Attributes of Successful School Improvement Teams: Participants' Perspective
The Problem: In light of the current political and economic pressure being placed on school districts, it is imperative for school leaders to implement initiatives which will contribute to the school improvement process. Better utilization of administrators and faculty is key to the efficient and effective implementation of school improvement efforts. Teams have been identified in a wide range of research successfully implemented by business/industry and schools. The purpose of this research was to study the attributes or behaviors of individual team members, as viewed by their fellow team members. These attributes or behaviors were coded to determine whether they helped the school improvement team succeed. Procedures: A qualitative collective case study was utilized to gain insight into the perceptions of team members as they reflected on traits they viewed in other members of their school improvement team. Semi-structured interviews, observations, and historical documents were used to gather data from four moderately sized school districts in Iowa. This was a multi-case study in which the interviewees were randomly selected. Findings: The interviews uncovered eight main attributes. The five main attributes were: bringing something positive to the team, being a team player, life-long learning, clearly defined roles on the team/ground rules, and longevity working together. Important, yet secondary, attributes were identified as: approachability, strong communication skills, and having a vision of the future.
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