Quality Teams in Education - Fact or Fiction? A Leadership Challenge


Smialek, Mary Ann   (1997, ASQ)   Quest Associates, Wexford, PA

Annual Quality Congress, Orlando, FL    Vol. 51    No. 0
QICID: 10619    May 1997    pp. 750-759
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Article Abstract

Empowered teams facilitate change. Surveys and interviews in four school districts identified seven major factors that affect team building and effectiveness in K-12 educational organizations. This study was important because of the need to find practices that enhance cross-functional teamwork in education. The seven factors, with the most important given first, are as follows. First, training is vital. It supports development of the culture needed for shared decision making. Second, time for team meetings should be built into the regular school day. Substitute teachers and community volunteers can help implement the schedule. Third, team recommendations need follow through from the administration. Otherwise, members become discouraged and feel their time has been wasted. Fourth, there must be a true representation of concerns. Educators should hear the voices of parents, students, and community members. Fifth, openness in team meetings needs respect, trust, and the philosophy that all learning involves mistakes. Sixth, information dissemination methods should keep team members and all other stakeholders informed of team progress. Seventh, recognition for today's teams will encourage future teamwork.



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