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Developing Communities of Practice
This avenue addresses the critical skills for developing collaborative school cultures that focus on the learning needs of students and the adults who serve them. As the research base grows on the power of professional community to enhance student learning, our seminars and materials offer the practical "how's" to the support the "what's" and "why's" of this important outcome.

Target Audiences: School and district leaders, site and district teams, facilitators and group developers.

Workshops and seminars include:

Data-Driven Dialogue: Practical Strategies for Collaborative Inquiry
Based on our book, Data-Driven Dialogue: A Facilitator's Guide to Collaborative Inquiry, this interactive seminar explores and applies a three-phase Collaborative Learning Cycle that guides productive collective inquiry. Participants investigate strategies and structures that reduce defensiveness and create shared responsibility for student learning. We will hone practical tools for discovering assumptions, promoting data-focused inquiry and developing shared understandings of both problems and possible solutions. These understandings become the foundation for dynamical planning processes.

Topics include:

Using data to focus a group's attention and energy
Apply a variety of interactive structures to help individuals and groups construct meaning as they interact with data and each other. Develop strategies for interpreting, analyzing and applying data to the work of school improvement. Learn how to design engaging data explorations with both quantitative and qualitative data and structure interactive conversations with classroom teachers and those who support them.

Applying The Collaborative Learning Cycle
Experience and apply a three-phase model for guiding data-driven dialogue and collaborative inquiry. Learn how to frame data-based inquiry that help groups: activate prior knowledge by surfacing predictions and underlying assumptions before examining data sets; explore and discover patterns, trends and surprises in data displays; and organize and integrate learning by developing theories of causation and theories of action as platforms for thoughtful school improvement planning.

Extending a repertoire of facilitative tools
Refine and enhance your personal toolkit for facilitating productive group learning, planning and problem solving. Learn verbal and nonverbal tools for inviting and sustaining the thinking of group members. Increase your confidence when facilitating difficult conversations as you use data to promote professional interactions about tough-to-talk-about topics.


Leading Groups: Effective Strategies for Building Professional Community
Leaders need versatility and flexibility as they bring project responsibility, technical knowledge and information to their groups. Knowing how to structure effective processes, relevant content and authentic collaboration produces work sessions that balance participation, use time efficiently and achieve their purposes. Skillful leaders are able to manage three simultaneous outcomes for their groups; task focus, process skill development and relational development.

Topics include:

Designing group work
Develop and apply templates for planning and assessing outcomes for the groups with which you work. Learn ways to clarify task outcomes for products, performances and decisions and relational outcomes for the knowledge, skills and dispositions group members require for productive, time-efficient engagement.

Energizing groups and supporting information processing
Expand your repertoire of strategies for monitoring and managing the productive energy of group members. Learn a variety of individual, small and large group strategies that support high levels of engagement for exploring, connecting and applying new ideas to professional practice.

Applying flexibility in stance
Explore a leadership repertoire that flexes between the stances of presenting, collaborating and facilitating when communicating, generating and processing critical information. Knowing when and how to match task to stance increases your ability to help a group get its work done more effectively while increasing the group's capacity to deal with tough topics and diverse perspectives.

Developing groups
Learn ways to accelerate group development by assessing current capacities and designing interventions to support growth. Enhance your ability to cultivate group members who engage productively with conflict, maintain focus on achieving outcomes and take responsibility for their behaviors and choices.

Refining the group leader's toolkit
Hone your verbal and nonverbal skills for focusing groups and increasing group member willingness to think and talk together about important professional subjects. Learn to apply a pattern of pausing, paraphrasing and inquiring to respond to and influence the thinking of group members. Increase your confidence when dealing with difficult people and difficult conversations.


Learning-Focused Presentations
This interactive seminar presents practical strategies and innovative ideas for structuring and conducting powerful learning experiences for adults. Based on the three-phase Pathways Learning Model, ((link to model) these sessions offer tested principles of learning and teaching that engage adult learners in meaningful explorations of concepts, ideas and information. We will explore theory and practice by offering powerful design templates and presentation tools for connecting audiences to you, to each other and to important content.

Topics include:

Designing learning
Increase audience engagement by developing outcome driven not content driven presentations. Learn how to design learning-focused presentations organized by clear goals matched to the needs and preferences of adult learners.

Energizing groups and supporting information processing
Increase your repertoire of strategies for focusing the productive energy of group members. Learn a variety of individual, small and large group strategies that support high levels of engagement and meaning making by participants.

Managing groups
Expand your acuity and flexibility for monitoring audience members' interaction with ideas and each other. Learn tips and techniques for addressing challenging topics and challenging situations.

Increasing credibility and confidence
Develop a variety of nonverbal and verbal moves and skills to communicate and simultaneously enhance your credibility and confidence as a presenter. Learn how to identify and break personal patterns that might inhibit you with groups and how to identify and internalize patterns that will support personal presentation excellence.


The Facilitator's Toolkit
This seminar expands personal facilitation skills for conducting more productive and satisfying meetings and work sessions with adult groups. These sessions demonstrate how to effectively apply process to balance task focus and enhance relationships among group members to support problem-solving, planning and decision making.

Topics include:

Structuring meeting success
Develop clear guidelines for shaping the physical and social environment, clarifying decision-making roles and employing a set of meeting standards to keep groups on task, on process and on time. Learn templates and tools for facilitating a variety of meeting types.

Designing group work
Develop and apply templates for planning and assessing outcomes for the groups that you facilitate. Learn how to help groups clarify outcomes for products, performances and decisions.

Expanding the facilitator's toolkit
Increase your confidence when dealing with difficult topics and difficult groups. Enhance your verbal and nonverbal skills for focusing groups and increasing group member willingness to engage in productive dialogue and focused discussions. Learn to apply a pattern of pausing, paraphrasing and inquiring to respond to and influence the thinking and behaviors of group members.

Anticipating, monitoring and recovering
Develop skills for simultaneously monitoring content, process and group development. Learn how to increase your acuity for group process and recover personal and group member focus if things go astray.



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