EDL 669 LEADERSHIP FOR CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Report of Group Facilitation
Although the group-facilitation assignment may be completed individually or collaboratively with a course peer, it must be conducted in an authentic setting (e.g., committee meeting, faculty retreat, team planning session) within a P20 educational institution. Completing this assignment thus requires careful planning (i.e., selection of appropriate protocol) and potentially support from others (e.g., committee chair, department head). The form below is completed after facilitating a group meeting using the selected protocol(s).
AISK - Tech Integration Critical Friends Group
March 15, 2015
Number of Participants:
What was meeting purpose? Why was the protocol selected? Provide sufficient information for reader to understand the context and anticipated outcome(s). If assignment was completed collaboratively, explain roles performed by each course peer. [3 points]
As part of my M.Ed. at the University of Kentucky, I am currently conducting action research. My research centers around the creation of a technology integration Critical Friends Group. Four teachers and I have met once a month for six months. During our March meeting, we used a Tuning Protocol to tune a lesson plan and an Observation Debrief Protocol (an adaptation of three observation protocols) to debrief a lesson that we all observed. The lesson we tuned in March was then observed the next week by all members of the CFG and we will debrief it at our April meeting.
What was supposed to happen? Summarize briefly how the protocol was to be implemented. Use bulleted statements, if appropriate. [1 points]
Observation Debrief Protocol:
What happened? Describe what actually happened and explain why (i.e., reflect on the process and what contributed to outcome). [2 points]
Our group of 5 is very comfortable with each other after working together as Critical Friends for over six months. We also work together in other capacities at the school. Because of this, sometimes we go off protocol. It is not uncommon for us to take longer on certain parts of the Tuning Protocol and shorter on others. It does not usually take the presenter 15 minutes to present their lesson plan nor does it take 15 minutes to examine the lesson plan. However we often spend longer in clarifying questions and warm and cool feedback. The feedback and reflection are also often conversations. As the facilitator, I often allow the protocol go with our flow as long as we are on-task and focused.
The Observation Debrief Protocol is a work in progress. It is a Protocol that I adapted from three other protocols, choosing the best pieces from each. Each time we have done it we have slightly altered it and discuss ways it can be improved during the debrief. We are working on the best order so that the protocol flows.
After conducting the Tuning Protocol three times and the Observation Debrief Protocol twice with our CFG, I have found that we always deepen our learning and the quality of the work increases because of the protocols. Lesson and unit plans evolve and increase in quality after the group tunes or consults on them. We learn more about ourselves, our teaching and the other teachers in the group when we spend time in structured conversations about our lessons. The opportunity to have other people observe our lessons and participate in a critical discussion about what they saw makes us more open-minded and reflective.
What would you do differently if you used the protocol again? Critique your planning and performance as the protocol facilitator(s) and provide specific examples of actions and participant responses that support decision to do things differently next time. [2 points]
I have found that when we dive into the Tuning Protocol often we find that a Consultancy would have been more effective. In this case, I add time for probing questions. Because I have been working with this group of teachers over an extended period of time I have come to know the participants and I am able to quickly make adjustments to the protocols based on how our meetings are going.
This month, during the debrief of the Observation Protocol, we continued to discuss where the appropriate place for probing questions. The protocol will be altered as follows for our April meeting:
How did this activity enhance your understanding about leadership for creative problem solving? If the assignment was completed collaboratively, EACH student must provide a response to this question—be sure to indicate who wrote each entry. [2 points]
Leadership for creative problem solving is not telling people what to do or how to think. It is coming together with a group of people to make something better through collaborative and critical thinking. As with the creative problem solving process, using protocols to structure discussions contributes to clearer thinking and more effective discussions. Protocols force us to think deeper and listen to each other. They force us to work together to create or see something we might not have been able to without the protocol. Creative leadership is not about one person doing all the thinking. It is about a think-tank of people working together to make the institution a better place.
Copyright © Tricia Browne-Ferrigno 2015
 McDonald, J. P., Mohr, N., Dichter, A., & McDonald, E. C. (2013). The power of protocols: An educator’s guide to better practice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.