Questões Éticas dentro das Organizações

Questões Éticas Dentro das Organizações

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education

Introdução

O comportamento ético representa um aspecto importante do clima dentro das organizações. Johnson (2012) afirmou que o “clima ético é melhor entendido como parte da cultura de uma organização” (p. 319). Weston (2008) explicou que fazer uma contribuição moral não é apenas fazer julgamentos ou reagir a problemas morais, mas também criar soluções ou abster-se deles. Discriminação e diversidade são alguns exemplos de que qualquer organização precisa trabalhar com funcionários, dar mais respeito e criar condições para desenvolver um clima ético. Além disso, a ética ajuda a desenvolver o pensamento crítico necessário para a tomada de decisões importantes.

Desenvolver perspectivas éticas ajuda os funcionários a se tornarem mais responsáveis ​​e tomar melhores decisões. Tópicos como o aprendizado organizacional, a mudança estratégica, a discriminação das mulheres, a diversidade, a corrupção, as violações, o comportamento não ético, o bullying, a falta de conduta, e a transparência da informação estão sendo analisados ​​como tendo um impacto ético nas organizações. A liderança transformacional é uma grande contribuição para que os seguidores sejam bem sucedidos, em que influência e motivação são características principais que os líderes precisam aplicar. No entanto, os líderes falham quando não tomam ações para resolver os problemas e combater as perspectivas do mal. Neste caso, eles precisam usar o poder para atacar os problemas do mal ou o processo de perdão (Johnson, 2012).

Grandes líderes se concentram em boa comunicação, feedback, confiança e moral para manter um clima ético. Por outro lado, os líderes também podem cometer erros. Johnson (2012) disse que “a motivação disfuncional é um bom primeiro passo para explicar o lado sombrio da liderança” (p. 51). Os problemas éticos nas organizações citadas acima devem ser equilibrados através de argumentos, opiniões e premissas para criar melhores decisões. Na entrevista de Tannen (Gergen, 1998), o equilíbrio entre dois pontos de vista diferentes é necessário para tomar uma decisão melhor. De acordo com a entrevista de Tannen, é necessário fazer argumentos ou conflitos para analisar questões críticas. A análise crítica de problemas éticos, como antes citados, precisa ser coerente com a moral, o respeito e a dignidade para ser imparcial com os outros.

Aprendizagem organizacional e implementação de mudanças estratégicas

O impacto da capacidade de aprendizagem organizacional (OLC) sobre o comportamento dos funcionários foi objeto de estudo desenvolvido por Camps e Majocchi (2010). A análise do papel de mediação de empregabilidade e compromisso organizacional ajudou a manter as relações entre o OLC eo comportamento dos funcionários (Camps & Majocchi, 2010). Para entender melhor essa relação, os autores definiram a empregabilidade como “a capacidade de se auto-suficiente no mercado de trabalho para realizar o potencial através do emprego sustentável” (Camps & Majocchi, 2010, p.113). Camps e Majocchi (2010) também disseram que “a capacidade de aprendizagem organizacional (OLC) é definida como as características organizacionais e gerenciais ou fatores que facilitam o processo de aprendizagem organizacional ou permitem que a organização aprenda” (p.129). Por outro lado, as atitudes ou o comportamento dos funcionários no ambiente de trabalho podem afetar o comportamento ético dos indivíduos. Alguns estudos se concentram em comportamentos não éticos, como mentirosos, trapaças e roubos.

Este estudo segue o comportamento ético e, conseqüentemente, usou itens que questionaram sobre comportamentos não éticos que prejudicaram a organização. Para manter e melhorar o desempenho, as organizações precisam mudar. Foram utilizados questionários e escalas no estudo Camps e Majocchi (2010) para medir a percepção de empregabilidade, OLC e percepção ética. O comportamento ético também foi medido neste estudo. Foi encontrada evidência empírica de que existe uma relação positiva entre as percepções do trabalho sobre o OLC e o comportamento ético dos mesmos empregados. Um relacionamento mediado pelo compromisso do trabalhador com as organizações; uma relação positiva entre as percepções do trabalho sobre o OLC da empresa e seu nível de empregabilidade; uma relação positiva entre o nível de empregabilidade percebida pelo trabalhador e o comportamento ético; e um relacionamento mediado pelo compromisso do trabalhador com a organização também foram encontrados neste estudo (Camps & Majocchi, 2010).

Além disso, este estudo forneceu portas abertas para seguir a hipótese de que OLC e empregabilidade têm um impacto no comportamento ético dentro das organizações. As condições de trabalho são outros aspectos a serem observados, facilmente para mulheres em corporações globais e sistema transcultural. Da mesma forma, alguns funcionários reinterpretam questões éticas por causa de pontos de gatilho, ambiguidade, uso do quadro de bem-estar dos funcionários e negócios-chave gerenciais (Sonenshein, 2009). Este estudo cita nas respostas a questões éticas, como “questões morais, julgamento ético, intenção moral e comportamento ético” (Sonenshein, 2009, p. 223). Ao mesmo tempo, a literatura de justiça explica julgamentos, o que implica o enshein (2009) disse que as mudanças dentro das organizações, fazem os gerentes tomar decisões e tomar medidas para implementar as estratégias. Além disso, a implicação do comportamento ético ocorre antes dos julgamentos na tomada de decisões.

Discriminação e Diversidade

Os aspectos sociais e culturais são transformados pelo processo de intervenção feminista sobre o status econômico das mulheres trabalhadoras (Ruwanpura, 2011). O código corporativo e o comércio ético se fundem nas condições de trabalho sem considerar o aumento específico do emprego de mulheres, precisamente no sul global. Neste estudo, Ruwanpura (2011) examinou a contribuição acadêmica nos últimos trinta anos do papel das mulheres no processo de produção de exportação global, os progressos realizados e as lacunas permaneceram. A luta do gênero de forma mais geral ao analisar as situações dos trabalhadores, incluindo as questões dos salários e da exploração das trabalhadoras. Os salários mais baixos do que os homens em empregos comparáveis, que incluem discriminação contra as mulheres por alegação, têm compromisso de trabalho mais fraco com a força de trabalho.

As transgressões sexuais por funcionários menores não casados ​​e não supervisionados são outros aspectos relevantes relacionados a questões éticas e morais como mulheres trabalhadoras relacionadas. Cada país com seus interesses culturais e econômicos é importante para entender debates políticos e nacionalistas sobre o uso e implantação de mulheres trabalhadoras. As análises culturais também são importantes para mostrar como as trabalhadoras tem objetivos sociais complexos e responderam como trabalhadores no setor formal. Um aspecto relevante é como os códigos éticos são implementados e afetam a vida do trabalhador. Diferentes prioridades são aplicadas em cada sociedade política e civil, em defesa dos direitos humanos e giram em torno de códigos éticos.

Embora, as mulheres em muitas corporações adotem o código de conduta, a falta de foco na atenção aos seus problemas, cria exclusão e dificuldades na melhoria das condições (Ruwanpura, 2011). Caso contrário, o estudo foi mais concentrado em ambientes industriais, onde Ruwanpura (2011) poderia desenvolver o estudo. Outra declaração deste estudo relacionou-se com o desemprego, os locais comparativos de custo e as mudanças qualitativas fora do trabalho, como aspectos sociais e econômicos. Os debates mais amplos sobre comércio ético e códigos corporativos devem ser considerados na pesquisa de questões específicas. Outros estudos foram desenvolvidos para abordar uma séria preocupação com a segurança fora do ambiente de trabalho.

O papel de liderança deve ser desempenhado para apoiar uma corporação multinacional em um país em desenvolvimento, embora a ética funcione em uma situação de risco (Lorenzo, Esqueda e Larson, 2009). O ambiente empresarial global integra diferentes culturas em economias desenvolvidas e emergentes. O contexto mostrou que 1,2 milhão de mortes em 2002 de acidentes de trânsito em todo o mundo e os países desenvolvidos foram responsáveis ​​por 88% dessas mortes, que deverão aumentar em média em mais de 80% até 2020 (Lorenzo et al., 2009). Educar os trabalhadores e os gerentes de forma ética para evitar acidentes em um mundo global é o objetivo.

Corrupção corporativa, violações e comportamento anti-ético

Bishara e Schipani (2009) definiram a corrupção em geral “englobando a auto-negociação executiva, o que prejudica suas empresas” (p. 765). A fraude corporativa pode ser citada como Eron, WorldCom, Tyco e Adelphia (Bishara & Schipani, 2009). Os autores identificaram a corrupção através da análise legal do impacto sobre os acionistas e a falta de integridade gerencial em seus contratos. Alguns autores também consideram a interação da empresa multinacional com membros governamentais por meio de pagamentos de subornos como um problema de corrupção. O professor Thomas Dunfee e outros co-autores escreveram na literatura de ética empresarial sobre o problema da corrupção (Bishara & Schipani, 2009). Eles apresentaram um quadro de organização com obrigações éticas para que os diretores se candidatassem a qualquer corporação.

O quadro foi composto por seis valores éticos fundamentais, que eram honestidade, integridade, lealdade, responsabilidade, justiça e cidadania (Bishara & Schipani, 2009). Os custos da corrupção não são transparentes e difíceis de medir. Suborno é um claro intercâmbio de vantagens entre empresas e governos que perdoam impostos ou multas. Certamente, os custos totais de suborno não têm os efeitos positivos. Além disso, viola os princípios morais da ética. As corporações podem descrever alguns princípios em seus códigos que protegem contra corrupções dentro e fora de sua organização (Bishara & Schipani, 2009). Os princípios defendidos por Dunfee e Hess dirigidos a identificar e prevenir potenciais lapsos éticos, estabelecer mecanismos no nível da empresa para detectar e erradicar a corrupção e aprender com as falhas do passado para fornecer feedback positivo para se engajar na auto-regulação (Bishara & `Schipani, 2009). Pode ajudar qualquer organização a prevenir a corrupção e envolver os princípios éticos em seu ambiente.

A liderança no campo da ética empresarial foi demonstrada por esta estrutura proposta pelo Dr. Dunfee que pode ser útil para qualquer organização anização para proteger seus negócios e o impacto do comportamento antiético através de seus funcionários e partes interessadas. Graaf (2010) acrescentou a importância de atender a violações na administração pública, onde as violações de integridade universal nem sempre foram relatadas. Para esclarecer, a integridade é a visão de acordo com valores, normas e regras morais. É responsabilidade dos funcionários públicos e da sociedade denunciar as violações. Além disso, as organizações não governamentais (ONGs) tornaram-se eficazes ao relatar numerosos casos de corrupção global (Fassin, 2009). Grupos de ativistas, como o Greenpeace, pressionaram as corporações globais a atuar com mais responsabilidade.

Liderança, a má conduta do empregado e o clima etico.

A falta de emprego, assim como o bullying, pode afetar o clima ético. Precisamente, os líderes podem diminuir o impacto do comportamento de bullying educando os trabalhadores e tornando o ambiente melhor. O bullying pode causar consequências para as organizações, como o volume de negócios, o absenteísmo, a redução do comprometimento e da produtividade (Stouten, Baillien, Broeck, Camps, Witte e Euwema, 2010). A liderança ética é responsável por desencorajar as pessoas do bullying em ambientes de trabalho. Stouten et al. (2010) escreveu: “o bullying é a ação desviante mais impactante com a qual os trabalhadores podem ser confrontados” (p.17). O bullying afeta a saúde dos trabalhadores causando doenças físicas, depressão, menor interação social, ansiedade e insônia. Éticamente, o design e o clima do local de trabalho podem ser usados ​​para melhorar os trabalhadores.

Além disso, líderes éticos podem ajudar a diminuir os trabalhadores através do ambiente quantitativo (isto é, carga de trabalho) e qualitativo (isto é, condições precárias) (Stouten et al., 2010). O bullying também está relacionado à falta de respeito e responsabilidade, e a má conduta em relação aos outros. Stouten et al. (2010) descreveu “bullying no local de trabalho como assediante, ofendendo, excluindo socialmente alguém ou afetando algumas tarefas de trabalho” (p. 18). O bullying tem sido um dos graves problemas dentro das organizações, negócios ou educação, que as vítimas são protegidas por lei. Além disso, o bullying é chamado quando o comportamento negativo é repetidamente e regularmente. As características individuais dos funcionários e do meio ambiente são determinantes do bullying. O ruído, as altas temperaturas e a falta de ferramentas aumentam o comportamento agressivo, frustrações e refletem em condições físicas.

Por outro lado, os líderes podem prevenir as condições físicas que afetam o trabalho de qualidade e conseqüentemente o clima. Os líderes éticos precisam conversar com os funcionários sobre o que é a conduta apropriada no trabalho. A liderança ética tem uma relação negativa com o bullying, pode reduzir o comportamento desviado e não ético dos funcionários e pode proteger a vulnerabilidade dos funcionários contra o bullying (Stouten et al., 2010). Fazendo as coisas certas, os líderes éticos incentivam, motivam e valorizam os funcionários. Além disso, a condição de confiança é importante neste processo (Brown, 2000). Através dos funcionários também podem mudar seu comportamento para um clima melhor. Os líderes precisam usar algumas estratégias para melhorar o ambiente. Os líderes éticos também precisam ajudar as organizações a melhorar a cultura das organizações com seus valores e crenças.

A cultura, o código de ética e a motivação também podem mudar o comportamento dos funcionários para melhor. Enquanto isso, o comportamento antiético e desviante tem conseqüências para um clima de trabalho ético (Mayer, Kuenzi e Greenbaum, 2010). Johnson (2012) descreveu uma variedade de sistemas de crenças, demonstrando o respeito pelos valores dos outros, tratando os outros com justiça, expressões de preocupação e preocupação, escuta, responsabilidade, apreciando a conduta dos outros e envolvendo uma prática reflexiva. Consequentemente, os líderes têm algumas ferramentas para promover o comportamento ético dentro das organizações. Além disso, crie um clima positivo para dissolver o comportamento antiético, os líderes podem se concentrar na resolução de problemas, criar oportunidades de interação, apoiar os trabalhadores e entender as emoções dos trabalhadores. A liderança é a forma de moderar qualquer confronto entre os funcionários dentro das organizações.

Certamente, os líderes abrem comunicações com funcionários para argumentos, opiniões e pensamento crítico para resolver conflitos. Reforçando o processo de liderança, Weston (2008) citou “a visão é vital na ética também” (pág. 347), que é uma das características mais importantes dos líderes éticos, que precisa ensinar os funcionários a atuarem melhor para o futuro. Os funcionários com visão, esperanças e negócios também podem conduzir melhor seu comportamento. Os líderes éticos também podem ter discussões de incentivos sobre conflitos para estabelecer um terreno comum e manter um clima melhor dentro das organizações. Ao fazer perguntas, abrir a comunicação e compartilhar experiências, os funcionários podem diminuir o comportamento antiético e crescer.

No entanto, alguns líderes se beneficiam do comportamento de seguidores não éticos (UFB), embora os mais líderes desaprovam UFB (Hoogervorst, Cremer, & Dijke, 2010). O papel da responsabilidade faz as pessoas manterem uma forma ética e avaliar positivamente. Embora, líderes ou seguidores contratados para defender suas empresas, alguns líderes atuam de acordo com seus próprios interesses. Além disso, as ações antiéticas não devem vir de um bom líder. De acordo com o estudo desenvolvido por Hoogervorst et al. (2010) em uma universidade holandesa, eles escreveram que líderes em organizações influenciam decisões éticas e antiéticas e atuam para seus seguidores. Os líderes que são responsabilizados são mais propensos a refutar a UFB.Mayer et al. (2010) escreveu um “clima ético também é uma mediação da relação entre liderança ética e má conduta dos funcionários” (p.7). Acontece quando a liderança ética demonstrou e alguns líderes não possuem uma conduta apropriada para os funcionários que usam comunicação, reforço, feedback e tomada de decisão de dois sentidos.

Embora, a má conduta dos funcionários no trabalho se relaciona com o clima ético. Neste caso, “os climas éticos ajudam os indivíduos a saber quais tipos de comportamentos (un) éticos são (não) aceitáveis ​​na unidade de trabalho” (Mayer et al., 2010). Às vezes, as situações de conflito são importantes para criar ou inovar oportunidades com melhores ambientes para as organizações. De acordo com Mayer et al. (2010), esta é uma questão crítica para que as organizações diminuam a má conduta dos funcionários. Além disso, os líderes nem sempre desaprovam o comportamento de seguidores não éticos (UFB) e o que é aprovado ou não é aprovado, os comportamentos morais e imorais os ajudam a criar um clima ético em suas organizações (Hoogervorst et al., 2010).

Além disso, os líderes com prestação de contas dependem do comportamento moral e ético e do interesse próprio da perspectiva dos seguidores. A idéia dos seres humanos traz a idéia de ter uma maneira positiva. Os seguidores também prevêem quando os líderes desaprovaram o comportamento antiético. A liderança ética é uma abordagem para ser uma pesquisa no futuro mais profunda para descrever questões éticas e anti-éticas.

Transparência de informações

Além disso, outros aspectos ocorrem dentro das organizações que afetam práticas e princípios éticos para permitir que o número de informações divulgado seja acessível para toda a organização. Turilli e Floridi (2009) descreveram a transparência nas disciplinas de gerenciamento de informações que tendem a ser usadas para se referir à visibilidade e na informática e tecnologia da informação (TI); ele refere uma condição de invisibilidade da informação, como um aplicativo ou processo que é transparente para o usuário. Embora, este estudo tenha sido citado apenas quando a informação foi acessada para as pessoas. Além disso, informações transparentes apoiam a tomada de decisões dentro das organizações. As questões éticas também foram um desafio para os provedores de informações.

Entretanto, a divulgação de informações também pode representar uma oportunidade de negócio. Os autores Turilli e Floridi (2009) não consideram a transparência da informação como um princípio ético por si só, mas uma condição pró-ética que afeta os princípios éticos. O impacto depende de dois tipos de relações entre informação e princípios éticos: dependência e regulação. A informação é necessária para endossar os princípios éticos e, ao mesmo tempo, os princípios éticos regulam a informação. Inicialmente, os princípios éticos, como prestação de contas, segurança, bem-estar e consentimento informado são importantes para a divulgação de informações. Mesmo assim, detalhes falsos, enganosos e inadequados podem danificar a imagem da informação criando uma ação antiética ao público. Além disso, as informações de divulgação das organizações precisam estar comprometidas com princípios éticos.

Conclusão

Fazendo negocios com ética é um grande desafio neste mundo econômico. Atualmente nos Estados Unidos, alguns líderes estão lutando contra a tomada de decisões com ações anti-éticas. Exemplos de ações anti-éticas aconteceram dentro de organizações como Tyco, Eron e Adelphia, cujos líderes eram corruptos e tinham falta de habilidades gerenciais para resolver problemas. As decisões antiéticas são às vezes convenientes para os líderes, que usam a oportunidade de fazer negócios de acordo com a situação. Por exemplo, o governo em alguns países para fazer negócios internacionais aceitam suborno.

Outro problema anti-ético está acontecendo na China, onde é permitido copiar marcas famosas como a Apple para fazer mercadorias ilegais. No entanto, algumas empresas trabalham com aprendizagem organizacional e possibilitam melhorar o clima dos trabalhadores, que têm impacto no comportamento ético (Camps & Majocchi, 2010). Positivamente, algumas empresas aplicam decisões éticas para que as empresas tenham sucesso. O estilo de liderança também tem uma enorme influência na ética que faz os seguidores confiarem, eles têm mais responsabilidade, e eles serão mais seguros sobre sua tomada de decisão. Além disso, os líderes podem ajudar a melhorar o clima organizacional e criar um ambiente melhor para os funcionários dentro da organização.

Os líderes também podem ter impacto na má conduta do empregado como bullying, quando eles têm comportamento anti-ético. Além disso, a definicao estratégica também faz com que os funcionários chamem a atenção para o processo de fazer sentido em ter um conteúdo ético. A implementação de mudanças de negócios também causa implicações comportamentais éticas. Infelizmente, a discriminação das mulheres tem sido um problema no seculo 21, quando as organizações ainda conservam as melhores posições para os homens, e as mulheres ficam  em uma posição não privilegiada em empregos comparáveis. Assim, o gênero ainda é um problema a ser resolvido dentro das organizações, onde o código de ética pode ser um grande apoio.

Outra questão é trabalhar com a diversidade dentro da organização que precisa lidar com diferentes culturas com diversos valores e crenças. Conseqüentemente, os líderes precisam criar melhores condições para os funcionários, que trabalham em um ambiente multicultural. Em seguida, a transparência da informação tem os dois pontos de vista que, de acordo com a entrevista de Tannen (Gergen, 1998). Precisa da mediação para dispersar a informação dentro e fora das organizações.

O mais importante é ter um equilíbrio para decidir se a informação pode ser divulgada ou não para questões éticas e sua importância na tomada de decisões. Transparência é sobre o que pode ser divulgado, embora os líderes nem sempre mostram transparência sobre suas informações para fazer melhores negociações. Precisamente, o melhor negócio lida com princípios éticos. Os problemas técnicos nos negócios apresentados podem ser resolvidos com bons líderes, um código de ética, confiança e transparência. Swartz e Spong (2009) também descreveram a importância das abordagens de negócios econômicas e éticas pelos costumes, crenças, valores e processos de tomada de decisão.

Ambos os lados, éticos e antiéticos, precisam ser observados para dar uma melhor tomada de decisão. Embora, a maioria das organizações precisa trabalhar com respeito, dignidade e dar apoio aos funcionários. Na verdade, a confidencialidade e os regulamentos são importantes para resolver um problema ético. As questões éticas nos negócios podem ser resolvidas mais rapidamente quando os funcionários têm compromisso e confiança nas organizações. Ao mesmo tempo, os países precisam melhorar melhor sua regulamentação para negócios internacionais em um mundo global.

Fazer as coisas mais fáceis e transparentes pode criar melhores relacionamentos e clima para os funcionários. As questões como discriminação, bullying e diversidade precisam de mais suporte de regulamentação para manter um comportamento ético melhor dentro das organizações. Os funcionários e a sociedade são responsáveis ​​por denunciar a corrupção ou qualquer outra violação dentro das organizações públicas. Poder e responsabilidade precisam estar juntos para apoiar as ações do líder.

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Turilli, M., Floridi, L. (2009). The ethics of information technology. Ethics Information Technology, 11, pp.105-112. doi; 10.1007/s10676-009-9187-9

Weston, A. (2008). A 21st century ethical toolbox (2nd. ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.


The FPA-BM has as Director of Education Dr. Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D. Dr. Nilsa, is a consultant, university professor and information analyst. Dr. Nilsa graduated in Business Administration from FACE – UFMG, postgraduate in Industrial Economics – UFMG, Specialization in Information Systems by UNA – Cepederh. She holds a Master in Business Science and Doctorate in Education, concentration in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a consultant for the government and private sector in Brazil, USA and Canada. In addition, Dr. Nilsa taught business in some universities in Brazil. She teaches Business and Education courses for undergraduate and graduate courses in the USA.

 

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education

Cooperative Learning (CL) is an instructional strategy that contributes to social integration through collaboration and integration of effective small-groups (Bennett & Rolheiser, 2008). The most complex of CL are strategies and the simpler ones are tactics (Bennett & Rolheiser, 2008). Examples of CL strategies are jigsaw, group investigation, team analysis, and academic controversy. Next, think-pair-share, inside outside circles, and the three-step interview are examples of tactics in CL. According to Sharan (2010), CL is “a pedagogy that generates a diversified body of methods of instruction which organize students ‘to work in groups toward a common goal or outcome, or share a common problem or task in such a way that they can succeeded in complete the work through behavior that demonstrates interdependence, while holding individual contributions and efforts accountable”’ (p. 4).

Marzano (2003) said that structured tasks or effective transfer of knowledge are required by the process of learning. Thus, CL groups are small, structured, and heterogeneous. Certainly, students rely on each other to complete the tasks. In addition, students have accountability, and they promote face-to face interaction in a small group. Dyson, Lynehan, and Hastie (2010) described in their research the instructional ecology of CL in elementary physical education classes and identified four main categories: (a) organization and management of student; (b) roles; (c) skill development; and (d) strategizing. Dyson et al. (2010) defined   CL as “an instructional model in which students work together in small, structured, heterogeneous groups to complete group tasks” (p. 113). The definition from Dyson et al. (2010) reinforced the idea of the other authors cited before.

The small groups facilitate the communication between the individuals. In a Canadian elementary school Dyson et al.(2010) wrote that the teacher believed that CL improve students motor skills, developed social skills, helped them work together as a team, and helped others to improve their skills. Interpersonal and small group skills are developed through the tasks that include listening, shared decision making, taking responsibility, giving and receiving feedback, and encouraging each other (Dyson, Linehan, and Hastie, 2010). The process of creating and reorganizing meanings represent the learning process. Effective CL has four steps to follow described by Johnson and Johnson (in Nan & Lee, 2010) or effective CL: (1) specifying the instructional objectives; (2) making pre-instructional decisions; (3) structuring the learning task and positive interdependence; and (4) monitoring and intervening.

Interpersonal Intelligence

The most powerful predictor of whether or not an individual will be successful in life is interpersonal intelligence that CL approach in classroom and school environments (Bennett & Rolheiser, 2008). Nam and Lee (2010) defined interpersonal intelligence as “the ability to understand others’ emotions, belief, and thought” (p. 25).  Learner’s characteristics such as cognitive aspects- intelligence and  learning styles- and affective aspects–attitudes, values, and motivation-are important to active and to interact among the group members (Nam & Lee, 2010). Mutual help and trust are considered positive interdependence and individual accountability found in CL activities (Nam & Lee, 2010). Interpersonal intelligence encompasses the ability to approach personal issues and opinions of others. Students with higher interpersonal intelligence show positive attitudes in a web-based learning environment. Therefore, Nam and Lee (2010) found that in CL teachers should consider the level of students’ interpersonal intelligence.

Effective Group Work

Johnson and Johnson in 1989 (Goodell, Cooke, & Ash) defined the five conditions of a successful CL: (a) positive interdependence; (b) individual accountability; (c) promotive interaction; (d) interpersonal skills; and (e) group processing. Positive interdependence occurs when individuals working together for success; individual accountability when students contributions are necessary to the group and the responsibility for his/her own learning; promotive interaction through the students working together to teach and learn from each other; interpersonal or social skills are used through the acts to help everyone in a group and for everyone to get along; and group processing access the group’s efforts  in terms of their academic performance and collaborative interaction. The group works together with all five conditions in a successful CL. Johnson and Johnson (2009) described conditions for constructive competition, which include “completing the task effectively and perceive one’s participation as being personally worldwide” (p. 370). In some cases, competitiveness is considered positive and some cases negative, which relate to psychological health such as conditional self-esteem and egocentrism. Further, CL has been used for different teachers, subjects, level, cultures, and countries in with effectiveness in almost taken for granted (Johnson & Johnson 2009).

Benefits of CL

According to Shimazoe and Aldrich (2010), CL brings benefits for students in the following areas: (a) promotes deep learning; (b) helps earn high grades; (c) teaches social skills and civic values; (d) teaches higher order thinking skills; (e) promotes personal growth; and (f) develops personal growth. Instructors also get benefits from CL such as giving more time to reflect on how well students are learning and decreasing grade loads. Students and instructors can benefit from CL to express their concerns, problems, and opinions and maintain a positive climate and sense of community. Creating a strong sense of team identity; the actions of helping, encouraging, and supporting are beneficial in engaging the students (Hsiung, 2010). Students who study cooperatively have benefits in their learning performance. CL helps students’ behavior and several studies show that students’ characteristics such as ethnicity and prior knowledge influence their behavior and learning gains (Oortwijn, Boekaerts, Vedder, & Strijbos, 2008).

 Strategies of Communication and Using Cloud Computing

Solomon, Heckendom, and Souble (2012) stated that communication is a critical condition to coordinate an individual’s actions; it must be sure that the right information is exchange between individuals at the same time. The communication network plays a critical role and has a significant effect on the success of the process. The teacher needs to assure that the students clearly understand the clearly the task and communicate effectively with each other. Cloud computing technologies enhance the instructional strategies predicted on constructivism and CL (Denton, 2012). As an example Google Docs and Microsoft Office presented this application like file sharing and online publishing that are supporting the Department of Education through the classrooms.

In this case, students can share files and add information to solve the problem. CL is aligned to cloud technologies, where individuals work together to accomplish the goal. This effectiveness of CL in classrooms has being proven by researchers. Denton (2012) describes some strategies to apply cloud computing: ( a) group projects; (b) peer assessment; (c) student constructed presentations; (d) simultaneous class discussions;(e) collaborate reflection; (f) assisting writing; (g) learning illustrated; (h) class inventory; (i) collaborative rubric construction; and  (j) website publishing. Certainly, technology has made a lot of contribution to education engaging in different subjects.

Conclusion

CL is a great instructional strategy that enhances the performance of students in classroom settings. It contributes to social, intellectual, and personal individuals’ growth. Each type of CL has methods to develop accountability and trust between the members to accomplish their goals. Adding interpersonal intelligence to perceive others feelings, thoughts, and contributions is a significant aspect to develop a successful CL. Positive results, from students using CL, motivate teachers to use this strategy to develop tasks inside the classroom. Communication is a key to coordinate teams and make the members understand each other   the task to be developed. In addition, cloud computing has been applied to help teachers, motivate teams, and engage students in activities that share the technological platform.

References

Bennett, G. & Rolheiser (2001). Beyond Monet: The artful science of instructional integration. Toronto, Ontario: Bookation, Inc.

Denton, D. W. (2012). Enhancing instruction through constructivism, CL, and cloud computing. TechTrends, 56(4), pp. 34-41

Dyson, B. P., Linehan, N. R., & Hastie, P. A. (2010). The ecology of CL in elementary physical education classes. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 29, pp. 113-130.

Goodell, S. L., Cooke, N. K., & Ash, S. L. (2012). CL through in-class team work: An approach to classroom instruction in a life cycle nutrition course. NACTA Journal, pp. 68-75.

Hsiung, C. M. (2010). Identification of dysfunctional CL teams based on student’s academic achievement. Journal of Engineering Education, pp. 45-54.

Johnson, D. W., & Jonhson, R. T. (2009). An educational psychology success story: Social interdependence theory and CL. Educational Researcher, 38 (5), pp. 365-379. doi: 10.3102/0013189×09339057

Marzano, R. J. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexander, VA: ASCD.

Nam, C. W., & Lee, H. (2010). The relationship between student’s interpersonal intelligence and their attitudes toward CL in a web-based environment, 17 (2), pp. 23-35.

Oortwijn, M. B., Boekaerts, M., Vedder, P., & Strijbos, J. W. (2008). Helping behavior during CL and learning gains. The role of the teacher and of pupils’ prior knowledge and ethnic background. Learning and Instruction, 18, pp.146-159.

Sharan, Y. (2010). CL for academic and social gains: Valued pedagogy, problematic practice. European Journal of Education, 45(2), pp. 300-313. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3435.2010.01430.x

Shimazoe, J. & Aldrich, H.  (2010). Group work can be gratifying: Understanding & overcoming resistance to CL. College Teaching, 58, pp. 52-57. doi: 10.1080/87567550903418594

Solomon, M., Heckendorn, R., & Soule T. (2012). A comparison of communication strategies in CL. The fourteenth international conference on genetic and evolutionary computation.GECCo’12. Retrieved from http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2330163.2330185


The FPA-BM has as Director of Education Dr. Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D. Dr. Nilsa, is a consultant, university professor and information analyst. Dr. Nilsa graduated in Business Administration from FACE – UFMG, postgraduate in Industrial Economics – UFMG, Specialization in Information Systems by UNA – Cepederh. She holds a Master in Business Science and Doctorate in Education, concentration in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a consultant for the government and private sector in Brazil, USA and Canada. In addition, Dr. Nilsa taught business in some universities in Brazil. She teaches Business and Education courses for undergraduate and graduate courses in the USA.

 

Change and Technology

Change and Technology

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education

Preparing organizations for the process of change needs to be strategically planned to know where to go and how to get there. Technology has become a key to the organizations, in which performance, research and development, manufacturing, economic climate, marketing competition, and change of consumers’ needs is important factors to be focused on the future for its implementation. Strong (2007) wrote a “paradigm shift occurs when a dominant technology is replaced for something new” (p.49). Some examples of paradigms shift are laptops to multiuse PDAs, wired to wireless communication, Web1.0 to Web 2.0 applications, physical classrooms to virtual classrooms, and so forth.  Further, the internet is changing the world, and people work, shop, do business, and communicate virtually (Osland & Turner, 2011, p. m).

On the video, Canfield (2010) established the annual planning components and the strategic planning steps: 1) mission, 2) values, 3) scoreboard, 4) business environment, 5) goals, 6) strategies, 7) action plan, 8) plan implementations, and 9) plan monitoring considerations to make considerable changes in organizations.  Canfield (2010) considered two techniques to make changes: (a) the planning sessions (operation, strategic, and scenario); and (b) the skill to make improvements in company performance, decisions, behaviors, insights and ideas, and thinking. On the other hand, Chaudron (2008) on the YouTube video (part one) gave a great citation of the keys to successful organization change: framework and systems, assessment measurement, training and learning, and teamwork and consensus. On the part one of the video, Chaudron (2008) focused on framework and systems as a key ingredient to organization change, in which shapes the future, defining what business to do, re-engineering process, and incremental process improvement. Claudron (2008) also gave directions and advantages for the scenario planning.

Among the advantages Claudron (2008) suggested the exploration of interaction between social, economic, and competitive concerns, and provide indicators of what might happen so that organizations can drive. The core competences were the basis to start the strategic planning, in which mission, opportunities, goals, and vision is essential to build the scenario and implement the plan. On the part two of Claudron (2008) video, you could watch the assessment and measurement of the strategic plan using the balance scorecard: financial measures, customer measures, internal business operations, and human resource systems. The scorecard can address problems before they occur.

