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"team development"
team development
Margaret Rowden
We had sensed for some time that something was wrong – site-based management had not been delivering the goods. We formed leadership teams; they met; we shared decision making – but teaching and learning didn't change. "Perhaps too much had been expected from simply the transfer of power," suggest Priscilla Wohlstetter and Susan Albers Mohrman, who have written an extensive study looking at the outcomes of sharing decision making in schools. The idea always was to improve education for kids; but instead what seemed to have happened in many places was that there was another meeting to attend and nothing much else was new. "Is the theory flawed? Is the current wave of decentralization just another swing of the pendulum?" ask these authors, whose study of practice looked at thirty schools in nine school districts, each of which had at least four years' experience with school-based management.

We were asking ourselves the same questions. As principals of alternative high schools in New York City, we each had been deeply involved in school reform for over fifteen years. Each of our schools struggled incessantly with "group management" at Satellite Academy High School and consensus-based decision making at University Heights High School. During this time, our own experiences and observations, combined with those shared in professional development opportunities with colleagues in other New York schools and around the country, helped us learn a number of valuable lessons. AUDIO CLIP

Nancy Mohr on "Why we wrote this article"

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We saw for ourselves the tremendous power that can be generated within a school when the professional staff genuinely experiences a sense of ownership. But we learned that adult empowerment, for its own sake, is too limited a goal. We found that adult ownership, while necessary, does not in and...

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