In this tutorial, we'll examine several best practices strategies that you may wish to consider as you implement site-based management within the context of your organization. All of these theories help to define the best practices that will help us achieve the ideal that is noted in the total quality management framework. This includes the elements of ethics, integrity, trust, training, teamwork, leadership, recognition, and communication.
So the specific theories that support site-based management that we'll examine in this tutorial include, social learning theory and its idea of self-efficacy, systems theory, action research, andragogy, and critical thinking theory. Let's get started. Let's begin by considering how social learning theory can support site-based management.
Social learning theory tells us that learners evolve based on their interactions with each other. So in site-based management, there are some strategies that you can use to apply the idea of social learning theory. First is to realize that the collaborative development of norms or common commitments helps to build a trusting group dynamic that supports teamwork and ultimately supports the focus on improvement, whether it is in an individual classroom, in the entire school, or even across the whole district.
Next, norms should focus on ethical choices and the integrity of the whole team. This helps to increase student achievement and to improve school culture and school safety. The end result of building up this trusting group dynamic and focusing on team integrity means that our professional learning community teams or PLCs are going to have the ability to work together collaboratively in order to meet the objectives and the goals of the school.
An important component of social learning theory is the idea of self-efficacy, which is one's belief in the ability to accomplish a goal. So in the context of site-based management, strategies would include, making sure that team members are provided with the training that is needed for them to accomplish their goals, and also to provide recognition for accomplishments and for successful improvement efforts.
Another theory that can provide best practices for implementing site-based management is systems theory. Systems theory tells us that the whole is the sum of the parts. So in the context of an organization, this would refer to the way in which all of the members work together in order to collaboratively define the success of the organization.
Systems theory has its roots in biological science, but it has been modified to fit management and organizational theory. Systems theory tells us that five different disciplines work together to create the structures and the systems of schools. So to implement strategies of systems theory in site-based management, it's important to clearly communicate the vision and the mission to all team members, and to provide regular opportunities for collaboration that support the vision and the mission of the team and of the overall school. Finally, in site-based management, leaders need to use training to encourage and support hard work.
Action research is another theory that can provide us with best practices for implementing site-based management. Action research is a cyclical process of defining a problem, acting upon that problem, assessing the impact of that action, and then adjusting accordingly. Site-based management teams frequently employ action research, especially in systems thinking and in improvement efforts where communication and teamwork are considered critical to the process. So in site-based management, a strategy that you can use is to incorporate collaborative action research that can guide your continuous improvement efforts.
The theory of andragogy is arguably the most commonly referenced adult learning theory. Andragogy is attributed to Malcolm Knowles, who developed his six assumptions for adult learning. The idea behind these assumptions is that they help us to increase our ability to design learning experiences for adult learners that are going to take into account the unique needs of adult learners, and consequently be more effective in helping those adult learners to learn.
The first of Knowles's six assumptions for adult learning is self-concept, or the idea that as we mature, we move from being a dependent human being to being more self-directed or more independent. The next assumption is experience. Adult learners are accumulating an ever-growing reservoir of unique experiences which we should consider as rich resources for adult learning.
The next assumption is readiness, the idea that the readiness that we perceive for ourselves when it comes to learning new knowledge is going to be closely related to the developmental tasks that we see everyday in our social roles. The next assumption is problem centered orientation. We tend to see a change in our time perspective as we mature. Instead of looking for future applications of knowledge, we want to see an immediate application of new knowledge in our everyday lives. So an adult learner is going to be more problem centered in learning, rather than the more subject centered learning approach that might be common with younger learners.
Next is the assumption of internal motivation, stating that adult learners tend to be more motivated by internal motivators rather than external motivators. And the final assumption is the need to know, keeping in mind that adult learners need to understand why they are learning something new. So in site-based management, a strategy that you can use that is based on andragogy is to make sure that any training aligns to Knowles's six assumptions. This will help to increase teacher capacity and self-efficacy.
Finally, let's examine Stephen Brookfield's critical thinking theory. There are four processes involved in critical thinking. First is contextual awareness and deciding what to observe and consider. This is being aware of what's going on around you, understanding what is happening within the particular context of the situation, and also understanding what it is important for you to take notice how in that situation.
The next process is exploring and imagining alternatives. This involves being able to develop varying solutions to the problem of practice at hand. The next process is assumption recognition and analysis, or being able to admit your personal biases and personal preferences that might influence your actions and your thoughts.
And the final process is reflective skepticism, or deciding what to do. This process requires you to be able to engage in self reflection that will help you to understand why you identified a particular problem that you wanted to address, and also to understand how your values and your beliefs might influence both your focus and your actions.
So within site-based management, a strategy based on critical thinking theory would be to develop SMART goals and action steps aligned to those SMART goals that involve continuous reflection and review. For example, you might incorporate a PDSA, or Plan, Do, Study Act cycle in order to make this happen. Also, both data analysis and goal review support critical thinking theory by developing this recursive and reflective approach to problem solving that is going to relate to your site-based initiative implementation and to your school improvement efforts.
So in this tutorial I have shared with you a number of strategies that you can use as you implement site-based management. Here's a chance for you to stop and reflect. Which of these strategies might be especially applicable in your situation?
For more information on how to apply what you learned in this video, please view the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.
(00:00 - 00:48) Introduction
(00:49 - 02:29) Social Learning Theory and Self-Efficacy
(02:30 - 03:34) Systems Theory
(03:35 - 04:14) Action Research
(04:15 - 06:34) Andragogy
(06:35 - 08:29) Critical Thinking Theory
(08:30 - 09:05) Stop and Reflect
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