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30 Reflective Staff Development Exercises for Educators
Updated Edition of Bestseller

30 Reflective Staff Development Exercises for Educators

Second Edition

August 2013 | 120 pages | Corwin
In this invaluable and unique resource, leadership and organizational development expert Stephen S. Kaagan presents a unique guide for educators who enjoy challenging themselves and who hunger for new ideas and a fresh perspective of staff development. It promotes individual and collective learning of all participants as they undertake formal staff development while enhancing the success and performance of the entire educational system.In this Second Edition of Stephen Kaagan's bestselling work, the author adapts his excercises to the classroom. Since the exercises are experiential, by definition they intensify student's emotional connections with course content. Collaborative by design, the exercises, when adapted, can also promote mutual accountability for classroom learning. With students positioned as learning resources for each other, the teacher is better able to mediate learning as well as direct it.

About the Author
Author's Preface to the Second Edition
Part I. The Power of Reflective Exercises for Staff Development
Guiding Principles

Making the Exception to Current Practice the Rule

Committing to Organizational Learning Concepts

The Special Contributions of Senge et al.

A Personal Approach to Teaching and Consulting

Important Caveats

Part II. 30 Reflective Exercises
Exercises Arranged by Topic and Purpose
Mental Markers: Expanding the Boundaries

1. Animal Attributes

2. Ancestors

3. Pushpins

4. Suprise Me

5. E-xplore Assets

6. Instant History

7. Bringing the Outside In

8. Best, Worst

9. What to Keep, What Not

10. Leadership Metaphors

Making Mutual Meaning: Reflecting Together

11. Dashing Dual Interview

12. E-xplore Perspectives

13. Snapshots

14. Rotating Pencils

15. Listening for Assumptions

16. Fruits of Silence

17. See

18. Patchwork Perspectives

19. Stakes

20. Vision Sketch

Maintaining Momentum: Moving Forward

21. Begin, Begin, Begin

22. Modest Expectations

23. Informed Purpose

24. Beginning at the End

25. Context Map

26. The "View From Downtown"

27. E-xplore by Association

28. Unheard Voices

29. Blame Game

30. Standing Offer

Part III. Using Appropriate Exercises
Vignette 1: Slowing Down to Speed Up

Vignette 2: Deepening the Discourse

Vignette 3: Finding Common Ground

Vignette 4: Diminishing Divisiveness

Concluding Comments


"A timely and insightful resource for educators to enhance student learning and to engage themselves in reflective practice."

Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director
National Association of Secondary School Principals

"A dynamic and easy-to-use workbook that employs the powerful tool of reflection to help enhance the effectiveness of staff development. By following the sequence of exercises, educators will be able to enrich the working and learning relationships with school colleagues that are necessary for successful professional development and school improvement."

Gail Connelly, Executive Director
National Association of Elementary School Principals
Key features
  • All of the exercises are collaborative and foster team building and learning in the context of a professional learning community
  • Set-up for each exercise is easy and inexpensive, many needing no props at all
  • Each exercise can be accomplished in less than an hour and  some can be done in 30 minutes
  • Exercises are ideal for staff meetings, school improvement team sessions, curriculum planning sessions, and site based management meetings
  • Reflective questions accompany each exercise and promote professional learning in individual or group settings
  • Section III shows group facilitators how to use the exercises—including how to use your intuition, how to determine the character of a group, and how to ask good debriefing questions—and offers vignettes that demonstrate each key point

Purchasing options

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.