Structures Drive Behavior: Right is Magic, Wrong is Deadly

May 17, 2017

Education Week

Our experience of the world depends on the actual structure of the networks in which we’re residing and on all the kinds of things that ripple and flow through the network ~ Nicholas Christakis

Structures drive behavior. Organized one way we can be inventive and cooperative; organized in a different way we are uninventive and uncooperative. That’s a research finding of Nicholas Christakis, director of the Human Lab at Yale. “Same human beings, different typology – a different architecture of ties – completely changes the kind of group properties that these individuals evince.”

It’s not about individual performance, it’s about the system. It doesn’t make sense to focus on “teacher effectiveness” without a focus on building a coherent system. As Deming said, “A bad system will beat a good person every time.”

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