Next, Claudron (2008) presented the steps for implementation change as equation change, measurement, technique, control, focused persistence, resources, and consensus. Claudron (2008) showed three scenarios examples to give alternatives, and create opportunities to organization change: status-quo, companies diversifies into high tech, socio-economic order threatened, and socio-economic collapse. In a global world, technology has been the thermometer of the organizations to make changes and pursue of competitive advantage. The purpose of scenarios and strategic planning are an important support to make decisions and choices to prevent the future (Ralston, & Wilson, 2006). At least as important is to understand the organization process that involves employees in the scenarios approach and in its environment.

References

Canfield, J. (2010). Strategic Planning and Scenario Planning .Retrieved from http://www. Youtube.com/watch?v=xs-Hi_ctHoY&feature=related

Chaudron, D. (2008). Overview of Strategic Planning [part 1video]. Retrieved from http:// youtube.com/watch?v=ikRWdZOxjZs

Chaudron, D. (2008). Overview of Strategic Planning [part 2 video]. Retrieved from http:// youtube.com/watch?v=vqByFsalvjY

Osland, J. S., & Turner, M. E. (2011). Individual and Organizational Learning. In a S. Yagan (Ed.). The organizational behavior reader (9th. ed.). Upper Saddle River: NJ: Person Education Inc., Prentice Hall.

Ralston, B., & Wilson, I. (2006). The scenario planning handbook: Developing strategies in uncertain times. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Strong, B. (2007). Strategic planning technological change. Educause Quartely, 3, pp. 48-51.


The FPA-BM has as Director of Education Dr. Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D. Dr. Nilsa, is a consultant, university professor and information analyst. Dr. Nilsa graduated in Business Administration from FACE – UFMG, postgraduate in Industrial Economics – UFMG, Specialization in Information Systems by UNA – Cepederh. She holds a Master in Business Science and Doctorate in Education, concentration in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a consultant for the government and private sector in Brazil, USA and Canada. In addition, Dr. Nilsa taught business in some universities in Brazil. She teaches Business and Education courses for undergraduate and graduate courses in the USA.

Successful Work Teams

Successful Work Teams

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education

Competency, composition, and context for the team are not always present in the work environment. Many organizations apply different strategies such as training, workshops, conferences call, and face to face meetings to maintain the team-work performance. The effectiveness of team building comes from the skills and knowledge of the members and their engagement and synergy in decision-making.

Organization Requirements Teams to be a Success

The four c’s context, composition, competency, and change can better define requirements of the team to be successful. The first can describe the organizational environment of the team work relates to the context. High performing team are effective by meeting their goals, reward team performance, culture of the organization that support team work oriented process and behavior, and eliminating any obstacle created by the structure organization. In addition, the skills, competences, experience, and motivation define the composition of the team. Having the right people on the team to make the things happen is the issue.

The high-performing teams select skilled and motivated individuals; develop the member’s skills and their commitment to achieve the goals; cut individuals with lack of skills and motivation; manage differently the members; and make sure the teams are in the right size. Next, competency is defined by the team’s ability to communicate, make decisions, and manage conflicts. Further, the high –performing teams articulate and achieve their goals, build trust and commitment within the team, and solve problems. Lastly, the teams have opportunities to make necessary changes. To be effective high-performing teams need to change or adapt a new condition over time.

Solving Specific Problems

Unfortunately, organizations need to work with conflicts and disagreements and manage the individuals and teams to solve the problems. The best way to understand conflict is to view it as an expectation of what is to be done, when it should to be done, and how it is to be done. Leaders can also violate subordinates’ expectations when they do not recognize that they have a life outside of the workplace, micromanaging their work, and not giving rewards to them. On the other hand, subordinates violate team leaders’ expectations when they miss or are late to the meetings, do not complete assignments, and do not demonstrating commitments to support the priorities. Lastly, peers can also violate expectations when they do not share resources, do not respond requests in time, or do not share credit for a job well done.

Challenges for Building Effective Teams

A meta–competency to change team context, composition, and competency to improve team performance is viewed as the ability of teams to engage in team building. Effective teams work with activities that need to be reciprocal and interdependent; use the organizational structure to accomplish the goals; select the team members on the basis of clear criteria; train managers and team members; reward team members; set aside time for teams to be involved; help the members to develop a competency at team building, use appropriate technologies, and support managers and leaders to improve team performance (Dyer, Dyer JR., & H. Dyer, 2007). Great teams are developed with trust, commitment, and a vision to be successful.

Team’s Conflict

A high performance team is prepared to develop tasks and be successful. In fact, not all organizations generate a compatible team. Competition and cooperation make people react to conflict (Ayoko, 2007).  In addition, people engaged in competition and with differences have negative feelings, emotions, and doubts about future collaboration. Some organizations do not organize teams as they are supposed to and members do not cooperate with each other, which make the organization unsuccessful and without direction.

Emotional Intelligence

With the skills necessary to develop emotional intelligence, members enhance team work, improve group dynamics and increase performance (Gardenswartz, Chebosque, & Rowe, 2009). Further, organizations do not always want to know individuals’ feelings when the rules are being set up. Coaching teams for emotional intelligence is the way to create synergy and nurture creativity between the members.

Describing Teams

There are different kinds of teams such as temporary teams, virtual teams, and interorganizational or alliance teams. Temporary teams are also called ad hoc committees, task forces, or project teams. Temporary teams are generated for a short duration and limited time. Virtual teams are composed with individuals from different locations, advances in communication technology, and lower the costs. In the case of cross functional teams, the members align their jobs with the jobs requirements (Pryor, Singleton, Taneja, & Toombs, 2009).

Different companies achieve synergy and use advanced technologies to create effective teams with diverse skills. Communication is also a great key to maintain openness between the members and other teams (Ayoko, 2007). Being on a team is being committed to each other, to the mission, vision, goals, objectives and strategies. It is also more than a rational decision or accepting tasks (Pryor, Singleton, Taneja, & Toombs, 2009).

Globalization opens opportunities to work in cross-functional teams, which is a great challenge. Working with diversity people can learn different values, beliefs, culture, and behavior. “Diverse team performed better than teams of members with a similar functional background” (Schaffer, Lei, & Paulino, 2008, p. 9). Diverse team shares more information because they do not know the others skills. Precisely, strategy development is essential to accomplish the goals related to project management. High diverse teams are associated with innovative design and product development (Schaffer, Lei, & Paulino, 2008).

Conclusion

Working in different teams, members become able to get experience and knowledge. Leaders and managers need to support the development of teams to be successful through the innovation and creativity.  Building teams through context, composition, competency, and change can allow organizations to achieve their goals. Developing trust and commitment also permit the team to become more confident in decision-making (Frisch, 2008). Conflicts and adjustments are necessary to creativity and innovation. Training teams by emotional intelligence is a dynamic tool. Working with diversity is also a great is challenge for organizations in 21st. Century.

References

Ayoko, O. B. (2007). Communication openness, conflict events and reactions to conflict in culturally diverse workgroups. Cross Cultural Management, 14 (2), pp. 105-124.

Dyer, W. G., Dyer Jr., W. G., & Dyer, J. H. (2007). Team building. (4th. ed.) . San Francisco, CA: John Willey and Sons, Inc.

Frisch, B. (2008). When teams can’t decide. Harvard Business Review, pp.1-8.

Gardenswartz, L., Cherbosque, J., & Rowe, A. (2009). Coaching teams for emotional intelligence in your diverse workplace. ABI/Inform Global, 63(2), pp. 44-49.

Pryor, M. G., Singleton, L. P., Taneja, S., & Tooms, L. A. (2009). Teaming as a strategic and tactical tool: An analysis with recommendations. International Journal of Management, 26(2), pp. 320-334.

Schaffer, S. P., Lei, K., Paulino, L. R. (2008). A framework for cross-disciplinary team learning and performance. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 21(3), pp.7-21.

Leading a Learning Organization

Leading a Learning Organization

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education

Education is a key for the next decades and the education system needs to prepare the next generation with a new model of schools and ways of learning. Wood (in Chawla &Renesch, 2006) said “Education must take leadership in co-evolving with the restructuring efforts in other parts of the society: business, health and communities” (p. 404). Today’s classroom is structuring tomorrow’s workplace (Chawla & Renesch, 2006). School setting creates opportunities to build a learning organization, in which students can enhance their skills and pursue their goals to a better future. As leaders, teachers would use necessary tools and strategies (e.g., critical thinking, mastering change, dialogues, knowledge sharing) to support their students in a process of grow.

Chawla and Renesch (2006) reflected that building communities of commitment is a great chance to move forward. Transforming fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness in new culture systems would build a process of learning. The new way of thinking, feeling, and being, in which recovers the memory of whole systems, cooperation, and creation would build a learning community. Well-built communities bring the new systems worldview, the idea of help each other, and creativity. Building learning communities with a nature of commitment that goes beyond people to their organizations.

The real learning occurs with the development of the new capabilities in a continuous cycle of theoretical action and practical conceptualization (Chawla & Renesch, 2006). It will create changes inside the organizations. Changes come from moments of crises, but some learning comes from these changes. The fragmentation of the church is a great example of the changes through the Centuries and the seeds are evident today. In the past, Galileo proposed that the earth is not the center of the universe, and three fundamental theses shift the understanding of mankind and the world: (1) the primacy of the whole involved in three-part process such as break the system, study, and understand the whole from the parts; (2) the community nature of the self that discovered that at the core of a person is pure energy and the network of contractual commitments; and (3) language as generative practice , recognized as tradition of observation, and meaning shared by the community (Chawla & Renesch, 2006). In a learning organization, people stand for a vision with creativity, and thrive in a world of change.

According to Chawla and Renesch (2006)  “A learning organization must be grounded in three foundations: (1) a culture based on transcendent human values of love, wonder, humility, and compassion; (2) a set of practices for generative conversation and coordinated action; and (3) a capacity to see and work with the flow of life as a system” (p. 32). Some strategies of learning arise through performance, practice, and process-oriented design. Transactional learners are more conventional, but they add new ideas and make changes to become transformational learners. The cycle of community-building involves practical experimentation, working together, knowing each other, and applying new knowledge and skills. The five disciplines of Senge (Smith, 2012)- systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, building a sharing vision, and team leading- show a series of principles that each one can study, master, and integrate into his/her life.

Each one of these principles can assist leaders teach followers the best path to challenge the future. In addition, emotion could assist with understanding learning organizations. Defensive reactions from individuals and teams and the process of communication could be the problem that needs to observe in learning organizations (Vince, 2002). However, emotional expression linked to the individual with the dynamics of the organization is the key of organizational learning. Among the strategic importance of emotions in organizational learning, fears and anxiety provide a basis of learning individually and collectively in different ways. Further, Vince (2002) said “It is possible to travel from the start point of anxiety” (p. 79).  Teachers as a leaders need to work with students’ emotions to follow their goals and objectives and be successful. Learning organizations can change the process of teaching and learning for better future of the next generation.

References

Chawla, S., & Renesch, J. (Eds.). (2006). Learning organizations: Developing cultures for tomorrow’s workplace. Portland. OR: Productivity Press.

Smith, P. A. C. (1999). The learning organization ten years on: A case study. The Learning Organization, 6(5), 217-223.

Vince, R. (2002). The impact of emotion on organizational learning. Human Resource Development International, 5(1), pp 73-85. doi: 10.1080/136788601/10016904.


The FPA-BM has as Director of Education Dr. Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D. Dr. Nilsa, is a consultant, university professor and information analyst. Dr. Nilsa graduated in Business Administration from FACE – UFMG, postgraduate in Industrial Economics – UFMG, Specialization in Information Systems by UNA – Cepederh. She holds a Master in Business Science and Doctorate in Education, concentration in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a consultant for the government and private sector in Brazil, USA and Canada. In addition, Dr. Nilsa taught business in some universities in Brazil. She teaches Business and Education courses for undergraduate and graduate courses in the USA

The Zero-Tolerance Policy

The Zero-Tolerance Policy

By Dr. Michelle Benson, Ed.D., FPA-BM Special Advisor

Many school districts enforce zero-tolerance rules to help ensure safety. There is an ongoing academic debate on the effectiveness of zero-tolerance. Skiba (2014) points out that for the last 20 years, fear for the welfare of our children has led us down a “no-nonsense” path of increased punishment and school exclusion in responding to school and community disruption through an approach that has come to be known as zero tolerance.

Objective of paper

The zero tolerance policy in schools created a stance that supported expulsion, detentions, or suspensions. However, this policy has been analyzed as a tool to find discrimination in our society by ways of racial profiling, and stereotyping. The objective of this paper is to iron out what the zero tolerance policy is allowing teachers, administrators, and community professionals to carry out. Suspension and expulsion may set individuals who already display antisocial behavior on an accelerated course to delinquency by putting them in a situation in which there is a lack of parental supervision and a greater opportunity to socialize with other deviant peers.

Further, expulsion results in the denial of educational services, presenting specific legal as well as ethical dilemmas for student with disabilities. Finally, there is no evidence that removing students from school makes a positive contribution to school safety (National Association of School Psychologists, 2015).

Definition(s) of Zero Tolerance

Gage et al., (2013) point out that zero tolerance policies are sometimes instituted to establish a clear understanding about expectations for acceptable and unacceptable student behavior. Mongan and Walker (2012) point out with the passing of the Gun Free School Act of 1994, the 1990s bore witness to the birth of zerotolerance policies.

According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), zero tolerance is defined as “consistently enforced suspension and expulsion policies in response to weapons, drugs, and violent acts in the school setting.”

According to Black (2015) Zero tolerance policies have expanded the categories of behavior for which a student can and must be suspended and expelled. As reflected by Kennedy-Lewis (2014) the increasing use of zero tolerance discipline policies in the USA has led to a “discipline gap,” in which minoritized students receive harsher and more frequent suspensions and expulsions than their peers from dominant cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Gage et al., (2013) state that the use of “zero tolerance,” which was first used in 1983 by the Navy with submarine crewmembers who were suspected of drug abuse.

Pros and Cons of Zero Tolerance

Zero tolerance policies within the landscape of urban education post Brown v. Board of Education present academic debate. School discipline has emerged as a critical arena in the quest for racial equity in education as a growing body of literature demonstrates that urban students of color are disproportionately subjected to punitive discipline as a result of zero tolerance policies (Triplett et al., 2014). The victims of inadvertent violations of zero tolerance policies are those students who are the subject of the news pieces highlighting the absurdities of zero tolerance (Morton, 2014).

Analysis by Triplett et al., (2014) reveals that through the mechanism of zero tolerance, a nation of urban minority students have been and continue to be punished for the actions of predominantly white, suburban/rural gunmen. Black (2015) suggests that as important as progressive policy developments are—and some are gaining momentum—past experience with contested educational practices suggests that zero tolerance and harsh discipline will remain all too prevalent unless courts intervene to protect students’ constitutional rights.

Therefore, zero tolerance and harsh discipline policies routinely violate all of the foregoing substantive due process principles (Black, 2015). Morton (2014) states that zero tolerance policies prevent administrators from fully considering the circumstances of each student, which can produce overly harsh results. Furthermore, there is no proof that these exclusionary zero tolerance policies actually make schools safer or significantly deter misbehavior.

Specific examples

In response to decreasing weapons at school, the latest issue of The Indicators of School Crime and Safety report (Robers, Zhang, & Truman, 2010) indicates that weapon possession in the total student population decreased from 12% in 1993 to 6% in 1999. That result suggests that zero-tolerance weapons policies may be an effective deterrence.

The No Child Left Behind Act (2001) extended zero tolerance policies beyond disciplinary infractions into the realm of actual educational performance. Indeed, the construction of an “at risk” and criminalized population is sutured to the narrow Criminological Complicity in the School-to-Prison Pipeline epistemology that promotes accountability through standardized testing via the neoliberal capitalist logics of accountability and individual responsibility (Schept et al., 2015).

The National Association of School Psychologists (2015) states that according to data from the U.S. Department of Education and the Center for Safe and Responsive Schools, at least 75% of schools report having zero tolerance policies for such serious offenses as: firearms (94%), weapons other than firearms (91%), alcohol (87%), drugs (88%), violence (79%), and tobacco (79%).

Your stance on the topic

My stance on the zero tolerance policy would stem to an alternative plan consisting of three main point: mental health counseling in schools, mandatory violence prevention training for all students, and early intervention training in controlling ones desires to break the rules. First, mental health counseling in schools can not only protect other students from the bodily harm of an out of control student, but can help parents in managing their children and families.

Second, mandatory violence prevention is just a good way to get the community involved in reducing events of school dropouts or worse, school shootings.

Finally, early intervention training can teach students to use rational thinking in hopes in reducing school violence and crime. An example of early intervention training is offered by the NASP (2015) and it states some examples of proven practices including First Step to Success (kindergarten) and Positive Adolescent Choices Training (developed for African American youth).

What should a school leader do to address behaviors that tend to be repeated in a school or district?

School leaders can simply rely on legislation behind the zero tolerance law and by the leadership of their school principal, or try to find ways in advocating for students who are innocent, or wrongly accused without over stepping their boundaries at their job. Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) is an effective framework for creating school environments that promote appropriate behavior for all students.

Within that framework, preventive methods are incorporated that address the behavior of all students, including targeted groups of students and students needing intensive individualized support (McKevitt and Braaksma (2014). Furthermore, school leaders should address the creation of more time in professional development for teachers and other staff members in the creation of a team environment whom are all on the same page about managing behavior before it escalates out of control and leads to a school shooting where people get hurt, physically and emotionally.

Do you believe zero-tolerance policies are appropriate for any and all situations? Why or why not?

I believe that zero tolerance policies are too strict. They fail to focus on a solution to unnecessary rough behavior and why these behaviors are happening. McKevitt and Braaksma (2014) point out that school policy regarding behavior should describe the proactive approach On one hand, all students no matter what their behavioral patterns should be kept at the same level of expectations regarding school behavior. However, on the other hand, not all students have the same attitudes and personalities. The zero tolerance policy is a good law, it just needs a little flexibility.

Conclusion

Although zero tolerance policies were developed to assure consistent and firm consequences for dangerous behaviors, broad application of these policies has resulted in a range of negative outcomes with few if any benefits to students or the school community (NASP, 2015). Skiba (2014) states at the core of zero tolerance philosophy and policy is the presumption that strong enforcement can act as a deterrent to other potentially disruptive students. Relying primarily upon school exclusion—out-of-school suspension and expulsion and increases in security and police presence—the philosophy of zero tolerance is based on the “broken-window” theory.

The theory is that communities must react to even minor disruptions in the social order with relatively strong force in order to “send a message” that certain behaviors will not be tolerated. Proven discipline strategies that provide more effective alternatives to broad zero tolerance policies should be implemented to ensure that all students have access to an appropriate education in a safe environment (NASP, 2015).

References

Advancement Project CD. (2009, May 21). ABC NEWS Zero Tolerance School Discipline Policies [Video File].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ6hvzG67C8

Are zero tolerance policies effective in the schools?: An evidentiary review and recommendations. (2008). American Psychologist63(9), 852-862.

http://proxy1.ncu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pdh&AN=amp-63-9-852&site=ehost-live

McKevitt, B and Braaksma, A. (2014) Best practices in developing a positive behavior support system at school level. Retrieved from: http://www.nasponline.org/publications/booksproducts/bp5samples/735_bpv89_44.pdf

Black, Derek W. Minnesota Law Review, 2015, Vol. 99 Issue 3, p823-904, 82p, Database: Omni File Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson)

Gage, Nicholas A.; Sugai, George; Lunde, Kimberly; DeLoreto, Lou. Education & Treatment of Children. May2013, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p117-138. 22p.

Kennedy-Lewis, Brianna L. Journal of Education Policy, v29 n2 p165-194 2014. (EJ1028901), Database: ERIC

Mongan, Philip; Walker, Robert. Preventing School Failure. 2012, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p232-240. 9p. 1 Chart. DOI: 10.1080/1045988X.2011.654366.

Morton, Rebecca. Washington University Law Review, 2014, Vol. 91 Issue 3, p757-784, 28p, Database: Omni File Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson)

Robers, S., Zhang, J., & Truman, J. (2010). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010 (NCES 2011-002/NCJ 230812). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

Schept, Judah; Wall, Tyler; Brisman, Avi. Social Justice, 2015, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p96-115, 20p, Database: OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson)

Skiba, Russell J. Reclaiming Children & Youth. Winter2014, Vol. 22 Issue 4, p27-33. 7p.

Skiba, R. J. (2000). Zero Tolerance, Zero Evidence: An Analysis of School Disciplinary Practice. Policy Research Report, SRS2.

http://www.indiana.edu/~safeschl/ztze.pdf

The National Association of School Psychologists. (2001). Zero Tolerance and Alternative Strategies: A Fact Sheet for Educators and Policymakers. Bethesda, MD.

http://www.nasponline.org/resources/factsheets/zt_fs.aspx

Triplett, Nicholas P.; Allen, Ayana; Lewis, Chance W. Journal of Negro Education. Summer2014, Vol. 83 Issue 3, p352-370. 19p.

Zero Tolerance and Alternative Strategies. Retrieved from: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/factsheets/zt_fs.aspx


The FPA-BM has as Special Advisor Dr. Michelle C. Benson, Ed.D. Dr. Michelle is a consultant, university professor and advisor to many. Dr. Michelle graduated from Northcentral University with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She holds a Master in Organizational Leadership/Management from Ashford University. Dr. Michelle has taught for the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Community Health for Bachelor and Master level learners. Dr. Michelle also can motivate and lead her students to career and life changing opportunities. She is a student-centered education professional and is passionate to see success in people she encounters. Dr. Michelle has authored five journal publications and is always seeking ways to add more research to existing topics in leadership, learning and management.

 

Exploring the Flynn Effect

Exploring the Flynn Effect

By Dr. Michelle Benson, Ed.D., FPA-BM Special Advisor

Introduction

This essay will explore some of the statistical data that has been found over the years in the study of the Flynn Effect. In addition to sharing my personal connection to the Flynn Effect’s role in standardized IQ testing, I will attempt to answer why the rise in performance on IQ tests contrast with a steady decline in performance over the past decade on many standardized tests. Furthermore, I will examine the question of why IQ test results tend to differ among ethnic groups, and upon the examination of the Flynn Effect, if my perceptions change or stay the same.

Introducing the Flynn Effect

The Flynn Effect is not only a phenomenon of human intelligence, but described as a long-term trend towards rising scores on IQ tests, which results in “norms obsolescence” as researched by: Trehan, Stuebing, Fletcher and Hiscock (2014). The Flynn effect, named for psychologist James Flynn who researched the rise in the average intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in countries such as the U.S. between 1950 and 2000 (Fischer, 2013). Notably suggested by Beaujean and Yanyan (2014), the Flynn Effect has had a forensic influence, most notably since the US Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia (2002) that it was cruel and unusual to execute someone with an intellectual difficulty; as IQ scores are a substantial piece of evidence.

IQ Scores and their Meaning

IQ scores are set at a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16, which gives psychologists a classification system in determining whether a subject is intellectually deficient (70<) or intellectually superior (130>). In a similar use, the 68-95-99.7 rule states that about 68% (more precisely, 68.3%) of the scores are within one standard deviation of the mean. Therefore, about 100% – 68% = 32% of the scores are more than one standard deviation from the mean (Bennett, et al pp. 171, 2014). Because of the 68-95-99.7 rule, a researcher can state that a 68% of a population has an IQ score in-between 80-120 and 32% have an IQ score in-between 70-110.

Focus on Psychology: Are We Smarter than Our Parents?

There is no doubt that today’s children are smarter than their parents, or children from a century ago. This article takes readers back to the late 1800’s when Alfred Binet created a test to help children in need. Binet took a child’s mental age and divided it by the physical age and then multiplied by 100 to define the intelligence quotient (IQ). Further, the article covers how an IQ is defined today by ways of a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16. Then the article took an interesting turn by asking about personal awareness in the current controversies that surround the reliability of IQ test scores.

The first question stated if IQ tests measure intelligence, or something else? And secondly, if they did measure intelligence, can that be measured by environmental or educational factors? A current answer would say “yes” because IQ scores are adjusted to fit normal distributions with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16. In other words, scoring is on a curve, which makes it practically unheard of to expect IQ scores to rise or fall with time. With all aside, in the 1980’s a professor named Dr. Flynn made a different discovery that led to the Flynn Effect Theory. Raw scores could be used in finding abstract reasoning abilities in a long-term trend that increased IQ rates by 6 points a decade.

The Flynn Effect and the Raven’s Progressive Matrix

This is where my personal experience chimes in. In second grade, my son’s teacher noticed something special in his ability to address reasoning with logic. After the paperwork was finished, he was sent to the school psychologist who tested my son’s IQ and abstract reasoning by ways of the Ravens Progressive Matrix (RPM) which is a “G” intelligence measuring instrument, a test of intellectual capacity, and a 60 item, multiple choice test that measures abstract reasoning by ways of patterns that get progressively harder to solve.

The Flynn effect is quite noticeable in G- loaded tests, as is the case in the Raven’s Progressive Matrix. Armstrong and Woodley (2014) added that the Flynn effect is directly analogous to IQ gains via retesting, noting that Raven’s Progressive Matrices is particularly sensitive to both the effects of retesting and the Flynn effect. Haywood (2013) points out that the most prominent positive effect has been on scores on intelligence tests such as Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scales. Silverman (2013) found out that the Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) appears to be the most popular intelligence scale worldwide.

With all research aside, my son tested as being a second grader within the top 15% of the San Diego Unified School District with “above superior intelligence” and an IQ of 144. The San Diego School District’s set standards of identification for the GATE program are as follows: Cluster identification- Ravens score of at least 98%ile plus factors, and Seminar identification constitutes a Ravens score of 99.6-99.9%ile plus factors. Factors expressed are related to economics, language and special education. Scores are then taken and compared to the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for an IQ variance. For instance, if a student scores a 99.6%, then their IQ would be 144 and if the student scored a 98%, their IQ would be 132.

In addition to assessing a child’s IQ, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) has also been useful in correctly identifying gifted and talented children. (Wellisch & Brown, 2011). Silverman, (2013) speculates that a single IQ score is not enough and closes opportunities where one or two points are the cut off to a quality education.

Upon recommendation, my son was assessed again by ways of the Ravens Progressive Matrix. He scored the exact same score as he did in second grade which points to a very reliable methodology in determining the intellectual needs of high functioning students. To this day, my son is in advanced placement classes in the sixth grade which are taught by fully credentialed seminary teachers within the San Diego Unified School District. Just because my son has tested into gifted and talented education (GATE), does not mean that he is smarter than everyone, it just means that his abstract reasoning gives him the ability to interpret theory on a different level, thus he works through common core standards with complete comprehension and finishes faster than his peers. Because of my personal experience in this, I am contemplating taking on this research to formulate my dissertation.

My Views of the Flynn Effect

The Flynn Effect did not measure intelligence, but encouraged a second look at our children’s ability to use logical and abstract thinking. Moreover, the Flynn Effect increased scores that resulted from environmental factors. My view of the Flynn Effect also takes into consideration the past 100 years where children were part of a family whereabouts the mother was always home and the father went to work. These days, children were sheltered from the outside world and matured slower than children in today’s society. Worldly intelligence was slower to develop 100 years ago.

However, in the last several decades, children all over the world are acquiring intelligence earlier, maturing physically and mentally faster than ever. An ever-growing exposure to highly technological devices (iPad, eBooks and laptops) are bringing young children into a different environment of thinking where educational games are encouraging classification, abstract thinking and a use of logic to solve problems. I can vouch for these games because I enjoy the ones where logic is being challenged and I encourage my son to play along.

Wrapping it up, the Flynn Effect is just where it should be and demonstrating consistency as applied to today’s highly technical environment. The scores that are increasing with the Flynn Effect are a reliable sign of the changing of times. My advice is to keep exposing young children to abstract and creative ways to develop their intellectual thinking and their ideas. Exposure to classic art and music is a great start.

Why does the rise in performance on IQ tests contrast with a steady decline in performance over the past decade on many standardized tests?

The answer to this question all relies on the environmental factors involved. Starting from a modern perspective, Today’s IQ tests are scoring on the ability to unleash abstract and logical thinking with creative questions and diagrams. Relating the scores on a child’s environmental factors, (mental age/physical age) points to the sign of changing times in the past decade. The Flynn Effect has opened up a new world of intelligence to the combined environmental factors in a person’s life. Over the last decade, social media hit the ground running and education is offered online, where over five decades ago it was not. These two factors alone are giving the Flynn Effect more power to research the further effects of the environment as it relates to intelligence. On a deeper plane, I wonder if research has been conducted yet as to what percent of our brains we are using in 2014, as compared to the year 1900.

Why do results on IQ tests tend to differ among different ethnic groups?

First and foremost, all races have an equal ability to release intelligence. Truly, there should not be any gaps between ethnic groups, nor their ability to perform. Kaufman (2010) enlightens that one way to collaborate the results of an IQ test to those of an ethnic group is the Dickens and Flynn’s ‘social multiplier effect’. Their proposed effect takes into account the importance of culture in influencing what particular forms of intelligence it educates, spotlights, and nurtures. The Flynn Effect links race and ethnicity to many environmental factors such as athleticism. For example, there are many countries that are serious about sportsmanship. Every four years, the world’s greatest athletes gather for the Olympics. Not only are the athletes great at what they do, but they were trained, taught and influenced by genetic and environmental factors that made them into intelligent athletes that have one goal in mind, to persevere. Only by environmental factors can research address if IQ tests differ among ethnic groups. Upon my research, I would say “yes”, results do differ according to environmental factors.

Did the Flynn Effect change my perception about IQ tests?

Absolutely! The Flynn Effect has reached a new level, encouraging researchers and psychologists that intelligence can be a central factor of one’s environment. This glass half full, unbiased approach to the decoding of intelligence quotients is motivational and offers a light at the end of the tunnel. On the flip side, environmental factors are not always positive. This is why it is very important for the psychologist to note, for the purpose of statistics, if the subject has questionable environmental factors because these could affect the test results. In wrapping it up, I am pleased by the knowledge that I have obtained about the Flynn Effect. Everything that I have read and researched about in writing this paper verifies that I am giving my son the right support to help him develop his abstract thinking in a deeper sense. I will continue to enhance his environment with challenging academia and a healthy lifestyle.

References

Armstrong, EL; Woodley, MA. LEARNING AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES; JAN, 2014; 29; p41-p49, Database: Social Sciences Citation Index

Beaujean, Alexander Sheng, Yanyan; Journal of Individual Differences, Vol 35(2), 2014. pp. 63-78. Publisher: Hogrefe Publishing [Journal Article], Database: PsycARTICLES

Bennett, J. O., Briggs, W. L., and Triola, M. F. (2014). Statistical Reasoning (4th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Addison Wesley.

Dunn, D. S. (2013). Are we getting smarter? Rising IQ in the twenty-first century. Choice, 50(7), 1337. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1325768743?accountid=458

Fischer, Claude S. Boston Review, May/Jun2013, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p8-9, 2p, Database: Omni File Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson)

Haywood, H. C. (2013). What is cognitive education? The view from 30,000 feet. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 12(1), 26-44. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/1321095183?accountid=28180

Silverman, L. (2013) Breakthroughs in Assessment of Gifted Children. Retrieved from: http://www.negifted.org/NAG/

Trahan, Lisa H. Stuebing, Karla K. Fletcher, Jack M. Hiscock, Merrill; Psychological Bulletin, Vol 140(5), Sep, 2014. pp. 1332-1360. Publisher: American Psychological Association [Journal Article], Database: PsycARTICLES

Wellisch, M., & Brown, J. (2012). An integrated identification and intervention model for intellectually gifted children. Journal of Advanced Academics, 23(2), 145-167. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/1027215994?accountid=28180


The FPA-BM has as Special Advisor Dr. Michelle C. Benson, Ed.D. Dr. Michelle is a consultant, university professor and advisor to many. Dr. Michelle graduated from Northcentral University with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She holds a Master in Organizational Leadership/Management from Ashford University. Dr. Michelle has taught for the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Community Health for Bachelor and Master level learners. Dr. Michelle also can motivate and lead her students to career and life changing opportunities. She is a student-centered education professional and is passionate to see success in people she encounters. Dr. Michelle has authored five journal publications and is always seeking ways to add more research to existing topics in leadership, learning and management.

 

 

 

 

Examining Culture and Climate within an Organization

Examining Culture and Climate within an Organization

By Dr. Michelle Benson, Ed.D., FPA-BM Special Advisor

Introduction

Practically every high performing organization has a unique culture and climate from which they are known for. What needs to be realized is that a unique culture and climate did not just happen one day, but was developed over time through trials and successes. Curtis (2015) points out that climate can be viewed as local or a subset of the total organizational culture. In reflection, Taylor (2014) adds that organizational culture has also been identified as a salient antecedent of performance. In this assignment, comparisons, reflections and personal stories will be shared in examining the systemic culture and climate within an organization.

What are some preliminary observations between the content shared by the authors and your leader’s practices?

Shared and recognized leadership within an organization seems to be about even between Dr. Peter Senge and the authors of “Encouraging the Heart” by: Kouzes and Posner (2003).  Senge (2010) shared in his video: “Organizational Leadership Expert” that collective leadership is fundamentally necessary and as leaders, we must learn from each other. Kouzes and Posner (2003, p.94) shared that an organization’s culture reflects how people are showing appreciation toward one another. In revisiting personal ethics and values, it does matter how much thoughtfulness you put into recognizing someone else’s hard work and unique qualities. These events reflect off you, as a leader and are copied by followers, making them better people in the long run. In reflection of my own practices, I am the leader of my job in the classroom. My practices are tested, tried and true through benchmarking successes, student surveys and recognition by the CEO’s of the organizations that I have worked for in the last 5 years.

