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Transforming Teamwork

Transforming Teamwork
Cultivating Collaborative Cultures

Foreword by Ellie Drago-Severson

August 2019 | 280 pages | Corwin

Written by 3 outstanding experts in the field of education and teamwork, this book envisions three integral strands that bind synchronistic collaborative interactions into a transformative way of working—a triple helix that supports all teamwork.  The  focus is on how safety in relationships opens up diverse perspectives and new understandings. The authors  describe how teams can foster transparent communications and greater collective intelligence from constructive conflict. And finally, the purpose for all teamwork is to build coherence around actionable learning that extends and refines knowledge. The type of knowledge worthy to be passed on to others—hence knowledge legacies. 

Recently there has been a resurgence of interest supporting a variety of collaborative structures to improve student learning by using data teams, professional learning communities, distributed leadership, and collaborative inquiry. This book on collaboration is different from others in that instead of expecting a facilitator to be responsible for group success these authors posit that it is the individual group members who are critical for successful collaboration.

Teamwork isn’t always productive. In some cases, collaboration can lead to group members feeling anxious, vulnerable, and distrustful of others. In work cultures where people do not pay attention to the quality of the relationships dysfunction sets in and limits trust, destroys open communication, and significantly reduces collective learning. These types of communication patterns often lead to a sense of futility, disappointment, and low morale.

Teachers often report that group work outside of their classrooms continues to be stressful, less than satisfying, and often not meaningful. The way through this is to capacitate groups to structure thoughtful conversations that lead to better decision making for sustainable change. This book gives team members guidance on how to be effective (mindful) members who construct meaning, listen, are self-revealing, have social sensitivity, adhere to group norms, maintain awareness of group processes, and monitor group goals.

The focus of this book is on cultivating and sustaining generative groups where everyone takes an active role in determining the success or failure of the group’s work.

Introduction—Teamwork Can Transform Lives
Orientation—How to Read this Book
Part I: Psychological Safety—An Overview
Chapter 1: Safety in Team Learning
Proficiency Scale for Safety in Team Learning  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Chapter 2: Interpersonal Trust
Proficiency Scale for Interpersonal Trust  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Chapter 3: Social Sensitivity
Proficiency Scale for Social Sensitivity  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Part II: Constructive Conflict—An Overview
Chapter 4: Conflict Consciousness
Proficiency Scale for Constructive Conflict  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Chapter 5: Cognitive Diversity
Proficiency Scale for Cognitive Diversity  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Chapter 6: Conflict Competence
Proficiency Scale for Conflict Competence  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Part III: Transformative Team Learning—An Overview
Chapter 7: Empathy Consciousness
Proficiency Scale for Empathy Consciousness  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Chapter 8: Collaborative Inquiry
Proficiency Scale for Collaborative Inquiry  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Chapter 9: Actionable Team Learning
Proficiency Scale for Actionable Team Learning  
Tools for Integrating and Applying  
Proficiency Scales  
Key features
  • Interviews of principals, department heads, teacher leaders and central office members revealing the major obstacles for otherwise successful teams.
  • Resources are organized around
    • What members can do to overcome the stumbling blocks
    • What leaders can do to develop team capacities
  • Strategies are offered that can be implemented over time for a more sustainable effect on the school culture
  • Tools are provided to transform how people in groups interact
  • Offers a fresh perspective that all team members have a role in contributing to the good of the group and the achievement of students
  • Addresses three common stumbling blocks to group success
    • the group's influence on individual behavior
    • inter-member relations
    • differences in status
  • The book is organized around 6 principles of effective teamwork
    • Presume positive intentions
    • Pay attention to self and others
    • Choose patterns of interaction that promote productive conflict
    • Activate Mindful Learning Behavior
    • Engage in Collective Efficacy
    • Invite Group Coaching

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ISBN: 9781544319889

For instructors

This book is not available as a review copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.