Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

By Allison Zmuda; Robert Kuklis et al. | Go to book overview

APPENDIX A

Operating Principles of the School as a Competent System
For staff development to be effective, it must be an integral part of a deliberately
developed continuous improvement effort.
In a competent system, all staff members believe that what they have collec-
tively agreed to do is challenging, possible, and worthy of the attempt.
Each school is a complex living system with purpose.
A competent system is driven by systems thinking.
Every staff member must be regarded as a trusted colleague in the examination
of assumptions and habitual practices.
A shared vision articulates a coherent picture of what the school will look like
when the core beliefs have been put into practice.
The legitimacy of a shared vision is based on how well it represents all perspec-
tives in the school community.
Once staff members commit to the shared vision, they must gain clarity on their
responsibility for achieving that vision.
When staff members perceive data to be valid and reliable in collection and
analysis, data both confirm what is working well and reveal the gaps between
the current reality and the shared vision in a way that inspires collective action.
All staff must see the content and process of staff development as a necessary
means to achieve the desired end.
It is not the number of innovations addressed in the staff development plan but
rather the purposeful linkage among them that makes systemic change possible
and manageable.
Staff development must promote collective autonomy by embracing teaching as
a distributed quality of the school.
Planning must provide the clear, concrete direction necessary for systemic
change while remaining flexible enough to accommodate the [nonrational] life
in schools.
Staff development must reflect the predictable stages of teacher concern about
the complexities of moving from new learning to systemic consequences.
A competent system proves itself when everyone within the system performs
better as a result of the collective endeavors and accepts accountability for that
improvement.

-183-

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Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Foreword v
  • Acknowledgments viii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Making Staff Development a Worthwhile Endeavor 5
  • 2: Systems Thinking as the Door to Continuous Improvement 30
  • 3: Envisioning the Desired Results 57
  • 4: Defining Reality Through Data 87
  • 5: Designing and Implementing Staff Development That Matters 106
  • 6: Developing an Action Plan 140
  • 7: Welcoming Accountability on the Road to Success 163
  • Afterword 179
  • Appendix A 183
  • Appendix B 184
  • References 188
  • Index 191
  • About the Authors 194
  • Related Ascd Resources: Transforming Schools 196
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