From many professional meetings with the CEO of my current organization, I have always been impressed by the level of approachability and use of basic language that a leader in this position represents. There is nothing more appealing to me than to be friends and collegues with a leader such as this one that exudes compassion, recognition and overall happiness in their position. This is not only attractive, but very human.

Over the last 12 years, I have had the opportunity to work for 2 completely exceptional CEO’s and I can honestly state that my values were shaped upon the styles of these leaders. These leaders are the professionals that I, as a future leader in educational leadership would like to mirror and as it stands, my personal style in the classroom has a good chance to reach those levels in the future. In fact, I have students that I taught 10 years ago that still keep in touch and still call me Professor Benson. It is truly an honor and a life success to be remembered as a favorite teacher and I am forever grateful.

I also must mention a director of education that I worked for several years ago that always had an open door policy and would stop what he was doing for a solution to any problem that came his way. This person represented the organization with caring and concern for his employees. This leader let us, as his employees lead and make decisions based on the shared visions and beliefs of the organizational culture and climate. Since then, this person retired and is still a confidant and friend.

Ten years ago in 2004, professionals above me use to tell me not to lead from the heart. I listened and thought they were right. This created terrible battles with my heart because I was a teacher that led from the heart through motivation, drive and inspiration. I was not happy trying to be someone I wasn’t and this caused me to find other jobs where I could be myself. Years later I came to realize that leading from the heart was my calling as a leader. Since then, I have received awards and recognition for my leadership qualities in the classroom because I lead from the heart and people understand this. They say it’s a breath of fresh air.

What role did your organization’s leader take to shape the culture and climate?

One major thing that attracted me to the organization that I currently work for is their involvement in the community. I knew that this organization’s culture and climate was based on the celebration of the community in a wide range of settings from major sponsorship of a stadium to the availability of community scholarships, and the offering of company-paid events such as baseball or football games. Another thing that attracted me to the culture of my current workplace is the recognition of all employees by ways of monthly visits by the CEO of the organization. When a CEO calls you by name and says hello that is an honor. The CEO also added me to his LinkedIn network, as well as his Twitter page. He is approachable and recognizes talent, therefore the organization to me is people-centered and an attractive organization to work for due to the leadership.

A previous organization that I worked for as a professor had a similar style of personalized culture and climate. The CEO was a leader in the community and was very involved in the recognition and rewarding of top employees each month so much that he sponsored a day cruise for the monthly top performers in the organization, including an award ceremony and the winners’ names on the company website. The prize was so attractive that it inspired employees and leaders alike fight hard in great customer service and the delivery of the mission statement to the community. I was working on my Bachelor Degree while working at this organization as an instructor and I can honestly say that this company’s culture led me to earn my Master’s Degree and pursue my Doctorate to be this kind of leader in the long run.

As a Doctoral student, and a Professor in higher education, I have taken everything I have learned over the years and used it to lead in my classroom, in the community as a member of the city council, and in my personal/professional relationships. There is nothing more important than to recognize, inspire and motivate all the people that you meet with your involvement in the community and in yourself. This is the culture and climate of your values and beliefs and does shine through in your job, at home and through your children.

How has the leader implemented initiatives to improve or hinder the organization’s culture and climate?

As complex and challenging of a process the initiation of change can be, one thing must be remembered and that is to recognize that change cannot occur by one implementation alone, but by many implementations all focusing on one target, the culture and climate of the organization. In addition, the implementation of initiatives is only successful when it is done consistently. In reference to my current and former organization, both CEO’s offered recognition and reward for the employees who went above and beyond their calls of duty by ways of prestigious events and representation of departments and individuals.

From professional and personal experiences, I truly believe that change, whether it be from an increase in student enrollment, or the positive recognition of a professor by her/his students in a student survey, can increase the reputation and financial standings of any size organization for the better because happy and recognized employees, and students creates an organization that everyone wants to work. With this type of reputation in the community, the CEO has done their job to the highest degree.

Based upon your observation, has the culture and climate affected the productivity of the organization’s staff members?

Based on my witness, I recently attended a veteran recognition ceremony that was organized by the veterans’ services department and the CEO was one of the speakers. I was invited to this prestigious event because I elected my top 5 students in recent classes to be recognized for their hard work and honor in the classroom. When I walked into the main campus the night of the ceremony, I immediately noticed that the CEO was chatting with different groups of people. I was amongst Vice Presidents of departments, Deans of education, and leaders in the field and felt very fortunate to be in attendance. I joined a group of friends for the event and the CEO came over and thanked us for nominating our students for this event. I was beside myself with happiness and inspiration.

After the ceremony, the CEO met up again with some employees, including myself to fill out some thank you cards for the soldiers who are fighting overseas. I left this ceremony with a feeling of support, thankfulness and extreme love for my position in this company. I am sure the other attendees felt the same way too. The next day, I saw the CEO on the news and he was thanking the veterans’ for their services to the country. There was no doubt in my mind that this organization was one that focused their efforts on the recognition and reward of employees and community members’ culture and climate. Based on what I witnessed and am witnessing, all employees and students alike are on the same page.

Another sign that the climate and culture of my organization is one of recognition and trust is the amount of free reign that I have as a professor to hold my classes the way that I feel is professional and thorough. Each class has benchmarks, or objectives that must be taught and understood by my students by ways of quizzes and tests, but the rest of my classes are up to my creative energy and little bits of extra charisma in assuring that my students are prepared for their next classes and the professional settings of the workplace. I really appreciate the amount of creativity that I can put into each one of my classes and I appreciate even more that I am allowed to do it. I am positive that each and every professor that works in this organization works more productively because of the allowance of creative energy and personalization that is put into each classroom.

Another observation of employees’ productivity are within their very work areas which fosters a sense of belonging. Pictures of loved ones, awards, degrees, and colorful decorations make productivity almost always something that is work working for. This is the kind of culture that this organization sponsors and I find it an important part of success, especially at work where support is socially visible to all visitors and fellow employees.

What could be done differently and/or what was done effectively?

I honestly do not see anything in my organization that should be done differently, or more effectively. The leader’s focus in my organization and my focus are on the same wavelength and I plan to keep on representing it with services that perform above and beyond my call as a Professor in this organization. I hope that in the future, when I earn my doctorate in educational leadership that I may be able to join the upper eshilance of top leaders in this organization as a dean or a vice president of a department. I feel that my beliefs and the importance of my organization’s culture and climate will manifest further as a top leader.

References

Curtis, Mary. Journal of Business Ethics. Jan2015, Vol. 126 Issue 1, p61-63. 3p. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-2036-0. , Database: Business Source Complete

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2003). Encouraging the heart: A leader’s guide to rewarding and recognizing others. Boston, MA: Jossey-Bass.

Senge, P. (2010). Organizational Leadership Expert. http://youtu.be/iLFCrv7-XlI

Senge, P. (June 2010). Systems thinking in early education. http://youtu.be/q8w3Z9O7HLM

Taylor, Jeannette. Public Performance & Management Review. Sep2014, Vol. 38 Issue 1, p7-22. 16p. DOI: 10.2753/PMR1530-9576380101. , Database: Business Source Complete


The FPA-BM has as Special Advisor Dr. Michelle C. Benson, Ed.D. Dr. Michelle is a consultant, university professor and advisor to many. Dr. Michelle graduated from Northcentral University with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She holds a Master in Organizational Leadership/Management from Ashford University. Dr. Michelle has taught for the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Community Health for Bachelor and Master level learners. Dr. Michelle also can motivate and lead her students to career and life changing opportunities. She is a student-centered education professional and is passionate to see success in people she encounters. Dr. Michelle has authored five journal publications and is always seeking ways to add more research to existing topics in leadership, learning and management.

Assessing Preferred Leadership Style

Assessing Preferred Leadership Style

By Dr. Michelle Benson, Ed.D., FPA-BM Special Advisor

Introduction

Leadership

As a true leader, it is important to recognize your own personality style so you can help others find theirs. This personal recognition not only helps you bloom as a leader, but is an effective communication tool to use in reaching out to team members and people you meet. Leadership is tailored around your style, and when you have a firm concept of yours and confidence within it, you are practically unstoppable. Leadership is also about setting an example. Kouzes and Posner (2003) suggest setting a positive tone bright and early by expressing how much you appreciate the contributions of others.

Another technique in communicating as a leader is to identify your true colors which is an actual psychological model that has been around for quite some time. It is true that every one of us has a different way of approaching tasks and interacting with others. By identifying your true colors and becoming familiar with other color’s conceptual relationships, communication and personal understanding is now within grip of creating a very effective work environment and happy one at that. In the following assignment, I will share my results from the leadership style assessment and that from the true colors assessment and formulate if I think that the results were consistent with my skills, how they can be a source of strength to my organization, and how I may be able to improve on the areas of deficiency.

The Leadership Legacy Assessment

The Leadership Legacy Assessment is part of a curriculum that was written for an MBA program and was used at Harvard University and other top universities. It promotes understanding on how to build and maintain long-term leaders, and teaches how to reproduce the assessment’s characteristics for personal and professional use. However, this assessment goes even deeper than the revealing of personal characteristics, but asks the test taker what kind of legacy they will leave behind. Galford and Fazio (2006) state that the following steps are essential in building your leadership legacy: first it begins by honing one’s craft and becoming a trusted advisor to others. The advisor then carries these tenets of trust into the next role that of the trusted leader. Finally, leaders cultivate their legacies, making them better and more effective leaders today.

Upon completing the Leadership Legacy Assessment, I found that my scores were accurately in sync with six types of leaders: ambassador (17 out of 25), advocate (10 out of 25), people mover (23 out of 25), truth-seeker (21 out of 25), creative builder (19 out of 25), and experienced guide (24 out of 25). Upon analyzing each of the suggested natural roles more in depth, I found that my highest scoring category was spot on. Experienced guide was described as having the ability to listen and put myself in other people’s shoes. This leadership type also clarified what people have always told me that I am, a natural therapist. I do, in fact have the ability to rationalize through other people’s problems and help them find their way back on track.

I credit a large percentage of my leadership style on this role as an experienced guide. Renato Tagiuri, emeritus professor at the Harvard School, noted that natural “experienced guides” are often found one level down from the top in organizations. They get their greatest satisfaction from helping others get through the day and helping others see the bigger picture. Again, I do credit myself with my ability to empathize and for this, experienced leader was right on the money.

The second highest score was in the category of “people mover.” These leaders are said to have talent in recognition, motivation and natural leadership. This score is also very accurate because of how my actual instincts play a part not only in decision making, but in leadership duties. Leadership is not only at work for me, but at home and in the community. I do have the ability to see things through a larger lens of potential. I generally call it magnified optimism and now I know why. Students that I taught back in 2008 still reaching out to me falls into this category of leadership because they know I care, I am a people mover. At a not so far third place leadership style, truth seeker described me as a professor in the classroom. I am able to use good judgment, have a neutral point of view and am level headed. This role is said to exhibit unfailing competence in the leader’s field, helping people to understand new rules and policies, and act to preserve the integrity of the processes therein.

Ambassador and creative builder styles were within reasonable limits. Within my scored characteristics of an ambassador, I found my ability to handle situations with grace, respect and gentle persistence. And within my scored creative builder, I found my drive, happiness and sense of entrepreneurship. According to the description of this style: strength of belief in end result + ability to tolerate the process = creative builder. I can reflect on this because I do claim persistence in finishing what I start with toleration and an end goal in mind.

The lowest score that I received in the Leadership Legacy Assessment was that of an advocate. The leadership style of an advocate tends to have greater strength in persuasion, logical thinking, and articulation. This type of leader can argue a point on two entirely different trains of thought: linear and non-linear. Advocate leaders see things in black or white only, so would often need another type of leader (like a people mover) to convince employees to buy into the ideas of an advocate leader. Clearly this leadership style is the farthest from who I am because I see things in color and don’t need to persuade people with what is right. Interestingly, I see this type of leadership in my husband and now I may be able to use this to understand his thought process. All in all, the Leadership Legacy Assessment was spot on, a breath of fresh air, and confirmation of my talents as a leader.

The True Colors Personality Assessment

This assessment is used in self-identity and its long-term solutions make better relationships, both on a professional and personal basis. A leader could use this assessment in learning how to adjust to a certain person, or group of people for that connection that some people seek for in their lives. The assessment itself required the taker to just get a “sense” of each box and score them from one being the least to four being the most. My scores were as follows: orange (11), green (13), blue (15), and gold (11). Naturally, I wondered what this all meant, so here is what I found out. Blues love to talk, are direct, and have a nurturing personality. They also value relationships, need creativity, and make decisions based on feelings. This has me all over it. Some of blue’s stressors are: being overextended, and saying “no” to socializing. Personally, I can understand the overextended factor, but cannot agree with the saying no to socializing. I am very direct and do not have a problem saying no when socializing. I credit myself with the ability to see both sides and still remain neutral. In addition, I found it very interesting that only 12-25% of test takers scored blue as their highest color spectrum.

The second color in a not so far two-point difference was green. Greens are said to be more technical, logical and questioners of authority. The stressors of a green warn scorers to beware making a decision without the facts, to not waste time on things that make no sense, and to beware of idle chat. Honestly, I can reflect with only a small part of this colors leadership traits. As part of the general descriptions of this color, I agreed that I do push myself to improve, I do require intellectual freedom, am curious, and do enjoy an intriguing and philosophical discussion. This colors traits helped me understand why I loved taking statistics so much; because I do, according to green enjoy intellectual stimulation.

I did not agree with the traits of being intellectually isolated because I love to share what I have learned as a teacher. In addition, I did not agree with the green trait that work is play. I do admit that work is fun when you love what you do, but I do not consider work play. This is yet to be discovered.  Interestingly, only 10-13% of test takers score into this colors traits. This color’s traits are ones that I will need to seek further understanding of in understanding my full leadership potential.

The last two categories: gold and orange were even in score (both 11’s) and also happen to be the top two scoring categories in test takers. Gold personalities scored in at 33-50% of test takers and orange scored in at 12-33% of test takers scores. So first, gold personalities are said to be measurers of their worth by completion, prefer orderliness and cleanliness, and are the safeguards of tradition. On the other hand, orange personalities resist commitment, thrive on crisis, like to be the center of attention, and are very competitive. To me, it is truly hard to believe that these two categories scored first and second place. Maybe I am just comfortable in my ways, but in the bigger picture, these two top scoring categories make up most of corporate America and are good to reference in reaching out and communicating with all types.

Are the results consistent with how you perceive your personality and leadership style?

My results of both the Leadership Legacy Assessment and the True Colors Personality Spectrum were spot on and confirmed what I have always thought about myself as a leader. I am a motivator at heart and at work. I thrive to help others reach their goals and have the ability to listen. I am a nurturer and from years of experience, people know that I care. I can see the bigger picture and think in color. These character traits are mine and I will be the happiest when I can use them to lead and represent a larger organization or position with more responsibility once I earn my Doctorate.

How can your style and personality be sources of strength to the organization?

The very first thing that I thought of when contemplating this question were my scores on the True Colors Personality Spectrum Assessment. I consider myself a very unique individual with unique abilities that are only accountable for 10-25% of the True Colors test takers. I feel very strongly about my leadership abilities and have put myself on the spot to test my personal theories on my ability to lead and react. I have found that when I am true to myself and my natural abilities, that my career grows in an upward direction. This is very true on my resume and as a heart-felt accomplishment. I completely believe that I am a strength to my organization’s mission and values and in the future it would be in my organization’s best interest to promote my abilities to a position where I can train others to learn my styles and act upon them to help others.

How can you improve upon the deficiencies depicted in the Leadership Legacy Assessment?

To answer this question fully, I will rely on the lowest scored leadership style “advocate” and try to determine how I can make improvements. According to the details of the advocate, they tend to be relentless, or in other words: harsh, severe and strict. In further description of this leadership style, advocates lead this way because of their survival through the roughest of waters, which is sort of motivating. Knowing this, I may be able to understand this type of leader more, but to work on trying to become this type of leader would take a leap of faith outside of myself. So, I will work on trying to be more articulate, rational, logical, and persuasive; all while staying true to myself and my natural abilities.

References

Dickey, D. (2014). Hue are you? True colors personality spectrum. Texas A & M Health Science Center. Retrieved from: http://www.medicine.tamhsc.edu/resource-team/docs/2014-meetings/hueareyouprezi090614.pdf

Discovering Our Personality Style through TRUE COLORS
Attachment: True Colors Personality Test.pdf

Galford, R.M. & Fazio, R. (2006) Your Leadership Legacy: Why looking toward the future will make you a better leader today. Harvard Business School Press. Retrieved from: www.yourleadershiplegacy.com/

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2003). Encouraging the heart: A leader’s guide to rewarding and recognizing others. Boston, MA: Jossey-Bass.

Leadership Legacy Assessment. Retrieved from: http://www.yourleadershiplegacy.com/assessment/assessment.php


The FPA-BM has as Special Advisor Dr. Michelle C. Benson, Ed.D. Dr. Michelle is a consultant, university professor and advisor to many. Dr. Michelle graduated from Northcentral University with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She holds a Master in Organizational Leadership/Management from Ashford University. Dr. Michelle has taught for the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Community Health for Bachelor and Master level learners. Dr. Michelle also can motivate and lead her students to career and life changing opportunities. She is a student-centered education professional and is passionate to see success in people she encounters. Dr. Michelle has authored five journal publications and is always seeking ways to add more research to existing topics in leadership, learning and management.

 

Examining Time Management

Examining Time Management

By Dr. Michelle Benson, Ed.D., FPA-BM Special Advisor

Introduction

As an educational leader, my primary goal is to manage time; while in balance of all tasks that surround my organizational responsibilities. Time management ties into each one of Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people. First habit- being proactive, requires a clear attention to time management due to the habitual values of the leader to complete a task on time and with full potential. Second habit- to begin with an end in mind, requires the leader to “rescript” the values from the first habit.

Within this valuable habit, the leader can make conscious decisions that reflect professional values and roles which again ties into the first habit. Third habit- putting first things first, assesses personal time management. By gaining control of time, a leader can see how the most important tasks in quadrant one relate to the vision and mission of your organization. Fourth habit- thinking win-win, points out that we cannot do everything ourselves, but must rely on team members to get the job done. The educational leader in this habit is never losing focus of the goals or strategies that are the most important, acting as the motivator to their team and most importantly, establishing meaningful and professional relationships with team members and other leaders.

Fifth habit- seeking first to understand, then to be understood, demonstrates that the leader can make a decision based on knowledge that is personally understood, so further delegation can be followed through in managing time to a tee. Sixth habit- synergizing is said by Covey (n.d.) to be when two or more people work together to understand something, they can create this phenomenon. Leadership from the heart requires the leader to allow all members of the team to benefit from managing tasks; from time management to the creative input to a business solution.

Finally, habit seven- sharpening the saw keeps the educational leader in check; such as in quadrant two, in a constant long term area to improve goals and strategies for high quality and professional leadership. Krogue (2013) emphasizes Covey’s system by stating that time management is one skill universal to all disciplines of business and life.

In my professional career, a majority of my time does not involve student interaction. Still, I must prioritize my time to make sure that when my students are present that they are influenced to succeed and achieve at high productive levels. It is said that how a manager manages their time defines them as a leader. I could not agree more because time management is the key to comfortable delegation of tasks and full thought out decisions.

This assignment asks the writer to identify and analyze the actions and results of each quadrant of Covey’s Time Management Matrix; breaking down further what is most urgent and what is not urgent. Further discussion of the elements in each section will point out how they could be managed more effectively and efficiently. In addition, personal goals will be shared from each quadrant with an analysis of how they can be moved from one quadrant to another in gaining a deeper sense of time management with the use of Covey’s Time Management Matrix.

Covey’s Time Management Matrix

Quadrant 1: Important/Urgent

This is the quadrant where immediate and important deadlines are managed as a necessity. Items such as: immediate attention to crisis and problems, last-minute meetings at work, the sometimes unavoidable cramming of projects, and rushing to meet a deadline are all solid examples of important and urgent items that would go into this quadrant. According to Dr. Covey, 90% of people’s time is spent in this category (Ulacia, 2009).

In adding a little humor, popular bloggist- Horning (2014) adds that individuals who live in Quadrant I are often consumed with problems all day every day and only find peace in escaping to Quadrant IV. These individuals can be characterized as crisis mangers, problem-minded people, and deadline-driven producers. The items that I, personally placed in my matrix in this quadrant were the paying of monthly bills/rent/mortgage, doctor appointments for family/immunizations, helping children with homework, due dates for college assignments, going to church every Sunday, weekly lesson plans/class work/grading/attendance for job, and preparing meals for family. Most of the items listed are what I felt are the most important and urgent according to my values and professionalism to take care of my family and personal needs before my professional ones.

Quadrant 2: Important/Not Urgent

This quadrant is one of quality and personal leadership styles in the development of long-term tactful strategies. Covey (n.d.) states that this quadrant should be one to expand upon and use for the planning and focus of long-term achievable goals. Items in this quadrant would include the ever important planning and prep time for quadrant one, essential break times, time to get the job done within reasonable limits, and constant time for improvement would fit nicely into this quadrant.

On the other hand, Dr. Covey says that if you live in Quadrant II, “Your effectiveness would increase dramatically. Your crises and problems would shrink to manageable proportions because you would be thinking ahead, working on the roots” (Ulacia, 2009). The items in my personal matrix of quadrant two include: focus on long-term goals, strategies, vision and mission of my career and organization, pre-work/reading and understanding of my Dissertation planning, a positive mental/spiritual/physical outlook towards my Doctorate, and a constant seeking to improve my personal time management methods.

Quadrant 3: Not Important/Urgent

This quadrant is said to be one of deception because of the time wasting items. In this quadrant, we see things like time pressured distractions, avoidable phone calls or interruptions, unnecessary reports and even unnecessary meetings. This quadrant should be avoided by all costs because most of the items in this quadrant can be managed in quadrants one and two before they become a hindrance in this quadrant. In the results portion of the prefilled quadrants, the bulleted items are demonstrating what can happen to the time manager if most attention is devoted to it. The time manager may begin to see goals as worthless, may feel victimized and begin to find themselves doubting their relationships. This is not where an educational leader needs to be, nor any of their followers.

Therefore, I stand behind my theory of this quadrant that it is a time waster and I want nothing to do with it. I will manage what is important in quads one and two before they become urgent. The items that I, personally filled into this quadrant were: time to look at junk mail, longer than expected lunch breaks, an open office/open door policy for team members to ask questions freely, or events such as a job fair, study time while at work to catch up, or a call that just cannot wait any longer to take.

Quadrant 4: Not Important/Not Urgent

This quadrant yields little value to an educational leader because here, items such as junk mail, excessive breaks, idle chit-chat, and time wasters will just delay the inevitable. This quadrant should also be avoided at all costs. According to the results page, bulleted items are showing total irresponsibility, being fired from jobs and using that for entitlement, and the not so shocking dependability on the basics; whereabouts they are personal responsibilities otherwise.

This is a dangerous quadrant even for me to consider, but here are the items that I listed in this category: time wasting activities that get no work done, playing video games while work should have been done, going to see a movie while work needs to be done, and procrastination, in general. All listed items here can be planned for other quadrants, preferably quads one and two. As an educational leader, I need to be a role model of time management and it needs to match my personal values, as I believe it does.

My Theory of Time Management as an Effective Leader

Time management applies to everything in life that is mental, spiritual and physical. Whether considering a child’s thoughts of time management, a college students, or a CEO’s proven style of management, it all comes down to the hours in a day, a sense of priority and personal time for leisure, or relaxing time. All three factors (hours, priority, and leisure) play a major part in a time management plan that will balance out everything that is important in a day. Boniwell, et al (2014) points out that current research shows that having a balanced time perspective improves well-being and productivity on many levels: work-related, social and personal. Yanping and Soman (2014) add clearly that the key step in getting things done is to get started. The use of Covey’s time management matrix is a smart start. It demonstrated what is important and to use the completion of its importance before it became an urgent undertaking. I already have a current trust in Franklin Covey products such as the Day Planner, so it was fun and easy to work with this matrix.

Summary

In wrapping up this assignment, educational leaders need to remember that the development of skills in time management are a journey and very seldom will a professional become a time management genius right out of the ring. Students and professionals need to use time management daily to become effective at it. It’s one thing to learn it and know it, but you have to use it to own it. As a professional in my field, I can say that I own time management. My priorities are straight and I generally still have time to assist a friend or a colleague in their attempts to catch up. Sometimes my friends ask me how I find enough time in the day to do everything that I do. I tell them that I plan for it.

References

Boniwell, Ilona; Osin, Evgeny; Sircova, Anna. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching & Mentoring. Aug2014, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p24-40. 17p. 1 Chart. , Database: Business Source Complete

Covey’s Time Management Matrix. Retrieved from: http://www.brefigroup.co.uk/acrobat/quadrnts.pdf

Covey, S. R. (n.d.) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Retrieved from:
http://inspiro.weebly.com/uploads/2/0/8/8/2088675/covey_stephen_-_the_seven_habits_of_highly_effective_people.pdf

Horning, H. (2014) Time Management Matrix: Urgent vs. Important-Living in Box Two. Retrieved from: http://www.archerpoint.com>blogs>HannahHorning’sBlog

Krogue, K. (2013) Level 5 Time Management: Beyond Steven R. Covey and Ben Franklin. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/…/level-5-time-management-beyond-steven-c

Ulacia, D. (2009) Are You Working on the Wrong Things? Franklin Covey-Franklin Planner Co. Retrieved from: http://www.getorganized.fcorgp.com/content/are-you-working-wrong-things

Yanping, T; Soman, DILIP. Journal of Consumer Research. Oct2014, Vol. 41 Issue 3, p810-822. 13p. 1 Diagram, 1 Chart, 3 Graphs. , Database: Business Source Complete


The FPA-BM has as Special Advisor Dr. Michelle C. Benson, Ed.D. Dr. Michelle is a consultant, university professor and advisor to many. Dr. Michelle graduated from Northcentral University with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She holds a Master in Organizational Leadership/Management from Ashford University. Dr. Michelle has taught for the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Community Health for Bachelor and Master level learners. Dr. Michelle also can motivate and lead her students to career and life changing opportunities. She is a student-centered education professional and is passionate to see success in people she encounters. Dr. Michelle has authored five journal publications and is always seeking ways to add more research to existing topics in leadership, learning and management.

Topic: Bullying

Topic: Bullying

By Dr. Michelle Benson, Ed.D., FPA-BM Special Advisor

Incidentally, bullying can hinder a student’s ability to learn and enjoy the school experience. I am sure that all parents would agree that school should be a safe and trustworthy place for their kids to be away from home. Although kids can expect peer pressure once and a while, sometimes it can spiral out of control and turn into a form of bullying that will continue throughout the year and continue into the next. Unfortunately, most bullying goes undetected and the victims are too afraid to come forward due to risk of more bullying or bodily harm. Sadly, students are being bullied in public places such as bathrooms, hallways and school buses to name a few.  More importantly, students need to find ways to motivate their self-confidence, overcome feelings of no self-worth and exit their cycles of being a victim of bullying for good.

Physical Bullying

Overall, physical bullying is the worst form of bullying. It includes tripping, hitting, and pushing and can cross the line very easily into sexual harassment. According to Beran (2008) physical bullying is more common in boys than in girls. Boys use it mostly to show male domination. In contrast, girls use indirect bullying by ways of gossiping, rumors and threats. On the other hand, Barbara Coloroso, famed author of the book: The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander states that: bullying, whether it is a boy or girl, involves calling others names, making sexual remarks, aggressive emails and phone calls, racial comments, cruel jokes, spreading rumors, violent threats, and gossip. Granted, this does open up the realm of bullying to standard terms, however does not solve the issue of who’s to blame.

Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullying can really take a toll on the emotions of its victim. Overtime, verbal bullying can lead to anxiety, depression and lastly; suicide. Granted there are many types of bullying, verbal bullying seems to cause the most pain over a long period of time. Thanks to the research of Kasetchi Laeheem (2013) writer for the Asian Social Science Journal, association of bullying behaviors came from classroom management factor such as: democratic, authoritarian and permissive styles of teaching and from family upbringing factors such as: strict, permissive and democratic parenting methods. Further, influence of parental violence in the household was a strong predictor of students bullying behavior. In contrast, “bullying is a product of his or her problematic background, such as poor parenting, lots of quarrels and conflicts at home, divorce, abuse, or harsh non-loving parents.” (Thornberg,R. & Knutsen, S. (2011). Furthermore, bullying points to a cause of psychological distress in reference to dealing with individualized living situations.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying, or otherwise known as cyber stalking is when a perpetrator uses social media induced information technology. On their cell phones, iPads, tablets and computers, bullies deliver mean spirited hostile behavior to a victim. From research, I discovered that the bullies who use this form of torcher are or were bullied in person and this is their payback. Granted, parental involvement is key…some cases are never caught until it is too late and serious damage or death has occurred.

One of the saddest things to hear on the news is how the popular social media tool,  Facebook is knowingly harboring teenage bullying in private messages, which in turn is leading to suicide. As the internet offers instantaneous satisfaction of entertainment needs, mainly in social media, the risk for your child’s private bullying by a stranger is just as high. V.B. Draa from the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences stated that most networking sites are required by law to provide a list of rules and terms of service that apply to users that forbid cyberbullying actions. Nevertheless, some people cannot see the “small print” and realistically never know it is there. I firmly believe that rules, regulations and terms of usage should be in large print and pop up before a consumer logs on to a suspected social media site.

Given these important points concerning life and death, lawmakers are continuously working on further legislation against cyberbullying. Upon research, I located a website (www.bullypolice.org) that gives the current laws from each state for educators, or concerned advocates to refer to about protecting victims of bullying. For instance, California passed a law called the SB719-Bully Prevention for School Safety and Crime Reduction Act of 2003. California’s interest in making their concerns about bullying a law speculates that this state has had many cases of bullying that have led to death.  By ways of contrast, Colorado has no official anti bullying law, but a legislative declaration and policy to refer to. Colorado’s interest in a bullying law is not as severe as California’s stand which underscores that in this state, bullying is not on the rise.  In any case, each state seems to have laws and legislations regarding bullying, but truly needs to enforce their policies more to avoid further psychological harm of the victims of bullying.

Social Bullying

Social bullying, or otherwise known as relational aggression is a form of bullying that I have experienced. It led me to quit school in the tenth grade and run away from Connecticut to California. People who I thought were friends gained my trust, broke it intentionally and belittled me as much as they could. These bullies would wait for me to walk by after school, under the stairs and hold me there until they broke my self-esteem with constant negative comments about me and my family. They threatened me that if I ever told anyone, I would get my ass kicked.

I held this social bullying in for so long that it broke me and I quit school just to get away from it. I remember the look on my mother’s face when I signed the paperwork to quit school at a meeting with the principal and counselors. It was too late now. I really should have said something earlier. The anxiety, depression and trust issues from this experience were very hard to overcome. In San Diego, California, I went back to school and earned my high school diploma in 1988. In the year 2000, I became a teacher with a full bag of diamonds to share about self-esteem and character building.

Furthermore, I was pleased to find an article written by Smith, P and Birney, L. (2005) that spoke about a plan that would include the principal’s support of teachers to protect students with watchful eyes from the predators of bullying in schools across the country. I truly believe that with this kind of support from the principal that all public school organizations could be well-functioning ones with trust across the board.

Emotional Bullying

According to a case study about emotional bullying causing long-term emotional problems, Bond, L; Carlin, J.B.; Thomas, L.; Rubin, K.; & Patton, G. (2001) discovered in a meta-analysis that the relation between victimization and psychosocial maladjustment found a stronger association with measures of depression than with anxiety, loneliness, or general self-esteem. By way of contrast, Carbo, J. & Hughes, A. (2010) believe that emotional bullying causes later issues in the workplace of anxiety, frustration and burnout.

However, one thing is certain. If you are a victim of bullying, there is always trustworthy help out there. Never should a victim of bullying hold anything in due to anxiety or depression, but find a professional to help them overcome their fears and save themselves from potential post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Gay Bullying

Alternately, gay bullying is on the rise in America. Back in September of the year 2000, I began to step up and support bullying by speaking publically about my experiences in high school. In the same month, a story surfaced out of Tehachapi, California whereabouts a young 13 year old boy committed suicide due to being chronically bullied for his sexual orientation. Seth Walsh was a lover of cheese burgers, Pokémon cards, disco music and an “A” student, but what Seth was coming to terms with was he was gay and the bullies targeted him immediately.

Seth Walsh became depressed and withdrawn. People he thought were friends were calling him names and socially profiling him everywhere he went. He was a victim of social and emotional bulling. At one point, Seth was afraid to use the restroom in fear that he would get beat up by his peers. Seth’s mother tried countless times to get the school district to do something, but nothing was done. The worse happened. Seth hung himself in the back yard of his house. He was on life support for nine days, and pronounced dead on the tenth. There are far too many stories out there recently about stereotypical profiling and something must be done about this. On Facebook, I created a page called: “NO MORE BULLYING”. This is a place where people can go to and get help, tell their stories and feel safe. I plan to continue to grow this page in the future to really make a difference in the lives of the victims of bullying.

What can be done about Bullying?

While parental awareness is key to a child’s well-being, there are signs to look for if you suspect that your child is a victim of bullying. Is your child socially isolated? Would he/she rather play in their room alone than with friends outside? Do their school books seem like they are damaged or ripped? Are there unexplainable cuts, bruises or scratches on your child? Is your child experiencing bad dreams at night, or are they crying in their sleep? Lastly, does your child seem to be sad, anxious or depressed when getting ready for school? If so, then I would suggest to make an appointment with the school counselor, principal and teacher right away.

Thankfully, teachers and parents are integrating the importance of building character in their students’ elementary school years. In the event that a student may encounter a bullying situation, their strong character would lead the student on the right track so they can continue to learn in a safe and nurturing environment.

