Leading in Education
Each component is summarized:
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:
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.
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?
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