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EDU 6600 – Action plans

November 29, 2009

From the reading, lecture and posts this week I’ve come to realize that action planning needs to be a lot of things in order for ti to be effective. I centered my own post on the idea that action planning simply needs to follow the SMART layout (Specific, Measurable, Agreed-upon, Realistic and Time-based). I have come to realize that action planning goes a lot deeper than this.

I saw that many people have experienced the “committee-phase” of action planning in that they get stuck in the discussion loop, without ever implementing any sort of actual action. While it’s disheartening to see, I know exactly how this feels, and It was also good to see that people made many suggestions about how to overcome this.

While I could break down the SMART goals, I just want to point out what I noticed in discussion. Many of my fellow teachers pointed out that action planning takes a good amount of teacher buy-in/commitment for it to even get off the ground. If teachers don’t believe in what they are doing, and attach themselves to the project then they will be less likely to work on it in the first place.

Ted pointed out a passage in DuFour that I found especially interesting as well, and that is the idea of a “sharing-culture” on page 236.  This opens an interesting door into the world of internal competition and the ways by which this can be removed from the culture of a school so as not to impede things like action plans. When I read it, my first thought was how I would love to be in a school that embraced this idea, as it would open the community up to action and interaction.

The following are some of the other suggestions that I read that seem noteworthy. The process of action planning needs to be structured, and the goals need to be measurable. The entire process of action planning needs to be clear to all involved, otherwise they may be willing to help, but not know what they’re working for or even if what they’re doing is serving a purpose within the scope of the action plan. I also noticed a lot of people commenting on how the process needs to be centralized within the system in which it is being implemented, and the progress must be monitored by the principals/admin so it does not veer off-track. Finally, I thought that the idea proposed of a reflection process following the implementation of an action plan would be specifically useful for those who were involved.

I don’t personally know what the best formula or approach would be, but I think that with time and experience I’ll be better suited to delve into the realm of action planning and implementation.

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