References

Bond, L., Carlin, J. B., Thomas, L., Rubin, K., & Patton, G. (2001). Does bullying cause emotional problems? A prospective study of young teenagers. British Medical Journal, 323(7311), 480-4. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/204024596?accountid=28180

Beran, T., & Stewart, S. (2008). Teachers’ and students’ reports of physical and indirect bullying. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 54(2), 242-244. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/228625819?accountid=28180

Carbo, J., & Hughes, A. (2010). WORKPLACE BULLYING: DEVELOPING A HUMAN RIGHTS DEFINITION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE AND EXPERIENCES OF TARGETS. Working USA, 13(3), 387-403. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/856599033?accountid=28180

Colorosa, B. (2008). The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers

Draa, V. B., & Sydney, T. D. (2009). Cyberbullying: Challenges and actions. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 101(4), 40-46. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/218176097?accountid=28180

Gourneau, B. (2012). Students’ perspectives of bullying in schools. Contemporary Issues in Education Research (Online), 5(2), 117. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/1418450265?accountid=28180

Hallford, A., Borntrager, C., & Davis, J. L. (2006). Evaluation of a bullying prevention program. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 21(1), 91-101. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/203891234?accountid=28180

Laeheem, K. (2013). Factors associated with bullying behavior in islamic private schools, pattani province, southern thailand. Asian Social Science, 9(3), 55-60. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/1346871747?accountid=28180

Olweus, D. (1997). Bully/victim problems in school: Facts and intervention. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 12, 495-510.

Shore, K. (2005). The ABC’s of bullying prevention: A comprehensive school wide approach. Port Chester, NY: Dude Publishing

Smith, P. A., & Birney, L. L. (2005). The organizational trust of elementary schools and dimensions of student bullying. The International Journal of Educational Management, 19(6),469-485.Retrievedfrom http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/229108733?accountid=28180

Thornberg, R., & Knutsen, S. (2011). Teenagers’ explanations of bullying. Child & Youth Care Forum, 40(3), 177-192. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10566-010-9129-z


The FPA-BM has as Special Advisor Dr. Michelle C. Benson, Ed.D. Dr. Michelle is a consultant, university professor and advisor to many. Dr. Michelle graduated from Northcentral University with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She holds a Master in Organizational Leadership/Management from Ashford University. Dr. Michelle has taught for the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Community Health for Bachelor and Master level learners. Dr. Michelle also can motivate and lead her students to career and life changing opportunities. She is a student-centered education professional and is passionate to see success in people she encounters. Dr. Michelle has authored five journal publications and is always seeking ways to add more research to existing topics in leadership, learning and management.

Adolescent Learning and School Law

Adolescent Learning and School Law

By Dr. Michelle Benson, Ed.D., FPA-BM Special Advisor

Introduction

Before potential educators become public servants in their school districts, they muster through classes that cover disciplines from adolescent learning to school law. They learn in their studies that without hesitation, teachers to be are held responsible for their knowledge and upkeep of the amendments while in the light of the public window. After all, it is only proper for a teacher to instruct using clear and simple directions within school law, and rules that even the most culturally diverse can understand. Schools are safe places for children and adults to learn.

This provides parents with reasonable assurance that their children are safe and under the supervision of professional, responsible adults. This culmination of everything I have learned in this course will relate and further research what is being done in the constant management of the population of exceptional children in special education and the no child left behind law.

Teaching in the field of Special Education

For all potential educators who choose to pursue a credential in special education, the Public Law 94-142 – Education of All Handicapped Children Act is a part of history that needs to be taken seriously and followed the same. Passed in 1975, Public Law 94-142 guarantee’s each school age and preschool child to the right of a free and appropriate education in a least restrictive environment. Public schools must provide education for all students with exceptionalities between the ages of 3 and 21 years. Since the inception of PL 94-142, the law has been modified and refined; today the law has been enhanced and replaced by the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) of 2004.

History of Public Law 94-142

Back in 1975 when Public Law 94-142 became an act, there were more than eight million handicapped children in the United States whose educational services were just beginning to be met.  More than half of the handicapped children in the United States did not receive appropriate educational services which would enable them to have full equality of opportunity.

One million of the handicapped children in the United States were excluded entirely from the public school system and did not go through the educational process with their peers. “The state’s commitment to educating all children can be framed as a matter of  human capital development, or the economic benefits accrued to individuals and society as a result of educational attainment; it can be framed as a matter of capabilities, or the development of functioning’s that enable human flourishing; and it can be framed as a matter of rights.” Ben-Porath (2012).

In 2010, the United States Department of Education began to offer four purposes of the law that articulated a compelling national mission to improve access to education for children with disabilities. The four purposes were quoted by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to: (1) assure that all children with disabilities have available to them, a free appropriate public education which emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs (2) to assure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected. (3)to assist States and localities to provide for the education of all children with disabilities, and (4) to assess and assure the effectiveness of efforts to educate all children with disabilities.

Individuals with Disabilities Act

According to the United States Department of Education, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B. (www.ed.gov)

According to the 22nd Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (U.S. Department of Education, 2000), in the 1998/1999 school year, 11% of the school-age population received special education services. That translates to more than 5 million students ages 6 to 17, a 34.5% increase since 1987/1988. The increase in enrollment of the entire school-age population during the same time period, however, was only 17%. In 1988/ 1989, 30% of the students receiving special education services were in a special education setting for approximately one fifth or less of their school day. Weiss & John (2002).

Eligibility under IDEA includes: the IEP, bus service, Special Day Classes and wheelchair ramps for schools. According to Crowley, (2013) Modifications designed to fulfill the act’s goal of equal access, such as wheelchair ramps, have become common since the act was signed into law. The Individuals with Disabilities Act is also tightly aligned with The No Child Left Behind Act that offers schools and their states financial incentives for improvement to their special education services.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

The NCLB Act of 2001 was intended to ensure that all children receive high-quality education and thereby “close the achievement gap between high- and low-performing children, especially the achievement gaps between minority and non-minority students, and between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers” (Public Law No. 107-110, § 6301 (3), 2002).

This act was not only to demonstrate accountability of teachers and their districts, but also for an improved scoring capability in math and english. Accountability is the focus of the current NCLB policy, which addresses the academic achievement of America’s youth and especially the difference in test scores that exists between low-income and minority students and their middle-class counterparts. Rowley & Wright (2011). This seems to be a hot topic in today’s research about the NCLB Act.

However, if a teacher perceives a student to be inefficient in the dominant culture due to atypical behaviors or codes of speech, or to be of average or lower intelligence, there is a higher possibility of academic failure. A teacher’s or administrator’s expectations become directly related to a student’s educational expectations. Also, a teacher’s ability to address cultural diversity in the classroom in relation to the teacher’s social location has an impact on a student’s academic success, which highly reflects how students react to peer pressure.

IEP- Individualized Education Program

To provide for the needs of students with exceptionalities, an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) must be developed for the child by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team, which sets the parameters of educational services, modifications and accommodations to be provided for the child with exceptionalities. The IEP is a legally binding document and is an education road map which the district must adhere to in educating the child.        

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, each public school child who receives special education and related services under The No Child Left Behind Act and The Individuals with Disabilities Act, must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities.

The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability. To create an effective IEP, parents, teachers, other school staff and often the student must come together to look closely at the student’s unique needs. These individuals pool knowledge, experience and commitment to design an educational program that will help the student be involved in, and progress in, the general curriculum.

The IEP as a Lawful Document

By law, the IEP as a document must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs. This information covers topics such as current performance, annual goals, special education and related services, accommodations, participation in state and district-wide tests, needed transition services and measured progress.

Special education and IEP law were generally developed first at the federal level and then at the state level. If there is ever a conflict between state and federal law, federal law must be followed. The basis for most IEP law is found in three federal statutes, The Individual with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act.  

IEP as an Insurance Policy

A major concern states that since the content of the IEP is legally binding, teachers should be able to describe how you would ensure what is included in the IEP to ensure the student needs are being met? As a parent of a child who has had an IEP since Kindergarten, I consider myself a professional about the vitality of this question. On the first page of an IEP packet are dates that stand for when the initial IEP was done, the project date of placement, next review of the IEP and when the triennial meeting would be set.

 Moving down the front page of the official IEP document, are some more dates that ensure that the child will receive services associated with his/her individualized education program. For my son, services are listed as speech and language and adapted PE with starting and ending dates, frequency of classes per week and for how many minutes per class session.

On the second page is sufficient room for the student’s present levels of performance including strengths and weaknesses per date, communication, motor skills, social and emotional development per date, and at the bottom, a place to address how the student’s disability affects the involvement and progress in learning general curriculum.

Moving on through the packet comes a chance for the IEP team to assess goals and benchmarks. What is great about this page, is it gives the parents the actual dates that the goals and benchmarks are to be accomplished by. As a parent in this IEP group, I found this to be very comforting and professional for my growing son’s constant improvement.

What is the plan?

Another question of vital importance discusses that school district (s) may have limited funding and the modifications or accommodations included in an IEP are beyond the districts per pupil expenditure and the district administration may not support such spending and opposes what is included in the plan. The first thing I would look into is if the school is within compliance with IDEA and The No Child Left Behind Act. If so, there is no amount of money that this school would not receive for making services for children with disabilities suppler.

The National Council on Disability (NCD) offers an answer to this question. NCD joins the voices of concern from individuals with disabilities, their families, and their advocates across the country about inadequate funding for special education. NCD recommends Congress adopt mandatory funding in keeping with the original commitment from the Federal Government to fund 40 percent of the per pupil cost of special education. In this regard, NCD also recommends Congress tie full funding of IDEA to full enforcement of IDEA, specifically, the implementation of the recommendations listed above. (www.ncd.gov)

Parental Involvement in an IEP

Knowing the importance of an IEP and student rights, a special education teacher and school principal would surely know how a member of the IEP team could advocate for the rights of the student (s), legal resources that a parent or parents can take against a district of the IEP is not being followed, and if the services provided are not meeting the needs for the child with exceptionalities. As a parent of a special needs child, who is now an adult, my son and I try to stay involved with the community and volunteer at schools, advocate for the needs of children to be met and just be people that they can talk to or relate to.

From experience, if a parent is not happy with the needs of their child being met, then it is in the rights of the parent to call for a meeting of the IEP team- consisting of the special education teacher, a general education teacher, a school district representative, speech pathologist and the school psychologist and discuss needs and concerns.

The parent (s) must keep in mind that the scheduling of this team may take weeks, so professional courtesy must be allowed.  This type of recourse should be discussed at the first meeting and always should be an option. The best way to avoid potential lawsuits is to keep communication open 100%. This especially goes for the IEP process and everything within the document.

The Best Way to Prevent Lawsuits

The best way to prevent potential lawsuits is to remember that teachers are responsible for their own tortious actions with no protection from the school. Make it your effort to know school law. This especially applies to the teaching of special education because there are so many laws that protect the students, but hardly any that protect the educator. Intentional Torts- A deliberate act, such as: assault, battery, libel, slander, defamation, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and invasion-all requiring proof of intent or willfulness. The same seriousness counts when rights to speech are violated. Unintentional Tort- Simple negligence is validated by standard of care, breach of duty, injury and proximity of legal cause. Unfortunately, unintentional torts are seen the most in special education according to McCarthy & McCabe, (2010).

The following cases are instructive in that they illustrate when school officials and personnel may be held liable for student injury and misconduct: According to the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, the following three case scenarios show how important it is for educators and district officials to know about “tort law.”

The first case example: Ferraro v. Board of Education of the City of New York (1961) indicated that courts will hold school personnel liable if a student attacks and injures another student and the teacher should have known that such an attack or aggressive behavior was possible and, therefore, could have prevented the injury.

The second case example: Cohen v. School District (1992), a special education student with learning disabilities, behavior problems, and known violent tendencies was mainstreamed without adequate supervision. Without provocation, the student attacked and injured a peer in his classroom. The parents of the injured student sued the school maintaining that the injured student’s rights had been violated. The court stated such a placement, however, may result in school officials being held liable if the officials knew that a student with disabilities was violent, and they placed the student in the general education classroom without adequate supervision.

The third case example: McMahan v. Crutchfield (1997), a school district paid to settle a lawsuit involving a special education student who assaulted a five-year-old girl. Allan Crutchfield, who had mild to moderate mental disabilities and had a history of behavioral problems, was participating in a job-training program when the assault occurred. He had a history of assaultive behavior, and a mental health evaluation had stressed that he be under constant supervision. His job-training program involved work in a college cafeteria. One morning a college student brought her five-year-old daughter into the cafeteria.

When the girl went to the bathroom, Crutchfield, who was unsupervised, followed her in, forced her head into a toilet, and began to strangle her. A college student hearing screaming ran into the bathroom and chased Crutchfield away. The young girl was unconscious and injured, but she eventually recovered. Crutchfield was later found incompetent to stand trial and committed to a state psychiatric hospital. The girl’s mother sued the school district. Rather than going to court, school officials admitted their liability and paid the girl’s mother $400,000. (www.cecp.air.org)

One of the most important obligations for an educator is to provide a strong standard of care. As advice to any school district, please provide mandatory training to all educators that will ensure the proper ways of supervision and educational management as per the law. These policies should be in writing and available to all educators and employees working in the field of education. Above all, school district officials should understand tort laws in their states.

The Importance of the First Amendment

Not only do school districts have a policy that clearly prohibits the uploading of intellectual property and copyrighted material, but also a policy that states that we as educators must teach students early to avoid academic plagiarism by properly citing sources. This especially applies to the teaching of children with exceptionalities.

Technological learning tools are in our K-12 schools and with this comes a mandatory block on certain websites that have nothing to do with learning. Lacking an understanding of the complexity of teacher responsibilities in dealing with First Amendment issues can lead to lawsuits which can damage teachers’ careers, cost school districts millions of dollars in legal fees, and have profound effects on the education of students. (Call & O’Brien, 2011)

The courts decision under Garcetti vs. Ceballos to strip employees of their first amendment rights for speech made “as employees” pursuant to their official job duties should be construed narrowly so that it applies only when teachers communicate with their students in school related purposes. With regards to religious expression, the first amendment has two clauses that must be followed to avoid potential violation of privacy.

Firstly, the establishment clause prohibits states from passing laws that aid in religious preferences over another. Flowers (2013) articulates that the establishment clause argues that the purpose is not to protect religion but to protect religious freedom. This is vital to understand, as many students from different countries are populating our public schools.

According to Essex, (2012), religious garb raises the issue as to whether such dress creates a sectarian influence in the classroom. The answer to this is that it only applies to teachers that may choose to wear their “garbs” at school. Teachers must really stay conservative in their personal beliefs and lifestyles.  The second clause of the first amendment is the free exercise clause. This prohibits state from interfering with individuals religious freedoms. As this does apply to free speech and writing, teachers have to really step it up and explain the importance of protecting the rights of privacy within the community.

 Upon combining the two clauses of the first amendment, public schools are now required as agencies to maintain a neutral position during matters of their daily operations. Any violations of religious freedoms under the first amendment will affect state and its agencies, thus causing a stir that could lead in to an involvement by the Supreme Court.

As implied by Tygesson, (2013), Teaching is dynamic, and teachers are expected to engage young people with stimulating ideas and instruction. As they grow older, students frequently inquire about important, and at times controversial, topics related to religion and politics. “If our goal in education is understanding the justification for, and legitimate contours of public reason, then may the best be met by exposure to social differences, and this includes exposure to different religions beliefs and practices.” Warnick (2012).

Consequently, core knowledge in free speech, academic freedom, and the right to hear will always keep the best teachers in check. This is the pinnacle of freedom in protecting cultural heritage and religious beliefs.

The Importance of the Fourteenth Amendment       

According to Essex (2012), under the fourteenth amendment, procedural due process refers to the process of informing charged individuals about what they are accused of and giving them the opportunity to defend themselves before an impartial decision maker, which in this case was is the parent. According to the recollections of Hunter, Shannon & McCarthy (2013), In the case of Cleveland Board of Education v. Loudermill (1984), the United States Supreme Court stated: “Under the Due Process Clause, an individual must be given an opportunity for a hearing before he is deprived of any significant property interest.”

Broken down further, this case exercised due process by ways of allowing the defendant to defend himself and his feelings towards best interest. In the case; Loudermill argued that the board removed his property without giving him a chance to defend himself in violation of his right to Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment. The courts then ruled that the board did not violate his due process rights because it followed the procedures specified by the same statute for removing the property right.

White (2012), presumably implied that the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment were adopted with the intention of imposing an outer limit on what kinds of actions legislatures may take against individuals. In comparison and from a non-originalist perspective, Colby (2013) offers that the fourteenth amendment’s dubious origins have little bearing on its modern authority.

Due Process

As every child and their parents are given due process consideration; especially in special education, acknowledgment of a disability is vital to the success of the student’s academia. According to Doyle (2013), over the past decade in particular, the term “intellectual disability” has become the preferred phrase when describing those who previously were diagnosed as having mental retardation. Especially children who have intellectual disabilities, they need to feel and be among the general population so they can live and operate among them as they get older without confusion.

Mainstreaming in K-12 education can be dually beneficial for both students with autism and general education students. It is important for other children to interact with people with disabilities in order to gain deeper understanding of how a disability affects their lives and to foster feelings of empathy and the belief that people with disabilities are not “abnormal.” An additional benefit is that it is likely that the general education students will feel significantly more comfortable in dealing with individuals with autism, or any disability for that matter, later in life. Higbee, Katz & Schultz (2010).

In Summary

Currently in the United States of America, nearly a decade into an era of intensified, system-wide accountability pressures under the No Child Left Behind law that include what educators should be doing and what they should be producing in students, there is still pressure to achieve higher scores. At the same time, the government is willing to fund schools that want to improve their programs that will meet the needs of the exceptional students.  

As in my profession as a professor, students in higher education are graded according to a rubric. In the future, I can see the public school systems being set up in grading and accountability requirements for the needs of the special students as it is in higher education. It is an important time to consider the interaction of external and internal accountability systems in schools. Knapp & Feldman (2012).

Accountability is present in the introduction of the common core curriculum, which includes the special needs students, in almost all 50 states that holds all students from grades K-12 to achieving standards in high comprehension. Teachers really need to have something similar to grow by and to assess by for the administrators. This will lead to a more organized way to address a whole schools accountability standards and national scores and insure funding for the management of school wide improvements.

References

Ben-Porath, S. (2012). DEFENDING RIGHTS IN (SPECIAL) EDUCATION. Educational Theory, 62(1), 25-39. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/918794542?accountid=28180

Crowley, T. (2013). Wheelchair ramps in cyberspace: Bringing the Americans’ with disabilities act into the 21st century. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2013(3), 651-690. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/1506884684?accountid=28180

Individual Education Program (IEP) Special Education. Retrieved on April 15, 2014 from: www.doe.mass.edu/sped/iep/

Special Education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act http://www.nea.org/tools/15650.htm  

The California Department of Education. Retrieved on April 15, 2014 from: www.cde.ca.gov/

The National Council on Disability. Retrieved on April 15, 2014 from: www.ncd.gov

The United States Department of Education. Retrieved on April 15, 2014 from: www.ed.gov

Call, I., & O’Brien, J. (2011). Secondary preserve teachers’ knowledge of the first amendment. Teacher Education Quarterly, 38(4), 115-133. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/923754418?accountid=28180

Essex, N. E. (2012).  School Law and the Public Schools: A Practical Guide for Educational 5th Edition   Pearson Education Inc.   ISBN-10: 0137072759

Flowers, R. B. (2013). The constitution of religious freedom: God, politics and the first amendment. Journal of Church and State, 55(2), 351-353. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/1356976098?accountid=28180

Griffith, T. B. (2011). The tension within the religion clause of the first amendment*. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2011(3), 597-604. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/901112088?accountid=28180

Higbee, J. L., Katz, R. E., & Schultz, J. L. (2010). Disability in higher education: Redefining mainstreaming. Journal of Diversity Management, 5(2), 7-16. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/506637577?accountid=28180

Knapp, M. S., & Feldman, S. B. (2012). Managing the intersection of internal and external accountability. Journal of Educational Administration, 50(5), 666-694. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09578231211249862

Rowley, R. L., & Wright, D. W. (2011). No “white” child left behind: The academic achievement gap between black and white students. The Journal of Negro Education, 80(2), 93-107. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/909483874?accountid=28180

Tygesson, N. K. (2013). CRACKING OPEN THE CLASSROOM DOOR: DEVELOPING A FIRST AMENDMENT STANDARD FOR CURRICULAR SPEECH. Northwestern University Law Review, 107(4), 1917-1951. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/1499304705?accountid=28180

Warnick, B. R. (2012). STUDENT RIGHTS TO RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION AND THE SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SCHOOLS. Educational Theory, 62(1), 59-74. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/918794476?accountid=28180

Weiss, M. P., & John, W. L. (2002). Congruence between roles and actions of secondary special educators in co-taught and special education settings. The Journal of Special Education, 36(2), 58-68. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/194715526?accountid=28180


The FPA-BM has as Special Advisor Dr. Michelle C. Benson, Ed.D. Dr. Michelle is a consultant, university professor and advisor to many. Dr. Michelle graduated from Northcentral University with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She holds a Master in Organizational Leadership/Management from Ashford University. Dr. Michelle has taught for the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Community Health for Bachelor and Master level learners. Dr. Michelle also can motivate and lead her students to career and life changing opportunities. She is a student-centered education professional and is passionate to see success in people she encounters. Dr. Michelle has authored five journal publications and is always seeking ways to add more research to existing topics in leadership, learning and management.

ADDIE Design Model: A Review and Evaluation

ADDIE Design Model: A Review and Evaluation

By Dr. John Peterson, PhD, FPA-BM Chairman of the Board

“Improving human and organizational performance is typically a worthwhile, valuable, and even valiant effort” (Watkins & Leigh, 2010, p.xix). To improve performance there is a need for a plan. Designing a plan using an instructional design model that will support the desired outcomes is fundamental to success. The major purpose of an instructional design model is to improve instruction through the analysis of learning needs, and by developing a system of learning tools.

The ADDIE model is a broad method usually used by training developers and instructional designers. ADDIE is the acronym for the five phases of the model, (1) analysis, (2) design, (3) development, (4) implementation, and (5) evaluation (Figure).

ADDIE is the appropriate chosen design model for the performance intervention project detailed in this paper. Criticized in recent years, ADDIE is not a perfect model; however, it is a dynamic model, presenting flexibility for building effective training and performance support tools.

Performance Deficiencies at ABC University

An ADDIE analysis of ABC University finds that the university, founded in 1979, has not changed its core culture of “students come first” as its mission and value. However, this is conflicting with the new concepts of an open world based on relationships and not on principles of individualism.

ABC University can benefit from several adjustments in its culture and mission to create an educational environment that stimulates learning the skills necessary for succeeding in a globalized society.

Bonk (2009) explained this concept by claiming that, “There is no mistaking the societal trend over the past couple of decades from a highly competitive focus, in school and in industry, toward the need for a greater collaboration and teamwork skills” (p. 249).

This outlook is one of the major performance problems at the university. Briefly, this paper addresses psychological, political, cultural, and technological factors preventing the adoption of a globalized education and as part of completing the first step using of the ADDIE design model.

Psychological Factor

A globalized 21st century requires from students critical learning skills and innovations. According to Trilling and Fadel (2009), examples of students’ critical learning skills and innovations are: (a) creativity and innovation, (b) communication and collaboration, and (c) critical thinking and problem solving. The lack of experience by students in these skills has a large impact in the psychological assurance that they can accomplish a successful career.

ABC University has a student population consisting of a large majority of adult learners who have had previous experiences with other educational institutions and for most part, failed. These students have the frustration and low self-steam brought on unsuccessful experiences and are psychologically fragile.

Integrating these students within a larger community of international students will favor their motivation and retention improving their academic success. Ann ADDIE-oriented project design will be used to develop and implement a venue of communication among students of different communities reflecting a positive influence in the students’ mindset.

Political Factor

As elucidated by the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (2008b), “growing flows of knowledge, people and financing cross national borders and feed both worldwide collaboration and competition” (p. 1). These political factors: international mobility, multinational communications, and economical and financial competition transcending boarders -dictate student’s education. The absence of international exchange and cross-cultural exchange at ABC University is prejudicial to the interest of students’ political experience.

Even though ABC University lacks offering a globalized political experience to its students, there is a rich international political background already in place coming from a large number of international students attending the institution waiting to share. This plan for performance improvement will address this important issue.

An ADDIE-oriented project will improve performance of political development by establishing channels of interaction among students from different political origins, and as a consequence, experience will be a benefit to their learning journey at the university.

Cultural Factor

Allemann-Ghionda (2001) advised that, the international and multicultural character of society, linked to migration and other phenomena related to globalization, should be a considered topic in the contents of curricula, because of the differentiation that really matters in society. In Allemann-Ghionda’s opinion, it is the social and economic situation of individuals and groups, and the project for performance improvement will consider his opinion as part of the ADDIE design.

The culture of ABC University has a strong impact in the elaboration and performance of classroom activities. Although there is respect for academic freedom by the university, faculty feels the pressure of the organization’s culture in their decision-making, from building lesson plans to how lectures are presented.

An ADDIE-based design project has to have the cultural change provoked by developing and implementing a plan for performance improvement as one of the expected results.

Technological Factor

For an educational organization to be successful delivering content to students, it is primordial the use of technology. Technology is an intrinsic factor as students face a globalized education, and the technological tools available at ABC University are not adequate to meet the needs of students. An ADDIE-based design project to improve the institution’s performance in conducting a globalized approach to students’ learning has to consider technological factor as one of its major components.

ADDIE Performance Design Model

ADDIE Analysis Phase

Clarification of the problem characterizes the ADDIE analysis phase. In this phase, ADDIE establishes instructional goals, and objectives; also, identifies the learning environment and learner’s existing knowledge and skills. The following issues are questions addressed during the analysis phase suggested by many authors:

  • “Who are the audience and their characteristics?”
  • “Identify the new behavioral outcome”
  • “What types of learning constraints exist?”
  • “What are the delivery options?”
  • “What are the online pedagogical considerations?”
  • “What is the timeline for project completion?”

A previous paper has presented the analysis phase. The next paper, the final project for performance improvement at ABC University details the remaining ADDIE phases (briefly discussed below).

ADDIE Design Phase

Learning objectives, assessment instruments, exercises, content, subject matter analysis, lesson planning, and media selection are part of the ADDIE design phase, which should be a detailed, rational, methodical method of developing, identifying, and evaluating a set of planned strategies aiming the attainment of the project’s goals. Excellent!

ADDIE Development Phase

The development phase is where the developers create and assemble the content assets created in the design phase. According to Strickland (n.d.), “the development phase builds on the Process Performance Objectives and measurement tools constructed in the design phase. The product of this phase is a detailed plan of action that lists step-by-step procedures for implementing the change; the plan also needs to include who is responsible for which elements of the project, and time schedules and deadlines” (para. 2).

ADDIE Implementation Phase

“During the implementation phase, procedures for training the facilitators and the learners is developed. The facilitators’ training should cover the course curriculum, learning outcomes, method of delivery, and testing procedures. Preparation of the learners include training them on new tools (software or hardware), student registration” (Strickland, n.d.).

ADDIE Evaluation Phase

The evaluation phase consists of two parts: formative and summative. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process. Summative evaluation consists of tests designed for domain specific criterion-related referenced items and providing opportunities for feedback from the users.

Conclusion

As shown ADDIE has a great potential of serving as the model for performance improvement design to bring a globalization-oriented learning experience to ABC University students. ADDIE is a well-known design model and its use is practical considering the purpose of the project discussed.

In addition, there is a strong influence of psychological, political, cultural, and technological factors preventing the adoption of a globalized education by ABC University that should be addressed in a future performance improvement plan.

References

Bonk, C. (2009). The world is open: How web technology is revolutionizing education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Centre for Educational Research, & Innovation (2008a). Higher education to 2030: Demography. In Higher education to 2030: Demography (Volume 1). Paris, France: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Centre for Educational Research, & Innovation (2008b). Higher education to 2030: Globalization. In Higher education to 2030: Demography (Volume 2). Paris, France: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Culley, A. (2007). Towards my instructional design model. Retrieved from http://www.instructionaldesign.com.au/Academic/IDModels.htm#addie

Spring, J. (2009). Globalization of education: An introduction. New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Strickland, A.W. (n.d.). A.D.D.I.E. Idaho State University College of Education. Retrieved from http://ed.isu.edu/addie/

Trilling, B., & Fadel, C. (2009). 21st century skills: learning for life in our times. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Watkins, R., & Leigh, D. (2010). Introduction to volume two. In R. Watkins & D. Leigh (Eds.), Handbook of improving performance in the workplace (Vol. 2) San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer/John Wiley & Sons.


The FPA-BM has as Chairman of the Board Dr. John Peterson, Ph.D. A leading education specialist for over 15 years, Dr. John Peterson is a published author and the creator and implementer of several undergraduate and graduate programs. Emphasizing practical access to learning methodologies, Dr. Peterson has developed curricula focused on online and face-to-face training, optimizing new technologies for the benefit of his students’ achievements in real-world careers. In addition, Dr. Peterson is an experienced consultant to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education regarding the licensing and compliance of new institutions.

Green Education: A Solution for the Environmental Crisis And for the New Green Economy

Green Education: A Solution for the Environmental Crisis And for the New Green Economy

By Dr. John Peterson, PhD, FPA-BM Chairman of the Board

In recent years, the effects of global warming and climate changes are impacting our planet in an unprecedented way, providing a need for greater awareness and solutions to the environmental crisis (DeGalan & Middlekauff, 2008). This same awareness provides a demand for the creation of a new “green” industry that brings with it new career opportunities. The future is in the hands of a new generation of students, and it is our job as a society to support them through education, including a greener education, in order to prepare them to lead the development of solutions to the environmental crisis. Currently, there are many outstanding initiatives for green implementations. This paper will provide an environmental scan to examine the initiatives in education and the green jobs of tomorrow. Based on this investigation, this paper presents a plan to strengthen green education.

Rationale for Green Education

Most people assume that “green is good;” however, there is very little effort to act on this assumption. This is potentially a dangerous situation afflicting society. The Ginsberg Center at University of Michigan provided data that stated, “with only 6% of the world’s population, Americans generate 35% of the trash and consume 35% of the world’s resources,” and “80% of all the oil discovered in North America to date has already been extracted” (Ginsberg Center, n.d.). Today, there is a need to bring the environmental crisis inside classrooms and to increase pressure on the federal government and society to raise the number of “green jobs.” A green education can accommodate this need and provide students with opportunities to the emerging green industry. Holeywell (2011) reported that advocates see environmental education as a fit for the new green economy. As part of this goal, there is a growing enforcement of science and math in green oriented schools in order to prepare students for this new economy. The strong rationale existing to provide green education are fighting environmental crisis and preparing students for the new jobs created by a green industry.

Defining Green Education

The Nevada Natural Resource Education Council (NNREC) defined green education, also known as environmental education, as:

A process aimed at developing a world population that is aware of and concerned about the total environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, attitudes, motivations, commitments, and skills to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones. (Nevada Natural Resource Education Council, 2005, para.1)

Objectives of an Environmental or Greener Education

According to the NNREC the main objectives of an environmental, or green, education is to assist individuals or social groups to become aware, and sensible, to the environment and its problems as a whole, to increase a diversity of experiences, and to obtain a basic comprehension of the environment and its related problems. Green education also provides students the motivation to participate actively in environmental progress and safety. Environmental education exists to help students identify and solve environmental problems by creating opportunities to engage in solving them (Nevada Natural Resource Education Council, 2005).

Elder (2009) explained that, because of the accelerated interest by the Obama administration in the transition to a clean energy and greener economy, there is a priority in helping higher education play a critical role in making this transition a reality. This effort is monumental and public engagement is vital. According to Elder, “a broad base of literate citizens must help” (p.108) from implementing changes in business and personal practices to students understanding “the complex connections and inter-dependencies between the environment, energy sources, and the economy — connections that underpin the concept of a clean energy, green economy” (p.108). One of the crucial objectives of a greener, sustainable education is to generate new ways of thinking and learning about solutions for the environmental problems, and to raise awareness to the political agendas brought by the connection between economy, energy, environment, and the social well-being.

Environmental Scan on Factors Influencing Green Education and Green Economy

There is a need for green education. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) believes that green education is essential. USGBC plays a major role in “greener” architecture education, by making resources available to educators and professionals in the architectural, engineering, and construction fields. The U.S. Green Building Council (2011) gives special attention to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) education, where they provide an expert group of passionate professionals in the field working as faculty. Allenby (2005) referred to the need of combining economic discourse development with environmental discourse to prevent that, if they do not align, one would overcome the other. This implies that constructing a culture of sustainability in the traditional economic system will lead to a benefit to humankind by preventing natural disasters and at the same time strengthening the economy. A market need already exists for qualified skilled labor in green industries. According to Muro, Rothwell, and Saha (2011), green or clean or low-carbon economy is defined as “the sector of the economy that produces goods and services with an environmental benefit” (para.1), and it remains broadly celebrated as a source of economic renewal and potential job creation. Yet, Muro et al. (2011) criticized the clean economy as “hard to assess” (para.1). These authors suggested that these green jobs have been difficult to isolate and count. However, they are present in all sectors of the U.S. economy. This clean economy has continued to stay under the radar perhaps because of a lack of standard definitions and data, which affect the knowledge of its nature, size, and growth at the critical regional level (Muro et al., 2011). In order to address this issue the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institute worked with Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice “to develop, analyze, and comment on a detailed database of establishment-level employment statistics pertaining to a sensibly defined assemblage of clean economy industries in the United States and its metropolitan areas” (Muro et al., 2011, para.3-4).

