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Archive for August, 2009

Leadership.

Posted by arlekeno on August 26, 2009

Fullan: Leading in a culture of Change. Chap 1

five components of change leadership.

  1. Moral Purpose.
  2. Understanding change
  3. Building relationships
  4. creating and sharing knowledge
  5. making coherence

Oohh, Talk of change. It can be scary. And I really hate it when leaders think not liking change is a bad thing. I have seen some pretty crappy changes made.

I like the idea of leaders facing challenges not yet happened etc. Foresight. Not just making new problems too I would add.

ENERGY-ENTHUSIASM-HOPE ( good just for life in general really). I suppose that making people WANT to change is better than paying them too


Reading 7: Cheng, YC 2002, ‘Leadership & strategy’.

Again we have written of the leader as setting goals, inspiring/influencing, managing etc.

Again we see in the layers approach The leaders Energy and Charisma ( affective) Their management and behaviour ( Behaviour), and their ideas and how they understand and communicate them ( cognitive).

And I like the way they describe MULTIPLE AND DIVERSE CONSTITUENCIES… in short, there are a lot of people to please or piss off. And we INFLUENCE Them all.

The 5 points on pg 57 are also good.Leadership dimensions.

  1. Human Leadership: builds and enhances relationships and commitment.
  2. Structural leadership: Putting in structures and being consistent with them.
  3. Political leadership: alliance building, making consensus from debate.
  4. Cultural leadership: Inspires vision and builds culture.
  5. Educational leadership: Provides direction and goes into educational nitty gritty.

wow, Lots of lists in this one. Page 61 has a good table of the SEVEN models of leadership.

Looks to me that a good leader should do a bit of all of them.

Saskatchewan Education Dept. On Adaptive leadership.

http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/branches/pol_eval/school_plus/al/mission.shtml

Once again we are a Learning Community. Good. Equitable… Also good. Personal, Interpersonal and organisational capacity… Good again. I just hope all of this website comes under common sense personally.

HENRI 1994 . On Vision, the Use of Power and Problems and Change. . Pg 6 – 8 of booklet.

yup, we need vision, you have to know what it is and persuade others. What power do we have, and how do we use it?

Lambert 1998: What is Leadership capacity.

I am reminded of what happened at my old school 10 years ago. When I was a student ( Longer than 10 years ago) we had a great principal, things worked well, students were polite, the playground was clean, we achived well in academic competitions, sport and arts. Then he got Cancer and slowy died. And the school has not been the same since. Now there is a perception that the students run the show. And the staff are now VERY cynical.

I think we need a FULL Staff meeting and decide on and commit to a plan. But that may be happening.

Hargreaves A & Fink D 2003, Sustaining leadership. Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 84, no. 9, p. 693

this has me at the blurb… Maintaining improvements over time! Things so easily slide.

Can we make change, and sustain it, without taking from other areas of the school? good question.

IMPORTANT!! ” A hyper-rational, highly standardized approach to change… is the enemy of healthy and creative diversity”. Pay attention you league table lovers.

DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP

Basically the committees or teams we have. I like this idea. WHEN IT IS DONE RIGHT ( which I have rarely seen).But a good way to keep things going (especially when leaders change).

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Teamwork and collaboration.

Posted by arlekeno on August 26, 2009

the teacher librarian is often a one person team, but this is ineffective unless able to form alliances with other groups in a school . How can a T.L. use this knowledge to build effective teams.

Law, Glover 2000: Leading effective Teams.

I am looking at the definitions of what a team is and what a group is, In my school I would say the teams are formal, such as the literacy committee, groups are more social, e.g. the group of long term casuals who go to breakfast at a certain cafe once a month.

There are definite advantages to teams. Giving every one input means more ideas and more fairness in terms of making choices. As the opening line says. Teamwork is the only acceptable leadership where power is shared among equals, and I think teachers like to try and be equal, and as such, resent not having their ideas heard.

the list of team building issues is good.  pg 76 of article.

Looking at the useful people to be in a team, pg 81, I think I have been all of those people in previous teams.

But all must be managed.

Beck, Yeager 1994: Making teams work, an underused window of opportunity.

Individualism interfering with Teamwork. I think Teachers are VERY individualistic. We are PRIVATISED, all working in our own rooms.

