Collaboration within the learning community yields more creative and supported approaches to “innovating” throughout the education system. When assisting and supporting one another, members of the learning community are able to identify solutions for complex problems. Moreover, collaboration provides opportunities to enable all staff to become leaders.
Change Element Goal: All levels of the organization and community stakeholders are empowered to engage in a collaborative, timely, and efficient approach to decision-making that fosters flexibility, transparency, and innovation.
Evidence: The world is changing more rapidly than ever before. Public school districts are not designed to adapt with comparable speed and often remain paralyzed by bureaucratic structures. Districts do not indiscriminately adopt new strategies but creatively adapt them. Jerald recognizes that the successful implementation of a 21st century teaching and learning system is dependent upon a distributive leadership structure. In adopting a 21st century teaching and learning system, he calls for districts to pursue a “strategy [that] engages stakeholders in building future scenarios based on their own experiences and aspirations, addressing local needs and strengths” (2009). A more distributive leadership model entrusts all staff to engage in the decision making process and provides them with the flexibility to be innovative. Enabling staff to engage in decision-making fosters collaboration, enhances transparency, and results in a district’s best thinking.
2011–12 Recommended Actions:
· Identify structures to support change, 21st century model change elements, and next right steps for each school.
· Adopt and adapt collaboration models that enhance individual and group decision-making.
· Develop and refine organizational processes and procedures, including creative ways to say “yes,” by realigning non-instructional systems to be more inclusive, innovative and supportive of the District goals and the 21st century model.
· Build mechanisms for community partners to work with individuals, schools, and/or the District.
Click here to view complete action map for Collaborating to Make Decisions change element (pdf file).