Making Teachers Powerful

Bill Drayton, the founder and CEO of Ashoka (the network that supports social entrepreneurship globally), recently wrote a piece for the Huffington Post entitled Want True Equality? Make Everyone Powerful. It was part of series in the Post related to the World Economic Forum. Bill led with a story about the role students play as change makers and told the story of a social entrepreneur they fund who challenged 6000 poor students to make a difference. I loved the proposition that equality (or equity as we talk about it in education) could be achieved by giving power or voice to those who might not seem in position of power but who had the potential to create change. He said this would lead to a world:

  • Where problems cannot outrun solutions.
  • That is structurally far more equal because everyone is powerful.
  • Where everyone, not just the fortunate elites, can express love and respect in action – the root cause of happiness and health.

Teachers are social entrepreneurs and I wondered about the role they play in cultivating those change makers. After all, aren’t teachers the ultimate breeder of the change maker mindset? They spend more time with our children than we do. I think our work to support teacher to teacher communities is part of the answer. We are giving teachers the platform, opportunities and reasons to share their innovations, wisdom of practice and change maker spirit. Looking forward to seeing some of these teachers be recognized as the social entrepreneurs they are.


Photo from Revolutionary Optimists, a film about Ashoka Fellow, Amlan Ganguly

Photo from Revolutionary Optimists, a film about Ashoka Fellow, Amlan Ganguly