Welcome back to Flipping the Focus.
In the last post, you read about the gratefulness that I expressed regarding the quality of lateral relationships built, as well as the success of collaboration with and between teachers during the course of the 2017-18 school year. In essence, our work was the pursuit of coherence-making (Fullan & Quinn, 2016) for school improvement.
As defined by Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn, the Coherence Framework consists of four, interdependent elements: Focusing Direction, Cultivating Collaborative Cultures, Deepening Learning, and Securing Accountability (for further reading, see the pdf; below, left). Of all of these elements, that which resonates most closely with the support that I've been able to provide to schools is Cultivating Collaborative Cultures. Fullan, in Coherence, writes that "...collaboration is the social glue that drives us towards coherence." As Hargreaves and O'Connor (2018) explain, there is no one way to collaborate: each of us may do so a bit differently. As leaders and facilitators of professional learning, it is imperative that we create and participate in opportunities to grow our collective responsibility to ensuring success for all learners--for students and educators (for further reading, see the pdf; below, right). This requires that, with empathy, we encourage professional autonomy while cultivating cooperation for working towards a shared goal. Although your team(s) might be challenged by navigating tensions, there is nothing more gratifying for professional learning communities to collectively support students to deepening their own learning and becoming more assessment-capable and competent in acquiring and exercising global competencies. For leaders, there is great satisfaction in seeing this shift happen: a group of educators collectively taking responsibility for all learners' successes (including the success of their colleagues) and becoming the drivers of their own professional collaboration--a characteristic of Collaborative Professionalism (Hargreaves and O'Connor, 2018).
In addition to my informal leadership experiences as an instructional coach, I want to delve deeper into how we can better leverage design thinking to moving ourselves and groups of practitioners to deeper levels of collaboration...towards Collaborative Professionalism (PPM 159, Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016). This, in part, will continue to be a focus of my own collaborative, action-oriented research and support to schools in the 2018-19 academic year.
These experiences are being captured through the form of podcasts and are featured on Flipping the Focus' YouTube channel (and embedded, below, for your convenience). Episode 1 provides some background to Collaborative Professionalism and the Coherence Framework. Episodes 2 and 3 (to be posted) will share the perspectives of the professionals mentioned. Episode 4 (expected to be posted early Fall, 2018) will seek to make connections between these experiences and the professional support I'm facilitating, as well as making reflections for next steps.
Coherence Making: How Leaders Cultivate the Pathway for School and System Change with a Shared Process
I would also like to encourage you to comment to this blog and/or share your own experiences with coherence-making. I am more than happy to collaborate with you and feature our learning, here, in this blog and across Flipping the Focus' social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram at FlippingtheFocus and Twitter @flip4change).
Contact Flipping the Focus to see how we can work with you and your organizational improvement plans and processes through coherence-making.
Chris Stewart, OCT
Founder & Educational Consultant, Flipping the Focus (c) 2018
Student Achievement Officer (on secondment from the Upper Canada DSB to the Ontario Ministry of Education)
Fullan, M., & Quinn, J. (2016). Coherence: The right drivers in action for schools, districts, and systems. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.
Fullan, M., & Quinn, J. (2016, January). Coherence Making: How Leaders Cultivate the Pathway for School and System Change with a Shared Process. School Administrator, 30-34. Retrieved from https://www.scoe.org/files/Fullan_Quinn.pdf
Hargreaves, A & O’Connor, M.T. (2018). Seminar Series 274: Leading Collaborative Professionalism, Centre for Strategic Education, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Retrieved from http://www.andyhargreaves.com/online-reports--monographs.html