Asking the Right Questions: Techniques for Collaboration and School Change

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Corwin Press, 2001 - Education - 159 pages
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This work provides school change leaders with tools, techniques, tips, examples, illustrations, and stories about promoting school change. Tools provided include histograms, surveys, run charts, weighted voting, force-field analysis, decision matrices, and many others. Chapter 1, "Introduction," applies a matrix for asking questions about change in four typical scenarios. Chapter 2, "Asking the Right Questions," presents critical questions regarding five stages of school improvement: preparation, focus, diagnosis, plan development, and implementation/monitoring. Chapter 3, "Answering the 'Where Are We Now?' Question," discusses ways to use data on student achievement, perceptual data, and the need to clarify roles and responsibilities. Chapter 4, "Answering the 'Where Do We Want to Go?' Question," applies the initiation, planning, and training stages of three models. Chapter 5, "Answering the 'How Will We Get There?' Question," contrasts the planning, training, and implementation stages of three relevant models. Chapter 6, "Answering the 'How Will We Know We Are (Getting) There?' Question," explores elements of assessing outcomes and reveals the importance of accurate monitoring. Chapter 7, "Answering the 'How Will We Sustain the Focus and Momentum?' Question" demonstrates the need for such critical elements as maintenance, institutionalization, and the PDCA tasks of check, act, and adjust plans. Chapter 8, "Bonus Questions" includes additional guidance for administrators on other aspects of school-improvement efforts. Chapter 9, "Using This Book," contains an index of tools and reviews scenarios and examples to further clarify the use of the tools described in earlier chapters. (Contains 21 annotated references and a 7-page index.) (TEJ)
 

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User Review  - jsmith64 - LibraryThing

Collaboration is important when teaching school. This is a good source for appraisal groups. Read full review

Contents

Foreword by Shirley M Hord
xi
Asking the Right Questions
7
Answering the Where Are We Now? Question
17
Answering the Where Do We Want to Go? Question
47
Answering the How Will We Get There? Question
63
Force Field Analysis
69
Answering the How Will We Know
93
Answering the How Will We Sustain the Focus
109
Cope With Conflict
115
Build a Culture of Inquiry
122
Bonus Questions
139
Annotated Bibliography
149
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Page 164 - Where are we now? • Where do we want to go? • How will we get there? and sets the scene for a fourth to be answered • How will we know when we get there?

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About the author (2001)

Edie L. Holcomb is executive director of curriculum and instructional services for Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She has experienced the challenges of improving student achievement from many perspectives:

  • From classroom teacher to university professor
  • From gifted education coordinator to mainstream teacher of children with multiple disabilities
  • From school- and district-level administration to national and international consulting
  • From small rural districts to the challenges of urban education

She is highly regarded for her ability to link research and practice on issues related to instructional leadership and school and district change—including standards-based curriculum, instruction, assessment, supervision, and accountability. She has taught at all grade levels, served as a building principal and central office administrator, and assisted districts as an external facilitator for accreditation and implementation of school reform designs. As associate director of the National Center for Effective Schools, she developed a training program for site-based teams and provided technical support for implementation of school improvement efforts throughout the United States and in Canada, Guam, St. Lucia, and Hong Kong. She developed a comprehensive standards-based learning system for the staff and 47,000 students of the Seattle, Washington, city district and has supervised K–12 clusters of schools and evaluated principals.

Her work received the Excellence in Staff Development Award from the Iowa Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development in 1988. In 1990, her study of the needs of beginning principals was recognized by the American Association of School Administrators with the Paul F. Salmon Award for Outstanding Education Leadership Research.

She served as an elected member-at-large on the Leadership Council for ASCD International, played an active role in Washington State’s School Improvement Assistance Program, and contributed to development of the new School System Improvement Resource Guide. Holcomb is the author of four previous books and numerous articles and reviews.

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