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Creating a High-Performance Learning Culture A Training Workshop for School Leaders

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  1. Creating a High-Performance Learning CultureA Training Workshop for School Leaders Welcome!

  2. Purpose of Module • To develop knowledge, skills and commitment among participating school leaders that will enable them to create and sustain high-performance learning cultures in their schools.

  3. Culture Inventory • For each item, select the answer that best fits your perception of your school’s culture. There are no right or wrong answers.

  4. The Gray School…The Story of a Colorless School with a Toxic Culture • Listen to the story of the Gray School. • What makes the culture toxic — that is, destructive to the learning of all students?

  5. The Gray School…The Story of a Colorless School With a Toxic Culture • Imagine you are members of the Gray School’s leadership team. • What three or four features of this school would you select as targets for change? • Why are these important?

  6. Creating a High-Performance Learning Culture:Begin With the End in Mind

  7. MissionIt’s Our Job • To set high expectations for all students and to provide the environment, instruction, and support to ensure that all students are learning and achieving as measured by rigorous standards.

  8. VisionOur shared view of what we are creating together • All students are engaged in learning, and all are achieving at high levels. • Faculty/staff accept collective responsibility for the achievement of all students in the school. • All adults work together to ensure that each student receives appropriate instruction and support in a learning-enriched environment. • Both students and adults behave as if they believe their individual and collective efforts will improve performance.

  9. Distributed AccountabilityVehicle to accomplish mission & vision • Accept collective responsibility for the learning and achievement of all students • Have the power to act in ways that will promote the learning and achievement of all students • Collect evidence to determine the effectiveness of their own performance and of student progress toward high standards

  10. Getting Clear About the Nature of Culture • What is it? • What are its component parts? • How does it evolve? • What difference does it make?

  11. Metaphorically Speaking. . . Understanding Culture Via Metaphors

  12. Checking Your Current Understanding of School Culture • Look at your School Culture Inventory. Stand up and find the colleague who signed your inventory item #1. • Share and compare your selected metaphors (i.e., web, pattern, glue, garden) and your present understanding of school culture.

  13. Common Threads Running Through Metaphors • Culture is intangible • Culture is complex • Culture evolves over time • Culture is powerful

  14. Culture is Intangible • Cannot see, hear, or touch culture; much of it is “under the surface.” • Culture is difficult to “get a handle on.” • Values, beliefs, assumptions, norms are at its core.

  15. Culture is Complex • Culture is multidimensional. • Layers of interacting values, beliefs, assumptions, and norms constitute culture.

  16. Culture Evolves Over Time • Culture is dynamic, not static. • Culture is historically transmitted. • Culture cannot be quickly or easily changed.

  17. Culture is Powerful • Culture shapes what people think and how they act. • Culture provides common direction to individuals in schools.

  18. Top-Notch and Toxic Culture What’s the difference?

  19. Top-Notch Talk Directions • Find the colleague who signed item #6 on your School Culture Inventory. • As a pair, review the charts contrasting top-notch and toxic cultures. • Talk together about the following questions: • Why is your adjective important? • What would your selected trait look and sound like in a school? • How is it connected to the others in “the web” of culture?

  20. School Culture and Individual Performance What is the relationship between a school’s culture and the performance of students and adults?

  21. Research finding • Culture has a powerful impact on student and adult performance in schools.

  22. “School success flourished in cultures with.... • A primary focus on student learning; • A commitment to high expectations; • Social support for innovation, dialogue, and the search for new ideas; and • An ethos of caring, sharing and mutual help among staff, between staff and students, based on respect, trust, and shared power relations among staff.” --Newmann, Authentic Achievement, p. 289

  23. Culture  Performance • “A strong, positive relationship exists between professional culture and school performance, irrespective of the school poverty level.” --AEL, TransFormation, p. 1

  24. VisionOur shared view of what we are creating together • All students are engaged in learning, and all are achieving at high levels. • Faculty/staff accept collective responsibility for the achievement of all students in the school. • All adults work together to ensure that each student receives appropriate instruction and support in a learning-enriched environment. • Both students and adults behave as if they believe their individual and collective efforts will improveperformance.

  25. Building a Case. . . • Stand up and find the individual who signed the blank beside item #3. • Talk together about how you might use this research to address the concerns of faculty in your school who do notbelieve that “all children can learn, and it’s my job to see that they do.”

