• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

How great groups make great schools

Training leaders how to conduct effective meetings is important, but it's not enough to ensure that the professional development process is valuable. This field book shows educators how to develop group culture, enhance facilitators' skills, and optimize the group's most precious resource—its members. The authors describe how to form working committees, task forces, grade-level, and department teams, and faculties that are more effective and better equipped to resolve complex issues around student learning. Specific topics include

Understanding eight principles that underlie effective groups; Learning the five standards for effective meetings; Setting clear goals and roles; Practicing new ways of talking for improved collaboration; Examining perceptions and mental models; Enhancing energy sources; Working with conflict; Developing basic facilitation skills

This practical guide's special features include the newly updated seven norms of collaboration, a sample team assessment survey, instruments for assessing meeting effectiveness, an extensive bibliography, and practical examples embedded throughout the text. Practitioners will find a valuable road map for leading effective, student-focused school improvement efforts.

Developing Facilitation Skills
Developing facilitation skills

Schoolwide improvement requires collaborative work toward common goals. Collaborative work sometimes needs facilitation. Groups need skills, structures, and protocols to collaborate effectively. Without these, serious problems arise.

Schools that have formed collaborative learning groups of teachers can benefit from the skills of an experienced facilitator, but an external facilitator is not always available and particularly not for the amount of time it would take to work with each group.

Facilitation is essential for group success. I once was a member of a group of bright, knowledgeable, committed people. We floundered without leadership, each of us, for a time, with good intentions trying to assert leadership within the group. What we needed was one person whose primary concern was about process, and from ...

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