Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement

By Linda Lambert | Go to book overview
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Major Participation Patterns
Belvedere's transition from a Quadrant 3 to a Quadrant 4 school was due to deeper and more extended participation patterns and professional development practices. Those who felt left out of the dialogue within the school either did not actively participate in focused conversations or participated in a passive or abrasive manner, and had had few opportunities either inside or outside the school to learn how to participate in productive and meaningful ways. Meaningful participation, though a cornerstone of school communities, is often not emphasized nearly enough.Still, meaningful participation is a cornerstone of professional and school communities— a stone that we often leave unturned. The first principle of participation is to ask whose voices are heard or generously represented. Are parents, teachers, students, community members, administrators, and staff involved in important ways? Broad-based participation invites all stakeholders into the conversation.Our attempts at [restructuring] during the past decade have left us somewhat disillusioned with the notion. This is unfortunate. Restructuring was intended to create avenues for people to be together so that they could get to know each other and build relationships, hold genuine dialogue, explore ideas together, and generally interact in productive, beneficial ways.Participation patterns draw from the original intention of restructuring and make more explicit the above criteria. When we observe for patterns, we need to ask whether they
Provide everyone with multiple opportunities for involvement,
Are built around a shared vision,


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Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement


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