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Archive for September, 2009

Rubric on Teamwork.

Posted by arlekeno on September 21, 2009

Part 1B.

Critereria for assessing teamwork.

1) Communication (how did we do it, how often).

2) Set clear goals/task definition. (avoid overburden)

3) Individual ownership of task/motivation. (avoid free rider syndrome)

Should I use this?

I really like this rubric and may meld it with the below points I already had.


How often,

how effective,

how efficient.

Teamwork & Collaboration

Role/Task definition (co-ordinates activities of the individual .. law)

Setting clear goals,

Individual ownership of task.

Individual efforts.

Final presentation.

Criteria 1/5 2/5 3/5 4/5 5/5
Task definition/role. Team members do not know or are not capable of fulfilling role. Team member has some idea of their own role and can fulfil some requirements. Team member knows own roll but not others’. Can fulfil own roll. Team member knows own roll and some of others’ can fulfil own and some others’ functions. Team member understands all team members’ rolls and can complete all of them.
Professionalism. Team members show no professional courtesy. Team member shows minimal professional courtesy. Team members work respectfully and co-operatively Team members work very well and help each other when asked. Team works together very well and offers to help each other.
Team Dynamics. Only one person’s ideas are used. There is confrontation. One or two people make all decisions and the rest do the work. Individual work dominates. Simple majority used in decision making. Team co-exists peacefully. Co-operation and consensus are dominant themes. Team collaborates well. Team accepts input from all and sees the big picture in overall goals. Team members collaborate and share ownership of finished product.
Enthusiasm and work ethic. Team members are disengaged, not all work is done. Some team members are disengaged and one or two have to carry the workload. Team is somewhat interested and work is completed by due date. Most of team is Enthusiastic and work is done well by all. All team members show equal investment and enthusiasm, working well together.
communication Poor or no communication Little communication.

Information is neither effectively or efficiently transmitted.

Adequate communication.

But team members need to keep rechecking information.

Good communication, not regular, improvement needed in efficiency and effectiveness. Communication is regular, efficient and effective.

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What did I know about the TL as leader?

Posted by arlekeno on September 21, 2009

Well, what did I know?

I knew that is many schools that the TL was considered a leader, which made sense. TLs have staff and budgets, just like head teachers. They also manage a space and have specialised skills.

Many of the readings from last semester talked about TLs in leadership roles, leading teams (especially literacy and curriculum) and in some cases being invovled with executive decisions.  <not that this happens at all schools, by any means>


i am used to systems which are like a pyramid. Head man and deps, then heads of departments, then individual teachers. the boss says what he wants, people below do it while middle management make sure it happens.

IF everyone knows what they are meant to do, and does it, the system works failry well. (IF)

This is where the system falls down though. If people do not know what is going on, or there is no consistency in actions being carried out, things fall apart. A situation some schools know all too well (when know one knows what they can do, or what is going on, and if a kid is sent to a sent to a higher authority action is not gaurenteed).

I haver pretty much avoided management books though, so much of management theory are all new to me.

I knew we had committees (but not about quality circles or phrases like flatter management structure).  I did know there were various stuyles of leaders and that each new fad had their name for them. E.g., Autocratic/democratic. Duck/Goose etc.

Most of my management training had come from Charity group training days.



I have always been suspicious of team work. Mainly due to the difficulty of organising a suitable time and because of the various agendas of people on teams.

When they have worked though, I think they need a clear leader, or at least a strong chair.  Good communication and a good boss exte4rnally asserting control to make sure it all works… sometimes you do need a referee.


Strategic planning.

I must admit I have not thought about Strategic planning at all. To me it is thinking looking at what you wnat to do, what you think it will do in the long run and trying to make it happen.

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Fullan Chap 2: MORAL PURPOSE.

Posted by arlekeno on September 11, 2009

Moral purpose: Why we do things.

To strive to improve the quality of how we live together is a purpose of the highest moral order. (pg11)

People with a Moral purpose… Ghandi, martin Luthor king.  (all had substance, moral underpinnings etc).

Effective people have both selfish and unselfish morals. a “motivational pluralism” I want to teach the future, but I also want to get piad for it.

the strategies used in the national literacy case study could just as easily be transfered over the the Springboard language education programme.

I think the most obvious example of Moral Change backfiring could be the WHAM of Vietnam. Win Hearts and minds, may hvae created many a guerilla. And maybe teh same could be said for the middle east incursions. 

Pg 23 Key points about leadership and moral purpose.

Effective leaders have moral purpose, it relates to both MEANS and END.

Co-operative groups thrive, selfish ones don’t.

Moral pluralism is okay.

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Powerpoint part 3.

Posted by arlekeno on September 7, 2009

Slide 1

Characteristics of an effective team. 

  1. Clear Goals: Set objectives first.
  2. Motivation: Share the enthusiasm and the work.
  3. Communication: Clear channels of information and clear ideas.
  4. Openness: trust each other and give honest opinions.

 Slide 2

 Characteristics of an effective team member.

  1. Knowledge: T.L.s have specialist knowledge, in people and information management.
  2. Commitment and Trust: It’s is in your hands.
  3. Flexibility: Meet at different times, take different roles.

