Characteristics and use of inquiry and communication tools in planning for educational change Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cz30pw968

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  • In education today, there is a growing sense of urgency to build the capacity of educators, parents, and community members to work together to solve the complex issues facing schools. The central purpose of this study was to explore how one elementary school site council learned and adopted a set of tools to improve its patterns of communication and ability to work as a team. The communication and inquiry tools introduced to this site council were drawn from learning organization theory and organizations which are seeking to become learning organizations. A qualitative case study method was used in this research. The analysis focused on (a) how the communication and inquiry tools were used, (b) what results the communication and inquiry tools produced, and (c) the characteristics of the communication and inquiry tools. Findings indicate that the tools increased the site council members' individual and collective capacity to listen, engage, trust, and work effectively with each other. These aptitudes were developed through the use of the tools in six areas: (a) becoming aware of one's own thinking, (b) making one's thinking visible and transparent to others, (c) understanding the thinking of others, (d) seeing one's interactions from a systems perspective, (e) engaging in collaborative decision-making, and (1) capturing and documenting learning. These aptitudes and activities increased the members' awareness in three capacity building dimensions: awareness of self, awareness of others, and awareness of the system. The communication and inquiry tools exhibited the following operational characteristics: (a) they invite mindfulness and focus; (b) their potential comes from their application and the emerging skills of the users; (c) initial competence in their use can be gained from instruction, experimentation, ongoing practice, and reflection; (d) and they can be used to harness collective intelligence. The findings may have implications for schools and universities that seek to build the capacity for educators, parents, and community members to engage in systemic school reform initiatives.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-09-14T16:24:10Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 FiersteinMicah1999.pdf: 5612096 bytes, checksum: 82280886bfda8aef002681f1d52f653a (MD5)
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