I think the stage 2 of forming a group is often overlooked. I am not sure always what power and rights I have in some groups I am in. This is frustrating!

Stage 1: Forming, Stage 2, Focusing, Stage 3 Performing. Stage 4:Leveling.

From reading this, I think the easiest thing for a T.L. to do would be to get on some committees, or to get the principle to put them in charge of something, e.g. IL training.

Next would be to get on well with a few faculties who do use the Library properly to buffer against budget cuts etc.

Barnett, McKowen & Bloom. A school without a Principal

Interesting idea. Again I see the word communication. Teachers DO operate in isolation and Staff meetings ARE terrible.

Fist-o-five idea sounds very interesting to me.  Would like to see it in action.

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How would I use the small group process?

Posted by arlekeno on August 26, 2009

Well, I would make all members of staff HAVE TO join at least one committee, but no more than 3 in a year ( one so they have some imput and practice with it, no more than 3 because you need time to do the job… n.b. I think things like sport and musical organisation count as a committee).

I would extend the working day by half an hour ONLY FOR THE purpose of these meetings, so the regular school day is already too full. And any teacher not in a group meeting on a certain day could use it to call/meet parents, prepare work etc, but still be at school.

One problem, I would need to be the minister of education or teachers federation to make this happen.

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Decision making and problem solving.

Posted by arlekeno on August 26, 2009

Harvey, Bearley, Corkum 2001. “Core steps in decision making”

The first paragraph reminds me of the term proactive, which is in keeping with later talk of looking at problems as opportunities, (the Chinese hace the same word for crisis and opportunity… Yes, Crisitunity HOMER SIMPSON).

The decision making process is pretty obvious, i can’t see why peole have a problem with it… hhmm, maybe I should use the process to look at that.

  1. Problem Identification- People make poor solutions for problems.
  2. Developing possible solutions. (ok, lets work out why they make poor choices, umm, they don’t think or are too pressured and don’t have enough time, so Lets look fr problems in advance so we can head them off, e.g. be proactive, or actualley think about solutions that cover all bases and not just one thus making more problems later).
  3. Choose a   course of action- Hmmm, I would say, listen to the staff, be consistant as an executive and staff together working to same plan and people will know what the issues are and maybe identify and cut them off straight away, oh, and good meeting protocol also is helpful.

I like the talk of consensus  as opposed to democracy in decision making. People will sabotage things they don’t like, or just not do them and they fail. The idea of trial programmes in the next reading also useful for this I think.

Looking at the 6 step approach. (pg19 of reading, 40 of book) it all makes sense, and I like the word SITNA, situation that needs attention instead of problem.

I agree we need a clear vision, and a clear dialogue.. and while we are at it CONSISTENCY. Oh, and good oversite from executive of committees. I have seen my work place go toxic, not fun, because a lot of things are not done right.

the my solution v your solution poblem, and stacking of committees can be a big problem. a BIG problem, I almost did not go back to my school after the end of last year.

I would also like committees to be less dismissiive, or maybe have more political will. One of the problems at my school is the playground cleanliness. I would like to do the Japanese method of making kids responsible for the cleaning. But I am told this will never fly. Maybe not but I would like to try it.

But that is a lack of will, not of consensus. But if there is a lack of will, or consistency, or even fairness, then people will loose faith with the system.

The model in this reading is Great, and logical, and says what should happen. But where i work it doesn’t so I am very frustrated at times.

Hough, Payne 1997: collaborative decision making teams.

Good to see last semesters talk on learning communities was not a one off.

I liked the definitions of leadership styles. The Autocratic and Bureaucratic closed systems. And Consultive and collegial open systems. I am used to Bureaucratic and consultive myself.

again I do think committees are a good idea, but they are also extra work for no extra time or money allowance, they can be stacked and if not supervised make decisions that are bad for the rest of the school.

Committees MUST be representative of the stakeholders. When this does not happen you end up with faculties at war within a school… i.e. last year at my school. Also there should be NO SECRET MEETINGS, or secret bloc meetings of committee.

Now the idea that school structure affects teaching and student behaviour intrigues me. Does a more independant teacher make a more independant student?

I would love to be in a school where the recomendations really happened.

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Quality management in Education

Posted by arlekeno on August 24, 2009

Myron Tribus.

