Is the Word 'Transformational' Overhyping School Reform?

TRANSFORMATIONAL? REALLY? According to Stanford professor emeritus Larry Cuban, Googling “school reform" will get 12,100,000 hits, while "transformed schools" will get you 111,000,000 hits (as of May 17, 2016). In a May 25 blogpost, Cuban shares that he's become "allergic" to the word “transform” when applied to schooling, and as such, it has prompted him to draft a collection of questions that he asks policymakers, researchers, educators, entrepreneurs, investors and parents. Amongst the questions, he includes:

  • What does “transform” mean to you?
  • What are the problems to which “transformed” schools is the solution?
  • What exactly is to be transformed? school structures? Cultures? Classroom teaching? Learners?
  • Transform to what? what are the outcomes that you want to achieve?
  • How fast should the “transformation” be?
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