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“ Building a Learning Community”

“ Building a Learning Community”

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“ Building a Learning Community”

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  1. “Building a Learning Community” School Development

  2. Past School Development Efforts Challenge for Excellence Provincial School Assessment Project 1995 District School Improvement programs Possible reasons for limited success: • Not focused on results • Not staying the course • Not paying attention to the change process (Kotter 1996) • Complacency – establish a sense of urgency • Critical mass • Vision • Removing barriers • Short term wins • Anchor in culture

  3. Approaches to School Development Each approach has emerged from problems encountered in the previous approach

  4. Approach 1 • Planning of school development by senior administration and/or leadership team • Assumes that if it is planned by administration and/or leadership team, plans will be executed and change will occur

  5. Approach 2 • Detailed attention needs to be paid to implementation • Middle management are included in the formulation of plans to gain support and commitment • Assumes that coming up with great plans is not sufficient

  6. Approach 3 • Building awareness of the need for change • Creating a climate or culture supportive of desired change • Equipping people throughout the organization with the skills needed to participate in planning and implementation of change • Assumes that it is essential to create readiness before, planning and implementation

  7. Approach 4 • The organization must be in a state of constant readiness • Continuous plans that are open and flexible are developed, shared, and embraced by the entire organization • Implementation occurs as a process that is dependent upon experimentation rather than a prescribed plan • Over time, successes are institutionalized • Change occurs through action learning on an ongoing basis (not re-evaluating only once-a-year) • Change occurs through action, reflection, and adjusting course throughout the process • Assumes that change efforts when treated as established programs, and not unfolding processes, almost always fail

  8. For the past two decades there has been a growing body of research to support the claim that: ‘if schools and school systems are to make meaningful improvements to support teaching and learning, they must increase their organizational learning capacity.’ Schools must become: Professional Learning Communities. (Barth, 2001; Darling-Hammond,1996; Fullan,1998; Leithwood, 2000).

  9. Theory Organizational Learning   Learning Organizations Professional Learning Communities Learning Communities

  10. Five Disciplines • Personal Mastery • Mental Models • Shared Vision • Systems Thinking • Team Learning Senge, 1990

  11. Characteristics of a Learning Community • Shared vision, mission, and values • Collective inquiry • Collaborative Teams • Action orientation and experimentation • Continuous improvement • Results Orientation Dufour and Eaker 1998

  12. Defining a Learning Community A school learning community is one that promotes and values learning as an ongoing, active collaborative process with dynamic dialogue by teachers, students, staff, principal, parents, and the school community to improve the quality of learning and life within the school.Speck (1999)

  13. 3 Dimensions of the Professional Learning Community Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1995) • Characteristics • Structural Conditions • Human/Social Resources

  14. 3 Dimensions of the Professional Learning Community Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1995) 1. Characteristics: Reflective dialogue Collective focus on student learning Deprivatization of practice Collaboration Shared values and norms

  15. 3 Dimensions of the Professional Learning Community Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1995) 2. Structural Conditions: Time to meet and discuss Physical proximity Interdependent teaching roles Teacher empowerment/school autonomy Communication Structures

  16. 3 Dimensions of the Professional Learning Community Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1995) 3. Human/Social Resources: Support openness to improvement Trust and respect Supportive leadership Socialization Cognitive skill base

  17. Fundamental Principles of School Development School Development: • Is focused on student learning and achievement • Reflects the uniqueness of the local school environment • Is consistent with, and linked to individual, district, and department plans • Is a process that builds capacity within a learning community, characterized by honesty, trust, and a collaborative culture where learning is valued by all

  18. Fundamental Principles of School Development(continued) School Development: • Ensures practice is guided by a vision and mission consistent with shared values • Directs resource allocation and use • Is a cyclical process involving research, reflection, discovery, and renewal

  19. Fundamental Principles of School Development(continued School Development: • Is predicated upon the principle of empowerment and shared leadership • Involves all members of the learning community • Has accountability as an integral component

  20. Defining a Learning Community …organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.

  21. Provincial School Development Process • Research based (school effectiveness/school improvement/learning communities) • Developed collaboratively with districts • Steeped in practice and theory

  22. BUILDING CAPACITY COMMUNICATION VALUES VISION School Development Cycle IMPLEMENTATION MONITORING INTERNAL SCHOOL REVIEW 3-5 YEAR PLAN (Goals) EXTERNALREVIEW MISSION

  23. BUILDING CAPACITY School Development Cycle

  24. Building Capacity Building Capacity for School Development involves: • Sharing and discussing related literature • Building a culture for school development • Building commitment and motivation • Understanding benefits and limitations • Building leadership capacity • Developing skill levels in consensus building, team building, shared decision-making • Understanding implications for teaching and learning • Understanding and establishing timelines • Understanding roles and responsibilities

  25. BUILDING CAPACITY VALUES VISION School Development Cycle

  26. VALUES Values • Shared • Fundamental convictions • Used to establish ethical, moral priorities within the educational system • Guides to all behavior • Reflected in the mission and vision