 

Education is not industry! Education is not a product.I am reminded of a story from Chicken soup for the teachers soul.. Its called BLUEBERRIES, look it up.

I like the idea of enterprise ( or education) being interlinked as opposed to seperate (USE FOR TEAMWORK!) pg 3.

Pg 5. Quality principle one. People work in a system, manager works on a system… MY school’s system needs A LOT of work.

Pg 7. QP2. Quality is never your problem, Quality improvement answers your problem.

I suppose this makes sense. I especially like the comment that students don’t come to school wanting to casue trouble. They just don’t know how to succeed.

Quality Principle 3: Process over the product principle.  pg 10

Well, it works for a golf swing, why not education?

THIS IS BRILLIANT! By the time we check, it is too late except to do it for next time. Making sure we get it right as we go is more helpful.

Vyogotskii was a Smart man. pg 11/ EVERYDAY and SCIENTIFIC learning. ACTUAL AND POTENTIAL intellectual development. Is against Standardiesed-teaching to the test method… he agrees with my pre-concieved nothions, he MUST be right! 😛

Quality Principle 4: The Perversity Principle (I don’t get this, I must read on)

okay, getting rid of gradings, I see some point in that.. until Uni entrance time. .. But Still, DOWN WITH GRADING! (guess I won’t be voting for Julia Gillard in the next election )

I am looking at the left to right shift in the tables on pg 17, and keep thinking the right column is great, but we do need to get the students to do a lot of the left columns before they can get to the right themselves.

I think I will be quoting this article a lot in arguments over the next few years.

How could this model be used to enhance the management of information service provision in a school?

Well, when I look at the quality principles. I think the idea of redefining the system can wrk in small things where the T.L has control, but much of what a TL can do is decided externally. 

But principles 2 and 3 can be applied. If we do the little things better, from selection and borrowing to collaboration and even cleaning, the whole thing will improve.

and I do agree that Setting quotas fir a library would be odd.

How might a teacher Librarian use Quality management to enhance their profile?

to enhacne my profile?  Not entirel sure. If everyting worked better that would look good. The far right columns of the three eras are already happpening and I am not sure that is really management.

the QFD matrix could be interesting, but since the boss may have no idea what the library really does can it work?

I just want to do my best anyway!

With the http://www.qla.com.au/pages/AboutQL.html website. this is all stuff we are meant to have been doing for ages.

Would be nice to have more time in a day to make it happen though 😛

 

The 12 quality principles  ( Q is for quality) Streeton Primary 2000

These 12 principles do make a lot of sense. ( pg 24)

looking at the first one, clear directions. I think peopel giving directions and people recieving have a different view of what is clear

an advantage of mutually agreed goals is that everyone knows them 😀

Pinciple 5. Organisations realise potential through peoples Enthusiasm, resourcefulness and participation … in short, a happy ( and smart ) worker is a good worker. Mind you, it is easy for workers to get frustrate3d if earlier points such as communication ad consistancy are ignored.

principle six is just about improving yourself… This is what we have professional development for … yet another thing we are already doing.

I do like the idea of improving the system.. A LOT.. I am a systems person, I think in systems and innefficient systems frustrate me.

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Section 1: Beare, Caldwell & Millikan.

Posted by arlekeno on August 21, 2009

(1990)  Creating an excellent school: Some management techniques.

 

The Movement to create excellant schools.

Interesting chapter. Good overview of the history. I was suprised to see that people thought schools made little difference, if that was the case why even bother?

I Found on page three the fact that only 6% of cases did a childs view of schooling differ from their parents PRETTY OBVIOUS as it is something that we have to deal with all the time. It is hard when there are many good labouring jobs and the parents and grandparents did not need school. (pg 3)

Was curious to see staying in school called SURVIVAL PATTERNS, i think this is funny since I thought our job was to prepaire people for work, and if they get a job this model deems them not to have survived.

The rutter study (pg8)  interests me as they did not look just at test scores, but at truancy, delinquency etc.

And teh characteristics seem pretty obvious to me.

Lessons are Work oriented ( more focus on subejct than behaviour)  I think my school does this a bit.

Teachers work and planned together strongly co-ordinated by heaeds. Does not happen anywhere near enough.

Formal reward systems public and in place.  WE do this.

