It is a very exciting season with changes happening all over, from the draft science standards to changes in personnel, not to mention the walk out.
As scientists and educators we know that one set of Cross Cutting Concepts is Stability & Change. The idea or perception of stability is really an application of both the concepts of Scale & Proportion and of Systems. In nearly all systems there is no stability without an input of energy, which simultaneously increases order in that system, and decreases order somewhere else, or in other words, stability causes change. To restate the idea, it is impossible to make an improvement in one system, without upsetting another, connected system. (see Energy Transformations, SFAA)
While we often think of change in Darwinian terms, i.e. small changes that add up over time and result in something new, in 1972, Steven Jay Gould and a fellow paleontologist, Niles Eldredge, proposed the idea of punctuated equilibria. They hypothesized that at times there are dramatic changes resulting in a radical divergence and creation of totally new branches. These new branches then stabilize in their environment, which may have also experienced a change.
These ideas help explain some of things I am thinking and feeling as I share with you that I will not be coming back to Mesa Public Schools as a the Science Content Specialist next year. I have accepted a position with the AZ Technology Council Foundation as the National Systems Manager for the Chief Science Officer Program. I will be supporting new areas as they begin the process of implementing the program in their regions. It is a dramatic departure (punctuated) from what I have been doing, but in other ways very aligned. Since the program is locally based, I will still be around and involved here, just not on a daily basis with Mesa. It will be an exciting time over the next couple of years as we implement new standards and support the needed instructional shifts to meet them and I look forward to continuing my service in that area as your ASTA President.
As posted previously by my Curriculum Director, Dr. Sean Enright, HR in Mesa has posted a listing to fill my position. I have only the best to say about the administration, teachers and fellow Content Specialists in Mesa. The level of support they provide is unmatched in my experience. Please consider if you or one of your teachers might be a good fit for the position. I believe the application is open through May 4th.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with each of you over these last five years and have learned much from you all. Thank you!
R. Bruce Jones
Secondary Science Specialist
Mesa Public Schools
Office Phone 480-472-0270