stay true to yourself.

Pushing The Edge PodcastsHere is the Pushing The Edge with Greg Curran Artwork

The following episodes are part of my Pushing The Edge with Greg Curran Podcast. You can find more episodes here (ITUNES) and here (on this Website).

Pushing The Edge of Whole School Change with Ray Boyd

  • In this episode, transforming the opportunities and outcomes for our students through Whole School Change. There’s many top insights here.

How to Navigate Social Justice in the Classroom with Rusul Alrubail

  • You’re passionate about exploring social justice issues in the classroom. But you’re worried about being accused of pushing an agenda. Here’s some tips.

Find Your Voice and Really Connect with Jenny Moes

  • How do you find your voice – when there’s so many aspects that make us who we are? Listen to Jenny Moes’ incredibly rich and moving tale.

Shaking Up Science Education with Jasper Fox Senior

Other Education Podcasts

Check out Principal Center Radio – Hosted by Justin Baeder. I’ve found the following episodes especially informative relating to Change & Innovation

The Unmistakable Creative – Identifying the Patterns and Threads of your Life’s Work –  Srinivas Rao and Josh Long

  • This podcast episode – is a must listen to.  It’s all about embracing your inner weirdness – not toning down – not rounding off those rough edges – embracing you. Making You work for you. 
  • I was listening to this podcast as I was out walking. I just had to keep stopping and record notes such was the calibre of thinking and ideas. So many nuggets, so many YES moments.  

Passionate Activists  

The following books have inspired my activism both within and outside the field of education. They’ve encouraged me to take risks.

They’ve given me a language for change.

They’ve let me know I’m not alone – there’s many other people working to cut through and make a real difference.

Teaching to Transgress – bell hooks

I regularly return to this book – it’s well thumbed with many parts marked. Why? It resonates so strongly with my experience of challenging and disrupting taken-for-granted ideas and practices.

  • I love how it isn’t tied up all nice and neat with a bow-tie. It’s raw and messy, dripping with a fierce passion.

Also check out  Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood where bell hooks takes us on a journey through the eyes of a young girl.  

  • I’ve regularly used this book in my work with pre-service teachers for the light it sheds on social disadvantage, racism, sexism, family and community, courage and agency. A must-read. 

The Trouble with Normal – Michael Warner

I first came across this book whilst writing my PhD on same-sex attracted youth. To say it changed my thinking is perhaps an understatement.  

Michael Warner is able to take incredibly complex ideas and put them in everyday speak. 

It is a challenging, provocative read and still highly relevant today with the fight worldwide for same-sex marriage. The ideas within can be applied across the many fields of diversity. 

Being Normal Is the only way to be – Wayne Martino & Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli

This is a book written for all those who work with young people. Inspired, and informed by the voices of young Australians – it’s packed with ready to use activities (for the class and whole school) .

Fitting in, belonging, and celebrating difference that’s what this book is all about.  

Both Maria and Wayne are tireless social activists. They were my inspirations when I first started to speak up on Social Justice issues, and they continue to inspire and encourage me today. 

Their writing is accessible, practical and backed by solid research.  I regularly use these books in my classes.

The Freedom Writers’ Club – The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell

Activism in Action – that’s what this book is about. Erin Gruwell is a teacher who is passionate about making a difference with her students. She wants their voices to be heard.

This is the type of teaching I aspire to – it resonates so powerfully. 

Black Ants and Buddhists – Mary Cowhey

Similar to Erin Gruwell above, Mary Cowhey is making change happen from within the walls of her classroom. Yet she’s not staying there, no way, she’s all about connecting learning to the worlds of her students outside the school gates.  

Mary isn’t what you would call a conventional teacher. She’s driven by a desire to challenge the status quo and affirm minority voices.  And her students run with her. 

When I’ve used this book with pre-service teachers, a number can’t believe the activism. How can she do this with such young students? they ask. Mary challenges our very notions of what’s possible.

Against Common Sense – Kevin K. Kumashiro

 The status quo may be comforting for its familiarity and for providing a sense of normalcy [yet] it is also quite oppressive. (Kevin Kumashiro)

Much of what we say and do in the classroom can be experienced as oppressive by our students, Kumashiro argues. His book is a case for teaching against Oppression, through Anti-Oppressive Education.

Kumashiro shows how we may be complicit in oppression and imagines alternative ways through – within elementary, secondary and post-secondary education settings. 

This is a book for those who are unafraid of the tough questions, who are okay with being unsettled, and are looking for new ways to ‘do’ Social Justice.  

The Process of Change  

Buy in – John P. Kotter and Lorne A. Whitehead

You want to make change happen but as we all know there’s a whole range of people and personalities  – on staff – that can get in the way.  

Kotter and Whitehead capture the common types found on any team through the clever use of a fictional scenario – a local library that is looking to update its computer facilities. On the Citizens Advisory Committee there’s Heidi Agenda, Avoidus Riski, Allis Welli, Divertus Attenti, Bendi Windi…you get the idea.  

Kotter and Whitehead take us through how we might engage with these different people , how we might get buy-in from them.  

They also present common lines of opposition, like “If this is such a great idea, why hasn’t it been done already?” and provide ways to work with such arguments. 

Go-Givers Sell More – Bob Burg & John David Mann

 When we’re looking to bring about change – often we can be pre-occupied – always on about our new ideas.

Within the world of social media there’s a notion that challenges us to take a step back. It invites us to focus outward – to the people around us – and consider how we might provide value or support to them. 

How might we help colleagues advance the ideas they’re on about? How might we support and promote the fabulous things they’re doing.  

It’s all about giving – and offering or providing value to others. Not written for education, this book has many salient messages for change agents in education. 

Human Rights & Equal Opportunity 

 Are you passionate about difference and diversity? Are you looking for Ideas and Resources?

Check out my Social Inclusion Livebinder packed with Top Web-sites relating to Human Rights and Equal Opportunity.

There’s a focus on gender, belief systems, sexuality, multiculturalism, and disabilities.  

Queering Elementary Education

This is a ground-breaking collection. It challenges the notion that we can’t (or shouldn’t) talk about sexual diversity with elementary school students.

Written by educators for educators – it shows how to challenge the business-as-usual thinking about young people and sexuality. 

 I wrote my very first book chapter for this collection. It’s all about my journey as Catholic school teacher – as I set out to challenge the invisibility of same-sex attracted people – within policies, discussions, and seminars.   

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment