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Unlocking Group Potential to Improve Schools

By: Robert J. Garmston, Valerie von Frank

Foreword by Michael Fullan

This field book shows educators how to improve schools by developing group culture, enhancing facilitators’ skills, and equipping groups to resolve complex issues around student learning.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412998895
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2012
  • Page Count: 280
  • Publication date: February 01, 2013

Price: $41.95

Price: $41.95
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How great groups make great schools

Training leaders how to conduct effective meetings is important, but it's not enough to ensure that the professional development process is valuable. This field book shows educators how to develop group culture, enhance facilitators' skills, and optimize the group's most precious resource—its members. The authors describe how to form working committees, task forces, grade-level, and department teams, and faculties that are more effective and better equipped to resolve complex issues around student learning. Specific topics include

  • Understanding eight principles that underlie effective groups
  • Learning the five standards for effective meetings
  • Setting clear goals and roles
  • Practicing new ways of talking for improved collaboration
  • Examining perceptions and mental models
  • Enhancing energy sources
  • Working with conflict
  • Developing basic facilitation skills

This practical guide's special features include the newly updated seven norms of collaboration, a sample team assessment survey, instruments for assessing meeting effectiveness, an extensive bibliography, and practical examples embedded throughout the text. Practitioners will find a valuable road map for leading effective, student-focused school improvement efforts.

Key features

Examines group work through the use of numerous examples, brief cases, and reflective exercises.

Useful for staff development for professional learning communities or at state or district levels when forming collaborative working groups that will meet for an extended period of time for significant tasks that require effective working relationships. 

Appropriate for leadership courses for administrators who will work with groups at the school level.



Robert J. Garmston photo

Robert J. Garmston

Robert J. Garmston is Emeritus Professor of Educational Administration at California State University, Sacramento. He is co-developer of Cognitive Coaching with Art Costa and co-developer of Adaptive Schools with Bruce Wellman. He has worked as an educational consultant and made presentations and conducted workshops for teachers, administrators, and staff developers on leadership, learning, and personal and organizational development in twenty-four countries on five continents. Formerly an administrator and teacher in Saudi Arabia and the United States, his work has been translated into Arabic, Dutch, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish. Bob lives in El Dorado Hills, California, near his five children and five (bright and cute) grandchildren.

Valerie von Frank photo

Valerie von Frank

Valerie von Frank has written extensively about education over several decades as a daily newspaper reporter in multiple states covering public schools and, over the last decade, for NSDC publications, including JSD, Tools for Schools, The Learning System, The Learning Principal, and T3. She is a former editor of JSD, worked as a daily newspaper editor, served as communications director in an urban public school district, and was communications director for a Michigan nonprofit school reform organization. She is co-author with Ann Delehant of Making Meetings Work: How to Get Started, Get Going, and Get It Done (Corwin Press, 2007). She is currently NSDC’s book editor and a freelance writer and editor.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents




About the Authors


I. Getting Work Done

1. Building Effective Groups

2. Understanding Group Roles

3. Examining Decision Making

4. Creating Focused Agendas

II. Developing Collaborative Communities

5. Forming Smarter Groups

6. Learning the Way Groups Talk

7. Challenging Mental Models

8. Working With Conflict

III. Developing a Sense of Community

9. Becoming a Self-Directed Group

10. Enhancing Energy Sources

IV. Developing Facilitation Skills

11. Developing Facilitation Skills

12. Learning the Language of Facilitation

13. Intervening Successfully

14. Setting up the Room


Appendix A: Large Group Room Configurations

Appendix B: Sample Inventory

Appendix C: Seven Norms of Collaboration: A Supporting Toolkit




Price: $41.95
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.