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ERIC Number: EJ1001513
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Where Principals Dare to Dream: Critical Friends Group Narrows the Gap between Vision and Reality
Fahey, Kevin
Journal of Staff Development, v33 n3 p28-30, 42 Jun 2012
Being a principal was the most demanding job the author ever had. He worked hard, mostly in isolation. Like most principals, he struggled to manage the position's political and bureaucratic necessities in order to concentrate on what he thought was the fundamental work of schools: teaching and learning. He struggled to continue to learn and grow as a leader to keep alive a dream of schools as collaborative, reflective places that persistently focused on teacher practice and student learning. It was only after he left the principalship that he learned that a large body of research confirms that principals work in isolated, often competitive, bureaucratic cultures and that one key to their success is the ability to continue to learn and grow as leaders. In fall 2004, a group of recent graduates of a district-college educational leadership partnership program built on the concept of learning community to craft one answer to the question of continued leadership learning. Program graduates formed a professional learning community based on a Critical Friends Group model, which they had used as part of their leadership practicum. This model is characterized by two essential elements: regular, intentional use of structured conversations--or protocols--to guide the group's learning and skilled facilitation. The Critical Friends Group encouraged members to continue to learn about specific aspects of their practice in a way that was not regularly available to them. Moreover, this learning was directly connected to real-time issues that the school leaders were facing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A