N.B. The T.L. has access to a meeting space, resources and already works across faculties; A T.L. is are asset to any team.

 Slide 3

Benefits of teamwork.

  1. Provides support and co-ordinates individuals.
  2. Generates commitment and ownership of school decisions.
  3. Provides opportunities for networking and learning.
  4. Provides a satisfying, stimulating and enjoyable work environment.
  5. An opportunity for a T.L. to show and advocate specialized skills and resources.  

End of slides.

I have deliberately avoided the characteristics outside an individual teammbers control such as Strong external supervision and the correct mix of people.

I have decided to mention the characteristics which the individual brings as this is aimed at new T.L.s. I also thought I would use teamwork as a chance for a T.L. to showcase the unique skills. Any questions please use the group wiki. The references are from the previous entry. Most significantly

Law, Glover 2000: Leading effective Teams.





A SYSTEMS MODEL OF EFFECTIVE TEAMWORK ( Ingram, Teare, Scheuing & Armistead 1997)


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Characteristics of effective team work.

Posted by arlekeno on September 1, 2009


  1. The team must have a clear goal.
  2. The team must have a results-driven structure.
  3. The team must have competent team members.
  4. The team must have unified commitment.
  5. The team must have a collaborative climate.
  6. The team must have high standards that are understood by all.
  7. The team must receive external support and encouragement.
  8. The team must have principled leadership.

Some good points there, good article on difference between teams and groups and a bit on stages of a team.

Advantages of teamwork: Some jobs are too big for one person, some jobs need multiple skills.


This is pretty basic and touchy feely. It lists basically two of the above 8,

1 point being commitment, and the other point being the collaborative environment, talked about in 7 different ways.

not academic enough for this task.


  • clear objectives
  • trust
  • cohesiveness
  • interdependency
  • Enthusiasm.

Mostly the same as above, but the interdependency issue is interesting as it brings in an aspect of the team members needing each other, This prevents one person from trying to do everything I suppose.


Again, similar features, but also goes into what the INDIVIDUAL must bring, and the processes involved.A very useful article.


Advantages of teamwork skills, future workers will need them. ( so we should teach them as well as use them).

A lot of HOW TO build a team, but not what makes a good team beyond what is already above, (communication, trust, etc). nothing new here. But still use for the future workers quote as that is an advantage of doing teamwork.


Increasing emphasis on the need for it in University courses.

Common Team Problems (within uni students)

  • Poor communication
  • leadership problems
  • “free rider” syndrome
  • “Do it all yourself syndrome”
  • Lack of performance standards
  • Scheduling issues.
  • No leverage to encourage poor performers to improve.
  • Nonexistent, useless, or unused peer evaluations.
  • different work styles.
  • different goals for grades

The article goes into how this was addressed, work contracts at several stages, peer review became part of grades, very interesting and some use to this assessment.


talks of using people from most business functions, or for us, accross faculties.

Advantages: Employees own process, feel part of decision making and take responsibility.

A SYSTEMS MODEL OF EFFECTIVE TEAMWORK ( Ingram, Teare, Scheuing & Armistead 1997)

Inputs : Climate and Group Configuration

Throughputs: Processes, Cohesiveness, Communication, Decision-making, Task Activities, Maintenance activities.

Outputs: Task performance, Individual outputs, Other outputs.

Interesting article, not sure how I can use it though… ( maybe just too tired)

Barnett, McKowen & Bloom. A school without a Principal (1998)

  • Commitment to shared decision making. 
  •  Communication ( supported by communication guidelines).
  • Ownership of process.
  • enthusiasm.
  • Supporting others.
  • Honesty.

A very relevant article as it is about teachers using team work.

Law, Glover 2000: Leading effective Teams.

Group size, over 10 or less than 3 perform less well.  5-7 is best.

pg73: (from Woodcock 1979:7) Benefits of teams.

  1. Provides help and support
  2. Coordinates the activities of individuals.
  3. generates commitment
  4. provides a “place to be” so meeting a basic human need to belong
  5. identifies training and development needs;
  6. provides learning opportunities.
  7. enhances communication
  8. provides a satisfying, stimulating and enjoyable work environment.

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

Mostly on good leadership.

Gibbs: Reframing the role of the teacher-librarian: The case for collaboration and flexibility. (2003)

Nothing of use.

Deep meaning of inside collaboration. (from last semester 🙂

Increasing participation and democracy in schools performed better (team work can be part of this as it can lead to more connectedness between faculties within a school).  community building as relationships are key to success.

collaborative organisations fan the passions and commitment of members.

“the biggest problem facing schools is fragmentation and overload” (teams distribute work, allow for communication and rejoining)

Cibulka et al (2000):schools as learning organisations: a review of literature.

learning is continuos, the  task of a learning organisation is learning how to learn and to provide lifelong learning among its members. (team work is a way to share knowledge).

 Montiel-Overall (2005): A theoretical understanding of teacher and Librarian collaboration.

Collaboration ( mini-teamwork i suppose) Is considered essential for prepairing students for a complex society. improves teaching and learning.

attributes of succesful collaboration. 1. Relationships.

N.B. Should we look at things out of the control of the new teachers?

i.e. Adequate resources? Feedback and External monitoring, relevant membership?

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