Location: United States |  Change Location
Male flipping through Corwin book

Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, school counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.



Asking the Right Questions

Tools for Collaboration and School Change
Third Edition
By: Edie L. Holcomb

Foreword by Shirley M. Hord

This third edition highlights the questions critical for facilitating collaboration and school change, offers new questions to shape practice, and provides a CD-ROM with a discussion guide.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412962759
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2008
  • Page Count: 232
  • Publication date: July 02, 2008

Price: $47.95

Price: $47.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.



"This book has something for everyone—the teacher leader heading school improvement committees, the curriculum director working with teacher task forces, the superintendent working with community groups to establish vision and set priorities. A very hands-on book with practical tools for leaders in any setting!"
—Mary Devin, Associate Professor
Kansas State University

"Gives a multitude of techniques for collaborative planning and preparing for change. This is an exceptional resource for school leaders to read and reflect on."
—Regina S. Birdsell, Assistant Executive Director
Connecticut Association of Schools

Use these practical tips and real-world examples to facilitate meaningful school change!

This updated edition of the bestseller on school reform focuses on collaboration at three crucial levels: district, school, and classroom. Recognizing the power of multilevel support, reform expert Edie L. Holcomb provides a structure that helps teams of educators assess a situation, gather information, plan and implement change initiatives, evaluate progress, and sustain change.

In easy-to-understand language, Asking the Right Questions, Third Edition, effectively highlights the issues that need to be addressed when implementing school improvement initiatives. Building on her highly successful framework, the author presents a new discussion on shaping practice, creating effective decision-making structures, and reviewing improvement plans. The new edition also includes

  • Innovative strategies such as symbolic displays, configuration maps, priority grids, and open space technology
  • Additional examples of change scenarios from the field
  • Review questions and chapter summaries that highlight key points
  • A CD-ROM with figures, customizable forms, and a chapter-by-chapter discussion guide to facilitate individual and group study

From simple policy changes to broad reform, this invaluable guide helps teachers, principals, and administrators work together to visualize and enact changes that improve student achievement.

Key features

  • Focuses on school change at the district, school, and classroom levels
  • New tools include symbolic displays, innovation and configuration maps, a priority grid, and open-space technology
  • Additional examples range from placing a focus on instruction to prioritizing for school construction
  • A new set of questions address how to shape practice
  • Chapters now include summaries of key points


Edie L. Holcomb photo

Edie L. Holcomb

Edie L. Holcomb is executive director of curriculum and instructional services for Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She has experienced the challenges of improving student achievement from many perspectives:

  • From classroom teacher to university professor
  • From gifted education coordinator to mainstream teacher of children with multiple disabilities
  • From school- and district-level administration to national and international consulting
  • From small rural districts to the challenges of urban education

She is highly regarded for her ability to link research and practice on issues related to instructional leadership and school and district change—including standards-based curriculum, instruction, assessment, supervision, and accountability. She has taught at all grade levels, served as a building principal and central office administrator, and assisted districts as an external facilitator for accreditation and implementation of school reform designs. As associate director of the National Center for Effective Schools, she developed a training program for site-based teams and provided technical support for implementation of school improvement efforts throughout the United States and in Canada, Guam, St. Lucia, and Hong Kong. She developed a comprehensive standards-based learning system for the staff and 47,000 students of the Seattle, Washington, city district and has supervised K–12 clusters of schools and evaluated principals.

Her work received the Excellence in Staff Development Award from the Iowa Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development in 1988. In 1990, her study of the needs of beginning principals was recognized by the American Association of School Administrators with the Paul F. Salmon Award for Outstanding Education Leadership Research.

She served as an elected member-at-large on the Leadership Council for ASCD International, played an active role in Washington State’s School Improvement Assistance Program, and contributed to development of the new School System Improvement Resource Guide. Holcomb is the author of four previous books and numerous articles and reviews.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of CD-ROM Contents

Foreword to the Third Edition by Shirley M. Hord

Preface to the Third Edition


About the Author

1. Asking the Right Questions

Refinement of the Five Critical Questions

The Five Questions as a Road Map

The Wrong Questions

Professional Learning Communities

The Five Questions and Three Models of Change

Tools for Inquiry and Collaboration

Using This Book

Answer Key

2. Answering the "Where Are We Now?" Question

Student Performance

Shareholder Perceptions

Organizational Culture and Context

Answer Key

3. Answering the "Where Do We Want to Go?" Question

Affirming the Mission

Identifying and Prioritizing Concerns

Articulating Goals

Visualizing the Culture of Collaboration

Answer Key

4. Answering the "How Will We Get There?" Question

Dig Into the Data

Study Relevant Research

Explore Best Practices

Consider Local Factors

Analyze Current Practice

Partner With Your District

Select Strategies

Double-Check: Goal or Strategy?

Plan the Journey

Is Our Plan Powerful?

Answer Key

5. Answering the "How Will We Know We Are (Getting) There?" Question

Are We Working Our Plan? Evidence of Implementation

Is Our Plan Working? Evidence of Impact

The Plan and the Proof

Answer Key

6. Answering the "How Will We Sustain the Focus and Momentum?" Question

Understand and Respond to Reactions

Continue Training and Coaching

Cope With Conflict

Strengthen the Culture of Inquiry

Support Leaders and Followers

Shift From Technical to Adaptive

Reaffirm Organizational Values and Commitments

Maintain Organizational Health

Answer Key

7. Powerful Questions That Shape Practice

Entry Questions

Data-Boosting Questions

Walking-Around Questions

Instructional Questions

Student-Work Analysis Questions

Letting-Go Questions

Hiring Questions

Time Management Questions

Involvement Questions

The Commitment Question

Answer Key

References and Further Reading




Price: $47.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.