structure in all human organizations. More than a technique to improve vertical and horizontal communication alone, the interaction they call for is at its heart an intellectual creation; Senge refers to it as a learning organization. The way we can fully understand the dynamic behind such a concept is to consider the times in our own lives when we were so fully immersed in a collaborative project that we could feel ourselves caught up in the magic of the moment. We could feel ourselves being changed somehow, and that change had much to do with insight, inspiration, clarity, and a feeling of almost euphoric comprehension. It might have happened in a sports activity, a situation that required creative energy or a classroom simulation. Whatever it was, it is something we can remember yet as being a kind of watershed period in our lives. Our day-to-day world is becoming more like that because of electronic connectivity. While much of that connectivity is seemingly trivial and unproductive, it is obviously an important part of our young peoples’ lives.They seem to thrive on the ability to perceive the world through a collective lens, thereby feeling themselves change as a result.To some degree, the CCSS initiative is an attempt to take advantage of that phenomenon by asking schools to turn collective trivia into something more scholastically substantive. In that context it is a matter of teachers learning from teachers, administrators learning from teachers, teachers learning from administrators, students learning from educators, educators learning from students, and students learning from students. It is an academic cross-pollination that makes everyone participating in the learning organization better, thereby making the organization itself better!
Attaining the Learning Organization through use of the Systems Theory School districts must find effective ways to change their academic programs in light of challenges associated with the Common Core State Standards. Instead of participating in, or sponsoring piecemeal improvement projects, a systems approach can be used that includes: 1. State-of-the-art curriculum development, implementation and management techniques 2. Creative instructional processes that are well aligned with the local curriculum 3. Assessment techniques that are actually appropriate to learning targets 4. An academic program governance model to manage collegial decision-making and action-taking. In the school improvement model sponsored by the Curriculum Leadership Institute (cliweb.org) are systematic steps that allow a district’s lay and professional stakeholders to be an inherent part of everything the system does. Below are some brief examples that show how the CLI’s systemic model involves all key members of the school organization: School board members play a well defined role in making decisions about critical matters associated with curriculum content and program improvement processes. In that sense,actions taken are internally managed and not something
Empower Teachers with Next-Generation Professional Development Transform Professional Development Through Video Implement Common Core Support Professional Learning Communities Provide Anytime, Anywhere Coaching and Mentoring Improve Classroom Strategies and Student Outcomes
Watch a video of Teams in action and learn more at
see SYSTEMS THEORY page 66 www.seenmagazine.us
SouthEast Education Network FALL 2013
Southeast Education Network issue 15.2