Stick With It


By Kumon (Flickr) CC-BY-2.0

There’s an article on Outside magazine that explains why any diet that you may choose is largely irrelevant as to whether you lose weight or not. The most important factor?

Simple adherence. To any sort of disciplined form of exercise and diet. Sticking with it. Persistence.

I think this advice just as easily applies to education reform. On Saturday’s post, we examined takeaways from David Kirp’s Improbable Scholars on effective school systems, and we noted that there’s nothing particularly flashy about what works: it’s really just a lot of hard work. In other words, adherence and persistence.

We’ve also explored this idea before in a post titled “Coping with Complexity“. In that piece, I synthesized some advice from different fields and came up with two suggestions for making decisions when faced with a complex problem:

  • Try almost anything, because you never know exactly what will be effective. 
  • Demonstrate a willingness to push through even in the face of failure, as this can lead to a breakthrough, an emergence after crossing some unknown threshold.
Pick something. Adhere to it. Learn from your mistakes. Keep on keeping on.
I’m beginning to see that there’s a ripe opportunity here for synthesizing all these lessons on complex decision-making that I’ve been gathering on this blog. To be continued . . .
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