What Are Provocation Papers?
The Provocation Papers are designed to accelerate our collective learning about what transformational classrooms take and how we grow teachers who can lead them. They are one of a number of ways the Global Learning Lab @ Teach For All is aspiring to catalyze, harvest, and share actionable insights.
These resources will help you be more intentional in pursuing answers to those questions in your context. The Learning Lab team will be evolving these provocation papers in light of the conversations they trigger across the network, and new provocation papers will be added periodically.
Provocation Papers are digital bundles of conversations, experiences, and insights—drawn from across and beyond the Teach For All network—designed to spark critical and actionable self-reflection on fundamental questions of transformational learning and leadership.
Please bring your critical friendship to these resources and ideas: your challenges, questions and insights will accelerate our collective learning and progress for the sake of the children in our classrooms.
When we recognize that the education systems we work in were built for different children than we serve, different times than today’s global world, and different purposes than our students fulfilled leadership in their own lives and communities, we realize that we cannot be in the business of perfecting the system we have.
We must reimagine the system. Instead a roadmap, we have questions and evolving insights. And we at the Learning Lab believe that Teach For All is one of the most promising natural laboratories of learning about how we must and can reimagine education.
We intend them to be conversations more than “white papers.” We intend them to help you find strong answers to questions in your context, more than offer answers to questions in your context.
The Learning Lab will “publish” 1-2 new Provocation Papers each year, attempting to be responsive to some of the most challenging questions arising in our training and support programs across the network.
There’s no one or right way to engage with these resources. You may want to experience one of them start to finish. If so, you will be guided through an arc of questions and insights, experiences and reflection exercises—all designed to help you make more intentional choices in your context on the topic of the provocation paper. Or, sometimes you may be asked by a facilitator (a staff member at Teach For All, or in one of Teach For All’s partner organizations) to read or engage with some section of these resources, in preparation for other conversations or workshopping.
While each of the Provocation Papers has lead author/facilitator who is a member of the Learning Lab @ Teach For All, you will find that these resources—especially as the grow and mature—are a synthesis of many perspectives and voices, including (hopefully) yours.
In several cases, Provocation Papers are being informed by our engagement with world-renowned experts in the topics we are exploring. You will often find quotes from those experts, and or links to external studies or other resources. Learn more about the founding members of the Learning Lab.
We would LOVE you to comment critically and often as you engage with these resources. Our intention is to periodically cull those comments for changes to the provocation papers themselves and to highlight some of your comments in the provocations papers themselves. These should be living, evolving resources, informed heavily by practitioners who are wrestling with translating these experiences and insights into actionable support and training of teachers and students.