According to the results of the research, the clean economy employs approximately 2.7 million workers, including a large number of jobs spread across a variety of industries (Muro et al., 2011). Between 2003 and 2010, the newer “cleantech” (Muro et al., 2011, para.6) segments created an impressive elevated quantity of job gains outperforming the nation during the recession (Muro et al., 2011). Characteristics of a clean economy include being manufacturing and export intensive (Muro et al., 2011). It is also important to note that today’s concern with unemployment justifies investments in the clean and sustainable economy, because it offers more job opportunities and better pay for low and middle skilled workers, than the national economy as a whole. Average wages were 13% higher in green collar occupations, although workers with relatively little formal education are occupying an inconsistent percentage of green jobs (Kujac, 2011; Muro et al., 2011).

Green Education Leadership

The Green Education Foundation (GEF) is one of many organizations leading the global commitment for green education among K-12 students and teachers. GEF, a non-profit organization, provides curriculum and resources to support critical thinking about global environmental concerns and solutions (Green Education Foundation, 2011a). Another significant leader in the fight for green education is The Green Schools Initiative (GSI). The GSI was founded in 2004 by parent-environmentalists who “were shocked by how un-environmental their kids’ schools were and mobilized to improve the environmental health and ecological sustainability of schools in the U.S.” (GSI, n.d., para.1). These organizations of concerned citizens are global, and are willing to fight for the cause of green education. Yet , for the most part, they lack the opportunity. Education can create this opportunity. As Newman (2011) explained, education brings together all the ways to develop values and sustainable lifestyles, for this and future generations, by “raising public awareness and training, and to critically improve ethical awareness, attitudes, skills, and behavior on sustainable development” (p.8).

Brief SWOT Analysis of Green Education and the Job Market

It is necessary for any educational institution to look closer at the internal factors of strength and opportunity, and the external factors of weakness and threats (SWOT) of the green job market prior to offering educational programs. As in all programs offered by an educational institution, green education must align with the needs of students. Strengths justifying green education relate to the increasing demand by society to create alternative solutions to the environmental and economical crisis the nation faces. These demands also supply an opportunity for a new green industry. According to Slywotzky, Wise, and Weber (2003), the green industry is growing faster than traditional agriculture and construction industries, with an estimated growth rate of 10 to 15% annually. The opportunity for green education is tied to the prospect of a long term growth in the green industry (Slywotzky, et al., 2003). Weaknesses preventing the success of green education include the slow engagement from educational organizations and society at large. Green Education Foundation (2011b) explained, “cultural changes are often imperceptible, occurring slowly over generations, accumulating through smaller, seemingly unrelated events” (para.1). A major threat to the acceptance of green education resides on the new behavior children are adopting, by spending longer periods of time indoors and not engaging with nature (Green Education Foundation, 2011b). There are many different causes for this behavior, and it is not on the scope of this paper to discuss them.

Proposed Plan to Stimulate the Growth of Green Education

Simple Solutions Leading to Jobs

To stimulate the growth of green education, leaders should start by creating simple campaigns, and then developing these campaigns to a full body of coursework with curricula designed specifically for sustainability. Hu (2011) at The New York Times’ education section reported an example of a simple and efficient campaign,

Simple yellow Post-it notes with the message ‘When not in use, turn off the juice’, pointedly left on classroom computers, printers and air-conditioners, have helped the Mount Sinai School District on Long Island save $350,000 annually on utility bills. (Hu, 2011, para.1)

Hu explained further that minor adjustments in the way energy is consumed could make a big impact on savings, as several districts similar to Mount Sinai has found. Leaders in these districts are creating policies to go green in order to save money, and they have no choice in this economical crisis, when budgets for schools are continuously being reduced. This new awareness for the efficiency of sustainability has generated an increase in job opportunities as well. Some states have also started programs to finance school conservation efforts and to create local contracting jobs. Most recently, Oregon passed legislation in June to provide school districts with low-interest loans and grants for school efficiency improvements. Washington State started a similar grant-based program in 2009 (Hu, 2011). Climate change, solar and nuclear power, water and air quality, population growth, our fisheries, forests, and fossil fuels, and agriculture and food supply are critical environmental problems. However, according to Hollander (2004), developing economically and advancing technologically will reduce harms such as lack of food, air pollution, deforestation, and land degradation. Also, it will improve public health, supply clean water, and satisfy energy supplies.

A Mandatory Green Education

Education is the link to economic development and technological advances, more specifically green education. There should be a mandatory sustainable and environmental education in K-12 and higher education, and the crediting agencies, as per example the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) should demand this as a requisite for accreditation.

A Green Zone

A “green zone” around the metropolitan areas that would allocate the new green industry, free of taxation and with stimulus packages, should exist. The green jobs created by these new pollution-free and sustainable factories and shops would stimulate the economy, and provide potential entry-level green collar job opportunities for recent graduates of career colleges and high schools offering coursework based on green curriculum.

Political Support

These are simple ideas, and for them to happen a strong political effort by community leaders and by the society as a whole should take place. Nevertheless, what we see is a retrograde speech and an old-fashioned prejudice against innovations, perhaps supported by the strong industrial corporations with profit interests tied on the “status quo” of the current economy. Yet, there is hope: as explained by WebEcoist (2011):

American leaders have yet to sign the Kyoto Protocol or earmark serious funding to green-collar jobs and sustainable technologies and energy. But American citizens have taken it upon themselves join a global movement, to learn more despite the gridlock in Washington; to conserve, to drive the development of eco-friendly consumption, to buy hybrids or use mass transit, even to telecommute. More and more people now recycle, compost, ‘go organic’, grow gardens and understand the connection between saving money, improving health and helping the environment. More people are interested in technology and efficient living than ever before. And more and more people are becoming curious about the natural world in all its majesty and strangeness (para.14).

Conclusion

Green education is fundamental in training students for the job opportunities brought by a green economy and is important in creating consciousness among future generations around the need to conserve the environment. The key for human survival connects to the survival of the planet. Today, there is a growing understanding on the environmental crisis, and as shown in this paper, a plausible solution relates to a greener education. There are many new opportunities in economy, which exists when traditional industries embrace alternative solutions to the economical crisis, such as the creation of clean energy and the investment in sustainability, as this paper focus explains.

References

Allenby, B. (2005). Reconstructing Earth: Technology and environment in the age of humans. Washington, DC: Island Press.

DeGalan, J., & Middlekauff, B. (2008). Great jobs for environmental studies majors (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Elder, J. (2009). Higher education and the clean energy, green economy. EDUCAUSE Review 44(6), pp. 108-109.

Holeywell, R. (2011, March). States pushing green education in the classroom [Article]. Retrieved from Governing Web site: http://www.governing.com/topics/education/States-Pushing-Green-Education-in-the-Classroom.html

Hollander, J. (2004). The real environmental crisis: Why poverty, not Affluence, is the environment’s number one enemy. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Hu, W. (2011, August 14). With post-its and checklists, schools cut their energy bills [Article]. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/education/15energy.html?_r=2

Green Education Foundation (2011a). About us. Retrieved from http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=141&Itemid=27

Green Education Foundation (2011b). Help shrink nature deficit. Retrieved from http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89:help-shrink-nature-deficit&catid=38:gef-editorials&Itemid=281

Kuvac, P. (2011, August 5). Where are all the green jobs? [Web blog entry]. Retrieved from the website Sustainable Industries, http://sustainableindustries.com/articles/2011/08/where-are-all-green-jobs

Lyons, K. (2009). Entry level job search in the green industry [Web blog entry]. Retrieved from the website job-hunt.org, http://www.job-hunt.org/green-jobs-job-search/entry-level-green-jobs.shtml

Muro, M., Rothwell, J., & Saha, D. (2011, July 13). Sizing the clean economy: A national and regional green jobs assessment. The Brookings Institute. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2011/0713_clean_economy.aspx

Nevada Natural Resource Education Council (2005). Definition of environmental education. Retrieved from http://www.nnrec.org/profdev/plt/handouts/Definition&Objectives.pdf

Newman, J. (2011). Green education: An A-to-Z guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Slywotzky, J., Wise, R., & Weber, K. (2003). How to grown when markets don’t. New York, NY: Warner Business Books

U.S. Green Building Council (2011). USGBC faculty program. Retrieved from http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1737

WebEcoist (2011). A Brief history of the modern green movement in America. Retrieved from http://webecoist.com/2008/08/17/a-brief-history-of-the-modern-green-movement/


The FPA-BM has as Chairman of the Board Dr. John Peterson, Ph.D. A leading education specialist for over 15 years, Dr. John Peterson is a published author and the creator and implementer of several undergraduate and graduate programs. Emphasizing practical access to learning methodologies, Dr. Peterson has developed curricula focused on online and face-to-face training, optimizing new technologies for the benefit of his students’ achievements in real-world careers. In addition, Dr. Peterson is an experienced consultant to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education regarding the licensing and compliance of new institutions.

Legal Issues in Technology

Legal Issues in Technology

By Dr. John Peterson, PhD, FPA-BM Chairman of the Board

Gavel and keyboard. legal certainty on the internet. webauktionen.

Introduction

Information technology has being an active participant of our lives for the past thirty years, and has being even more active on recent years with the increasing dependency of the Internet to operate business, for education, and individual needs. Legal issues in technology are becoming more common these days as consequence of these vast activities.

The Internet

The Internet is an international network of interconnected computers. It is the outgrowth of what began in 1969 as a military program called “ARPANET,” which was designed to enable computers operated by the military, defense contractors, and universities conducting defense related research to communicate with one another by redundant channels even if some portions of the network were damaged in a war. While the ARPANET no longer exists, it provided an example for the development of a number of civilian networks that, eventually linking with each other, and now enables tens of millions of people to communicate with one another and to access vast amounts of information from around the world.

Anyone with access to the Internet may take advantage of a wide variety of communication and information retrieval methods. These methods are constantly evolving and difficult to categorize precisely.

The best known category of communication over the Internet is the World Wide Web, which allows users to search for and retrieve information stored in remote computers, as well as, in some cases, to communicate back to designated sites. In concrete terms, the Web consists of a vast number of documents stored in different computers all over the world. Some of these documents are simply files containing information.

However, more elaborate documents, commonly known as Web “pages,” are also prevalent. Each has its own address rather like a telephone number. Navigating the Web is relatively straightforward. A user may either type the address of a known page or enter one or more keywords into a commercial “search engine” in an effort to locate sites on a subject of interest. A particular Web page may contain the information sought by the “surfer,” or, through its links, it may be an avenue to other documents located anywhere on the Internet. Users generally explore a given Web page, or move to another, by clicking a computer “mouse” on one of the page’s icons or links. Access to most Web pages is freely available, but some allow access only to those who have purchased the right from a commercial provider. The Web is thus comparable, from the readers’ viewpoint, to both a vast library including millions of readily available and indexed publications and a sprawling mall offering goods and services.

From the publishers’ point of view, it constitutes a vast platform from which to address and hear from a worldwide audience of millions of readers, viewers, researchers, and buyers. Any person or organization with a computer connected to the Internet can “publish” information. Publishers include government agencies, educational institutions, commercial entities, advocacy groups, and individuals. Publishers may either make their material available to the entire pool of Internet users, or confine access to a selected group, such as those willing to pay for the privilege.

Legal and Ethical Problems Found on the Use of the Internet

There is today a major worry about the moral, ethical and social legalities that have arisen over the last decade. The common legal and ethical problems found on the use of the Internet are related to search engines, filtering, pornography, and access; databases have questionable ethical and legal problems associated with data mining, privacy, and security; Internet communications use of e-mail, social networking, and monitoring; Internet gaming has unsolved legal and ethical issues with regulation, violence, addiction, gender stereotyping, and educational games. Legal and ethical issues are also present on emergent new information technology related issues such as intellectual property, e-waste, and software piracy.

Internet and Free Speech

The risk of having an open information superhighway, as the Internet is often called, is the possibility of all things happening on it. There are advocates for all kinds of opinions available, online or offline, published or unpublished, to advice about the benefits or dangers of this massive vehicle of communication. Today, it is difficult to find someone that does not hold a personal opinion about the good or evil of the Internet. New markets are been created because of these ethical positions, not only for economical gains, but for political and cultural stands on the issues as well. Many articles have been written about the legal issues in technology, and especially the ones related to the Internet. This paper will focus on the positive and negative views of the Internet as a vehicle of free speech, and the influence of this open and democratic media in the school environment.

Pro Free Speech

Authors such as the President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology Leslie Harris are champions for an Internet free of regulations or censorship. The Internet is at a crossroads. Down one path lies a future where digital technology enhances constitutional freedoms, spurs innovations in expression and entrepreneurship, and fulfills its ultimate promise of connecting and empowering the world. Down the other? A future where the Internet is turned against users, where government spying runs unchecked, and where innovation is stifled by a closed and locked system, controlled by a handful of entrenched players (Harris, 2008).

The early Internet creators held a vision of freedom to the new era ahead. The Internet was meant to be unrestrained by the world’s governments, without censorship and boundaries. The vision today is compromised by political agendas as governments of all nations are following a trend on creating regulations to control and restrain the use of the Internet. “Even so, in much of the world, the open Internet remains a powerful tool for human rights and democracy as well as economic growth” (Harris, 2008).

In the United States an uncensored Internet is prevailing because of the U.S. Supreme Court unanimous ruling in Reno v. ACLU revoking the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA), a federal law that outlawed “indecent” communications online. By doing this the Court “declared the Internet to be a free speech zone, deserving of at least as much First Amendment protection as that afforded to books, newspapers and magazines” (ACLU, n.d.).

According to the ACLU (n.d.) – the major winners on the case and a leading force behind the movement for free speech on the Internet –

“The government, the Court said, can no more restrict a person’s access to words or images on the Internet than it could be allowed to snatch a book out of a reader’s hands in the library, or cover over a statue of a nude in a museum” (ACLU n.d.).

Pro Internet Regulation

Political groups that have the desire to regulate the Internet find justifications on the common legal and ethical problems found today on the use of the Internet, and they include search engines, filtering, pornography, and access; databases have questionable ethical and legal problems associated with data mining, privacy, and security; Internet communications use of e-mail, social networking, and monitoring; Internet gaming has unsolved legal and ethical issues with regulation, violence, addiction, gender stereotyping, and educational games. Legal and ethical issues are also present on emergent new information technology related issues such as intellectual property, e-waste, and software piracy.

One of the best examples for a movement to police the Internet that has had a strong impact on political circles is the website “Enough Is Enough”Donna Rice Hughes (n.d.),
President and Chairman wrote,

The Internet has revolutionized our lives, and, despite its many benefits, the Internet has opened the door for predators to sexually exploit unsuspecting children. In the digital age, every child is just one click away from obscenely graphic and addictive pornography, and new threats–like cyberbullying and ‘sexting’–also flourish, invading the ‘Age of Innocence’ every child deserves. No child is immune to these risks online. Parents and other adults are the first line of defense against online threats, however, many feel uninformed or ill-equipped to deal with evolving issues of Internet safety and need credible outside help.

All these issues with pornography, pedophilia, and other dubious legal and moral presences on the Internet have a segment of users to fight back organizing movements such as The Safe Internet Alliance. Joy Howell (2009, September 9) wrote, “Online safety for kids is so important, because what they put online now could undermine their privacy, safety and security now and later, and follow them throughout their lives. We need to educate kids now so they don’t compromise their security unwittingly” (p. 1).

The New York State Police (n.d.) stated on their website,

A 1998 investigation showed that the Internet is becoming the medium of choice for pedophiles. The 18-month probe uncovered 1,500 individuals who used the Internet to transmit child pornography. This investigation amassed a collection of over 200,000 shockingly graphic pornographic images of infants and young children engaged in sexual acts (NYSP, n.d.).

Obviously crimes are committed with the use of the Internet, and as any other venue of communication it has to be protected. Perhaps some basic regulation that would prevent cases like the ones described above is necessary, but this would mean that some sort of censorship would take place affecting the freedom of speech that is core to the Internet existence.

It is important to observe that the First Amendment protecting free speech was created at a time in which was impossible to conceive the existence of a information technology like the one existing today, but the concept and the spirit of the First Amendment is current, and the US Supreme Court has ruled accordingly. According to Professor Julie Van Camp (2005), there are exceptions to freedom of expression.

Courts sometimes justify these exceptions as speech which causes substantial harm to the public, or speech which the Founding Fathers could not have intended to protect, or traditions that have long been part of the common law tradition from England that was the basis of our American legal system (Van Camp, 2005). Among these exceptions are: (a) defamation, (b) causing panic, (c) fighting words,(d) incitement to crime, (e) sedition, (f) obscenity, (g) offense, and (h) establishment of religion (Van Camp, 2005).

Technology at Schools

A progressive rising on the use of technology at schools has brought new issues and concerns to teachers and administrators. According to Susan Brooks-Young (2007) one solution for these concerns should be to model and teach legal and ethical practice related to technology use. “Encouraging legal and ethical behavior requires more than a signature and a few lessons on acceptable use. You need to model this kind of behavior every time technology is used” (Young, 2007).

There are also concerns that have an ethical impact in the way school administrators will fund technology in classrooms. The Technological Horizons in Education Journal (2001) claimed that The National School Boards Association has released the results of an online survey regarding technology and advertising in the classroom.

The survey was given to more than 300 teachers, school technology staff members, and school board members. Fifty-one percent of respondents believed it acceptable for school districts to use technology products that contain advertisements in the classroom.

However, 67 percent said school districts should not use their Web sites to sell products to the community. Ninety-six percent of respondents said that using computers for learning improves students’ academic achievement. Ninety-three percent said that there should be minimum technology skill standards implemented for all teachers, and 76 percent feel that their district’s teachers are not adequately prepared to use technology in the classroom (p. 3).

The influence of legal and ethical aspects on technology is present in various areas of educational disciplines, such as journalism for instance, where, according to Steven Smethers (1998), the integration of interactive media technology poses legal and ethical issues, which include the application of copyright law and the inaccuracy of online information.

Despite these issues, the exposure to interactive media technology is necessary for it will help journalism students and professionals keep abreast with the changes in society and at work. Thus, educators and journalists need to properly address these issues in the classroom setting and in the field (Smethers, 1998).

One of the main problems parents and educators have is with the easiness in which children can access the Internet. This is a concern shared by the Congress as well. Francoise Gilbert (2008) wrote that in the past few months,

Congress has passed several bills aimed at increasing the protection for minors in response to the risks to which minors are exposed when using the Internet. The KIDS Act and the PROTECT Our Children Act increase federal oversight of the online activities of registered sexual predators and other online sexual activities that include minors (Gilbert, 2008).

There are several opinions and articles written on the subject of legal issues in technology, David M. Quinn (2003) wrote that new technologies have the potential to revolutionize the educational system. Advancements in educational technology are taking place so quickly that constitutional and case law are continually developing. The consequences for school leaders are important and include technology-related issues involving freedom of speech, harassment, privacy, special education, plagiarism, and copyright concerns.

School leaders need to be mindful of these emerging legal conditions and understand the importance of professional development training for educators on technology and the law. With this in mind, the school law researcher and professor’s role should be to communicate frequently with educators about new statutes and how to apply legal concepts and frameworks to these developing situations (Quinn, 2003).

The legal aspects of technology are very sophisticated and deeply rooted on our daily activities. To better understand this issue is necessary to understand the purposes and causes of these activities, and how technology works to help these activities take place. For most part technology is fundamental, but in some cases is just an unnecessary luxury that can be set aside.

Conclusion

The common problems found today on the Internet, especially new treats found on terrorism and financial theft, will remain until legislation and corporation management do not solve them and according to Robert E. Kahn and Vinton G. Cerf (1999) is “not because of fundamental limits in the law, but rather by technological and perhaps management limitations in knowing how best to deal with these issues” (pp. 9-10).

Business, the academic community and government all need as much assurance as possible that they can conduct their activities on the Internet with high confidence that security and reliability will be present. The participation of many organizations around the world, including especially governments and the relevant service providers will be essential here. The success of the Internet in society as a whole will depend less on technology than on the larger economic and social concerns that are at the heart of every major advance. The Internet is no exception, except that its potential and reach are perhaps as broad as any that have come before (Kahn, R. & Cerf, V., 1999, p. 10).

In the opinion of this author the importance of the Internet as a commercial vehicle exercising a great influence on the economical globalization will prevent strict government rules and controls to exist. The Internet has grown too much to be constrained by any organization, even powerful government agencies. People’s needs are the guidelines for the Internet, and people is willing to accept the dangers to morality and ethics, such as pornography, gambling, racism, among others, because users understand that all these issues can be controlled by them, the users.

References

American Civil Liberties Union (n.d.). Privacy & Technology : Internet Free Speech. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/privacy/speech/index.html

Brooks-Young, S. (2009, October 2). Social, ethical, legal, and human issues: teachers understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools and apply those principles in practice. Retrieved on October 2, 2009, from http://find.galegroup.com.prx-01.lirn.net/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS

Francoise, G. (2008). Age verification as a shield for minors on the Internet: A quixotic search?Shidler J. L. Com. & Tech. 6. Retrieved on October 2, 2009, from http://www.lctjournal.washington.edu/Vol5/a06Gilbert.html>

Harris, L. (2008, November 4). Protecting the Internet as a global medium for freedom. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-harris/protecting-the-internet-a_b_141018.html

Howell, J. (2009, September 9). Education still first step in online safety awareness. Safe Internet Alliance. Retrieved from http://www.safeinternet.org/blog/education-still-first-step-online-safety-awareness

Hughes, D. (n.d.). Welcome to Enough Is Enough! Retrieved from http://www.enough.org/#

Kahn, R. & Cerf, V. (1999, December). What is the Internet (and what makes it work). Corporation for National Research Initiatives. Retrieved from http://www.cnri.reston.va.us/what_is_internet.html

The Oyez Project (n.d.). Reno v. ACLU. Retrieved from http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_96_511

Quinn, D. (2003). Legal issues in educational technology: Implications for school leaders. Educational Administration Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 2, 187-207. Retrieved on October 2, 2009, from http://eaq.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/39/2/187

Smethers, S. (1998). Cyberspace in the curricula: new legal and ethical issues. Journalism and Mass Communication Educator 52.n4. Retrieved on October 2, 2009, from http://find.galegroup.com.prx-01.lirn.net/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS

Technological Horizons in Education. (2001, February). Seminar helps with legal issues in educational technology. Retrieved on October 2, 2009, from http://find.galegroup.com.prx-01.lirn.net/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS

Van Camp, J. (2005, July 4). Freedom of expression at the National Endowment for the Arts. California State University. Retrieved from http://www.csulb.edu/~jvancamp/freedom1.html


 The FPA-BM has as Chairman of the Board Dr. John Peterson, Ph.D. A leading education specialist for over 15 years, Dr. John Peterson is a published author and the creator and implementer of several undergraduate and graduate programs. Emphasizing practical access to learning methodologies, Dr. Peterson has developed curricula focused on online and face-to-face training, optimizing new technologies for the benefit of his students’ achievements in real-world careers. In addition, Dr. Peterson is an experienced consultant to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education regarding the licensing and compliance of new institutions.

 

Developing a Shared Vision

Developing a Shared Vision

by Dr John Peterson, PhD, FPA-BM Chairman of the Board

Shared vision is the idea expressed of a common dream or goal of individuals in an organization, inspired into working to achieve this vision (Harris, n.d.). This paper elucidates on the concept of shared vision. This paper emphasizes the connection between leadership and shared vision; as the famous designer Ralph Lauren allegedly said, “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.”

In history, we bear witness to the importance of strong leadership molding a nation’s shared vision, from Abraham Lincoln to John Kennedy; and in society, we also find leaders having an impact on the changes of a generation, as the popular musical group The Beatles did.

According to Maxwell (1998), to develop a shared vision is fundamental that cause and opportunity be in place. There is no doubt that shared vision is fruit of strong leadership. Maxwell (1998) listed 21 indisputable laws of leadership, and amongst these laws, the author claimed that the true measure of leadership is influence.

Leaders can exercise this influence when sharing a vision with others. It is important that stakeholders’ empowerment shape a shared vision. As Maxwell (1998) wrote, “Only secure leaders give power to others” (p. xi). Sharing the same idea, Francis (2002) stated that, there is an increasing recognition among leaders, in which building and integrating commitment among all stakeholders maximizes the long-term success of an organization.

According to Leavitt (2005), there is a three-part model for the modern leadership process, as shown on the following Table.

Table – Leavitt’s three-part model of the managing/leading process

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Pathfinding (sic)

Problem solving

Implementing

Relates to the vision, values, and sense of purpose

Relates to the ability to think in an orderly, systematic, logic way

Relates to the effectiveness in getting things done with and through people

Note: Source: Adapted from Leavitt (2005, pp. 144-159).

English (2008) elucidated that there is a subtle difference between managers and true leaders, by explaining that managers have a duty of loyalty to an organization, and true leaders have an inquisitive mind that transcends the organization; however, they both are stakeholders of a shared vision; they both are the social assets developing a shared vision.

Green (2009) wrote that school leaders manage the organizational system (the school) to achieve established goals. In order to achieve effective leadership, the leader has to acquire knowledge and understanding of the needs, beliefs and values of individuals and groups on the organization, and as a result, leaders are required to operate with a shared vision and compelling mission. Collaboration is essential to the leader and school’s success.

To develop a shared vision a leader has to sacrifice his or her immediate self-interest. Plato (as cited in Ciulla, 2004) wrote that if a leader were a just person, leadership would take a toll on him or her. Plato (as cited in Ciulla, 2004) explained that the only reason a person will take a leadership role is out of fear of punishment. “Now the greatest punishment, if one is not willing to rule, is to be ruled by someone worse than oneself. And I think it is fear of this that makes decent people rule when they do” (Ciulla, 2004, p. 316).

It is very interesting to observe that the fundamental role of a leader when developing a shared vision is one of altruistic motives. A true leader will look after the interests of others as a moral quality of his or her leadership. In addition, as English (2008) pointed out, a leader who is doing his or her job is someone who is reflecting the aspiration of the social network to which he or she belongs to make a difference.

Drucker (2007) wisely indicated that an organization has to be transparent: “People have to know and have to understand the organization structure they are supposed to work in. This sounds obvious – but it is far too often violated in most institutions (even in military)” (p. 10). Drucker (2007) also stated that someone in the organization must have the authority to make the final decision in a given area, have the command in a moment of crisis, and have authority commensurate with responsibility. Drucker’s words fit the concepts of a shared vision developed with the authority of leadership, an ethical and altruistic authority.

Through the years, there has been many ways to define and conceptualize leadership. The common understanding about leadership is that leadership is a process that assists groups of individuals in the direction of obtaining their goals (Northouse, 2010).

Leadership and Shared Vision

Leaders float above mediocrity. They have an unobstructed view from above the crowd. However, true leaders stay grounded by ties with trusted people; this connection with a few selected followers is necessary in order for leaders to avoid getting lost on visions that become unrealistic. Leaders must see the overall map, the vast territory, to select the best path to lead the people trusting in him or her.

Tracy (2010) stated that vision is the most important single quality of leadership. The qualities of a leader, having a clear vision of where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish, change he or she from a “transactional manager into a transformational leader” (Tracy, 2010, p. 15). A manager will get the job done; a true leader will strike into the emotion of his or her followers.

Furthermore, as Price and Ritcheske (2001) explained, true leaders seek power and control in order to set directions, philosophy, and strategy. For true leaders a healthy amount of individuality is necessary for them to control their own destiny first. Leaders should understand their core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability if they wish to succeed in their destiny.

Developing a Shared Vision

A shared vision is component of an organization’s culture, and as Pottruck (2002) explained, culture transforms change to progress, by providing the foundation of “what does not change to allow everything to change rapidly” (p. 52). In addition, as claimed by Pottruck (2002), culture is the reason we work together. This is a significant concept for a shared vision, because it implies that the alignment established by working together is an effective way to achieve our goals on a fast-paced globalized world.

An organization to prosper has to share a vision that stimulates people to want to succeed. This vision will stimulate people to learn and to excel at their jobs, not because of an obligation, but because they want to. It is fundamental for a leader to understand that a shared vision will bring people together to work on a common goal, which all stakeholders have personally invested in creating (Oosterwal, 2010).

Although an organization’s mission statement is crucial to the success of its goals and objectives, a shared vision has to go beyond the mission statement. A shared vision has to concern values, vision, mission, purpose, and goals. The problem with leaders when they fail to translate their personal vision to a shared vision is the lack of discipline. According to Oosterwal (2010), principles and guiding practices are absent when a group shares a vision.

Oosterwal (2010) suggested that the art of building a shared vision requires establishing a common perspective of the current situation, then involves the skill of “unearthing shared ‘pictures of the future’” (Oosterwal, 2010, p. 56); however, leaders should master the ability to recognize it is counterproductive to dictate a personal vision, no matter how genuine it may be.

Shared vision will propagate on an organization because of the nature of human beings to reinforce commitment, enthusiasm, and clarity. By discussing a shared vision people will learn more about it, allowing additional refinement of the vision and clarifying it even further (Oosterwal, 2010). As the cycle continues, the clear the vision becomes more it will propagate.

Shared Vision and Communication

Leaders will share their vision; however, their vision is a complex one. It is easier for a true leader to share a vision with other leaders, who also float at his or her height and can understand better what is seem. The average people, the people grounded on earth, the one that only can visualize their immediate surroundings, are limited on the understanding of the greater panoramic vision leaders have. It is the leader’s job to translate this vision to the common people. That is way communication skills are fundamental on a true leader, as it is also the ability to connect with the reality of all people.

Communicating a shared vision is crucial to its understanding among followers. The most strong communication tool is language. “Language is a system of shared symbols; it includes speech, written characters, numeral symbols, and nonverbal gestures and expressions” (Witt, 2011, p. 54). True leaders, when implementing a shared vision, understand that language, as communication, provides the foundation of a common culture because it facilitates day-to-day exchanges with others, making collective action possible (Witt, 2011)

Shared Vision and Ethics

There should be a strong concern with ethics when developing a shared vision. Leaders have the greatest influence in developing a shared vision, and consequently, a major responsibility on applying ethical principles to it. According to Bagley and Savage (2006), compliance with the law is the foundation for effective and responsible decision-making action. Bagley and Savage (2006) explained that leaders should ask themselves if an action is legal, and “if an action is not in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law, then, regardless of the likely effect on shareholder value, the action should not be taken” (Bagley & Savage, 2006, p. 14). This principle of ethical approach for a shared vision is crucial on the long-term success of its ideals and goals.

Leaders and Shared Vision in the Coming Years

Bob Johansen, of the Institute for the Future (IFTF), an independent, nonprofit think tank, claimed that in a world of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, (what he called VUCA), leaders must learn new skills in order to make a better future. Moreover, key among those new skills, Johansen identified, is the ability to “see through messes and contradictions” to a future that others cannot yet see (as cited by Nichols, 2010, para. 2).

According to Nichols (2010), leadership is about encouraging and inspiring others to envision the future by “painting a picture” (para. 2) of exciting possibilities. “People don’t often admit that they are an artist or extremely creative. Yet, these talents are demonstrated by highly effective leaders in their everyday activities when they see through messes and contradictions, painting a picture that excites and inspires” (Nichols, 2010, para. 2).

Leaders in coming years will have to be competent, confident, and their individual followers as strong as well. Leaders will be more involved in social changes, and in social networking through technology.

Conclusion

A shared vision is fruit of a collaborative effort between stakeholders of its dreams and objectives, led by a truly ethical leader who sees other people’s interests as his or her own. A shared vision is fundamental on the success of an enterprise, especially an educational organization where a leader has so many individuals and groups to attend to in a transparent and altruistic manner.

References

Bagley, C. E., & Savage, D. W. (2006). Managers and the legal environment: Strategies for the 21st century (5th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson Higher Education.

Ciulla, J. (2004). Ethics and leadership effectiveness. In J. Antonakis, A. T. Clanciolo, & R. T. Sternberg (Eds.), The nature of leadership (pp. 302-327). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Drucker, P. (2007). Management challenges for the 21st century. Oxford, UK: Elsevier. (Original work published 1999).

English, F. W. (2008). The art of educational leadership: Balancing performance and accountability. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Francis, J. S. (2002). The stakeholder’s view. In M. Ashby & S. Miles (Eds.), Leaders talk leadership: Top executives speak their minds (pp. 171-208). New York, NY: OxfordUniversity Press.

Green, R. L. (2009). Practicing the art of leadership: A problem-based approach to implementing the ISLLC standards (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

Harris, C. (n.d.). Shared visions in organizations. Pyramid ODI . Retrieved from http://www.pyramidodi.com/papers/vision.pdf

Leavitt, H. J. (2005). Top down: Why hierarchies are here to stay and how to manage them effectively. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Maxwell, J. C. (1998). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: Follow them and people will follow you. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Nichols, J. (2010, July). Back to the future [Article]. Retrieved from Leadership Challenge by John Wiley, & Sons Web site: http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-420466.html

Northouse, P. G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Oosterwal, D. (2010). The lean machine: how Harley-Davidson drove top-line growth and profitability with revolutionary lean product development. New York, NY: American Management Association.

Pottruck, D.S. (2002). Leading by creating a values-based culture and inspiring commitment. In M. Ashby & S. Miles (Eds.), Leaders talk leadership: Top executives speak their minds (pp. 50-55). New York, NY: OxfordUniversity Press.

Price, B., & Ritcheske, G. (2001). True leaders: How exceptional CEOs and Presidents make a difference by building people and profit. Chicago, IL: Dearborn.

Tracy, B. (2010). How the best leaders lead: Proven secrets to getting the most out of yourself and others. New York, NY: American Management Association.

Trilling, B., & Fadel, C. (2009). 21 century skills: Learning for life in our times. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Witt, J. (2011). SOC 2011. New York: McGraw-Hill.


The FPA-BM has as Chairman of the Board Dr. John Peterson, Ph.D. A leading education specialist for over 15 years, Dr. John Peterson is a published author and the creator and implementer of several undergraduate and graduate programs. Emphasizing practical access to learning methodologies, Dr. Peterson has developed curricula focused on online and face-to-face training, optimizing new technologies for the benefit of his students’ achievements in real-world careers. In addition, Dr. Peterson is an experienced consultant to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education regarding the licensing and compliance of new institutions.

