Mike McMahon AUSD
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Leading in Education

I am summarizing the book LEADING in a culture of CHANGE to assess what Alameda can do to accomplish "Student Success -Whatever It Takes" in the AUSD Strategic Plan for 2003-2008.

Each component is summarized:

  • Summary Overview of materials presented in the book
  • Educational Examples Examples presented by author of the book
  • Implications in Alameda How the book relates to Alameda
  • Knowledge Creating and Sharing


    Knowledge building, knowledge sharing, knowledge creation, knowledge management. Is this just another fad? They could easily become so unless we understand the role of knowledge in organizational performance and set up coresponding mechanisms and practices that make knowledge sharing a cultural value.

    Information is machines. Knowledge is people. Information becomes knoweldge only when it takes on a "social life". Brown and Duguid establish a foundation for viewing knowledge as a social phenomenon:

  • "Knowledge lies less in its databases than its people."
  • "For all information independence and extent, it is people, in their communities, oorganizations, and institutions, who ultimately decide what it all means and why it matters."
  • "A viable system must embrace not just the technological system, but the social system - the people, organizations and institutions involved."
  • "Knowledge is something we digest rather than merely hold. It entails the knower's udnerstanding and degree of commitment."
  • If you remember one thing about information, it is that it only bceomes valuable in a social context.

    Focusing on information rather than use is why sending individuals or teams to external training by itself does not work. Placing changed individuals in an unchanged environment does not work. Change leaders work on changing the context, helping create new settings conducive to learning and sharing that knowledge. If individuals begin sharing ideas about issues they they see as important, the sharing itself creates a learning culture. Ideally, each individual makes an internal commitment to reach a level of mastery in tacit and explicit knowledge and understands they are responsible for sharing.

    Educational Examples

    From the Building Relationships section, we are introduced to Anthony Alvarado work in New York District 2 and San Diego. One of the knowledge-sharing strategies he used is summarized below:

    Intervisitation and Peer Networks

    Distrit 2 relies on peer networks and visits to other sites, designed to bring teachers and principals into contact with exemplary practices. Intervisitation as it is called within the District and peer consultations are a routine part of the district's daily life both for teachers and principals.

    The District budgets about 300 days of professional time for intervisitation activities. A lot of informal activities are not captured as they happen on an ad hoc basis.

    For prinicpals, regularaly scheduled meetings typically devoted to administrative business, is primarily organized around instructional issues and are called principal's conferences.

    The ability of a District to gain knowledge via evidence based research is exmained in this article.

    Implications in Alameda

    Alameda teachers have experienced varying degrees of knowledge sharing in a number of different areas: Middle School Math Articulation, K-12 staff development within the BASRC schools and Houghton Mifflin Reading Adoption. What additional steps need to take place to continue to encourage peer to peer consultation as a form of professional development?

    Back to Leading in a Culture of Change Summary

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    Last modified: November 12, 2003

    Disclaimer: This website is the sole responsibility of Mike McMahon. It does not represent any official opinions, statement of facts or positions of the Alameda Unified School District. Its sole purpose is to disseminate information to interested individuals in the Alameda community.