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Best Practices in SBM

Best Practices in SBM

Author: Gino Sangiuliano

In this lesson, students evaluate best-practice strategies in implementing initiatives using site-based leadership theories.

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Implementing Site-Based Initiatives

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Source: Globe, Clker,; Thinking Person, Clker,; Albert Bandura, Wikimedia Commons,; Kurt Lewin, Wikimedia Commons,; Lego, Pixabay,; Binoculars, Pixabay,; Man in Chair, Clker,; Magnifying Glass, Clker,; Reflection Man, Clker,

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Hello there, and welcome. In this lesson we will get a better understanding of best practice strategies in implementing initiatives using site-based leadership theories, and also learn how to evaluate them. Let's get started.

In this particular forum, we of course focus on the world of education. However, it's important to note that many of the best practice strategies to consider are also applicable to any organization that is implementing site-based management. The theories supporting site-based management include social learning, self-efficacy, systems theory, action research, adult learning, and critical thinking. On our mission to achieve a total quality management framework, these theories help us to define best practices toward achieving that goal. These theories encompass such traits as ethics, integrity, trust, training, teamwork, leadership, recognition, and communication.

Let's begin with a true expert in the field, Albert Bandura and his social learning theory. Bandura's theory is based on the premise that learners evolve over time based on their interactions with one another. He added that by developing norms, otherwise known as common commitments, groups build collaboration and trust. These characteristics allow the group to maintain their focus on the improvement of the classroom, school, and district. Keep in mind that these agreed upon norms are built around ethical choices. It is important that the group recognizes and often reminds themselves that their main purpose is to increase the achievement of all learners, and improve the safety and culture of the school.

In schools that subscribe to this theory, it means you will see professional learning community teams such as RTI, grade-level teams, administrative, and so on collaboratively working toward meeting the school's common goals and objectives. Also, Bandura defines self-efficacy as the belief in your ability to accomplish a goal. Let's take a look at what site-based management strategies can support this.

First, team members must be trained. Without proper training, it's unlikely that they will be able to accomplish their goals. And when those goals are achieved, it's important to pause and recognize the team's accomplishments and improvement efforts. Next, we have systems theory, which states that in any organization, the whole is the sum of the parts. Success of the organization is defined by how each member works together. It was Peter Senge that modified this theory to fit organizational theory in management and education.

According to Senge, there are five disciplines that make up schools. They are systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, and team learning. These disciplines should not be viewed individually, but rather collectively. They need to be considered as a whole in an effort to create the systems and structures of schools. Here is what systems theories would look like an action.

Teams begin establishing the mission and vision together. Once established, it needs to be clearly communicated to stakeholders. Next, leaders need to support the work of the team members by providing them with training and the opportunity to collaborate to reach that mission and vision. That brings us to action research, which is attributed to Kurt Lewin. It is a cyclical process of defining a problem, acting upon that problem, assessing the impact of action, and adjusting accordingly.

In order to be effective, teamwork and communication are critical to this process. In site-based management, teams use action research to guide the process of continuous improvement collaboratively. Next, we have adult learning theory developed by Malcolm Knowles in 1980, and also known as andragogy. He outlined six principles that, if followed, will increase the ability for adults to learn. They are self-concept, experience, social role, time perspective, motivation, and purpose.

These disciplines reflect the changes that happen to us as we mature as learners and how we view ourselves and the world around us. In practical terms, when conducting training in the site-based management, the training should follow these principles. By doing so, you can capacity and self-efficacy of teachers to increase immensely.

Finally, let's look at Stephen Brookfield's critical thinking theory. Brookfield outlines four processes that are needed in critical thinking. They are contextual awareness in deciding what to observe and consider. This means knowing what's going on and what the priorities are. Exploring and imagining alternatives. We often refer to this as out-of-the-box thinking.

Assumption recognition and analysis. This can be challenging for some because it requires honest reflection that can uncover personal biases and preferences that may have an impact on your thoughts and actions. And finally, reflective of skepticism. This is the "hmm" moment, where you stop and think about why you identified the problem and how your beliefs and values influence the decisions you've made.

Strategies to employ critical thinking include development of SMART goals and action steps involving continuous reflection and review. For example, a plan-do-study-act act or a PDSA. And also an ongoing review of those goals through data analysis practices that directly support critical thinking theory. The end result of all this is solving problems, making constant improvements in implementing site-based initiatives.

So it's time to go ahead and summarize this lesson. Just to recap, we introduced the following learning theories-- social learning theory, self-efficacy, systems theory, action research, adult learning theory, and critical thinking theory. And we also considered what implications using them would have. Here's today's food for thought. Go back and review the theories we covered in this lesson. Do you recognize any elements of them in your daily professional lives?

As you reflect on how this new information be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that come with this video. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set. That's all for now. Till next time, have a great day.

Notes on "Best Practices in SBM"

(00:00-00:14) Intro

(00:15-01:01) Best Practices

(01:02-01:59) Social Learning

(02:00-02:23) Self-Efficacy

(02:24-03:29) Systems Theory

(03:30-03:55) Action Research

(03:56-04:39) Adult Learning Theory

(04:40-05:56) Critical Thinking

(05:57-06:50) Food For Thought/Summary

Additional Resources

Critical Issue: Implementing Site-Based Management to Support Student Achievement

This article is a comprehensive look at using SBM to improve student achievement, and includes the Dolan Model as an example.

School-Based Management: Strategies for Success

This article reviews strategies to use in SBM that are based on what was learned from SBM in the business field. This article was written at the height of research on SBM and PLCs.