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Nine Professional Conversations to Change Our Schools - Book Cover

Nine Professional Conversations to Change Our Schools

A Dashboard of Options
First Edition
By: William A. Sommers, Diane P. Zimmerman

Foreword by Andy Hargreaves

Drawing from their coaching and facilitation experience and expertise, the authors of this book offer educators strategies for meaningful conversation in an ever-changing landscape.

Full description

Nine Professional Conversations to Change Our Schools - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506398488
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 248
  • Publication date: May 02, 2018

Price: $33.95

Price: $33.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.


Improve collective efficacy in schools through meaningful professional conversations

As technology substitutes for face-to-face connections, educators can feel like they’re practicing their craft in isolation. Nine Professional Conversations to Change Our Schools is a framework for revitalizing the art of the professional conversation. It guides educators through structures for collaboration, offers access to vast storehouses of applied wisdom, and facilitates a coherent knowledge base for standards of excellence. Readers will find

  • nine conversational strategies designed to promote collective teacher efficacy
  • learning scenarios that demonstrate the effectiveness of these conversations in action
  • accessible Conversational Dashboard that assists in analyzing conditions for success

Face-to-face conversational skill is a fundamental foundation for establishing effective relationships and collaboration. Drawing from their rich careers with coaching and facilitation, the authors of this book offer strategies that will expand your conversational repertoire and provide insight into how to respond meaningfully in an ever-changing environment.



William A. Sommers photo

William A. Sommers

William A. Sommers, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas, continues to be a learner, teacher, principal, author, leadership coach, and consultant. Bill has come out of retirement five times to put theory into practice. He was on the Board of Trustees for five years and President for the National Staff Development Council now called Learning Forward.

Dr. Sommers is the former Executive Director for Secondary Curriculum and Professional Learning for Minneapolis Public Schools, and a school administrator for over 30 years. In addition to being an adjunct faculty member at several universities, he has been a program director for an adolescent chemical dependency treatment center and on the board of a halfway house for 20 years.

Bill has co-authored eight books, and co-authored chapters in several other books. In January 2016 Bill and his colleague Skip Olsen launched a website www.learningomnivores.com which includes educational blogs, new rules, and book reviews. Bill is a practitioner who integrates theory into leading and facilitating schools. Dr. Sommers has continued to be a leadership coach for over 25 years to school administrators.

Diane P. Zimmerman photo

Diane P. Zimmerman

DIANE P. ZIMMERMAN, Ph.D. is a writer and consultant focusing on entrepreneurial learning and schools that make a difference. She obtained her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Development from the Fielding Graduate Institute. She recently retired as a superintendent of schools after a 36-year career in education that was rich in leadership, facilitation and conflict management.

Trained originally as a speech therapist, Diane worked early in her career as a teacher, speech therapist, program manager, and Assistant Director of Special Education in Fairfield, California. She subsequently became a principal in Davis, California and served consecutively in two schools over 13 years before being promoted to Assistant Superintendent for Personnel. In 2002, she began a nine-year journey as a superintendent of Old Adobe School Union School District, a small suburban elementary school district in Petaluma, California. She prides herself in moving the district’s teachers from contentious union interactions to cooperative collaborations as productive, interest-based educators who collectively set the highest standards possible for their school district.

Diane has been an active in professional development all of her career. While obtaining her administrative credential, Diane was assigned to Bob Garmston as her intern coach. This early career interaction turned into a life-long intellectual partnership and Diane joined the Cognitive Coaching consulting consortium founded by Bob Garmston and Art Costa.

Diane has taught in administrative training programs at several northern California universities and over the past 20 years has written and consulted in the areas of Cognitive Coaching, teacher supervision and evaluation, facilitation, stages of adult development, assessment of leadership skills, and constructivist leadership.

Leadership and mediation of conflict has always been a part of Diane’s life. She was encouraged to assume leadership roles throughout her career, from early work supervising in a family restaurant business, to her first teaching job in a new special education program, through her years as a principal. Throughout her career, she has been involved in handling divergent opinions and mediating conflict. She gained a substantive reputation as the “in house” expert in facilitation and her staff valued her ability to create learning communities long before “professional learning communities” were popularized

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors




Part I: The Foundation—Conversational Competence

Chapter 1: A Crisis in Our Midst—No Coherent Knowledge Base

Chapter 2: The Disadvantage of Being Left Behind— A Knowing–Doing–Learning Gap

Chapter 3: Emotional Blocks to Collective Efficacy— How Stress Shuts Down Communication

Part II: Conversations Designed to Build Knowledge Coherence From the Inside Out

Chapter 4: Reflective Conversations—The Fundamental Professional Act

Chapter 5: Humble Inquiry—Exploring Needs Instead of Helping

Chapter 6: Cognitive Coaching—Lingering in Conversations to Learn

Chapter 7: SCARF—Open to Diverse Viewpoints

Part III: Calibrating Conversations—Conversations at the Tipping Point From Outside In

Chapter 8: Stakeholder Centered Coaching— Expanding Consciousness

Part IV: Conversations Designed to Build Knowledge From the Outside In

Chapter 9: Positive Deviance—Mining for Group Gold

Chapter 10: From Conflict to Consensus— The Chadwick Process

Chapter 11: FRISK—Making Expectations Clear

Chapter 12: MOVE—Time to Move On

Part V: Final Musings—Making Unrealized Dreams Come True

Chapter 13: Leaving Knowledge Legacies




Price: $33.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.