Schools that learn #4

Staff Development and the 5 Disciplines of the Learning Organization – to be continued:

Team Learning: The quality of relationships determines the outcomes.  Teachers should learn to work together in an ongoing process, with enough time to learn new ways of teaching, to develop esprit de corps= a show of loyalty and attachment to a group with which one identifies – and to unlearn old habits.

Advice on generating esprit de corps at schools

Shared Vision: I first saw the power of shared vision when I was a Principal at a middle school in the USA.  Once a month, I held a day of ‘family meetings’ as we called them – just to give kids a place to talk, grade by grade, about anything that they wanted to talk about.  The topics ranged from citizenship in a free society, to racial stereotypes to dress codes,…But they always came back to the question of what they wanted from life and what they wanted from school. We talked about what it meant to have resilience or persistence; we’d talk about how you could get trapped by beliefs like ‘we don’t play chess, we play checkers’ or ‘we don’t play stringed instruments; we breakdance.’ And within a year of such meeting , we had kids in the school trying to do everything, including chess and playing violin, because they now believed it was appropriate to try.  Shared Vision can be developed by deliberate conversations, supported by the community and the school.




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