PMP387: Accountability – A Dirty Word or Essential? with Jen Schwanke and Will Parker

In this week’s episode, Jen Schwanke and Will Parker talk about the word accountability. In education, this word can be perceived as both positive and negative.

On the negative side, education has been the target of a lot of political discourse, beginning for many modern U.S. educators in the 1980’s with the report a Nation at Risk, that shined a light on discrepancies in student learning and an avalanche of new laws that dictated outcomes and punished schools for lack of progress or performance. 

Fast forward to 2024, and schools have spent decades redesigning accountability structures – with both good and bad results.

How do we step into healthy accountability (not toxic accountability) in a way that recognizes that strong organizations and schools share common expectations and share feedback in ways that help with both individual and collective growth?

How do we redeem the word accountability? Jen shares a story of a friend who in analyzing her own child’s teacher recognized that not all outcomes can be measured by scores.

Will shares two pieces of research that show different perspectives on accountability. Find the story of the Shell Oil rig and its “Learning Culture” here: NPR. (2016, June 17). Invisibilia: How Learning To Be Vulnerable Can Make Life Safer. Go here for story from Hidden Brain on the hospital cultures and one researcher’s findings on cultures where people are afraid to admit mistakes.

Listen to the entire episode for more takeaways! As we wrapped the show, Jen adds a helpful suggestion for leaders to consider asking their own teachers in professional development. Keep listening to the very end of this week’s episode for that great takeaway!

Think someone else would benefit from this episode?
William D. Parker
William D. Parker
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.