Sustainable Architecture Design

Sustainable Architecture Design

by Dr. John Peterson, PhD, FPA-BM Chairman of the Board

Rationale for Curriculum Need and Purpose

Architectural education plays a fundamental role in training future building designers. Since buildings consume approximately 50 percent of the world’s resources (Al-Hassan & Dudek, 2009), over the last several years the interest in sustainable design has grown exponentially among design professionals, educators and students. The rise of the US Green Building Council and its LEED rating system – LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created LEED as a rating system for green building – has led an unprecedented demand for professionals that understand sustainable design, and can apply its principles to the design of buildings and communities. Students that leave architectural courses prepared with this knowledge have an important advantage over students who have taken a more traditional approach. A growing list of leading firms across the country are now insisting on green architecture knowledge as a pre-requisite for hiring, suggesting that sustainability has finally entered the mainstream. Many students are finding that LEED accreditation on their resume is just as important as knowledge of industry-related software applications.

An opportunity exists for architectural drafting programs to embrace this future by providing a coursework that teaches the basics of sustainable design to their students. The construction-related journal, Contractor (2009), in a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm, stated that despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and generate $554 billion into the U.S. economy, including $396 billion in wages over the next four years. Robin Pogrebin (2009) stated on the article Architects Return to Class as Green Design Advances published on The New York Times:

This kind of expertise is now being applied to every aspect of design and construction, from how materials are transported to and disposed of at a work site, to the tools and machines used, to consideration of how a building will perform over the next half-century (Pogredin, 2009).

Definition of Sustainable Architecture Design

Sustainable architecture is designing buildings keeping in mind environmental goals and sustainable development. The terms green architecture or green buildings are often used interchangeably with sustainable architecture to promote this definition further. In a broader sense and taking into account the pressing economic and political issues, sustainable architecture seeks to reduce the negative environmental impact of the buildings by increasing efficiency and moderation in the utilization of building materials, energy and development space. Similarly, green architecture denotes economical, energy-saving, environmentally-friendly, sustainable development and explores the relationship between architecture and ecology (Brister, 2007).

As the global financial crisis continues to threaten the livelihood of American businesses and workers – and halts both the momentum and quality of new, sustainable infrastructure – the nation confronts a double challenge: not only are building projects at a standstill, but we risk losing to other careers many of the professionals needed to design and construct the next generation of green buildings (McEntee, 2009).

Curriculum Alignment with Institution’s Mission Statement and Philosophy

Curriculum alignment is the first and arguably the most important step in increasing student achievement relative to the curriculum frameworks and criterion and norm referenced assessments.

Learners of the Sustainable Architecture Design Course

For the younger generation, this area provides a wide variety of opportunities for workers to find jobs they consider meaningful, impactful and important. It also provides an older generation of workers the ability to mentor and use the depth and breadth of their experience to improve upon the existing infrastructure of the nation and truly bring it up to 21st century standards (McEntee, 2009).

Desired Outcomes of the Curriculum

Course outcomes are major results that all graduates of the Sustainable Architecture Design course are expected to achieve. They are specific to the target occupation, professional area, and discipline. By achieving the competencies in this course, students will build some of skills, abilities, and attitudes required by the course outcomes. Prior to finishing the course students will need to demonstrate that they have achieved the Sustainable Architecture Design course outcomes by completing all the required performance assessments. When students perform these assessments they will create products such as portfolios, models, or samples that they can use to document their qualifications for prospective employers or higher education.

This course will help students work toward the achievement of the following course goals and outcomes:

Goals

  • Explains the philosophy and underpinnings of effective integrative design, addressing systems thinking and building and community design from a whole-living system perspective
  • Details how to implement integrative design from the discovery phase to occupancy, supported by process outlines, itemized tasks, practice examples, case studies, and real-world stories illustrating the nature of this work
  • Explores the deeper understanding of integration that is required to transform architectural practice and our role on the planet

Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply sustainable architectural concepts and applications to all aspects of the design process
  • Apply use of perspective and projected-view drawing practices
  • Describe documents required for construction practices
  • Design residential or commercial plans, elevations, sections, and details using industry standards of construction rules
  • Apply the design creation process
  • Discuss and describe architectural drawing practices
  • Accurately develop and use Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) drawing functions
  • Apply dimensioning of architectural drawings
  • Use and apply basic Building Information Modeling (BIM) software menus and commands
  • Use correct BIM software systems on creation of green architecture
  • Access and use BIM software menu structure, geometry editing functions, BIM software command entities, and accurately develop and use BIM software drawing setup
  • Accurately apply dimension drawing according to accepted drafting standards

Core Values of Sustainable Architecture Design Course

Students of the Sustainable Architecture Design course shall:

  • Act responsibly
  • Communicate clearly and effectively
  • Demonstrate essential computer skills
  • Demonstrate essential mathematical skills
  • Develop job-seeking skills
  • Respect self and others as members of a diverse society
  • Think critically and creatively
  • Work cooperatively
  • Value learning

Course Attendance

Importance of class attendance

Class attendance contributes significantly to academic success. Students who attend classes regularly tend to earn higher grades and have higher passing rates in courses. Excessive absences may jeopardize their grades or even their ability to continue in this course.

Class absences

If students are absent from class for any reason they are responsible for all missed work and for promptly contacting the instructor.

Course External Standards

External Standards are credentialing requirements established by external organizations such as professional associations, regulatory agencies, consumer groups, hiring organizations, accreditation organizations, or government agencies to create shared expectations for quality.

The standards for the Sustainable Architecture DesignCourse have been set by ADDA (American Drafting and Design Association). By constructing the Architectural Design course so that it meets the ADDA standards, we increase the credibility of all its graduates.

Independent Work

Periodically throughout the course students will be asked to participate in independent activities, which may take several different forms, such as independent study, interactive instruction, laboratory exercises, research, internet exploration, and job shadowing. These activities are an integral part of the total curriculum, but will have minimal instructor involvement. They provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to work independently to meet a designated goal as well as to show development in the various core abilities associated with the course.

Instruction Techniques and Strategies

This course will follow a goal-based model for instruction. According to Glatthorn, Boschee, & Whitehead (2006, p. 131), this goal-based model has several features that recommend it.

Method of Course Delivery

Dr. Bob Kizlik (2009) wrote on the ADPRIMA website, that direct and indirect instruction are two main categories that many educators find useful for classifying teaching methods, but it is a bit more complicated than placing all instruction into two categories. Any instructional method a teacher uses has advantages, disadvantages, and requires some preliminary preparation. Often times, a particular teaching method will naturally flow into another, all within the same lesson, and excellent teachers have developed the skills to make the process seamless to the students. Very well said

Table 2 – The most effective instructional methods according to Kizlik (2009) to be used on this course:

Cooperative learning

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It helps foster mutual responsibility.

It is supported by research as an effective technique.

Students learn to be patient, less critical and more compassionate.

Some students don’t work well this way.

Loners find it hard to share answers.

Aggressive students try to take over.

Bright students tend to act superior.

Decide what skills or knowledge is to be learned.

It requires some time to prepare students to learn how to work in groups.

Lecture

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

Factual material is presented in a direct, logical manner.
It may provide experiences that inspire – useful for large groups.

Proficient oral skills are necessary.
Audience is often passive.
Learning is difficult to gauge

There should be a clear introduction and summary.
Effectiveness related to time and scope of content.

Lecture with discussion

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It involves students, at least after the lecture.
Students can question, clarify and challenge.
Lecture can be interspersed with discussion.

Time constraints may affect discussion opportunities.
Effectiveness is connected to appropriate questions and discussion.

It often requires teacher to “shift gears” quickly.

Teacher should be prepared to allow questions during lecture, as appropriate.
Teacher should also anticipate difficult questions and prepare appropriate responses in advance.

Brainstorming

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It is a listening exercise that allows creative thinking for new ideas.
It encourages full participation because all ideas are equally recorded.
It draws on group’s knowledge and experience.
Spirit of cooperation is created.
One idea can spark other ideas.

It can be unfocused.
It needs to be limited to 5 – 7 minutes.
Students may have difficulty getting away from known reality.
If not managed well, criticism and negative evaluation may occur.
Value to students depends in part on their maturity level.

Teacher selects issue.
Teacher must be ready to intervene when the process is hopelessly bogged down.

Video and slides

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It is an entertaining way of introducing content and raising issues.
It usually keeps group’s attention.
It looks professional.
It stimulates discussion.

It can raise too many issues to have a focused discussion.
Discussion may not have full participation.
It is most effective when following discussion.

Need to obtain and set up equipment.
Effective only if teacher prepares for discussion after the presentation

Discussion

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It pools ideas and experiences from group.
It is effective after a presentation, film or experience that needs to be analyzed.
It allows everyone to participate in an active process.

Not practical with more than 20 students.
A few students can dominate.
Some students may not participate.
Is time consuming.
It can get off the track.

It requires careful planning by teacher to guide discussion.
It requires question outline.

Small group discussion

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It allows for participation of everyone.
Students are often more comfortable in small groups.
Groups can reach consensus

It needs careful thought as to purpose of group.
Groups may get side tracked.

Need to prepare specific tasks or questions for group to answer.

Case studies

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It develops analytic and problem solving skills.
It allows for exploration of solutions for complex issues.
It allows student to apply new knowledge and skills.

Students may not see relevance to own situation.
Insufficient information can lead to inappropriate results.
Not appropriate for elementary level.

Case must be clearly defined.
Case study must be prepared.

Worksheet and surveys

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It allows students to think for them without being influenced by others.
Individual thoughts can then be shared in large group.

It can be used only for short period of time.

Teacher has to prepare handouts.

Guest speakers

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It personalizes topic.
It breaks down audience’s stereotypes.

It may not be a good speaker.

Contact speakers and coordinate.
Introduce speaker appropriately.

Values clarification

Advantages

Disadvantages

Preparation

It gives students an opportunity to explore values and beliefs.
It allows students to discuss values in a safe environment.
It gives structure to discussion.

Students may not be honest about their values.
Students may be too self-conscious.
Students may not be able to articulate their values in an effective way.

Teacher must carefully prepare exercise.
Teacher must give clear instructions.
Teacher must prepare discussion questions.

Learning and Assessment Activities

“Assessment is a process of gathering information for the purpose of making judgments about a current state of affairs” (Pellegrino, 2002). In educational assessment, the information collected is designed to help teachers, administrators, policymakers, and the public conclude what students know and how well they know it, presumably for the purpose of enhancing future outcomes. The learning activities for each Lesson Plan tell students what they can do to master the learning objectives and competencies. They are their assignments.

Performance-Based Course

The student’s success is the main goal of any learning experience. In performance-based learning, the instructor carefully identifies what students need to be able to do as a result of a learning experience. Next, the instructor determines how students can show that they have learned these skills. Finally, the instructor plans learning activities that will help students develop the target skills, knowledge, and attitudes.

Table 3

Performance-based learning tasks according to Dr. Carol Gordon (2001)

Authentic Learning Task Content

  • is meaningful, grows out of academic principles
  • is derived from standards/curriculum
  • requires learners to use tools of the expert
  • provides opportunities for problem solving, decision making
  • offers learners opportunities for display, presentation, sharing of outcomes

Authentic Learning Task MethodologyThe learner

  • relates new information to prior knowledge
  • applies information to new situations
  • uses divergent, critical thinking
  • is actively engaged in a variety of tasks
  • has choices
  • has opportunities for revision, self and peer evaluation
  • has opportunities to work in a group

Authentic Learning Task Design

  • expectations and outcomes are clear
  • exemplars are provided
  • resources are identified and required
  • assessment tool is appropriate for the task
  • learners participate in developing the assessment
  • learners evaluate the task
  • educators critique and revise the task based on evidence collected

Benefits for students

  1. Students will learn skills and knowledge that they can apply, rather than outlines of information.
  2. Instructors tell students right up front WHAT they learn, how instructors expect students to show WHEN students have learned, and HOW students may go about learning. This helps instructors plan how to invest student’s time and energy.
  3. Students know the standards for evaluation before the assessment. Students earn a grade according to how well they perform the skills rather than according to how well others in the class perform. Students are not graded on a curve.
  4. Students are actively involved in the learning. Instructors design learning activities and assignments that teach students to solve problems and to learn on their own.
  5. When students complete a learning experience, they have documentation showing the skills and knowledge they have learned. Students can use this information when they seek employment, admission to further education, advanced standing or transfer of credit.

Students’ Assessment and Measures of Outcomes

Course Evaluation Strategies (Methodologies)

The course evaluation strategy will be based on a Consensus Model, using Traditional and Technical Evaluation. According to McNeil (2009), the purpose of evaluation is to decide on the value of a curricular intervention within a course. A significant difference in student performance during and after the intervention may be taken as evidence that the intervention had a positive effect (p. 228).

Technology Components

The subject matter in this course will be presented in the form of lectures, class discussion, demonstrations, collaborative activities, computer assignments, student projects and presentations, on-line research as well as guest speakers and field trips when deemed appropriate. The classroom will be set up as a computer laboratory, with personal computer workstations available to individual students. The classroom shall have a projector and a screen installed, with an allocated computer for the projector. Also the classroom shall have a large format printer, a laser printer for smaller prints, and a scanner. The instructor shall have a digital camera made available by the school for class assignments.

References

Al-Hassan, A., & Dudek, S. (2009). Sustainable architecture education in Kuwait University and the impact of the society in the learning process [Abstract]. Journal of the World Universities Forum, 1(2), 21-28. Abstract retrieved from http://wuj.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.173/prod.24

Amazon.com (2009). The Integrative design guide to green building: Redefining the practice of sustainability. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Integrative-Design-Guide-Green-Building/dp/0470181109/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258040441&sr=1-1

Amazon.com (2009). The philosophy of sustainable design. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Sustainable-Design-Jason-McLennan/dp/0974903302/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1258040260&sr=8-1

Brister, W. (2007, September 3). Sustainable green architecture [Article]. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Sustainable-Green-Architecture&id=715327&opt=print

Contractor Magazine (2009, November 12). New study: green building will support 8 million U.S. jobs [Article]. Retrieved from http://contractormag.com/news/green-study-2345/

Glatthorn, A., Boschee, F., & Whitehead, B. (2006). Curriculum leadership: Development and implementation (1st ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gordon, C. (2001, June 1). Performance learning and assessment: The wave of the future [PowerPoint slides]. Boston University. Retrieved from http://www.acrlnec.org/sigs/nelig/2001/gordon/

McEntee, C. (2009, October 30). In American Institute of Architects (Ed.), Building and greening key to jumpstarting the economy [Article]. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=US132513336720091030

McNeil, J. (2009). Contemporary curriculum: In thought and action (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Pellegrino, J. (2002). Knowing what students know. Issues in Science and Technology, 48(2).

Pogrebin, R. (2009, August 19). In New York Times (Ed.), Architects return to class as green design advances [Article]. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/education/20BUILD.html?_r=3&pagewanted=print


The FPA-BM has as Chairman of the Board Dr. John Peterson, Ph.D. A leading education specialist for over 15 years, Dr. John Peterson is a published author and the creator and implementer of several undergraduate and graduate programs. Emphasizing practical access to learning methodologies, Dr. Peterson has developed curricula focused on online and face-to-face training, optimizing new technologies for the benefit of his students’ achievements in real-world careers. In addition, Dr. Peterson is an experienced consultant to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education regarding the licensing and compliance of new institutions.

A Plan to Amplify Environmental Consciousness in Schools

A Plan to Amplify Environmental Consciousness in Schools

By Dr. John Peterson, PhD FPA-BM Chairman of the Board

Problem Scenario

Society realizes that schools have an important duty of social responsibility with the community which they belong, and also understand that, while schools are one of the most important members in the community, they are also one of its most important stakeholders. Our planet is suffering the worst environmental crisis in modern age; and when adding a school’s duty for social responsibility with its important presence in the community, the result is having schools with an ethical obligation to assist on the solution for our environmental crisis. After all, “Taking the environment seriously means rethink how our politics and civic life fit the place we inhabit” (Orr, 2004, p. 168).

Strategy for Solving the Problem

There are already many important initiatives to bring a conscience of environmental preservation to educational institutions. The “green” initiative is gaining momentum. Perhaps one of the best examples is found at the Go Green Initiative website:

The mission of the Go Green Initiative is to provide schools, homes, businesses and organizations of all kinds with the tools and training they need to create a “culture of conservation” within their community. Our goals are to conserve and protect natural resources for future generations, and to protect human health through environmental stewardship. (Go Green Initiative, 2010, para. 1)

Go Green Initiative has – as key approach to their strategy – the creation of an environmental change in schools, by using what they call a “buy-in and support from parents, teachers, custodians and administrators” (Go Green Initiative, 2010, para. 1).

Other instance which there is a parent involvement on initiating a “green” movement towards a more ecologically friendly school is The Green Schools Initiative. The Green Schools Initiative was founded in 2004 by parent-environmentalists who “were shocked by how un-environmental their kids’ schools were and mobilized to improve the environmental health and ecological sustainability of schools in the U.S.” (Green Schools Initiative, 2011, para.1).

I recommend that an efficient strategy to amplify environmental consciousness in schools would be to create a regional database of volunteer schools (for example: a south Florida listing of schools participating and offering a program for environmental consciousness) and support them with tools, training and the funding opportunities they would need to make their program or programs a success. Also other resources, grants and special events would be made available through effective communication.

Effective Communication

Technology is crucial when communicating and coordinating action or actions coming from leadership decisions. According to Trilling and Fadel (2009) technology also permits that through communication there is learning from each other’s experiences, as new methods and processes are innovated. Trilling and Fadel (2009) wrote that a 21 century educational program is developed by both distributed and coordinated leadership.

One the most widely used technology today is the Internet. According to Trilling and Fadel (2009),

The learning and thinking power tools of our times and the times to come are well suited for the kinds of experiences most needed to develop 21 century skills – the inquiry, design, and collaborative learning projects that deal with real-world problems, issues, questions, and challenges. (p. 142).

The most effective communication media to create, manage, and support an association of “green” oriented schools would be the use of a portal on the Internet. Internet-based methods of communication, including email, websites, and newer social networking technologies, such as blogs and Facebook, presents new opportunities for school communication.

Ethics, Diversity, and a Shared Vision

Tschannen-Moran (2007) explained that the five constituencies of schools: administrators, teachers, students, parents, and the general public, are related directly to the five aspects of trust – benevolence, honesty, openness, reliability, and competence. This is important to understand when building a school program which will have to be supported for all stakeholders involved in the project. One of the strong characteristics of an efficient shared vision is trust.

Ciulla (2004) elucidated that the ability to understand the moral challenges so distinctively faced by leaders and leadership is particularly important for leadership development. One of the important benefits of schools using technology in the implementation and use of the “green” program is verified by a phrase on an article by Bouffard (2008), “Students from all backgrounds benefit equally from Internet-based family-school communication” (para. 20). In my opinion, among these challenges resides the cultural diversity found on so many schools these days.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The strengths and weaknesses of proposing a plan to amplify environmental consciousness in schools is related to what Green (2009) explained being the modes of communication: verbal and nonverbal. According to Green (2009) schools have both formal and informal communication network, and Green (2009) explained that the formal network is conducted by the organization’s structure, while the organization’s individuals are the managers of the informal network.

This is an important differentiation because “the major function of the formal network is to convey information sanctioned by the system” (Green, 2009, p. 129) whereas the informal communication is often associated with rumors. Since the core of the program’s success depends on communication (as explained before in this paper), attention should be taken so a formal mode of communication is always in place, and leadership of the program should be aware of rumors, as Green (2009) wrote, “they can be detrimental to goal attainment” (p. 129).

Conclusion

Society sees schools as a responsible and participative member of the community, and as such they have the ethical obligation to help on the effort to educate and raise the level of environmental consciousness on administrators, teachers, students, parents, and the general public. In order to obtain this goal I suggest a plan to use technology, more specifically the Internet, to create a database of schools with a “green” program in order to support them with tools, training and funding opportunities.

References

Bouffard, S. (2008, July). Tapping into technology: The role of the Internet in family–school communication [Article]. Retrieved from Harvard Family Research Project Web site: http://www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/tapping-into-technology-the-role-of-the-internet-in-family-school-communication

Ciulla, J. (2004). Ethics and leadership effectiveness. In J. Antonakis, A. T. Clanciolo, & R. T. Sternberg (Eds.), The nature of leadership (pp. 302-327). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Go Green Initiative (2010). Get started. Retrieved from Go Green Initiative Web site: http://www.gogreeninitiative.org/content/GetStarted/index.html

Go Green Initiative (2010). Our mission. Retrieved from Go Green Initiative Web site: http://www.gogreeninitiative.org/content/About/

Green Schools Initiative. (2011). About us. Retrieved from http://www.greenschools.net/article.php?list=type&type=4

Green, R. L. (2009). Practicing the art of leadership: A problem-based approach to implementing the ISLLC standards (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

Orr, D. W. (2004). Earth in mind: On education, environment, and the human prospect (10 anniversary ed.). Washington, DC: Island Press.

Trilling, B., & Fadel, C. (2009). 21 century skills: Learning for life in our times. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Tschannen-Moran, M. (2007). Becoming a trustworthy leader. In Jossey-Bass (Ed.), The Jossey-Bass reader on educational leadership (2 ed., pp. 99-113). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.


The FPA-BM has as Chairman of the Board Dr. John Peterson, Ph.D. A leading education specialist for over 15 years, Dr. John Peterson is a published author and the creator and implementer of several undergraduate and graduate programs. Emphasizing practical access to learning methodologies, Dr. Peterson has developed curricula focused on online and face-to-face training, optimizing new technologies for the benefit of his students’ achievements in real-world careers. In addition, Dr. Peterson is an experienced consultant to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education regarding the licensing and compliance of new institutions. 

Philosophical Paradigms, Data Collection, and Analysis Design of a Green Technology Education Mixed Methods Research

Philosophical Paradigms, Data Collection, and Analysis Design of a Green Technology Education Mixed Methods Research

By Dr. John Peterson, PhD, FPA-BM Chairman of the Board

Beginning with the industrial revolution, the establishment of the capitalistic system initiated consumerism and intensified the separation between humanity and nature. Today, the intrinsic connection of technology to our daily life makes it almost impossible to imagine a world without it. All facets of our activities, from medicine to construction, from entertainment to education have technology built into them. The problem is that the same technology that assists us immensely to live a comfortable, safe, and productive life can also have the potential to destroy us. All side effects of the energy used to keep the current technology operating have produced damage to our environment.

To solve the conflict, we need to educate our society to become more responsible by emphasizing a green education to create a green and sustainable technology. Moreover, this is what this paper covers: data collection and data analysis design in a research methodology study of a green education focused on a green technology oriented in bringing solutions to the economic and environmental crisis.

Philosophical Paradigms

Johnson and Christensen (2012) explained paradigms as “a perspective about research held by a community of researchers that is based in a set of shared assumptions, concepts, values, and practices” (p. 31). Paradigms are also known as organizing frameworks or disciplinary matrices (McKerchar, 2008), and hold identifying characteristics, methods and practices that create expectations about the nature and conduct of research. The application of this concept of philosophical paradigms is appropriate when proposing a wide engagement to the cause of a green education for a green technology. Jonas (2010) wrote:

Every new step in whatever technological field tends not to approach an equilibrium or saturation point in the process of fitting means to ends (nor is meant to), but, on the contrary, to give rise if successful, to further steps in all directions. (p. 13)

Our contemporary civilization is on a continuous growth spreading in all areas: art, culture, religion, politics, and technology, among others. We progress, and with progress, we need a deeper understanding of our role as a civilization. Progress is not just “an ideological gloss of modern technology” (Jonas, 2010, p. 13), and not an option, but is a natural drive which automatically affects the fiber of society.

McKerchar (2008) elucidated that paradigm choices are reflections of the researcher views of the world (ontology) and of the belief that knowledge is created (epistemology). Creswell (1994) explained that quantitative and qualitative paradigms have the following five assumptions:

  1. Ontological
  2. Epistemological
  3. Axiological
  4. Rhetorical
  5. Methodological

In quantitative research, ontological assumptions relate to what is real, objective, and singular. In qualitative research, they are subjective and belonging to multiple realities. According to Creswell (1994), ontological assumption asks the question “What is the nature of reality?” (p. 5). The question, “What is the relationship of the researcher to that researched?” (Creswell, 1994, p. 5) exemplifies epistemological assumption. In quantitative research, the researcher is disassociated to “that being researched” (Creswell, 1994, p. 5), and in qualitative research, the researcher “interacts with that being researched” (Creswell, 1994, p. 5).

Axiological assumption explains the role of values. Quantitative research is value-free and unbiased, while qualitative research is “value-laden and biased” (Creswell, 1994, p. 5).

Rhetorical assumption relates to the language of research. In quantitative research, the language is formal, while in qualitative research the language is more informal. Methodological assumptions are founded on deductive processes (quantitative research) and inductive processes (qualitative research) (Creswell, 1994). AcademyHealth (n.d.) explained deductive process as “The process of using theory to guide research drawing inferences regarding specific applications from general principles or phenomena” (para. 1), as shown in Figure 1; and inductive process as “The process of using empirical observations to guide development of theory on inferring general principles from specific observations” (para. 1), as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 1. Deductive process.

Figure 2. Inductive process.

A research study to bring new green curricula to schools should be a mixed method utilizing the characteristics of ontological and epistemological assumptions. The delicate challenge in mixed method design is to develop and conduct the best and most appropriate combination of strategies. In theory, it does offer a prospective to clarify puzzling problems, in “particular on the nature of causal relationships, but it still may not necessarily provide all the answers given the complexities of human behavior” (McKerchar, 2008, p. 13).

There are already pioneer institutions doing it. For example, American River College, part of the Los Rios Community College District in California, has developed a sustainability program named the GreenForce Initiative. The school offers courses such as “Clean Diesel Technology”, “Design and Fabrication of Solar Projects”, “Solar Technology”, and “Solar Systems Design, Estimation and Sales”, and will offer certificates in the last two areas beginning in the spring, 2010. Also beginning in the spring of 2010, ARC will offer courses in “Interior Design-Green Building and Sustainable Design” and “Lighting Efficiency”, as well as training for the “Energy Management Technician”. The following semester, certificates will be offered in each of these areas, and a degree will be available for the “Energy Management Technician”. (Green Technology, 2009, para. 2)

Criteria for Paradigm Selection

Researcher’s worldview. This criterion relates to how comfortable a researcher is with one of the assumptions: (a) ontological, (b) epistemological, (c) axiological, (d) rhetorical, and (e) methodological (Creswell, 1994).

Training and experience. This criterion relates to technical writing, computer statistical programs, and library skills for quantitative research; and relates to literary writing, computer assisted text analysis, and library skills for qualitative research (Creswell, 1994).

Researcher’s psychological attributes. This criterion relates to how comfortable the researcher is with rules and guidelines. Quantitative researchers are more comfortable with rules when conducting research than qualitative researchers, who are more comfortable with the absence or lack of specific rules and procedures. There is also the issue of ambiguity (low tolerance in quantitative researchers, and higher tolerance in qualitative researchers), and time consumption for studies (shorter duration in quantitative and longer duration in qualitative researches) (Creswell, 1994).

Nature of problem. In quantitative research, other researchers usually have already studied the problem so there is an existing body of literature, theories, and known variables. In qualitative research, the study is exploratory, with unknown variables (Creswell, 1994). A scarcity of proven successful enterprises limits the implementation of a green education for green technology. Perhaps here a mixed approach between known and unknown variables, reflects best the employment of ontological and epistemological assumptions.

Audience for the study. Both quantitative and qualitative researchers should consider, as a criterion, an audience for the study based on individuals accustomed and supportive of their paradigm (quantitative or qualitative) (Creswell, 1994).

A Single Research Paradigm

McKerchar (2008) wrote that researches emphasize different strategies depending on the purpose of their overall design. This is not necessarily a problem if a clear rationale justifies it. A mixed methodology design develops and conducts the most appropriate combination of strategies, “That is, the possible combinations for mixed method research are almost unlimited” (McKerchar, 2008, p. 13). This is especially true when the deductive process (quantitative research) and the inductive process (qualitative research) overlap data at the collection phase, at the analysis phase, or in the conclusions and recommendations. Johnson and Christensen (2012) wrote that pragmatism will dictate that the research be designed in a way that best helps answer the research question. These authors also elucidated that mixing qualitative and quantitative methods into a mixed methodology will result in pragmatic knowledge.

The Education Paradigm

Ecological Crisis

Lately, after more than a quarter of century of growing crises, subjects relating to nature are becoming a part of public awareness. Today, society is already “conscious that natural resources are finite and insufficient to meet the unbearable demand of the human population” (Nascimento, 1999, p. 202). However, according to Nascimento (1999) “present societies have admitted indifferent behaviors, both consciously and unconsciously, resisting changing whatever is necessary, unless these changes guarantee immediate pleasure and power” (p. 202). Therefore, people just live and only feel responsible for their own lives. At the same time, a great majority, while suffering the consequences of the existing technological model, does not realize what is happening to the environment and the need to transform our ways to deal with these issues.

Green Education

The present patterns hold our civilization unsustainable if our existing values are not changed. “That change effectively comprises an educational problem of complex nature” (Nascimento, 1999, p. 202). Environmental education emerges in this framework as a new manner of correcting the individual’s responsibility for the world, and as a new proposal for the rational and wise managing of the co-dependent association of economy and environment.

However, “the problem is not related to questioning whether environmental education is essential, but which kind of environmental education is important, in order to incite a change of values and behaviors” (Nascimento, 1999, p. 203). It should be directed to the core of the driver that stimulates the crisis: technology, and especially technology related to energy production and expenditure.

The Technology Paradigm

“I am sorry to say that there is too much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than ours” (John F. Kennedy).

Economic and Social Development

Economic development is desirable because it brings prosperity to nations and their people; however, there is a social unevenness associated with recent economic growth associated with geographical prosperity and impoverishment, usually reflected in technological infrastructure. According to Rowntree, Lewis, Price, and Wyckoff (2006), “This geographic unevenness in development, prosperity, and social infrastructure is a characteristic signature of the early twenty-first century” (p. 39).

Green Technology

The term technology refers to the application of knowledge for practical purposes. The field of green technology encompasses a continuously evolving group of methods and materials, from techniques for generating energy to non-toxic cleaning products (Green Technology, 2009).

The present expectation is that this field will bring innovation and changes in daily life of similar magnitude to the “information technology” explosion over the last two decades. In these early stages, it is impossible to predict what “green technology” may eventually encompass. (Green Technology, 2009, para. 3)

Table 1

The Goals that Inform Developments in Green Technology

Note: Source: Green Technology (2009). Green technology: What is it? Retrieved from http://www.green-technology.org/what.htm

Gore (2007) wrote:

When a new technology emerges as the primary medium for the sharing of information—like the printing press in the fifteenth century or television in the twentieth century—those who adapt to the new technology have to literally change the way they process information. (p. 20)

The relationships among education, school and environment have historically reflected the relationships of society and science to the global environment. In order for the adoption of a green technology, there is a need for society to think green, and education can establish the consciousness of this need. Serious organizations with a worldwide influence, such as the Green Education Foundation (GEF), have developed powerful tools for a sustainability education to provide educators “with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems” (Green Education Foundation, 2012, para. 1).

The activism for products related to a green industry has become a common trend; for example, the Institute for Responsible Technology is a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. Others, such as the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a “501 c3 non-profit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings” (U.S. Green Building Council, 2012, para. 1), have done a tremendous job educating and supporting the education of green technology.

In rural Brazil, we find an example of how sustainable technology influences the solution of the economic problem. Solar energy has its use restricted by a reputation of being expensive, although this is not necessarily true. Fabio Rosa, a young graduate in agronomic engineering found an interesting solution to an old dilemma: How to bring electricity to poor people in the most remote rural areas in the southern region of Brazil.

Rosa’s idea was to install inexpensive poly-wire and fiberglass posts as electric fences for cattle, and at the same time, as collectors of solar energy. After this concept was explained to local small farmers and ranchers, (who saw the benefit of an 85% reduction in costs and an increase in productivity), it was widely adopted, having 700 solar electric and fencing systems installed in sixteen Brazilian states (Bornstein, 2007). This is green technology. This is what education can bring, and this is what this paper covers: Data collection and analysis design in a research methodology study of a green education focused on a green technology oriented in bringing solutions to the environmental crisis.

Research Question

Research questions have a fundamental role when designing a mixed research study. According to Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004), “research methods should follow research questions in a way that offers the best chance to obtain useful answers” (as cited by Duke and Mallette, 2011, p. 32). Duke and Mallette (2011) explained that, when elaborating mixed research questions, the first thing to do is to write separated quantitative and qualitative questions followed by an explicit mixed research question.

According to Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2006), the quantitative and qualitative research questions are most aligned or compatible with respect to the underlying paradigm and methods used when both types of questions are open-ended and non-directional in nature. They both seek to discover, explore or describe a particular participant, setting, context, location, event, incident, activity, experience, process and/or document.

This study’s research question is: How education to adopt green technology, as part of a solution for our environmental and economic crisis, will influence short-term interest in college-level students.

Data Collection

Perhaps a good approach for mixed method research should be a sequential data collection; however, the method of data collection connects intrinsically to the research question and to the analysis design. This connection, this tripod of three support legs: question, collection, and analysis are dependent of each other and equally strong.

According to Driscoll, Appiah-Yeboah, Salib, and Rupert (2007), sequential mixed methods data collection strategies involve collecting data in an iterative process whereby the data collected in one phase contribute to the data collected in the next. Data collected in these designs to provide more data about results from the earlier phase of data collection and analysis, to select participants who can best provide that data, or to generalize findings by verifying and augmenting study results from members of a defined population (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007, p. 121). Sequential designs in which quantitative data are collected first can use statistical methods to determine which findings to augment in the next phase.

