How do you find the time for data dialogues?
An ASCD article in Educational Leadership, entitled, Finding Time for Collaboration by Mary Anne Raywid offers 15 examples of how schools are experimenting with creative ways to make or find time for shared reflection. She says, "Ask anybody directly involved in school reform about its most essential ingredient, and the answer is likely to be "time." Research concurs. Collaborative time for teachers to undertake and then sustain school improvement may be more important than equipment or facilities or even staff development (Fullan and Miles 1992, Louis 1992, Rosenholtz 1989).
We've long known that for school change to succeed, teachers collectively must be involved in its implementation (Berman and McLaughlin 1978, McLaughlin 1991). But unless the "extra energy requirements" demanded are met by the provision of the time, the change is not likely to succeed (Fullan and Miles 1992).
Her 15 examples might stimulate other ideas by your leadership team.
In the March 2000
issue of Education Update, Dan Galloway, principal of Stevensville High School,
is quoted as saying, Teachers didn't want collaborative time in addition to
the school day they wanted it as part of their school day. Teachers found time by deciding to arrive at
school 15 minutes early on the first day of the week and delay students
starting classes by 30 minutes so that teams could collaborate. To keep teachers from using planning time
for routine activities like grading papers, Galloway requires his teachers to
produce common assessments, rubrics, data analysis on assessment, and
strategies for improving. They were
not asked to submit agendas or minutes of meetings, but rather the products