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Aligning on the “Why” through “The End of Average”

Establishing the “why” through a book study of “The End of Average” and an analysis of implications within education

Overview

Before digging into implementation, it’s crucial that teams align on their “why.” Dallas Independent School District conducts a book study of “The End of Average,” by Todd Rose, with new teachers to discuss how the fallacy of average can be applied to education settings. By looking at examples of how the principles of average fail systems outside of education, teachers can make the connection to instruction in the classroom – rather than teaching to the average, educators must recognize the diversity of skill sets in the room and personalize to various needs.

While Dallas ISD does not require teachers to read the book, they reference concepts and excerpts in a 35-minute activity, examining an article about the flaw of averages in aircrafts and discussing the implications to classrooms. Through this interactive activity, educators make the connection that teaching in a one-size-fits-all model is ineffective, and that understanding the range and diversity of needs is crucial to delivering a strong education. The discussion can also include “The Final Word” activity, where groups can process the article in a structured way to gain a deeper understanding of the idea.