Unlocking Group Potential to Improve Schools
- Robert J. Garmston - Co-Developer, Cognitive Coaching and Adaptive Schools
- Valerie von Frank - Michigan State University, USA
Foreword by Michael Fullan
Group Facilitation | Professional Learning Communities
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.
"This is an easy to read book that includes research-supported strategies and tips to help educators use precious collaborative time to their best advantage."
"An informative read for school administrators. I recommend this book for anyone who organizes or facilitates a group of people in decision making."
"The authors provide teachers and leaders with the tools they need to make teacher group work effective and productive."
"The authors synthesize all the best research as well as extensive experience into a practical, easily understood and comprehensive guide for working effectively with groups. This book helps administrators to achieve maximum group participation and cohesion while maintaining the integrity of all involved."
"This book provides the insights, conceptual foundation, precise language, and explicit processes about how groups work. The authors have an elegant and expanding understanding of the gestalt of the power, purpose, and energy of group work."
"Those familiar with the theory of adaptive school should read this book. It provides a practical and effective approach to the development of group culture and collaborative groups."
"Dr. Garmston’s work provides potent tools that leaders in our local district use every day to propel student achievement forward. This book is theoretically sound and reality-based regarding the needs of schools and their leaders. This kind of work makes systems adaptive and ready to move students, parents, and leaders into the next era of learning and achievement."
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1: Building Effective Groups