In this research study, the collection of data will take place through standardized open-ended interviews and closed fixed-response interviews. The format of these interviews will be a questionnaire. According to Teddlie and Tashakkori (2009), standardized open-ended interviews are those with exact wording and sequence of questions determined in advance, and interviewees are asked the same questions in the same order in an open-ended format. In closed fixed-response interviews, the questions and responses are determined in advance; responses are fixed with respondents choosing from fixed answers.

Questionnaire

A questionnaire is a self-report data collection instrument that is filled out by research participants. Questionnaires are usually paper-and-pencil instruments, but they can also be placed on the web for participants to go to and “fill out.” Questionnaires are sometimes called survey instruments; however, the actual questionnaire should not be called “the survey.” The word “survey” refers to the process of using a questionnaire or interview protocol to collect data (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2009).

When developing a questionnaire this study will follow Teddlie and Tashakkori’s (2009) 15Principles of Questionnaire Construction:

  1. The questionnaire items match the research objectives.
  2. Understand the demographic and cultural characteristics of the research participants.
  3. Use natural and familiar language.
  4. Write items that are clear, precise, and relatively short.
  5. Not use “leading” or “loaded” questions.
  6. Avoid double-barreled questions (a double-barreled question combines two or more issues in a single question).
  7. Avoid double negatives.
  8. Determine whether an open-ended or a closed ended question is needed.
  9. Use mutually exclusive and exhaustive response categories for closed-ended questions.
  • Mutually exclusive categories do not overlap (e.g., ages 0-10, 10-20, 20-30 are NOT mutually exclusive and should be rewritten as less than 10, 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, …).
  • Exhaustive categories include all possible responses (e.g., if you are doing a national survey of adult citizens (i.e., 18 or older) then the these categories (18-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69) are NOT exhaustive because there is no where to put someone who is 70 years old or older.
  1. Consider the different types of response categories available for closed-ended questionnaire items.
  • Rating scales are the most commonly used, including:

Numerical rating scales (where the endpoints are anchored; sometimes the center point or area is also labeled).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Very Low Very High

Fully anchored rating scales (where all the points on the scale are anchored).

1 2 3 4 5

Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree

1 2 3 4

Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree

Omitting the center point on a rating scale (e.g., using a 4-point rather than a 5-point rating scale) does not appreciably affect the response pattern. Some researchers prefer 5- point rating scales; other researchers prefer 4-point rating scales. Both generally work well.

Rankings (i.e., where participants put their responses into rank order, such as most important, second most important, and third most important).

Semantic differential (i.e., where one item stem and multiple scales that are anchored with polar opposites or antonyms are included and are rated by the participants).

Checklists (i.e., where participants “check all of the responses in a list that apply to them”).

  1. Use multiple items to measure abstract constructs.
  2. Consider using multiple methods when measuring abstract constructs.
  3. Use caution if you reverse the wording in some of the items to prevent response sets. (A response set is the tendency of a participant to respond in a specific direction to items regardless of the item content.)
  4. Develop a questionnaire that is easy for the participant to use.
  5. Always pilot test your questionnaire.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Questionnaires

Strengths of questionnaires

  • Good for measuring attitudes and eliciting other content from research participants.
  • Inexpensive (especially mail questionnaires and group administered questionnaires).
  • Can provide information about participants’ internal meanings and ways of thinking.
  • Can administer to probability samples.
  • Quick turnaround.
  • Can be administered to groups.
  • Perceived anonymity by respondent may be high.
  • Moderately high measurement validity (i.e., high reliability and validity) for well-constructed and validated questionnaires.
  • Closed-ended items can provide exact information needed by researcher.
  • Open-ended items can provide detailed information in respondents’ own words.
  • Ease of data analysis for closed-ended items.
  • Useful for exploration as well as confirmation.
  • Usually must be kept short.
  • Reactive effects may occur (e.g., interviewees may try to show only what is socially desirable).
  • Nonresponse to selective items.
  • People filling out questionnaires may not recall important information and may lack self-awareness.
  • Response rate may be low for mail and email questionnaires.
  • Open-ended items may reflect differences in verbal ability, obscuring the issues of interest.
  • Data analysis can be time consuming for open-ended items.
  • Measures need validation.

Weaknesses of questionnaires

  • Usually must be kept short.
  • Reactive effects may occur (e.g., interviewees may try to show only what is socially desirable).
  • Nonresponse to selective items.
  • People filling out questionnaires may not recall important information and may lack self-awareness.
  • Response rate may be low for mail and email questionnaires.
  • Open-ended items may reflect differences in verbal ability, obscuring the issues of interest.
  • Data analysis can be time consuming for open-ended items.
  • Measures need validation.

Conclusion

Green education is the path to green technology, as shown in this paper. We, as a society, have an obligation to better our civilization by making the best use of our tradition, education and entrepreneurship to build a new alternative future, with green technology leading the way in solving the current environmental and economic crisis. According to Driscoll, Appiah-Yeboah, Salib, and Rupert (2007), “Mixed methods designs can provide pragmatic advantages when exploring complex research questions. The qualitative data provide a deep understanding of survey responses, and statistical analysis can provide detailed assessment of patterns of responses” (p. 27).

References

Bornstein, D. (2007). How to change the world: Social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas. New York, NY: Oxford Press.

Creswell, J. W., Plano Clark, V. L. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Duke, N. K., & Mallette, M. H. (2011). Literacy research methodologies (2. ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Driscoll, D. L., Appiah-Yeboah, A., Salib, P., & Rupert, D. (2007). Merging qualitative and quantitative data in mixed methods research: How to and why not. Ecological and Environmental Anthropology (3)1. Pp. 19-28.

Green Education Foundation (2012). About us. Retrieved from http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=141&Itemid=27

Green Technology (2009). Directory of sustainability programs at California community colleges. Retrieved from http://www.green-technology.org/ccsummit-09/directory.html

Gore, A. (2007). The assault on reason. New York, NY: The Penguin Press.

Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2012). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches (5 ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Jonas, H. (2010). Toward a philosophy of technology. In C. Hawks (Ed.), Technology and values: Essential readings (pp. 11-25). Malden, MA: Blackwell/John Wiles and Sons.

McKerchar, M. (2008). Philosophical paradigms, inquiry strategies and knowledge claims: Applying the principles of research design and conduct to taxation. eJournal of Tax Research 6(1). Retrieved from http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/eJTR/2008/1.html#Heading22

Nascimento, E. P. (1999). The ecological crisis: Changing the paradigms. 24 International Faith and Learning Seminar held at Andrews University. Berrien Spring, MI (pp. 197-215)Retrieved from http://www.aiias.edu/ict/vol_24/24cc_197-215.pdf

Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2009). Foundations of mixed methods research: Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches in the social and behavioral sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rowtree, L., Lewis, M., Price, M., & Wyckoff, W. (2006). Diversity amid globalization: World regions, environment, development (3. ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2006, September). Linking research questions to mixed methods data analysis procedures. The Qualitative Report (11)3 pp. 474-498. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR11-3/onwuegbuzie.pdf

U.S. Green Building Council (2012). About USGBC. Retrieved from http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=124


The FPA-BM has as Chairman of the Board Dr. John Peterson, Ph.D. A leading education specialist for over 15 years, Dr. John Peterson is a published author and the creator and implementer of several undergraduate and graduate programs. Emphasizing practical access to learning methodologies, Dr. Peterson has developed curricula focused on online and face-to-face training, optimizing new technologies for the benefit of his students’ achievements in real-world careers. In addition, Dr. Peterson is an experienced consultant to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education regarding the licensing and compliance of new institutions.

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D., FPA-BM Director of Education

Cooperative Learning (CL) is an instructional strategy that contributes to social integration through collaboration and integration of effective small-groups (Bennett & Rolheiser, 2008). The most complex of CL are strategies and the simpler ones are tactics (Bennett & Rolheiser, 2008). Examples of CL strategies are jigsaw, group investigation, team analysis, and academic controversy. Next, think-pair-share, inside outside circles, and the three-step interview are examples of tactics in CL. According to Sharan (2010), CL is “a pedagogy that generates a diversified body of methods of instruction which organize students ‘to work in groups toward a common goal or outcome, or share a common problem or task in such a way that they can succeeded in complete the work through behavior that demonstrates interdependence, while holding individual contributions and efforts accountable”’ (p. 4).

Marzano (2003) said that structured tasks or effective transfer of knowledge are required by the process of learning. Thus, CL groups are small, structured, and heterogeneous. Certainly, students rely on each other to complete the tasks. In addition, students have accountability, and they promote face-to face interaction in a small group. Dyson, Lynehan, and Hastie (2010) described in their research the instructional ecology of CL in elementary physical education classes and identified four main categories: (a) organization and management of student; (b) roles; (c) skill development; and (d) strategizing. Dyson et al. (2010) defined   CL as “an instructional model in which students work together in small, structured, heterogeneous groups to complete group tasks” (p. 113). The definition from Dyson et al. (2010) reinforced the idea of the other authors cited before.

The small groups facilitate the communication between the individuals. In a Canadian elementary school Dyson et al.(2010) wrote that the teacher believed that CL improve students motor skills, developed social skills, helped them work together as a team, and helped others to improve their skills. Interpersonal and small group skills are developed through the tasks that include listening, shared decision making, taking responsibility, giving and receiving feedback, and encouraging each other (Dyson, Linehan, and Hastie, 2010). The process of creating and reorganizing meanings represent the learning process. Effective CL has four steps to follow described by Johnson and Johnson (in Nan & Lee, 2010) or effective CL: (1) specifying the instructional objectives; (2) making pre-instructional decisions; (3) structuring the learning task and positive interdependence; and (4) monitoring and intervening.

Interpersonal Intelligence

The most powerful predictor of whether or not an individual will be successful in life is interpersonal intelligence that CL approach in classroom and school environments (Bennett & Rolheiser, 2008). Nam and Lee (2010) defined interpersonal intelligence as “the ability to understand others’ emotions, belief, and thought” (p. 25).  Learner’s characteristics such as cognitive aspects- intelligence and  learning styles- and affective aspects–attitudes, values, and motivation-are important to active and to interact among the group members (Nam & Lee, 2010). Mutual help and trust are considered positive interdependence and individual accountability found in CL activities (Nam & Lee, 2010). Interpersonal intelligence encompasses the ability to approach personal issues and opinions of others. Students with higher interpersonal intelligence show positive attitudes in a web-based learning environment. Therefore, Nam and Lee (2010) found that in CL teachers should consider the level of students’ interpersonal intelligence.

Effective Group Work

Johnson and Johnson in 1989 (Goodell, Cooke, & Ash) defined the five conditions of a successful CL: (a) positive interdependence; (b) individual accountability; (c) promotive interaction; (d) interpersonal skills; and (e) group processing. Positive interdependence occurs when individuals working together for success; individual accountability when students contributions are necessary to the group and the responsibility for his/her own learning; promotive interaction through the students working together to teach and learn from each other; interpersonal or social skills are used through the acts to help everyone in a group and for everyone to get along; and group processing access the group’s efforts  in terms of their academic performance and collaborative interaction. The group works together with all five conditions in a successful CL. Johnson and Johnson (2009) described conditions for constructive competition, which include “completing the task effectively and perceive one’s participation as being personally worldwide” (p. 370). In some cases, competitiveness is considered positive and some cases negative, which relate to psychological health such as conditional self-esteem and egocentrism. Further, CL has been used for different teachers, subjects, level, cultures, and countries in with effectiveness in almost taken for granted (Johnson & Johnson 2009).

Benefits of CL

According to Shimazoe and Aldrich (2010), CL brings benefits for students in the following areas: (a) promotes deep learning; (b) helps earn high grades; (c) teaches social skills and civic values; (d) teaches higher order thinking skills; (e) promotes personal growth; and (f) develops personal growth. Instructors also get benefits from CL such as giving more time to reflect on how well students are learning and decreasing grade loads. Students and instructors can benefit from CL to express their concerns, problems, and opinions and maintain a positive climate and sense of community. Creating a strong sense of team identity; the actions of helping, encouraging, and supporting are beneficial in engaging the students (Hsiung, 2010). Students who study cooperatively have benefits in their learning performance. CL helps students’ behavior and several studies show that students’ characteristics such as ethnicity and prior knowledge influence their behavior and learning gains (Oortwijn, Boekaerts, Vedder, & Strijbos, 2008).

 Strategies of Communication and Using Cloud Computing

Solomon, Heckendom, and Souble (2012) stated that communication is a critical condition to coordinate an individual’s actions; it must be sure that the right information is exchange between individuals at the same time. The communication network plays a critical role and has a significant effect on the success of the process. The teacher needs to assure that the students clearly understand the clearly the task and communicate effectively with each other. Cloud computing technologies enhance the instructional strategies predicted on constructivism and CL (Denton, 2012). As an example Google Docs and Microsoft Office presented this application like file sharing and online publishing that are supporting the Department of Education through the classrooms.

In this case, students can share files and add information to solve the problem. CL is aligned to cloud technologies, where individuals work together to accomplish the goal. This effectiveness of CL in classrooms has being proven by researchers. Denton (2012) describes some strategies to apply cloud computing: ( a) group projects; (b) peer assessment; (c) student constructed presentations; (d) simultaneous class discussions;(e) collaborate reflection; (f) assisting writing; (g) learning illustrated; (h) class inventory; (i) collaborative rubric construction; and  (j) website publishing. Certainly, technology has made a lot of contribution to education engaging in different subjects.

Conclusion

CL is a great instructional strategy that enhances the performance of students in classroom settings. It contributes to social, intellectual, and personal individuals’ growth. Each type of CL has methods to develop accountability and trust between the members to accomplish their goals. Adding interpersonal intelligence to perceive others feelings, thoughts, and contributions is a significant aspect to develop a successful CL. Positive results, from students using CL, motivate teachers to use this strategy to develop tasks inside the classroom. Communication is a key to coordinate teams and make the members understand each other   the task to be developed. In addition, cloud computing has been applied to help teachers, motivate teams, and engage students in activities that share the technological platform.

References

Bennett, G. & Rolheiser (2001). Beyond Monet: The artful science of instructional integration. Toronto, Ontario: Bookation, Inc.

Denton, D. W. (2012). Enhancing instruction through constructivism, CL, and cloud computing. TechTrends, 56(4), pp. 34-41

Dyson, B. P., Linehan, N. R., & Hastie, P. A. (2010). The ecology of CL in elementary physical education classes. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 29, pp. 113-130.

Goodell, S. L., Cooke, N. K., & Ash, S. L. (2012). CL through in-class team work: An approach to classroom instruction in a life cycle nutrition course. NACTA Journal, pp. 68-75.

Hsiung, C. M. (2010). Identification of dysfunctional CL teams based on student’s academic achievement. Journal of Engineering Education, pp. 45-54.

Johnson, D. W., & Jonhson, R. T. (2009). An educational psychology success story: Social interdependence theory and CL. Educational Researcher, 38 (5), pp. 365-379. doi: 10.3102/0013189×09339057

Marzano, R. J. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexander, VA: ASCD.

Nam, C. W., & Lee, H. (2010). The relationship between student’s interpersonal intelligence and their attitudes toward CL in a web-based environment, 17 (2), pp. 23-35.

Oortwijn, M. B., Boekaerts, M., Vedder, P., & Strijbos, J. W. (2008). Helping behavior during CL and learning gains. The role of the teacher and of pupils’ prior knowledge and ethnic background. Learning and Instruction, 18, pp.146-159.

Sharan, Y. (2010). CL for academic and social gains: Valued pedagogy, problematic practice. European Journal of Education, 45(2), pp. 300-313. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3435.2010.01430.x

Shimazoe, J. & Aldrich, H.  (2010). Group work can be gratifying: Understanding & overcoming resistance to CL. College Teaching, 58, pp. 52-57. doi: 10.1080/87567550903418594

Solomon, M., Heckendorn, R., & Soule T. (2012). A comparison of communication strategies in CL. The fourteenth international conference on genetic and evolutionary computation.GECCo’12. Retrieved from http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2330163.2330185


The FPA-BM has as Director of Education Dr. Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D. Dr. Nilsa, is a consultant, university professor and information analyst. Dr. Nilsa graduated in Business Administration from FACE – UFMG, postgraduate in Industrial Economics – UFMG, Specialization in Information Systems by UNA – Cepederh. She holds a Master in Business Science and Doctorate in Education, concentration in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a consultant for the government and private sector in Brazil, USA and Canada. In addition, Dr. Nilsa taught business in some universities in Brazil. She teaches Business and Education courses for undergraduate and graduate courses in the USA.

 

Communities and Learning Organizations

Communities and Learning Organizations

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education

Building communities of commitment is a great chance to go forward (Chawla & Renesch, 2006).Transforming fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness in a new culture systems. The new way of thinking, feeling, and being, in which recovers the memory of whole systems, cooperation, and creation. Communities bring the new systems worldview, the idea of help each other, and creativity. Building learning organizations (LO) with a nature of commitment that goes beyond people to their organizations. The real learning occurs with the development of the new capabilities in a continuous cycle of theoretical action and practical conceptualization (Chawla & Renesch, 2006).

Changes come from moments of crises, but some learning comes from these changes. The fragmentation of the church is a great example of the changes through the Centuries and the seeds are evident today. In the past, Galileo proposed that the earth is not the center of the universe, and three fundamental theses shift the understand of ourselves and the world: The primacy of the whole involved in three part process such as break the system, study, and understand the whole from the parts; the community nature of the shelf that discovered that at the core of person is pure energy and the network of contractual commitments; and language as generative practice , recognized as tradition of observation and meaning shared by the community (Chawla & Renesch, 2006). In a learning organization, people stand for a vision, and create a type of organization they want to work and they can thrive in a world of increasing interdependency and change. According to Chawla and Renesch (2006) , “a learning organization must be grounded in three foundations : a culture based on transcendent human values of love, wonder, humility, and compassion; a set of practices for generative conversation and coordinated action; and a capacity to see and work with the flow of life as a system” (p. 32).

Learning organizations are opened space to generative conversations and place in which   people inquire into systemic consequences of their actions. Some strategies of learning arise through performance, practice, and process-oriented design. Transactional learners are more conventional, but they add new ideas and make changes to become transformational learners. The cycle of community-building involves practical experimentation, work together, know each other, and apply new knowledge and skills.

Dialogues

Dialogue is a “process central to develop a learning organization” (Chawla & Renesch, 2006, p. 153). In addition, dialogue results in a good conversation; it requires a new way of thinking about and evaluation communication. Dialogues tap also the way to be more reflective of minority cultures or less visible in our organizations. Further, dialogue is a process of a profound openness to the vitality s of real diversity. Some aspects contribute to the dialogue such as readings, a program design focuses on reflections’ spaces; a round place that give people the opportunity to share, listen , and hear; communication about the process of listen , reflection, and slow-down.

A guidance of dialogue include speak from the heart, listen for information or without thinking, allow the silence, suspend assumptions, and so forth. Sometimes people need more alternatives to better performance and other ideas to improve the process such as coaching, mindset, and use of appropriate language are part of learning organizations. To determine excellence performance among the employees, some organizations change to managing people to coaching them. The generative approach of coaching has the potential to introduce and implement new ideas of learning organizations (Chawla & Renesch, 2006).

The use of language by conversations, practices by actions, and the way to understand people as a whole is view as generative coaching. The principles of coaching were listed by Murphy (in Chawla & Renesch, 2006) as relationship (i.e., mutual commitment, trust, respect, and freedom of expression); pragmatism (i.e, outcome, feedback loop); two tracks (i.e., both coach and client are in a learning process); always-already (i.e., four or more things going on in life); and techniques do not work with people. Coaching is a process that establishes a relationship of commitment, trust, respect, and freedom of expression (Chawla & Renesch, 2006). Strategic dialogue creates the opportunity to serve as a “key approach for linking generative conversations and create actions throughout the organizations” (p. 182). The opportunity of change and resolve strategic dilemmas using mindshift: strategic dialogues.

Mastery of Change

An effective LO culture needs to be able to adapt to external changes that affect specific industries. Kanter (in Chawla and Renesch, 2006) states that mastering change is an important aspect for leaders to help an organization understand as today’s business environment is more turbulent than ever. A turbulent business environment means that organizations must be able to adapt to change effectively and efficiently. The LO handbook emphasizes that an LO culture needs to have conditions present in the organization in order to allow for an organization to be able to adapt to turbulent times effectively. Basically, the LO handbook describes what conditions are necessary to adapt to changes. A LO organization needs to emphasize the need for open communication between colleagues.

In order to have this condition the LO will have activities set up periodically to allow an open discussion between departments. All members of an organization need to practice consistent and forthright communication (Stein, 1992). Open communication will allow for ideas flow openly between employees when adapting to change. True communication between all employees is the most effective way to adapt to change as ideas and solutions need to be discussed in order to adapt to changes in turbulent times.


The FPA-BM has as Director of Education Dr. Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D. Dr. Nilsa, is a consultant, university professor and information analyst. Dr. Nilsa graduated in Business Administration from FACE – UFMG, postgraduate in Industrial Economics – UFMG, Specialization in Information Systems by UNA – Cepederh. She holds a Master in Business Science and Doctorate in Education, concentration in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a consultant for the government and private sector in Brazil, USA and Canada. In addition, Dr. Nilsa taught business in some universities in Brazil. She teaches Business and Education courses for undergraduate and graduate courses in the USA.

Six theories of management and their ideal manager

Six theories of management and their ideal manager

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education

Understanding better the concepts of management and its theories evolution, managers and leaders can help their organizations to grow with effectiveness, innovation, and success. Frederic W. Taylor (1865-1915) developed the techniques for scientific management, in which “the systematic study of relationships between people and tasks for the purpose of redesigning the work process to increase efficiency” (Jones & George, 2008, p. 47). It was the way to create the most efficient division of labor on the productive process. The ideal manager in this theory was a controller as Henry Ford with his simplification process of production in his organization. On the other hand, Henry Fayol (1841-1925) developed 14 principles of management such as authority and responsibility, unity of command, line of authority, centralizations, unity of direction, equity, order, initiative, discipline, initiative, remuneration of personnel, stability of tenure of personnel, subordination of individual interests to the common interest, and esprit of corps (Jones & George, 2008). Based in these principles emerged the four basic functions of managers such as plan, control, organize, and command. There are still essential for any survived organization. At the same time, Max Weber (1864-1920) developed the principles of bureaucracy to help Germany industrial manager process and ensure their efficiency and effectiveness (Jones & George, 2008).

The bureaucracy should have the principals that the manager has the formal authority from his/her  position inside the organization; performance hold the positions , not social or personal contacts; each position, its tasks, and its relationships inside the organizations should be clearly specify; authority can be exercised effectively when positions are arranged hierarchically inside the organization; and managers must create rules, procedures, and norms to control behavior within an organization. Next, the study of behavioral management, known as human relations school, it was a study developed by Americans theorists, who wanted to show how the managers needed to behavior to motivate their employees to better perform and to be achieved and committed to the organizations goals (Jones & George, 2008). The experience at the Western Electric Company, called the Hawthorne studies,  investigated the performance of the workers affected by the level of lighting illumination, and found that “each manager’s personal behavior or leadership approach can affect performance” (Jones & George, 2008, p.64). This study demonstrated how feelings, thoughts, and behavior of the team and managers affect job performance.

After the World War II, Douglas McGregor developed two sets of assumptions called theory X and theory Y, in which the attitudes of the workers influence the managers’ behavior. According to theory X, assumptions were made that “the worker is lazy, dislikes work, and will try to do a little possible” (Jones & Gorge, 2008, p. 65). Contrary, theory Y assumes that workers are not lazy, does not dislike work, managers create opportunities for workers to exercise self-direction and take initiate, and they also will do what is good for the organization.  Hewlett-Packard (HP) was founded based on principals of Theory Y that also reflected the approach of Henri Fayol. Furthermore, Jones and George (2008) described the organizational environment theory “the set of forces and conditions that operate beyond on organization’s boundaries but affect a manager’s ability to acquire and utilize resources” (p. 69). In other words, the organization boundaries affect the manager’s ability to acquire and utilize resources to decision-making (Jones & George, 2008).

Tom Burns and G. M. Stalker at Britain and Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch in the United States in 1960 developed the contingency theory, which had the idea that the organizational structures and control systems managers depend of the external environment characteristics (Jones & George, 2008). However, organizations in a stable environment choose the mechanistic structure and organizations in changing environment choose an organic structure (Jones & George, 2008).  Describing the types of the management theories is important to make better decisions and choose the best way to behavior as a manager or leader within organizations. Through the competing values framework (Osland & Turner, 2011) you can better understand the models, its positive and negative side, and what means in each theory. The positive and negative zones also help to understand how to work with the skills and master the process of management. Obviously, the human commitment is an important model to follow by the leader, although others factors are important to balance such as decision-making, innovation and adaptation when is necessary. The leadership style can be adapted and integrated to the type organization and become effective and successful on its performance.

References:

Jones, G. R, & George, J. M. (2008). The evolution of management thought. In a J. E. Bienal (Ed.). Contemporary management (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin Companies, Inc.

Osland, J. S., & Turner, M. E. (2011). Theories of managing people. In a S. Yagan (Ed.). The organizational behavior reader (9th. ed.). Upper Saddle River: NJ: Person Education Inc., Prentice Hall.


The FPA-BM has as Director of Education Dr. Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D. Dr. Nilsa, is a consultant, university professor and information analyst. Dr. Nilsa graduated in Business Administration from FACE – UFMG, postgraduate in Industrial Economics – UFMG, Specialization in Information Systems by UNA – Cepederh. She holds a Master in Business Science and Doctorate in Education, concentration in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a consultant for the government and private sector in Brazil, USA and Canada. In addition, Dr. Nilsa taught business in some universities in Brazil. She teaches Business and Education courses for undergraduate and graduate courses in the USA.

Learning to make changes through technology

Learning to make changes through technology

By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education

Technology has been the agent of change in the world that has affected people in various aspects such as communication, information, education, and business. Supporting business goals, technology has influenced on training and learning and helping companies to gain competitive advantage (Noe, 2010). Cutting costs and time, new technologies deliver online learning and bring benefits to the employees and organizations. Workers can work together from different locations and collaborate with each other. Noe (2010) said “Technology has allowed learning to become a more dynamics process” (p. 299).

Different forms to transfer the process of learning using multimedia, computer-based training (CBT), DVD, CD-Room, laser disk, and interactive can also help companies in different trainings and some of them can be blended with face-to-face classrooms. As an example, Ritz Camera Centers, Capital One, and Nike are using e-learning to improve employees’ performance and enhance their selling skills (Noe, 2010). Although it is very expensive, different types of simulations presented a variety of games that are being used by organizations to train their employees to be effective in decision-making, customer-service, key-process, and culture. In addition, virtual reality and virtual worlds that include a three-dimensional learning experience make more effective and realistic the workers experience (Noe, 2010). Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), iPods, MPB3, and GPS are examples of some mobile technology that help organizations to deliver their training.

Using artificial intelligence, Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) provides instructions for tutoring, coaching, and empowering (Noe, 2010). Organizing knowledge and information and distributing individual and corporate knowledge through the organization, technology such as expert systems, groupware, and Electronic Performance Systems (EPS) are applied for specific problems, improving business processes, and employees. Interactive voice technology, imaging, and training software applications are also making administrative training more efficient and effective (Noe, 2010). According to Noe (2010), Learning Management Systems (LMS) is a technology platform that provides employees, managers, and trainers the ability to perform their activities. LMS is an important human capital management that integrates with all the aspects of human resource function. Noe (2010) wrote that organizations adopt LMS to centralize “management of learning activities, track regulatory compliance, measure training usage, and measure employee performance” (p. 332).

Further, two web 2.0 technologies, Wikis and blogs. Wikis support changes and facilitate training and communication, promote peer teaching, and share knowledge (Currie, 2010). On the other hand, blogs allow employees to voice concerns about work-related matters, and they are easy to administrate their users (Currie, 2010). Currie (2010) stated that blogs are valuable because they facilitate communication posting and commenting become habits. Wikis and blogs also have impact on knowledge management, rapid application development, customer relationship management, collaboration and communication, innovation and training (Andriole, 2010).

Share and organize knowledge, modify and develop application faster, communicate with customers effectively, coordinate discussions and reach people faster, increase innovation, and support traditional training are some examples of these metrics impacts. However, Moran (2011) said that wikis present some problems and are not recommended to be included as reference in doctoral papers: (a) they cannot guarantee the verifiability or expertise of their entries, (b) sometimes vandals create malicious entries that go uncorrected for months, and (c) few editors and contributors use their real name or provide any information about who they are. Finally, the author (Moran, 2011) cited other reasons and examples to reinforce this idea as wikis are not a primal source and some articles may contain errors. Educators want to reduce misinformation and incorrect information coming to the papers, in which wikis and blogs are not an appropriate source of citation and they do not have peer review.


The FPA-BM has as Director of Education Dr. Nilsa Fleury, Ed.D. Dr. Nilsa, is a consultant, university professor and information analyst. Dr. Nilsa graduated in Business Administration from FACE – UFMG, postgraduate in Industrial Economics – UFMG, Specialization in Information Systems by UNA – Cepederh. She holds a Master in Business Science and Doctorate in Education, concentration in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She worked as a consultant for the government and private sector in Brazil, USA and Canada. In addition, Dr. Nilsa taught business in some universities in Brazil. She teaches Business and Education courses for undergraduate and graduate courses in the USA.

Professional Development Training: A Win for the Entire Team

Professional development training is overlooked and underappreciated as an employee retention and recruitment tool. In fact, it’s often one of the first things to go when budgets get cut. Here are some reasons why investing in the growth and development of employees is a smart idea that is evergreen.

Offering professional development training programs allows employees to perform better and prepares them for positions of greater responsibility. But it can also help employers attract top job candidates, retain their best workers and identify future leaders. Moreover, ongoing professional development is very appealing to many employees today who are looking to keep their skills relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Investing in each of your workers is beneficial to the whole organization and can boost the bottom line. Following are six rewards you can realize if you support or provide professional development training initiatives:

1. You increase the collective knowledge of your team

Encouraging your employees to train in relevant subjects and applications — an advanced course in a software program they use daily, for example — can have an immediate effect on productivity. Professional development can also help raise overall staff expertise when employees with vastly different backgrounds and levels of experience are encouraged to share information.

Idea: Consider supporting continuing education by offering tuition reimbursement or covering the costs associated with pursuing industry certifications. Paying for employees to take a course offered by a local university or technical school can be a simple but invaluable way to help them grow their skills. You also might invest in a group membership to an e-learning training site, or simply allow employees to view educational webinars during working hours.

2. You boost employees’ job satisfaction

When staff members can do their jobs more effectively, they become more confident. This leads to greater job satisfaction and improved employee retention. There are a range of low-cost professional development training options to choose from, including mentorships, job shadowing and cross training.

Idea: Leverage the expertise you already have within your office. A mentor, for instance, can serve as guide and teacher and help mentees sharpen both their soft skills and technical abilities. Gaining practical knowledge, institutional insights and hands-on guidance is a highly effective way for mentees to become more valuable and versatile employees.

3. You make your company more appealing

When you offer training and development opportunities, you’re building a positive reputation as an employer that cares about its workforce and strives to employ only the best. Your customers and clients will benefit, too, from the high level of efficient service they receive. And keep in mind that your employees are your brand ambassadors. When they attend conferences and seminars, they represent and reflect all that’s good about your organization.

Idea: To encourage knowledge sharing after events, have brownbag lunches or ask team members to lead a meeting to share what they learned at an industry conference. Beyond helping the employee sharpen his or her presentation and teaching skills, these gatherings can boost the group’s knowledge base and help establish a greater sense of camaraderie.

Competitive compensation is critical in the tug-of-war companies are waging over skilled professionals today. 

4. You attract the right kind of in-demand candidates

Do you want to attract the most highly driven and career-focused candidates when you post a job opening? Offer them more than just a competitive salary and benefits; paint an enticing picture of how they can grow professionally or expand the career avenues available to them if they come to work for you.

Idea: In job postings and during interviews, actively promote that your company does all it can to help employees develop and refine their skills. But you should also play up your company’s learning culture and commitment to professional development training when meeting with potential employees at career fairs, conferences, networking lunches and other industry events.

5. You aid your retention strategy

Your workers want to feel like they’re appreciated and making a difference. But they also want to feel like they’re gaining expertise and becoming more well-rounded. If your team members don’t feel challenged, or they sense stagnation in their careers, they’ll look for advancement opportunities elsewhere. Lifelong learning exposes your employees to new experiences and keeps them engaged in their work. Professional development training helps build and maintain enthusiasm, but it also inspires loyalty.

Idea: Make sure employees know that you care about their evolving professional interests and objectives. Check in regularly and communicate your desire to help them build a long-term careerwith your firm. Giving high-potential team members challenging “stretch assignments” along with ongoing professional development and skill-building opportunities is a winning combination for improved retention.

6. You make succession planning easier

Do you feel like some employees clearly fall into the management material category? Leadership development programs are tools for grooming future leaders for your organization. If you’d like to be able to promote staff to managerial positions in the future, targeted training now can help you ensure your best and brightest are prepared to move up.

Idea: Sending top employees to accredited leadership training seminars and conferences can be a great move. But it’s also important to expose promising candidates for executive- and management-level roles to different parts of your organization. These individuals may even work for other functions temporarily under the tutelage of seasoned leaders in those departments. The purpose of this type of professional development training is to help future leaders gain a more complete understanding of how the business operates, and to acquire a broad set of skills that will help them guide the firm through change.

Finally, set a good example. Reinforce your commitment to professional development training by seeking educational opportunities for yourself. Research from the Center for Creative Leadership finds that it’s increasingly important for company leaders to take charge of their own learning. Plus, your promotion of professional development training to employees will be more impactful if it’s clear that you practice what you preach.


