ERIC Number: EJ1001515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Reference Count: 7
Give Teams a Running Start: Take Steps to Build Shared Vision, Trust, and Collaboration Skills
Kise, Jane A. G.
Journal of Staff Development, v33 n3 p38-42 Jun 2012
Consider for a moment how launching a professional learning community is similar to starting a race. Athletes know the danger of false starts--moving before the starting signal. Until recently, a false start meant that all racers returned to the blocks to begin again, their adrenalin gone, their concentration broken. Because these effects could influence race results, the rules changed. Races continue, and competitors who false start learn only at the end that they've been disqualified. When professional learning communities have a false start, no one blows a whistle, but members' initial energy for collaboration can dissipate when they run into all-too-common barriers such as lack of clarity around vision and purpose, trust issues, or insufficient time available for the scope of the undertaking, to name a few. These barriers to effective collaboration are real, yet school leaders who aren't aware of the multistage nature of professional learning community initiatives often launch them before working to remove these impediments. Targeting three key barriers--lack of shared vision, trust, and collaboration skills--can remove hurdles while at the same time beginning, or re-energizing, the work of professional learning communities.
Descriptors: Cooperation, Faculty Development, Communities of Practice, Academic Achievement, Figurative Language, Communication Skills, Goal Orientation, Group Dynamics, Trust (Psychology), Conflict Resolution, Coaching (Performance), Teaching Methods, Participative Decision Making, Teacher Motivation, Leadership
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A