Tuesday, April 10, 2012

HARNESSING THE UNTAPPED POWER HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT COURSE

COURSE OVERVIEW: Engaging students as Agents of Change, capable of influencing the climate of a school, may be the best kept secret in the world of school improvement.  Consider this:

·         Students make up roughly 90% of individuals on a typical high school campus, yet rarely speak in a collective voice regarding issues of school life

·         Students comprise one of three major stakeholder groups vested in the culture of a school (staff/faculty and parents making up the other two groups) but don’t have a seat at the table to  have input into critical decisions

·         Most adults work easily with the traditional leaders of a school but are looking for the skills to work with “difficult populations” who, in reality, may be the students whose gifts and talents are underutilized, resulting in feelings of disenfranchisement and disconnectedness.

Strengthening student engagement in school is a core area identified through research and by state and federal authorities that shows evidence of supporting school success.  Research into the field of influence and persuasion tells us of the power that exists within our social networks and that influencers among us are constantly observing our actions and persuading others to either join or resist these efforts-whether we like it or not.  They further go on to encourage us to embrace and enlist this influence rather than lament or deny it.  This may never be more accurate than in the halls of a school where highly networked and influential students have the power to support or doom an adult decision or practice with a subtle sigh, scoff, snicker, raised eyebrows, or, worse yet, a lightning quick expression with the click of a few keys. 

This one day staff development course will teach a model designed to:

1.       Help participants appreciate the realities of influence and technology

2.       Discuss and demonstrate the advantages of including 90% of the people on campus in planning and decision-making

3.       Discover the difference between a leader and an influencer and gain access into the power they hold

4.       Learn techniques to harness this influence and move forward for the good of all

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