Monday, May 07, 2007

Hedgehog Implications

Does an ABCD Hedgehog mean we are going to spread our findings and produce resources – look at Northwestern ABCD Institute.

Mission of Assets Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern:

"Spread our findings on capacity-building community development in two ways: (1) through extensive and substantial interactions with community builders, and (2) by producing practical resources and tools for community builders to identify, nurture, and mobilize neighborhood assets."

I framed my work with Skyview through an ABCD lens. My strength was to script classes and then organize my notes in terms of what they wanted to work on: how to teach inquiry in an extended block of time (about 90 min). From my script I would find those elements of the block instruction that were strong. Everyone of my reports ends with Assets: What we can learn from this teacher. Over time, I will have observed every teacher and we will have mapped assets in terms of instruction. Then we would design PD -- probably a protocol -- based on the strengths analysis that would support their tapping into their local
knowledge and talent.

Sometimes Skyview and others have a need and ask us for direct answers on how to solve the problem. For example, they ask how to do POLs. With an ABCD lens, I'm less inclined to provide an answer "as expert" to address a deficit. Margrette did suggest ways we could still help with POLs from an assets based approach.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Themes Emerging for a Hedgehog

These are some themes that folks are noticing as we use ABCD or ABT (assets based thinking). These come from different conversations.

General focus on positiveness
Focus on specific assets people hold within the community.
ABCD seems to be about leveraging the specific assets within the community.
Generally interpreting it as a strengths based approach.

I wondered how an assets based approach can exist while we still address poor performance. My latest thinking is this: Yes, I acknowledge your strengths and I’ll help you leverage those strengths to meet all your performance expectations. But, there are no excuses to not meet performance expectations.