Changing the Conversation
The Adaptive Schools Foundation Seminars present a productive, practical set of ideas and tools for developing collaborative groups in becoming effective and better equipped to resolve complex issues around student learning. The work of the Adaptive Schools Seminars is to develop the resources and capacities of the organization and of individuals to cohesively respond to the changing needs of students and society.
The training not only explores what makes teams effective, but how to develop skills as facilitators and informed group members in informal and formal settings, in small and large groups. It takes participants beyond the idea of professional learning communities to the actual implementation, describing specific ways to weave the collaborative fabric of a faculty, develop group member skills, and acquire the principles and understandings to engage in a continuous cycle of team and individual improvement. Adaptive Schools is the “how” of professional learning communities: how to behave in groups, how to lead them, and how to facilitate them for improved leading, teaching, and learning.
Participants will develop:
> An increased capacity to initiate, develop and sustain high functioning groups
> New lenses for diagnosing the stages and phases of group development
> An expanded repertoire of practical facilitation tools
> Understandings of when and how to engage groups in dialogue and discussion, the limitations, forms and values of each
> Skills to move groups beyond consensus to common focus
> Ways to value and use dissension, argument and conflict
> Strategies for keeping group members on track, on topic, energized and resourceful
Carolyn McKanders is the Director of Organizational Culture for Thinking Collaborative, the home of the Adaptive Schools Seminars and the Cognitive Coaching Seminars®. She is the former Co-Director of the Center for Adaptive Schools. As an educational consultant, Carolyn specializes in individual, group and organization development. Her passion is promoting quality human relationships through communication, collaboration and leadership skills development.
Carolyn’s background includes 28 years of experience in Detroit Public Schools as a teacher, counselor and staff development specialist. Presently, she presents seminars internationally on developing Adaptive Schools, enhancing presentation effectiveness, and facilitation skills. She also provides Polarity Management® training, which supports organizations in identifying and managing competing tensions inherent in social systems.
Carolyn has extensive experience in group facilitation. She has successfully helped groups to clarify vision and work collaboratively to achieve professional community and desired results. In addition to her work in educational settings, she is a family and women’s counselor. From her counseling experience she brings to her work a deep belief in the unlimited capacity and resilience of the human spirit.
Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and Education from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling and Education from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Social Work Degree in Family and Children Services from Eastern Michigan University.