Saturday, May 14, 2005

Rough Draft of Assignment 8

VERY ROUGH draft of Assignment 8

Following extensive analysis of the source of our problem situation (undercredited 11th graders) [see assignment 7 for analysis], we were confronted with the new challenge of developing a strategy to address this issue. Faced with an undercredited cohort we decided to develop a plan that would address key areas of instruction and procedure.

Using different logical processes to choose areas within instruction and procedure.

As an antidote to "arrogance" (i.e, we know what's best and don't need to improve our craft), we chose to focus on improving instructional practices. As an antidote to "uncertainty" (i.e, abandoning conventional practices leave staff confused), we chose to focus on improving selected procedures. From the vast range of instructional practices and organizational procedures, we had to narrow down what we would specifically focus on. This section describes the inductive and deductive approaches that led us to settle upon

instruction
conferencing
project development
procedures
mentor meetings
learning plans
grids

We used an inductive approach to brainstorm many possible areas of action

We had strategy meetings, small group meetings and email discussions. This generated a list of 30 different ideas.

We used a deductive approach to analyse decision rules within four different subsystems at school

(HERE I WOULD INCLUDE NOTES FROM THAT ACTIVITY - ON LEADERSHIP BLOG)

Rather than develop a plan of action we moved quickly into communicating our decisions for focus

We publicized latest thinking on the leadership blog.

Michael condensed decisions into one-page memo. [Mandated new norms in spirit of Heifetz (to be referenced) and using technical move to provoke adaptive work]

The memo was uploaded to a list serve, disseminated through email and hardcopy and followed up with a personal conversation between each member of the leadership team and a staff member.

We created specific staff development and resources to support staff in executing the plan.


We conducted PD on conferencing and use of grids. [NOT SURE ABOUT OTHER MEASURES]

We disseminated 4 page conferencing book which was an adaptation of "How is it going" by Anderson.

We developed practices for monitoring execution and collecting data on results

Leadership team formed into conferencing groups.

Michael required data in March and May for oversight.

In summary, we took our diagnosis of "arrogance" and "uncertainty" and developed a focus on instructional and procedural practices. These practices were aggressively communicated, supported and monitored.

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