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Unlocking Group Potential to Improve Schools

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Overview

How great groups make great schools

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

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Editorial Reviews

Scott Hollinger
"The authors provide teachers and leaders with the tools they need to make teacher group work effective and productive. "
Douglas Gordon Hesbol
"This book provides the insights, conceptual foundation,precise language, andexplicit processes about how groups work. The authors have anelegant and expandingunderstanding of the gestalt of the power, purpose, and energy of group work. "
Roberta E. Glaser
"The authors synthesize all the best research as well as extensive experience into a practical, easily understood andcomprehensive guide for working effectively with groups. This book helps administrators to achieve maximum group participation and cohesion while maintaining the integrity of all involved."
Kathy Grover
"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. "
Pamela Maxwell

"An informative read for school administrators. I recommend this book for anyone who organizes or facilitates a group of people in decision making."

Roberto Pamas
"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. "
Roberto Antonio Martinez
"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."
Dr. Kathy Grover
"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."
Dr. Scott Hollinger

"The authors provide teachers and leaders with the tools they need to make teacher group work effective and productive."

Dr. Roberta E. Glaser

"The authors synthesize all the best research as well as extensive experience into a practical, easily understood andcomprehensive guide for working effectively with groups. This book helps administrators to achieve maximum group participation and cohesion while maintaining the integrity of all involved."

Dr. Douglas Gordon Hesbol

"This book provides the insights, conceptual foundation,precise language, andexplicit processes about how groups work. The authors have anelegant and expandingunderstanding of the gestalt of the power, purpose, and energy of group work."

Dr. Roberto Pamas

"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."

Pamela Maxwell
"An informative read for school administrators. I recommend this book for anyone who organizes or facilitates a group of people in decision making."
Roberto Antonio Martinez
"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."
Dr. Kathy Grover
"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."
Dr. Scott Hollinger
"The authors provide teachers and leaders with the tools they need to make teacher group work effective and productive."
Dr. Roberta E. Glaser
"The authors synthesize all the best research as well as extensive experience into a practical, easily understood andcomprehensive guide for working effectively with groups. This book helps administrators to achieve maximum group participation and cohesion while maintaining the integrity of all involved."
Dr. Douglas Gordon Hesbol
"This book provides the insights, conceptual foundation,precise language, andexplicit processes about how groups work. The authors have anelegant and expandingunderstanding of the gestalt of the power, purpose, and energy of group work."
Dr. Roberto Pamas
"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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412998895
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 833,041
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT J. GARMSTON. Ed.D is an Emeritus Professor of Educational Administration at California State University, Sacramento and Founder of Facilitation Associates located in Sacramento California, Co-Founder of The Center for Cognitive Coaching and the Center for Adaptive Schools, both located in Denver Colorado. Formerly a classroom teacher, principal, director of instruction and acting superintendent, he works as an educational consultant specializing in leadership, learning, personal and organizational development. He has made presentations and conducted workshops for teachers, administrators and staff developers throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

Bob has practiced meeting management in each of his leadership roles and for thirty years he has taught facilitation skills, presentation skills and group management to educational leaders. He taught meeting management in Copenhagen to supervisors in the World Health Organization. He studied under Michael Doyle and David Strauss, Co- Founders of the Interaction Method of Conducting Meetings. In the 1980’s he formed a group in Northern California to study and refine facilitation techniques. For four years he wrote a column on managing meetings from the perspectives of presenters and facilitators for the Journal of Staff Development, a publication of the National Staff Development Council, now Learning Forward.

Bob has written and co-authored a number of books including Cognitive Coaching: A Foundation for Renaissance Schools, How to Make Presentations That Teach and Transform, The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Collaborative Groups, A Presenter’s Fieldbook: A Practical Guide, Unlocking Group Potential for School Improvement and a memoir, I Don’t Do That Anymore: A Memoir of Awakening and Resilience. He has been recognized by NSDC for his contributions to staff development. His books have been translated into Arabic, Hebrew and Italian.

In addition to educational clients, he has worked with diverse groups including police officers, probation officers, Court and Justice systems, Utilities Districts, The United States Air Force and the World Health Organization.

Valerie von Frank has written extensively about education over several decades as a daily newspaper reporter in multiple states covering public schools and, over the last decade, for NSDC publications, including JSD, Tools for Schools, The Learning System, The Learning Principal, and T3. She is a former editor of JSD, worked as a daily newspaper editor, served as communications director in an urban public school district, and was communications director for a Michigan nonprofit school reform organization. She is co-author with Ann Delehant of Making Meetings Work: How to Get Started, Get Going, and Get It Done (Corwin Press, 2007). She is currently NSDC’s book editor and a freelance writer and editor.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Introduction
I. Getting Work Done
1. Building Effective Groups
2. Understanding Group Roles
3. Examining Decision Making
4. Creating Focused Agendas
II. Developing Collaborative Communities
5. Forming Smarter Groups
6. Learning the Way Groups Talk
7. Challenging Mental Models
8. Working With Conflict
III. Developing a Sense of Community
9. Becoming a Self-Directed Group
10. Enhancing Energy Sources
IV. Developing Facilitation Skills
11. Developing Facilitation Skills
12. Learning the Language of Facilitation
13. Intervening Successfully
14. Setting up the Room
Conclusion
Appendix A: Large Group Room Configurations
Appendix B: Sample Inventory
Appendix C: Seven Norms of Collaboration: A Supporting Toolkit
Index
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