Oshry, Barry, Seeing
Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life, 1966. The author discusses how daily breakdowns
occur as a result of our failure to understand how human systems shape our
feelings and thoughts about ourselves, as well as our relationships with other individuals
and groups. He illustrates how we can successfully enable ourselves to live and
work together in a partnership.
2. Nanus, Bert Visionary Leadership, Joey-Bass,
1992. This book focuses on vision being the key to successful leadership, the
importance of developing a vision, as well as the guidelines for developing its
scope and implementing it successfully. Visionary Leadership is a necessary
tool for every organization.
3. Hawley, William-The KEYS to Effective Schools,
Washington D.C.: NEA, 2002. The author provides valuable insights in regards to a successful
learning environment via continuous improvement and strong leadership. He stresses consistent and long-term
professional development in tandem with engaging teachers, administrators and
community colleagues supported by a strong culture as a means of school
improvement and professional and student success.
4. Senge, Peter, Schools That Learn, 2000. The author emphasizes educational change in
building organizations where learning can thrive as a result of developing
personal goals, creating shared visions, realizing and cultivating attitudes,
opinions and perceptions, creating and implementing positive interaction, understanding
interdependency and change and practicing positive feedback.
5. Smith,S., and J. Scott, The Collaborative School:
A Work Environment for Effective Instruction, 1990. This book emphasizes
the importance of collaboration in terms of teachers and administrators
developing and sharing a common vision in developing an alternative work
environment that will be successful in meeting the needs of the students.
6. Duke, D., “Removing Barriers to Professional Growth”,
Phi Delta Kappan, 75, 702-712. 1993. This
article discusses organizational barriers in education and ways for educators
to deal with these barriers in an effort to achieve success in an organization
via professional growth and ultimately resulting in successful student
7. Glatthorrn, A., Teachers as Agents of Change: A
New Look at School Improvement. Washington D.C.: NEA. 1992. The author stresses that the key to
development and implementation of a successful school improvement plan is
collaboration is between teachers and administrators, between school and home,
and among teachers in their respective instructional teams.
8. Sparks, D., “A Paradigm Shift in Professional
Development”, Changing Education: Resources for Systemic Reform, pp 152-153,
Washington DC: United States Department of Education. 1993. This book details how three ideas,
results-driven education, systems thinking, and constructivism, are shaping a
new direction in professional development in schools. Results-driven education
judges the success of schooling by students’ knowledge and their capabilities
and performance as a result of their time in school. Systems’ thinking is a
structure for seeing interrelationships rather than things. Constructivism
views learners as creators of their own knowledge structures as opposed to
receiving them from others.
9. Fullan, M., The New Meaning of Educational Change,
New York: Teachers College Press. 1991.
This book focuses on knowing what change looks like from the
perspectives of the teachers, parents, students, and administrators, and
combining these knowledge bases in implementing effective change in the
10. Checklist from The Fifth Discipline Field Book
by Senge, Leiner, Roberts, Ross, Smith.
This checklist focuses on successful collaborative strategies and
perspectives needed amongst teachers, and administrators in attaining ideas
necessary to achieve a successful learning environment.
11. Little J.W. “Teachers as Colleagues” Schools as
Collaborative Cultures: Creating the Future Now, A. Lieberman, Ed., Bristol,
Pennsylvania: Falmer. This book explores
the values of educational visions containing inclusion, critique and diversity
in maintaining differences in beliefs and practices in meeting the needs of
students and creating a successful learning environment.
12. Perrone, V., Expanding Student Assessment,
Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development,
1991. This book discusses and supports
constructive discussion about assessment. This book focuses on authentic
assessment in education, with an emphasis on teachers and classroom practice as
effective resources and methodologies.
The most important and beneficial information that I have
learned from this study is the understanding of how change can impact a
learning environment in both positive and negative ways and how an
administrator must have the knowledge and skills to understand and balance
effectively in a non-threatening environment the human element, consisting of
personalities and behaviors that may be in direct contrast as to what the
leader, group or organization is attempting to accomplish. Eliminating potential barriers must be done
as a prerequisite to developing a vision and or school improvement plan.
Everyone must respect everyone’s viewpoints and develop the ability to
compromise and collaborate, based on data and research presented, and most
importantly keep the mission geared towards or focused on the best interest of
students. Each person in the group brings strengths and all must be utilized in
developing and accomplishing the vision and goals. If the process is domineering in terms of
everyone agreeing with the leader then the results will be limited and reflect
only the leader’s perspective. Buy-in
and input from all perspectives including teachers, administrators, parents,
community leaders and stakeholders must truly be evident in the continuous
improvement process, thus enhancing educational excellence in professional
development for educators and ultimately achieving optimum student achievement
and success. This is in essence the most
important and beneficial information that I gleaned from this study of Planning
for Continuous Improvement in Alabama Public Schools.