Asking the Right Questions: Tools for Collaboration and School Change

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9781412962742: Asking the Right Questions: Tools for Collaboration and School Change
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Use these practical tips and real-world examples to facilitate meaningful school change!

This updated edition of the bestseller focuses on collaboration at the district, school, and classroom level. Chapters highlight the questions that educators need to address when implementing school change initiatives. The author builds on a highly successful framework with new questions to help shape practice and more thoroughly examine improvement plans. Additional enhancements include:

  • Innovative strategies to facilitate teamwork and change
  • Additional examples of change scenarios from the field
  • Review questions and chapter summaries that highlight key points 
  • A CD-ROM featuring a discussion guide for individual and group study

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About the Author:

Edie L. Holcomb is executive director of curriculum and instructional services for Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She has experienced the challenges of improving student achievement from many perspectives:

  • From classroom teacher to university professor
  • From gifted education coordinator to mainstream teacher of children with multiple disabilities
  • From school- and district-level administration to national and international consulting
  • From small rural districts to the challenges of urban education

She is highly regarded for her ability to link research and practice on issues related to instructional leadership and school and district change―including standards-based curriculum, instruction, assessment, supervision, and accountability. She has taught at all grade levels, served as a building principal and central office administrator, and assisted districts as an external facilitator for accreditation and implementation of school reform designs. As associate director of the National Center for Effective Schools, she developed a training program for site-based teams and provided technical support for implementation of school improvement efforts throughout the United States and in Canada, Guam, St. Lucia, and Hong Kong. She developed a comprehensive standards-based learning system for the staff and 47,000 students of the Seattle, Washington, city district and has supervised K–12 clusters of schools and evaluated principals.

Her work received the Excellence in Staff Development Award from the Iowa Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development in 1988. In 1990, her study of the needs of beginning principals was recognized by the American Association of School Administrators with the Paul F. Salmon Award for Outstanding Education Leadership Research.

She served as an elected member-at-large on the Leadership Council for ASCD International, played an active role in Washington State’s School Improvement Assistance Program, and contributed to development of the new School System Improvement Resource Guide. Holcomb is the author of four previous books and numerous articles and reviews.

Review:

"A great book with practical advice. It provides all the tools for facilitating change dialogues with clear explanations of what is desired for answering the essential questions." (Linda Vogel, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies 2008-02-19)

“An effective synthesis of information for implementing, monitoring, and sustaining change in a collaborative way.” (Bess Scott, Principal 2008-02-19)

"Gives a multitude of techniques for collaborative planning and preparing for change. This is an exceptional resource for school leaders to read and reflect on."
(Regina S. Birdsell, Assistant Executive Director 2008-02-19)

"Offers a strong set of strategies for working with adults to gain consensus, reach a goal, or gain insight into the thinking of participants." (Rita Corbett, Educational Consultant 2008-02-19)

“An excellent book. This is the manual that I have been needing. It simplified the complex and demonstrated that we can really make a difference in our schools and districts.” (Janet Hurt, Associate Superintendent 2008-02-19)

"This book has something for everyone―the teacher leader heading school improvement committees, the curriculum director working with teacher task forces, or the superintendent working with community groups to establish vision and set priorities. A very hands-on book with practical tools for leaders in any setting!" (Mary Devin, Associate Professor 2008-02-19)

"During my four years in the Kentucky Distinguished Educator Program, this book was my constant companion. On many occasions, the materials and insights I gleaned from this book made my work easier and made me appear to others to be smarter and wiser." (Stan Laferty, Curriculum Coordinator 2008-02-19)

“The book is supported with concrete examples from real-life experience and is presented with an eye to real problems. It allows the reader to find tools that are appropriate for the local situation and to feel empowered to use the tools in flexible ways.” (Steven R. Thompson, Coordinator, School Leadership Program 2008-03-03)

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