  26. Unhealthy Schools • “Unhealthy school cultures tend to beget at-risk students — students who leave school before or after graduation with little possibility of continuing learning.” --Barth, “The Culture Builder,” Educational Leadership 5(8), p. 8.

  27. Reculturing How do you go about transforming or changing a school’s culture —from toxic to top-notch?

  28. Reculturing: Key to School Improvement • “Transforming the culture — changing the way we do things around here — is the main point. I call this reculturing. Effective leaders know that the hard work of reculturing is the sine qua non of change. . .” --Fullan, Leading in a Culture of Change, p. 44

  29. School Cultures: Resistant to Change • “This is why school improvement — from within or from without — is usually so futile. Yet unless teachers and administrators act to change the culture of a school, all innovations will have to fit in and around existing elements of culture.” --Barth, “The Culture Builder,” Educational Leadership 5(8), p. 8.

  30. Stability • “School cultures remain stable because the existing culture contains norms that define, and then provide meaning for parents, teachers, and others. . . . Before school cultures can change individually and collectively, held meanings experienced by teachers and students must change.” --Sergiovanni, The Lifeworld of Leadership, p. 47

  31. Reculturing Involves Uncertainty “Changing a culture requires that people, both individually and collectively, move from something familiar and important into empty space. . . .”

  32. Some Schools Have Positive, Top-notch Cultures Do these schools need to think about reculturing?

  33. Sustaining Like gardens, school cultures are very fragile and high-maintenance. How can we sustain — or even improve — an already positive culture?

  34. Tests Results Will Follow • “Show me a culture where instructional leaders constantly examine the school’s culture and work to transform it into one hospitable to sustained human learning, and I’ll show you students who do just fine on those standardized tests.” --Barth, “The Culture Builder”, Educational Leadership 5(8), p. 8.

  35. A Framework for a High-Performance Learning Culture • Mission • Vision • Distributed Accountability • Core Beliefs • Structures Aligned With Beliefs

  36. Relationships Policies and Procedures Physical Environment Core Beliefs Reflection Inquiry Effort & Efficacy Ability & Achievement Dialogue Power & Control Strategic Structures Distributed Accountability Norms Behaviors

  37. Distributed AccountabilityVehicle to accomplish mission & vision • Accept collective responsibility for the learning and achievement of all students • Have the power to act in ways that will promote the learning and achievement of all students • Collect evidence to determine the effectiveness of their own performance and of student progress toward high standards

  38. Relationships Policies and Procedures Physical Environment Core Beliefs Reflection Inquiry Effort & Efficacy Ability & Achievement Dialogue Power & Control Strategic Structures Distributed Accountability Norms Behaviors

  39. What if all members of faculty and staff do not hold beliefs congruent with distributed accountability?

  40. Cultivating Beliefs that Produce High-Performance Learning • How can leaders facilitate learning in these spheres? Effort & Efficacy Ability & Achievement Power & Control

  41. Relationships Policies and Procedures Physical Environment Core Beliefs Reflection Inquiry Effort & Efficacy Ability & Achievement Dialogue Power & Control Strategic Structures Distributed Accountability Norms Behaviors

  42. Belief • A consciously held, cognitive view about truth and reality

  43. Link Between Beliefs & Behaviors • Beliefs are literally how we comprehend and deal with the world around us.

  44. Values, Beliefs, Norms Values Conscious expressions of what an organization stands for Norms Unstated group expectations related to such areas as behavior, dress and language Beliefs Core understandings about the world around us, including our view of reality and our conception of truth, beauty and justice

  45. Origins of Beliefs Evolve from the inferences we make from the information and data we derive from our experiences with other people and with our environment

  46. The Ladder of Inferences 7. I take actions based on my beliefs. 6. I adopt beliefs. 5. I draw conclusions. 4. I make assumptions. 3. I add meanings. 2. I select data/information. 1. I have experiences and make observations that give me data about the world.

  47. Problems Inherent in Beliefs • Our beliefs are the truth. • The truth is obvious. • Our beliefs are based on real data. • We select the right data. --Senge, Schools That Learn, p. 68

  48. What’s worth fighting for? • Do you believe your position is right? • Do you think your position on this issue should be obvious to everyone? • What are your data sources? • Are there other valid sources of information?