Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Garmston, R. J, & Wellman, B. M. (1999). The adaptive school: A sourcebook for developing collaborative groups. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.

An adaptive school is one that not only meets today's challenges but can also effectively handle problems that emerge in the future. This sourcebook provides tools to support school leaders in developing and facilitating collaborative groups to improve student learning, a critical step in redesigning schools and creating better learning environments. The authors utilize systems thinking and learnings from the new sciences to ground their work. The book offers practical guidelines for development of skills and processes that help leaders facilitate adult interaction and establish a collaborative working environment where learning is the goal for all community members, educators as well as students. The book is organized around six themes: Getting work done, doing the right work, working collaboratively, managing systems, developing groups, and adapting to change. The authors describe principles (explanations of how things work), strategies (blueprints for action), and moves (discrete behaviors) in chapters on, for example, collaborative norms, ways of talking, facilitation of meetings, conflict, and unmanageable problems. Throughout the book, the importance of building understanding by individuals and groups in order to change the culture of schools is stressed.

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