This is a work in progress as I and a some great helpers are developing, called the The Self-Organizing Classroom -A Quickstart Guide to Agile Based Learning Environments.
Please email or comment your feedback so it can be as valuable as possible.
What Are The Challenges of ABLE?
Although ABLE is simple and if implemented with patience and discipline, will emerge fantastic results, it is not without it's challenges. Some challenges you might encounter are:
- the self-organizing aspect of learning teams may look like chaos from the outside. Many will see it and love it, but others, may not understand and see it as disorganization.
- it may be difficult to let go of the control. Anxiety may set in, especially when you the classroom is beginning to discover their "empowerment muscles" and the soreness that results from any growth.
- it can be tempting to skip some steps in the framework for expediency or not yet seeing the value. Skipping the steps will diminish and sabotage the results.
- uncertainty about how it can effect test scores. Although we can not guarantee it, in our experience, we have never seen a decrease in test scores. Especially with Common Core, we expect it will increase the results on Common Core and other tests.
- if you are a teacher who needs a high amount of certainty and control, this may not be right for you. It requires a tolerance for uncertainty, patience, and a growth mindset that the classroom has the ability to be self-organizing.
- it does not guarnatee instant results, although, we have seen results happen quickly, expect a month before you start seeing significant changes in student self-directedness.
- any change is hard, and, ABLE is no exception.