Source: https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/management-tips/professional-development-training-a-win-for-the-entire-team

10 Benefits of Professional Development

The budget for professional development and training would always be one of the first things when a company or an organization chooses to cut costs, but the truth is, this practice is counterproductive and costly. Do you ask why? Well, put in mind that professional development can help business owners and managers with attracting and retaining the top candidates, identify future leaders and ultimately boost bottom line. Investing in continuous education for workers is beneficial not just to staff members, but also to the organization as a whole. Here are rewards that you can reap from professional development.

1. It Can Sharpen Your Knowledge, Especially If You Are Already Feeling Rusty.

Do you remember your school days when you studied for hours and memorized technical information just to forget it after the exams? What’s worse, years later you are asked by your employer about the same concept, and you draw a blank. To avoid this predicament, you should refresh your knowledge through seminars and events that can help you stay updated on the knowledge obtained when you were a student and on the hands-on skills you have acquired on the job. As for your team, professional development increases their collective knowledge. As you can see, motivating your employees to train in pertinent applications and subjects that they use on a daily basis can have an immediate impact on the overall productivity of your organization. Moreover, it can also help raise overall expertise of your staff members when they have vastly different backgrounds.

2. It Develops Your Skills And Offers The Opportunity To Learn Something New.

Whether you are wanting to grow your current position or looking for a new role, taking professional development courses will provide you with a competitive edge. While at it, you will find out that these programs are an easy way to gain important knowledge quickly.

3. It Makes Employees Feel Satisfied.

Your employees would become more confident when they perform their jobs effectively, which leads to higher rates of retention and greater job satisfaction. So, you should offer them some opportunities to develop professionally, such as cross training, job shadowing and mentorships. This way, they will become more versatile and prominent players in your organization.

4. It Keeps You Up To Date And Guides You Away From Losing Touch With Your Industry Niche.

Are you up to speed with innovative best practices, labor market information and changing regulations? Well, professional development helps you stay informed about your sector and shows employers that you are constantly dedicated and engaged with your career.

5. It Enhances Business Reputation.

Of course, you want to attract more high-caliber job candidates when you place some ads for an opening and want your clients to know that you are employing highly skilled professionals. By providing professional development programs, you can assure yourself to achieve this and build a positive reputation as an employer who strives to employ only the best and cares about its people. Also, keep in mind that your employees are your brand ambassadors, so when they attend seminars and conferences, they reflect and represent all the good things about your company.

6. It Allows You To Meet New Contacts And Expand Your Network.

It is easy to get stuck in a social circle, but branching out will expose you to new ideas and provides you with the opportunity to meet other people who might be able to help with your career in the future. You can take advantage of networking events and workshops, where you will be acquainted with several notable individuals in your industry.

7. It Attracts More Qualified Candidates And Bolsters Your Retention Strategy.

Even the most prospective employees understand that professional training and certifications will be able to net them promotions, raises and higher salaries. If a job applicant knows that there is a potential to improve his skill level and compensation while working for your organization, it will be more likely that you are going to draw in top candidates. You should see to it that your employees would feel like they are making a difference, feeling challenged and not sensing stagnation in their careers, or else they will look for advancement opportunities elsewhere. Life-long learning will expose them to new experiences and will keep them engaged in their jobs. Having the ability to build this form of enthusiasm among your staff members will eventually result in a decrease in employee turnover.

8. It Re-Energizes Ideas For Your Projects.

Working on the same project for a long period of time can become lackluster. With professional development and training, you can increase your creativity and dedication, as well as reconnect with your passion for a specific industry niche.

9. It Makes Succession Planning Easier.

Mentorship programs and leadership training are great tools for grooming future leaders for your company. If you are planning to promote a staff member to a managerial position in the future, facilitating some targeted training today can help with ensuring he is prepared.

10. It Offers More Benefits To The Organization As a Whole.

Professional development helps maximize staff potential when you link learning to actions, as well as theory to practice. For the human resource department, they will be able to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) objectives for training to be more closely associated with business needs. Staff development also leads to better morale and a motivated workforce, helping provide a positive brand image to your organization. Also, it adds value and helps staff members to consciously apply learning to their responsibilities and the development of the organization.

As professionals are becoming more specialized and as businesses are narrowing down their core offerings, the importance of being up to speed with the latest developments has also become increasingly important. Professional development, whether it is through in-house training, online class or live conference, is a great way to stay competitive in the ever-changing world of business. Does is your company or organization using such a program? Have you seen it paying off?

Best Business Jobs for 2018

Looking for a Job?

 

Statistician

#1 in Best Business Jobs
Statistics is the science of using data to make decisions. This is relevant in almost all fields of work and there are many opportunities for employment.

  • 12,400 Projected Jobs
  • $80,500 Median Salary
  • 1.4% Unemployment Rate

Actuary

#2 in Best Business Jobs
Are you more of a risk calculator than a risk taker? Consider working as an actuary. These professionals are experts in uncertainty, using mathematics, statistics and financial theory to measure, manage and mitigate financial risk.

  • 5,300 Projected Jobs
  • $100,610 Median Salary
  • 1.4% Unemployment Rate

Mathematician

#3 in Best Business Jobs
Mathematicians may have careers as varied as mathematics itself, working everywhere from classrooms to government buildings. While some mathematicians work primarily with theory, others use theory to solve everyday problems.

  • 900 Projected Jobs
  • $105,810 Median Salary
  • 1.4% Unemployment Rate

Cost Estimator

#4 in Best Business Jobs
From the cost of your cell phone to that of government programs, cost estimators analyze how much products and services should cost. Cost estimators also analyze the current cost of something, in addition to why a product or service costs more or less than previous estimates determined.

  • 23,000 Projected Jobs
  • $61,790 Median Salary
  • 0.6% Unemployment Rate

Business Operations Manager

#5 in Best Business Jobs
Business operations managers are a business’s go-to person. These managers assist companies of all sizes with hiring, negotiating contacts, budgeting and strategic decision-making regarding consumer purchases.

  • 205,900 Projected Jobs
  • $99,310 Median Salary
  • 1.7% Unemployment Rate

Market Research Analyst

#6 in Best Business Jobs
Knowing what customers want is essential in running a business, and market research analysts help companies do just that. Typical responsibilities include monitoring and forecasting marketing and sales trends, measuring the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies, gathering and analyzing data, and preparing and presenting reports to both clients and management.

  • 21,800 Projected Jobs
  • $62,560 Median Salary
  • 3.8% Unemployment Rate

Accountant

#7 in Best Business Jobs
Accountants are at your service during tax season and beyond, preparing taxes, performing audits and offering consulting.

  • 140,300 Projected Jobs
  • $68,150 Median Salary
  • 2.5% Unemployment Rate

Financial Advisor

#8 in Best Business Jobs
Financial advisors counsel clients on their finances. Their responsibilities include creating budgets and retirement plans, providing investing advice and even investing on behalf of a client.

  • 39,300 Projected Jobs
  • $90,530 Median Salary
  • 1.5% Unemployment Rate

Financial Manager

#9 in Best Business Jobs
If financial managers were doctors, the financial success of their organization would be a testimony to their treatment. These business professionals create financial reports, coordinate investment activity and develop long-term financial strategies for companies.

  • 108,400 Projected Jobs
  • $121,750 Median Salary
  • 2.8% Unemployment Rate

Operations Research Analyst

#10 in Best Business Jobs
From data mining to mathematical modeling, operations research analysts use advanced techniques to help businesses run in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

  • 31,300 Projected Jobs
  • $79,200 Median Salary
  • 3.3% Unemployment Rate

Compliance Officer

#11 in Best Business Jobs
Employment in this job spans across many industries, but generally the duties are the same: These performance auditors ensure ethics are practiced, laws are followed and regulations are met.

  • 23,700 Projected Jobs
  • $66,540 Median Salary
  • 0.8% Unemployment Rate

HR Specialist

#12 in Best Business Jobs
If you have a job, you’ve likely interacted with an HR specialist. These human resources personnel recruit, screen, interview and place employees, in addition to taking care of employee relations tasks.

  • 32,500 Projected Jobs
  • $59,020 Median Salary
  • 2.2% Unemployment Rate

Loan Officer

#13 in Best Business Jobs
From car loans to mortgages to business loans, loans are an inevitable part of the daily lives of Americans. A loan officer is a major player in the loan application and approval process. These officers evaluate, authorize or recommend loan application approval for individuals and businesses.

  • 36,500 Projected Jobs
  • $63,650 Median Salary
  • 2.5% Unemployment Rate

Medical and Health Services Manager

#14 in Best Business Jobs
Health care systems are like well-oiled machines, and it’s the job of medical and health services managers to keep all the parts running. These professionals might hire staff members, manage budgets, create goals for a department and increase the efficiency of health services, as well as manage a practice for a group of doctors, manage a medical facility or manage a department.

  • 69,800 Projected Jobs
  • $96,540 Median Salary
  • 3.3% Unemployment Rate

Financial Analyst

#15 in Best Business Jobs
Buy? Sell? It’s a financial analyst’s job to recommend what clients should do with their investments, in addition to compiling reports that explain their investment analyses.

  • 32,100 Projected Jobs
  • $81,760 Median Salary
  • 2.1% Unemployment Rate

Management Analyst

#16 in Best Business Jobs
Time really is money. Management analysts work with companies to improve overall efficiency, proposing plans to increase profitability, reduce costs and increase revenue.

  • 96,500 Projected Jobs
  • $81,330 Median Salary
  • 3.9% Unemployment Rate

Fundraiser

#17 in Best Business Jobs
Educational institutions, health research foundations, political campaigns and other nonprofit organizations rely on the help of fundraisers to raise money for their operations.

  • 13,200 Projected Jobs
  • $54,130 Median Salary
  • 4.2% Unemployment Rate

Social and Community Service Manager

#18 in Best Business Jobs
A profession that takes commitment and passion, social and community service management involves working with specific groups or communities to address issues.

  • 23,100 Projected Jobs
  • $64,680 Median Salary
  • 3.3% Unemployment Rate

Logistician

#19 in Best Business Jobs
A logistician is involved in every aspect of a product’s life, including design, purchase, transportation, inventory and warehousing.

  • 10,300 Projected Jobs
  • $74,170 Median Salary
  • 3.8% Unemployment Rate

Meeting, Convention and Event Planner

#20 in Best Business Jobs
If you’ve ever been impressed by a well-organized and informative convention or event, you have a talented meeting, convention and event planner to thank for that. These professionals organize things like the event”s goal, time, date, budget, venue,  transportation and activities.

  • 11,800 Projected Jobs
  • $47,350 Median Salary
  • 4.6% Unemployment Rate

Credit Counselor

#21 in Best Business Jobs
Credit counselors help customers address their debt, both over the phone and face-to-face.

  • 5,300 Projected Jobs
  • $44,380 Median Salary
  • 2.5% Unemployment Rate

Receptionist

#22 in Best Business Jobs
A receptionist is often the first person you meet when entering an office or business. He or she ensures an office runs smoothly by welcoming visitors and answering calls. While this job can serve as a stepping stone into an organization, it is also critical to the operation of a workplace.

  • 95,700 Projected Jobs
  • $27,920 Median Salary
  • 5.0% Unemployment Rate

Customer Service Representative

#23 in Best Business Jobs
Customer service representatives take care of a customer”s needs online and over the phone. Patience is important for this job and educations levels range depending on the product type. Most companies may provide basic product training as well.

  • 136,000 Projected Jobs
  • $32,300 Median Salary
  • 5.0% Unemployment Rate

Executive Assistant

#24 in Best Business Jobs
The duties of an executive assistant can be far more involved than those of an administrative assistant. Executive assistants complete important office management tasks and prepare and analyze reports.

  • -119,100 Projected Jobs
  • $55,860 Median Salary
  • 3.5% Unemployment Rate

Bookkeeping Accounting and Audit Clerk

#25 in Best Business Jobs
Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks take care of an organization’s financial records, documenting financial transactions and keeping statements up-to-date.

  • -23,500 Projected Jobs
  • $38,390 Median Salary
  • 2.5% Unemployment Rate

Source: https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-business-jobs

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10 Best Job Interview Tips for Jobseekers

When you have successfully mastered the dual arts of how to make a resume and how make a cover letter, and you begin receiving requests for interviews, it’s time to understand how to succeed in the job interview so that you are ever closer to your goal of obtaining one or more job offers. This article focuses on the ten most important job interviewing tips for jobseekers.

  1. Conduct Research on the Employer, Hiring Manager, and Job Opportunity

Success in a job interview starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on the jobseeker’s part. You should understand the employer, the requirements of the job, and the background of the person (or people) interviewing you. The more research you conduct, the more you’ll understand the employer, and the better you’ll be able to answer interview questions. Scour the organization’s website and other published materials, search engines, research tools, and ask questions about the company in your network of contacts.

  1. Review Common Interview Questions and Prepare Your Responses

Another key to interview success is preparing responses to expected interview questions. First, ask the hiring manager as to the type of interview to expect. Will it be one-on-one or in a group? Will it be with one person, or will you meet several members of the organization? Your goal is to try to determine what you’ll be asked and to compose detailed yet concise responses that focus on specific examples and accomplishments.

A good tool for remembering your responses is to put them into a story form that you can tell in the interview. No need to memorize responses (in fact, it’s best not to), but do develop talking points. There are excellent tools available to help you with interview questions and responses. Also, consider using the STAR Interviewing Technique.

  1. Dress for Success

Plan out a wardrobe that fits the organization and its culture, striving for the most professional appearance you can accomplish. Remember that it’s always better to be overdressed than under and to wear clothing that fits and is clean and pressed. Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum. Try not to smoke or eat right before the interview and if possible, brush your teeth or use mouthwash.

  1. Arrive on Time, Relaxed and Prepared for the Interview

There is no excuse ever for arriving late to an interview. Short of a disaster, strive to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview to complete additional paperwork and allow yourself time to get settled. Arriving a bit early is also a chance to observe the dynamics of the workplace.

The day before the interview, pack up extra copies of your resume or CV and reference list. If you have a portfolio or samples of your work, bring those along too. Finally, remember to pack several pens and a pad of paper to jot notes. Finally, as you get to the offices, shut off your cell phone. (And if you were chewing gum, get rid of it.)

  1. Make Good First Impressions

A cardinal rule of interviewing is to be polite and offer warm greetings to everyone you meet” from the parking attendant to the receptionist to the hiring manager. Employers often are curious how job applicants treat staff members” and your job offer could easily be derailed if you’re rude or arrogant to any of the staff. When it’s time for the interview, keep in mind that first impressions” the impression interviewers get in the first few seconds of meeting you” can make or break an interview.

Make a strong first impression by dressing well (see #3), arriving early (see #4), and when greeting your interviewer, stand, smile, make eye contact, and offer a firm but not bone-crushing handshake.

Remember that having a positive attitude and expressing enthusiasm for the job and employer are vital in the initial stages of the interview; studies show that hiring managers make critical decisions about job applicants in the first 20 minutes of the interview.

  1. Be Authentic, Upbeat, Focused, Confident, Candid, and Concise

Once the interview starts, the key to success is the quality and delivery of your responses. Your goal should always be authenticity, responding truthfully to interview questions. At the same time, your goal is to get to the next step, so you’ll want to provide focused responses that showcase your skills, experience, and fit with the job and the employer. Provide solid examples of solutions and accomplishments but keep your responses short and to the point.

By preparing responses to common interview questions (see #2), you’ll ideally avoid long, rambling responses that bore interviewers. Always attempt to keep your interview responses short and to the point. Finally, no matter how much an interviewer might bait you, never badmouth a previous employer, boss, or co-worker. The interview is about you and making your case that you are the ideal candidate for the job.

  1. Remember the Importance of Body Language

While the content of your interview responses is paramount, poor body language can be a distraction at best” or a reason not to hire you at worst. Effective forms of body language include smiling, eye contact, solid posture, active listening, and nodding. Detrimental forms of body language include slouching, looking off in the distance, playing with a pen, fidgeting in a chair, brushing back your hair, touching your face, chewing gum, or mumbling.

  1. Ask Insightful Questions

Studies continually show that employers make a judgment about an applicant’s interest in the job by whether or not the interviewee asks questions. Thus, even if the hiring manager was thorough in his or her discussions about the job opening and what is expected, you must ask a few questions. This shows that you have done your research and that you are curious. The smart jobseeker prepares questions to ask days before the interview, adding any additional queries that might arise from the interview.

  1. Sell Yourself and then Close the Deal

The most qualified applicant is not always the one who is hired; the winning candidate is often the jobseeker who does the best job responding to interview questions and showcasing his or her fit with the job, department, and organization. Some liken the job interview to a sales call. You are the salesperson” and the product you are selling to the employer is your ability to fill the organization’s needs, solve its problems, propel its success.

Finally, as the interview winds down, ask about the next steps in the process and the timetable in which the employer expects to use to make a decision about the position.

  1. Thank Interviewer(s) in Person, by Email, or Postal Mail

Common courtesy and politeness go far in interviewing; thus, the importance of thanking each person who interviews you should come as no surprise. Start the process while at the interview, thanking each person who interviewed you before you leave. Writing thank-you emails or notes shortly after the interview will not get you the job offer, but doing so will certainly give you an edge over any of the other finalists who didn’t bother to send thank-you notes.

Final Thoughts on Job Interview Success

Succeeding in job interviews takes research, practice, and persistence. The more effort you put into your interview preparation, the more success you’ll see in obtaining job offers especially if you remember and follow these ten job interviewing tips.

Source: https://www.livecareer.com/career/advice/interview/job-interview-tips

 

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How to Conduct an Effective Job Interview

The virtual stack of resumes in your inbox is winnowed and certain candidates have passed the phone screen. Next step: in-person interviews. How should you use the relatively brief time to get to know — and assess — a near stranger? How many people at your firm should be involved? How can you tell if a candidate will be a good fit? And finally, should you really ask questions like: “What’s your greatest weakness?”

What the Experts Say
As the employment market improves and candidates have more options, hiring the right person for the job has become increasingly difficult. “Pipelines are depleted and more companies are competing for top talent,” says Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at global executive search firm Egon Zehnder and author of It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best. Applicants also have more information about each company’s selection process than ever before. Career websites like Glassdoor have “taken the mystique and mystery” out of interviews, says John Sullivan, an HR expert, professor of management at San Francisco State University, and author of 1000 Ways to Recruit Top Talent. If your organization’s interview process turns candidates off, “they will roll their eyes and find other opportunities,” he warns. Your job is to assess candidates but also to convince the best ones to stay. Here’s how to make the interview process work for you — and for them.

Prepare your questions
Before you meet candidates face-to-face, you need to figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a new hire so that you’re asking the right questions during the interview. Begin this process by “compiling a list of required attributes” for the position, suggests Fernández-Aráoz. For inspiration and guidance, Sullivan recommends looking at your top performers. What do they have in common? How are they resourceful? What did they accomplish prior to working at your organization? What roles did they hold? Those answers will help you create criteria and enable you to construct relevant questions.

Reduce stress
Candidates find job interviews stressful because of the many unknowns. What will my interviewer be like? What kinds of questions will he ask? How can I squeeze this meeting into my workday? And of course: What should I wear? But “when people are stressed they do not perform as well,” says Sullivan. He recommends taking preemptive steps to lower the candidate’s cortisol levels. Tell people in advance the topics you’d like to discuss so they can prepare. Be willing to meet the person at a time that’s convenient to him or her. And explain your organization’s dress code. Your goal is to “make them comfortable” so that you have a productive, professional conversation.

Involve (only a few) others
When making any big decision, it’s important to seek counsel from others so invite a few trusted colleagues to help you interview. “Monarchy doesn’t work. You want to have multiple checks” to make sure you hire the right person, Fernández-Aráoz explains. “But on the other hand, extreme democracy is also ineffective” and can result in a long, drawn-out process. He recommends having three people interview the candidate: “the boss, the boss’ boss, and a senior HR person or recruiter.” Peer interviewers can also be “really important,” Sullivan adds, because they give your team members a say in who gets the job. “They will take more ownership of the hire and have reasons to help that person succeed,” he says.

Assess potential
Budget two hours for the first interview, says Fernández-Aráoz. That amount of time enables you to “really assess the person’s competency and potential.” Look for signs of the candidate’s “curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination.” Sullivan says to “assume that the person will be promoted and that they will be a manager someday. The question then becomes not only can this person do the job today, but can he or she do the job a year from now when the world has changed?” Ask the candidate how he learns and for his thoughts on where your industry is going. “No one can predict the future, but you want someone who is thinking about it every day,” Sullivan explains.

Ask for real solutions
Don’t waste your breath with absurd questions like: What are your weaknesses? “You might as well say, ‘Lie to me,’” says Sullivan. Instead try to discern how the candidate would handle real situations related to the job. After all, “How do you hire a chef? Have them cook you a meal,” he says. Explain a problem your team struggles with and ask the candidate to walk you through how she would solve it. Or describe a process your company uses, and ask her to identify inefficiencies. Go back to your list of desired attributes, says Fernández-Aráoz. If you’re looking for an executive who will need to influence a large number of people over whom he won’t have formal power, ask: “Have you ever been in a situation where you had to persuade other people who were not your direct reports to do something? How did you do it? And what were the consequences?”

Consider “cultural fit,” but don’t obsess
Much has been made about the importance of “cultural fit” in successful hiring. And you should look for signs that “the candidate will be comfortable” at your organization, says Fernández-Aráoz. Think about your company’s work environment and compare it to the candidate’s orientation. Is he a long-term planner or a short-term thinker? Is he collaborative or does he prefer working independently? But, says Sullivan, your perception of a candidate’s disposition isn’t necessarily indicative of whether he can acclimate to a new culture. “People adapt,” he says. “What you really want to know is: can they adjust?”

Sell the job
If the meeting is going well and you believe that the candidate is worth wooing, spend time during the second half of the interview selling the role and the organization. “If you focus too much on selling at the beginning, it’s hard to be objective,” says Fernández-Aráoz. But once you’re confident in the candidate, “tell the person why you think he or she is a good fit,” he recommends. Bear in mind that the interview is a mutual screening process. “Make the process fun,” says Sullivan. Ask them if there’s anyone on the team they’d like to meet. The best people to sell the job are those who “live it,” he explains. “Peers give an honest picture of what the organization is like.”

Principles to Remember

Do:

  • Lower your candidates’ stress levels by telling them in advance the kinds of questions you plan to ask
  • Ask behavioral and situational questions
  • Sell the role and the organization once you’re confident in your candidate

Don’t:

  • Forget to do pre-interview prep — list the attributes of an ideal candidate and use it to construct relevant questions
  • Involve too many other colleagues in the interviews — multiple checks are good, but too many people can belabor process
  • Put too much emphasis on “cultural fit” —  remember, people adapt

Case study #1: Provide relevant, real-life scenarios to reveal how candidates think
The vast majority of hires at Four Kitchens, the web design firm in Austin, TX, are through employee referrals. So in November, when Todd Ross Nienkerk, the company’s founder and CEO, had an opening for an account manager, he had a hunch about who should get the job. “It was somebody who’d been a finalist for a position here years ago,” says Todd. We’ll call her Deborah. “We kept her in mind and when this job opened, she was the first person we called.”

Even though Deborah was a favored candidate, she again went through the company’s three-step interview process. The first focused on skills. When Four Kitchens interviews designers or coders, it typically asks applicants to provide a portfolio of work. “We ask them to talk us through their process. We’re not grilling them, but we want to know how they think and we want to see their personal communication style.” But for the account manager role, Todd took a slightly different tack. Before the interview, he and the company’s head of business development put together a job description and then came up with questions based on the relevant responsibilities. They started with questions like: What are things you look for in a good client? What are red flags in a client relationship? How do you deal with stress?

Then, Todd presented Deborah with a series of redacted client emails that represented a cross-section of day-to-day communication: some were standard requests for status updates; others involved serious contract disputes and pointed questions. “We said, ‘Pretend you work here. Talk us through how you’d handle this.’ It put her on the spot, but frankly, this is what the job entails.”

After a successful first round, Deborah moved on to the second phase, the team interview. In this instance, she met with a project manager, a designer, and two developers. “These are an opportunity for applicants to find out what it’s like to work here,” says Todd. “But the biggest reason we do it is to ensure that everyone is involved in the process and feels a sense of ownership over the hire.”

The final stage was the partner interview, during which Todd asked Deborah questions about career goals and the industry. “It was also an opportunity for her to ask us tough questions about where our company is headed,” he says.

Deborah got the job, and started earlier this month.

Case study #2: Make the candidate comfortable and sell the job
When Mimi Gigoux, the EVP of human resources at Criteo, the French ad-tech company, interviews a job candidate, she looks for signs of “intellect, open-mindedness, and passion” both for the company and for the role. “Technical expertise can be taught on the job, but you can’t teach passion, drive, and creativity,” says Mimi, who is based in Silicon Valley.

About two months ago, Mimi opened a requisition for a new member of her team. She was particularly interested in one of the applicants: a person who had previously run talent operations at several top companies in the Bay Area. We’ll call him Bryan.

Before the interview, her team communicated with Bryan about the kinds of questions Mimi planned to ask. “I don’t believe in ‘tough interviews,’” she says. “If candidates perceive a hostile environment, they go into self-preservation mode.” And when Bryan came in for the interview, she did everything she could to make him comfortable. She started by asking him questions about his hobbies and interests, and Bryan told her about recent trips he had taken to Nepal and Australia. “It told me that he was open and intrigued by different cultures”— a characteristic she deemed critical for the recruiting role.

Mimi then moved on to past professional experience. Her aim, she says, was “to find out what inspired him to move from one job to the next.” She also asked behavioral-based questions. “I wanted to see how he identified patterns and problems, how he has managed difficult personalities in the past, and how he worked cross-functionally,” she says.

Mimi offered the job to Bryan; he accepted but later had to retract for personal reasons.

Source: https://hbr.org/2015/01/how-to-conduct-an-effective-job-interview

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The importance of continuing professional development

The importance of continuing professional development

We are often asked to describe the importance of continuing professional development. Why is CPD important and why does it matter?

  • You’ve finished your degree. Check.
  • You’ve completed all your practical experience requirements so that you can graduate. Check.
  • Your new job is all lined up and ready to go. Mission accomplished.

It’s fair to say the first part of your mission is well and truly accomplished.  Sit back and give yourself a pat on the back. But don’t take too long about it or you’ll be lagging behind your colleagues. The same is true for professionals with many years experience in the workplace.

Continuing professional development is important because it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career.

The ultimate outcome of well planned continuing professional development is that it safeguards the public, the employer, the professional and the professional’s career.

Well crafted and delivered continuing professional development is important because it delivers benefits to the individual, their profession and the public.

  • CPD ensures  your capabilities keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field.
  • CPD ensures that you maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills you need to deliver a professional service to your customers, clients and the community.
  • CPD ensures that you and your knowledge stay relevant and up to date. You are more aware of the changing trends and directions in your profession. The pace of change is probably faster than it’s ever been – and this is a feature of the new normal that we live and work in. If you stand still you will get left behind, as the currency of your knowledge and skills becomes out-dated.
  • CPD helps you continue to make a meaningful contribution to your team. You become more effective in the workplace. This assists you to advance in your career and move into new positions where you can lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others.
  • CPD helps you to stay interested and interesting.  Experience is a great teacher, but it does mean that we tend to do what we have done before.  Focused CPD opens you up to new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas.
  • CPD can deliver a deeper understanding of what it means to be a professional, along with a greater appreciation of the implications and impacts of your work.
  • CPD helps advance the body of knowledge and technology within your profession
  • CPD can lead to increased public confidence in individual professionals and their profession as a whole
  • Depending on the profession – CPD contributes to  improved protection and quality of life, the environment, sustainability, property and the economy.  This particularly applies to high risk areas, or specialised practice areas which often prove impractical to monitor on a case by case basis.

The importance of continuing professional development should not be underestimated – it is a career-long obligation for practicing professionals.

Sometimes it is mandated by professional organisations or required by codes of conduct or codes of ethics. But at it’s core it is a personal responsibility of professionals to keep their knowledge and skills current so that they can deliver the high quality of service that safeguards the public and meets the expectations of customers and the requirements of their profession.

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7 Tips for Networking

Networking goes hand in hand with running a successful business.

But many of us dread walking into a room and introducing ourselves to a bunch of strangers.

I’ve been asked to share my best networking tips at a meeting today of the National Association of Women Business Owners in Philadelphia. Here are the most valuable tips I’ve come across – and put to work myself – over the years:

1. Resist the urge to arrive late. It’s almost counter-intuitive, but showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter – and people won’t have settled into groups yet. It’s easier to find other people who don’t have conversation partners yet.

2. Ask easy questions. Don’t wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you. To get the conversation started, simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?” Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies. If you’re not a natural extrovert, you’re probably a very good listener – and listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.

3. Ditch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don’t need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with – or partner with – people whose company they enjoy.  

If a potential customer does ask you about your product or service, be ready with an easy description of your company. Before the event, create a mental list of recent accomplishments, such as a new client you’ve landed or project you’ve completed. That way, you can easily pull an item off that list and into the conversation.

4. Share your passion. Win people over with your enthusiasm for your product or service. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you were inspired to create your company. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious, too. When you get other people to share their passion, it creates a memorable two-way conversation.

5. Smile. It’s a simple – but often overlooked – rule of engagement. By smiling, you’ll put your nervous self at ease, and you’ll also come across as warm and inviting to others. Remember to smile before you enter the room, or before you start your next conversation. And if you’re really dreading the event? Check the negative attitude at the door.

6. Don’t hijack the conversation. Some people who dislike networking may overcompensate by commandeering the discussion. Don’t forget: The most successful networkers (think of those you’ve met) are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.

7. Remember to follow up. It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223468

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New Ideas for Upping Your Networking

It’s no secret—networking is not easy. Even if you’re the biggest people-person out there, you can still miss out on valuable connections if you’re not playing the game right.

So, to help everyone out, we’ve gathered some of the best ideas from around the web for getting more out of every networking situation you find yourself in.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/66-new-ideas-for-upping-your-networking-game

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Investing in yourself

Investing in yourself is one of the best return on investments you can have. Whether it’s investing in learning a new skill, developing yourself personally or professionally, tapping into your creativity or hiring a coach, you need to give to yourself first before you can give to others. It is our responsibility to take the time to develop our gifts and talents, so we can best serve others. Investing in yourself is an example of self-love, you must love yourself before you can expect others to love you.

Why is investing in yourself so powerful?

Investing in yourself, sends a powerful message to yourself and the world. The message is:

The value and potential that I possess, is important enough to me that I’m going to give it the energy, space and time to grow and create results.

When you’re willing to say yes, and take that leap of faith and invest in yourself, the universe will provide you with amazing rewards.

I would like to share some incredible ways that you can invest in yourself – the great news is they don’t all require money.

Top 10 Ways to Invest in Yourself

1. Set goals. Learn how to set personal and business goals for yourself. If you’re not taking the time to set goals it’s like driving in the dark with the headlights turned off. You will not know where you’re going and you will waste precious time. Be sure to also set some time frames in which to meet them. Your goals should be SMART goals -Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

2. Honor your intuition. You can show yourself love by trusting your gut and honoring the message that it’s sending. Listening to your intuition, will allow you to make better decisions. Valuing your intuition, by not allowing the thoughts, feelings or statements of others to take away from what you know to be true is very empowering. By paying attention to how you feel, it will help you to make better, smarter and quicker decisions. I know for me personally, if I choose to ignore my gut or intuition when I feel a strong feeling about something, it almost always is a decision or action that I end up regretting. I have learned to always trust my intuition and that is what leads me in my life and business.

3. Invest time in your creativity. Our creativity doesn’t have to diminish as we get older. In fact, it is believed that the peak of creativity in most people is around 30-40 years old. (Lindaur, 1998, Marisiske &Willis, 1998) Creativity can be the catalyst in the manifestation of continual learning and lifelong activity. It allows us to be inspired, have fun and appreciate the beauty in the world.

4. Invest in building your confidence. People who know their value, have something to say and others will listen. You can invest in yourself by developing an understanding of the value that you possess and offer others. Learn to have the courage to speak your truth. The more you love yourself and own the value that you offer, the more confident you will become in sharing it with others.

5. Read educational books. Books or audio books are an awesome resource to build your knowledge and expertise in any area.

6. Attend seminars and workshops to expand your knowledge and skills in your business and/or personal life. This will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with individuals who are like-minded.

7. Take care of your health. Eat right each day, fueling your body with nutrients. When you focus on eating organic and healthier choices, you will feel better and have more energy. I know that the unhealthy burger or cupcake gives us instant gratification, but if you’re like me, you regret it later, because you feel lousy afterwards. Exercise daily. Do something every day to get moving and get your heart rate up, even, if it’s just walking the dog. Exercise gives you the energy to take on the day with confidence because of how it makes you look and feel. I have dedicated
a whole chapter in my book on health (Chapter 11) because of just how important it is to your success!

8. Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life, rather than the negative. They are not held hostage by their circumstances. They look at all the reasons to be grateful. “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”- Abraham Lincoln

9. Work on your bucket list. If you don’t have a bucket list, then it’s time to start one. Your bucket list is meant to be a list of everything you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in your life. Your list may be ongoing, but you can start by writing 100 things down. Then each month or so, make sure you’re knocking out at least, one of the items on your list.

10. Invest in a coach. A coach can assist you in putting all of these strategies into action. A coach is your partner in success. It is their job to assist you in creating and implementing your success plan, so you can become the best that you can be.

I can promise this: When you invest in yourself, a world of opportunities will open up for you. And, if you have a business where you sell your services, you must know that no one will invest in you until you invest in yourself first.

Investing in yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially, will allow you to become the best version of yourself. When you are the best version of yourself, you will be an attraction magnet to others!

Please share which of the 10 tips listed above you plan to implement this week…I would love to hear from you!

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