Why Do Good Ideas Fail?

Change is hard. Does it only take one of these reasons to derail it?
  • ScaleFail - Scaling too fast/far without enough existing capacity
  • Teachers have never experienced the technology/pedagogy/content as a student, no or few models exist that can be examined and reexamined, and/or
  • Professional Development doesn't model the approach of the desired change - Do as I say, not as I do - PD Activity Types
  • All talk, no action
  • Taking something good and then breaking it down into "more teachable" bits
  • Floor isn't low enough or the walls aren't wide enough, or the ceiling is too low
  • The technology or blend of technology/pedagogy/content is co-opted to fit the status quo
  • Requires authentic buy in from teachers, administrators and often parents. Often teachers/administrators are required to be at the professional development session, plc, etc, versus actually wanting to be there
  • Time to try new approaches and reflect on them with peers and more knowledgeable others
  • Evaluation system of teachers (and evaluators) value other elements more highly than the stated change or want change in too many areas at once
  • Evaluation system of students doesn't value the change
  • Cognitive dissonance never occurs or is never processed in a way that the intended changes trump existing beliefs
  • Technology and its infrastructure unreliable or not supported well enough to become like oxygen
  • Worrying about the laggards too soon

Is it different for new teachers? John Spencer gives Ten Reasons New Teachers Aren't Using Technology, would you add or delete any from your experiences?
  1. They are worried about classroom management.
  2. They view it as a consumer device.
  3. They believe technology is unreliable.
  4. They tend to teach the way they were taught.
  5. They've experienced bad technology integration.
  6. Techies have done a bad job admitting what isn't working.
  7. We need to change assessment practices.
  8. Schools reward compliance.
  9. They still don't have access.
  10. They aren't connected.

What are your potential pitfalls or blind alleys? What "solutions" exist for each?