  27. VISION A short statement describing the ideal state a school is striving to achieve

  28. BUILDING CAPACITY VALUES VISION School Development Cycle INTERNAL SCHOOL REVIEW

  29. 15 Criteria Statements 4 Areas

  30. Internal Review Includes: • Student achievement data • Teaching and Learning Experience • School Climate and Culture • Student Support Services • Leadership • Professional Development • School Councils (partnerships) • Policies • Resources (human and financial) • Programming • Communication • School Development Plan • Organization/Program delivery • Staff deployment • Validation of Process

  31. Internal Review Process • Establish time lines for internal review • Establish data collection teams • Gather and organize relevant data (criteria statements) • Interpretation of the data • Report on the data

  32. Internal Review Handbook • Step by step procedure of the process • Outline of roles and responsibilities of stakeholders • Guides, templates, and samples for criteria statements • Surveys/focus group questions for data gathering • Guides to finding achievement and demographic data • Toolbox of School Development processes, such as building learning communities and building leadership capacity

  33. BUILDING CAPACITY VALUES VISION School Development Cycle INTERNAL SCHOOL REVIEW 3-5 YEAR PLAN (Goals)

  34. Goals • General statements of desired results to be achieved over time • Measurable and attainable • Few in number • Reflected in the school’s mission statement • Focused on student achievement • Linked to district, provincial and teachers personal professional plans • Results oriented • Listed in order of priority

  35. Objectives • Specific targets or milestones set to promote achievement of a particular goal by a specific date • Answer both what and when • Express, in measurable, broadly stated terms, what will be done in a reasonable and specified period of time.

  36. Strategies • Broad commitments to deploy resources • Express broadly how the objectives are to be achieved

  37. Action Plans • A detailed description of what is required to accomplish each strategy. Includes: • Individual responsibility • Target Dates (beginning and ending dates) • Monitoring • Resource requirements • Communication methods • Professional development needs

  38. BUILDING CAPACITY VALUES VISION School Development Cycle INTERNAL SCHOOL REVIEW 3-5 YEAR PLAN (Goals) MISSION

  39. MISSION • A brief, clear statement reflecting the goals of the school • Sets out purpose of the goals • Anchor points for developing and assessing goals, objectives, and strategies • Is cyclical

  40. BUILDING CAPACITY VALUES VISION School Development Cycle INTERNAL SCHOOL REVIEW 3-5 YEAR PLAN (Goals) EXTERNALREVIEW MISSION

  41. External Review • Conducted every 3-5 years • Provides feedback to school on validity of the Internal School Review and the School Development Plan • Conducted by an individual or team external to the school • Uses the same provincial criteria statements used in the internal Review • Involves a school visit • Provides a report to the school, school council, district and department • Makes recommendations for change where deemed appropriate

  42. 15 Criteria Statements 4 Areas

  43. External Review Includes: • Student achievement data • Teaching and Learning Experience • School Climate and Culture • Student Support Services • Leadership • Professional Development • School Councils (partnerships) • Policies • Resources (human and financial) • Programming • Communication • School Development Plan • Organization/Program delivery • Staff deployment • Validation of Process

  44. External Review Handbook • Overview (context, purpose, expectations) • Procedures (before, during, after school visit) • Responsibilities • Reporting • Appendices • Report template

  45. BUILDING CAPACITY VALUES VISION School Development Cycle IMPLEMENTATION MONITORING INTERNAL SCHOOL REVIEW 3-5 YEAR PLAN (Goals) EXTERNALREVIEW MISSION

  46. Implementing and Monitoring Includes: • Continuously monitoring progress and effect • Making necessary adjustments • Developing support structures • Working in teams and team building • Involving various stakeholders • Professional development • Multi-level monitoring • Accountability • Commitment to the Plan • Appropriate resourcing

  47. Roles for Implementation and Monitoring • School Planning Team • Action Teams • Administrators • Staff • Students • School Development Program Specialist • District Personnel • School Councils/Parents • Department of Education • Other

  48. BUILDING CAPACITY COMMUNICATION VALUES VISION School Development Cycle IMPLEMENTATION MONITORING INTERNAL SCHOOL REVIEW 3-5 YEAR PLAN (Goals) EXTERNALREVIEW MISSION

  49. Communication • Plan submitted to the School Council • Members of the school community are informed about the plan (Websites, newspaper, newsletters, memos, meetings ) • Plan submitted to district office, board members • Regular School development progress reports (School Council, staff, SD planning team, parents, district office) • Celebrate successes • Annual School Report (primary means)

  50. Annual School Development Report 1. Cover Page 2. Overview of School - Physical Location - Number of Employees/students/classes - Programs and services provided - Some key highlights/special projects - Partnerships 3. 3-5 Year School Development Plan 4. Report on School Development Plan from Previous Year 5. School Development Plan for Current Year