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ERIC Number: EJ1041576
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: EISSN-1573-1812
The [Un]Spoken Challenges of Administrator Collaboration: An Exploration of One District Leadership Team's Use of Protocols to Promote Reflection and Shared Theories of Action
Szczesiul, Stacy Agee
Journal of Educational Change, v15 n4 p411-442 Nov 2014
This article explores the use of protocol-structured dialogue in promoting reflective practices and shared theories of action within a district leadership team. Protocols have been used to make individuals' theories of action visible and subject to evaluation. This is important for leaders trying to establish coherence across a system; in order to establish coherence, individuals on leadership teams need to be able to surface, test, and sharpen and align their internal pictures of how change works. The author draws on qualitative data from a year-long study of one team as it prepared to implement a capacity-building initiative that would promote collaboration and reflection in schools across the district. Findings illustrate how, as administrators experimented with reflective practice using protocols, divergent theories of leadership's role in setting a clear direction for school-based reflection emerged, with principals looking for district-wide goals to drive school-based reflection and the superintendent looking to leave decisions about goals to individual school leaders. Our findings suggest that the team's capacity for aligning these theories was limited because protocol-structured dialogue was carried out as a generic problem-solving exercise. As such, it did not promote visible, productive reasoning in the system's formal leader, the district superintendent. Moreover, protocol-structured discussion did not mediate the problematic effects of formal authority distinctions or longstanding relationships within the administrative leadership team.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A