Studetns expected to take responsibility for day to day matters. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN AND SHOULD!!@

Homework set and followed up. Schools emphasise academic performance and expect kids to work hard… Maybe.

The Good school has a good atmosphere and ethos… Not Enough.

From about pg 13. I can see some of the reasons why the Ast Govt wants a national curriculum, To set a same high standard ( ignoring the shortfalls of the programme though see, pg 15).

Educational administration theory since 1975

Pg 29. Is educational amdin too big to be encompassed by one view?

Chapter 5 Leadership

pg104: I like the idea of different levels of tasks being given to different levels of maturity. the generalisations of leadership from pg 106 on are also good.

p122. Visions must be clear, well communicated, and have a way to make it happen.

 WHAT IS MY VISION?

Chapter 6: A model for managing an excellent school.

 Pg 127, The factors listed on page 127, leading to succesful implementation are interesint. I am not sure all of them are entirely within school controls.

I wonder how a lot of the questions about autonomy relate to the current trends of the Federal/state govts. Wanting to make a centrally controlled curriculum, locally controlled staffing, centrally controlled maintenence etc.

The rest of the chapter has a lot of what would appear pretty obvious stuff, but also a lot of theory that is quite frankly getting a bit overwhelming. I think most of it is commmon sense, but if that was the case there would be noo need to study it this much.

I look at the work on committees etc ( around 141/2) and think at committees in my school, Some do wonderful things, others should not exist IMHO and others have been hijacked by one faculty for their own benefit.  This is where we need a stronger, or at least more aware leader. There must be lots of review ( pg148) of EVERYTHING!

This reading has A LOT to read about, there is A LOT too it. some can be related back to Teamwork ( for Ass1)

 

 

 

 

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Section 1: Organisational Theory.

Posted by arlekeno on August 14, 2009

School effectiveness and school improvement [electronic reserve] : alternative perspectives. Power, structure and culture : an organizational view of school effectiveness and school improvement, ch. 6, p. 89-122, 2001

I read this and I think a lot of it is quite obvious. Structures of work, Role, What we do with “Raw Material” (don’t get me started on just which values we add and how to measure the less tangiable ones) and how we are limited by physical structure etc. I have thought about this many times. But I wonder if many of the people who criticise teachers have?

As an aside, I was wondering about things we do such as notes for students out of class.  A friend of mine went to a montessori school and never had to ask for a note to do so… or even permission. Are notes archaic, are we still holding the horses, or is this essential due to liability?

Problematizing problems… HHmmm… Do we accept things as being one way and work around them, or do we say THIS IS THE PROBLEM and try to change the root cause?

Very interesting view on how we maintain power and structure, and how to change organisational structures. I would like to change muc of the culture of my school. Anyone heard of PBL?

I also note how Certain members of the executive do not follow normal rules in the library and how it iw not always in the best interests of a casual teacher to challenge them.

To conclude, a very interesting article. I had not sat down and thought about all the factors of that would affect my school. I do agree that Power as well as culture and structure do play a role.

This article however did take me a long time to pour through. I hope I go a bit faster in later readings.

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Spring semester

Posted by arlekeno on August 7, 2009

Second Semester 2009 and once again I return to my blog/learning journal to record my thoughts for a subject. In this case ETL504, Teacher Librarian as leader.

I have decided to drop ETL501 so as not to stress my self too much while I am recovering from the first half of the year.  I must admit though, once again the workload is still daunting.

I have looked at my study guide and subject outline, I have posted my introduction and now here I am, back at Libera libro… Free Books. I am about to start reading my study guide, as the recommended schedule says I should have done Monday. I do not want to be asking for another extension this term and fully intend to get my assignments… My very scary assignments done on time!

In other news, look out for the latest edition of SCAN magazine if you are in NSW.  A good article on using the new laptops and Project Gutenburg should be in there.

UPDATE:  Reading 1< Donham J. LEADERSHIP

This article sounds familiar to me in terms of the EXTERNAL and INTERNAL locus of control issues. I could do more to get teachers to collaborate I suppose.

I also like the idea of reflecting on which part of the job I am best at. Lit, Tech, or info searching. Or maybe it is too soon for me to know. I know I am not a fast cataloger.. that takes AGES!

 

P.S. Very useful for HSC types.

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/docs/Graybiblist.doc

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