• 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.

Examining Decision Making
Examining decision making

Suzanne Riley, a friend and adaptive schools colleague, told me a story about a new elementary school principal who convened a group of parents and teachers in a technology committee to explore the school's needs and to write a grant proposal for equipment. The committee worked diligently, talked with all the staff members, spent quite a bit of time studying the latest technology, read up on what direction technology might be headed in the future, and then went through an exhaustive, intense process to write a grant proposal.

Needless to say, the group was elated when the school was notified that the proposal was accepted and the school would receive the money. The money was deposited, and the principal took the ...

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